High End, or Your own pace?
I just want to know what ya'll prefer, whether its a high end barn, that is always super clean and has lots of boarders, or whether you prefer the small private barn type, where you can take everything at your own pace and it doesn't need to be spotless.
Hmmm my answer is not in the poll! Private, small, clean:wink:
I prefer private - which is what I voted for, but you are missing the most important thing - SAFE. Place doesn't have to be spotless but it must be safe.
my answer is not on the list.
high end, clean, safe, yet relaxed atmosphere with not a LOT of borders, just the right amount. Basically what I feel my barn is now.:-)
It all depends on the safety features and kind of people that are boarding. Ideally I like a place with people that I can ride with and talk to. The owner/manager is also important, I've been to A few places where the owner fires people every few months for stupid reasons. This can lead to a badly taken care of/ unsafe property. As long as the facilities are great/doable, it doesn't really matter to me how big/small; however, I really don't like places with a big lesson program because that's a lot of people which often leads to a lot of gossip if not properly taken care of. As for clean, semi clean, my own pace, I prefer a well maintained facility,wherever I am at, but if you're talking stalls and water buckets, it would depend on if I am the one doing it or not.
i don't mind if there are a lot of boarders, as long as they are all reasonable, kind people.
The quality of care and cleanliness are very important to me. If I am boarding, I want someone to be looking out for my horses safety and well being all the time. This means the barn is very clean and organized and that regular schedules are in place. I also prefer a smaller, friendlier private facility to a busy large barn. No drama! This is partly why I keep my wn horses at home.
High on my list of criteria are:
Set up and run for the good of the horse - turn out at sunrise, turn in at dusk and f/t turnout when the weather permits with at lest 4 feedings of hay per day if not on grass. Knowledgeable staff, safe fencing and barns and arena kept cool. Horses turned in and out safely and one at a time if needed.
Good facilities that are appropriate for training with good, safe footing and a clean atmosphere including properly bedded stalls.
A barn not willing to do late turn in or do 4 feedings, I will always request to bring in my own horse at dusk and provide an additional feeding of hay to him.
The place I'm at right now is extremely private, but the horses are treated like gold. Were it not for the lack of an indoor arena, I would board there year round. The horses are treated like horses. It's very nice.
Im not too picky as long as the horses are looked after, its clean and its safe. I also prefer some one to live on site. I have boarded at many barns switching because I was not happy. I had issues with my horse being fed mouldy hay nd getting sick, a barn that stalled two donkeys with my horse and the donkeys ate his food (barn owners didnt check under his blanket and within a week he dropped a bunch of weight) , barns just not following my feed program, unsafe pastures (wether who my horse was turned out with or the fence in general) and even boarded some where that on many occasions the BO would walk in smelling of booze to do night chores.. left that one asap. These places werent all that bad but it was bad experiences like these that made me leave.
I had to move my horses from home this winter due to there being snow over top of my fence and my boys escaped one day, moved them the next day asap. They are now at a wonderful place. Its not fancy at all, just a small barn with standing stalls for tacking up/ feed times and no indoor just a large outdoor. But its a place where my horses get to be horses which is really important to me. They have 160 acres to roam with a small herd (never over 15) Right now with there still being snow they get fed good round bales and there is two set out as there are two different groups that get along in the herd. They have natural ground to walk on and it varries from being lush pasture to rocky gravel areas with water pits. We have a large outdoor arena with high safe fencing around it. The owner lives on site as well and is wonderful. Also her hubby is with the rcmp so we know we are all safe. There isnt too many boarders and I still havent run into any yet but we all look out for eachother and our horses. Hands down its the best place Ive been to and I ALMOST dont even want to bring my guys home as they enjoy themselves so much there.
I board at a high end training barn with about 20 horses/12 boarders and our trainer owns the farm. There are one or two people who come in just for lessons, but it is overwhelmingly for boarders. The horses are all high level dressage horses with one or two young prospects and are worked 5-6 days per week either by the horse owner or the trainer. They get unlimited hay, 3 feedings a day including supplements (always soaked), blankets, boots, stalls cleaned twice a day, holding for vet and farrier, daily grooming, etc. Our horses are taken care of exactly like the trainer's horses are and you could really spend your whole riding career there without ever knowing how to take care of a horse, which I know sounds awful to some people but it speaks to how well they take care of everything. Everyone is supportive, helpful, and fun but we're also all very serious about our riding, whether we show or not.
The only drawback is that we only get 4-6 hours of turnout a day, 8 on a really great day, and we only have quite small paddocks. Considering how we work our horses it is not so bad, but I wish it was more. Almost all of the horses are turned out individually, although thankfully my own horse goes out with a friend. But there are no high level dressage trainers in my area who do more than that anyway so you take what you can get.
That is what matters to me when considering boarding - care, training, relationships with other boarders. In terms of aesthetics, of course it is fun in a ridiculous way when stables have chandeliers and that sort of thing and I wouldn't want to board in a hovel, but in general aesthetics are not important. I do want the horses to be able to stick their necks out of their stalls and greet each other over the walls. And a bright, airy arena with mirrors is very important to me. I find dark, windowless arenas past their prime to be very depressing. I would never want to be in a lesson barn and I would only board at a place with mostly adults.
Private, safe and laid-back.
So since it's private, I don't ever have anything go missing (unless I misplace it myself or my own kids run off with it) but at the same time since it's just me and the BO right now, it's really laid-back.
So we keep stalls, turnouts, the arena and anywhere else the horses are, we keep cleaned no matter what. If the weather is complete crud, one of us isn't feeling well or has sick kids we'll skip things like sweeping the aisle, emptying the wheelbarrow or other things that won't negatively impact the horses if they get put off for a day or two. We've even played musical stalls a few times (below zero, blowing snow/ice, BO was sick and I had sick kids) by moving a horse that TRASHED it's stall into an unoccupied clean one so we could put off stripping the messy stall for a day or so.
I can also do whatever I want within reason. So if my horse needs to be stalled during the day I can grab someone else to keep him company and just let the BO know. I can move horses to different stalls if I'm not happy with the current energy level in the barn or whathaveyou. Same with adding or removing extra water buckets or moving them/hay feeders.
A bit lazy on my part but I can take out everything I own, make a huge mess or whatever and not have to worry about it impacting anyone else as long as everything is put away/cleaned up before I leave. Particularly right now, it's nice to be able to leave the giant mess of shedding hair, mud, muck and whatever else I clean off my horse lying on the floor and not need to clean it up until I'm done riding. There's no way in a popular boarding facility I would leave a mess in the crossties while I was off riding.
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