Yesterday the big boy left his last boarding stable as my parents recently brought an 88acre farm, and decided instead of selling him as recently planned, we would move him to the farm to run around and be a horse while I finished my year 12 schooling.
I have agisted all four of my previous horses and I must say the experience gained will stay with me for a long, long time. I decided to reflect on the last 7 years of boarding ponies and horses, as all those years hold some interesting memories.
The first stable was the one I remember the clearest, it was quite a big space, and held all four of my horses until 4 years ago. It had a big sign out the front that read Cold Comfort, and my first ever horse was appointed the paddock at the front, a paddock that was assigned to newcomers. The second horse I brought was an ex-racer, that was a gift from my Pop and although he was quiet, he was much too strong for a 10 year old girl, and the continuous comments from the other stable boarders, made me determine to prove them wrong. About a year later, my parents wised up and he went back to my Pop.
I really started to dislike horse-boarding, these people were giving me advice that wasn’t wanted, and a few had even started to use my gear, something I didn’t know was a problem yet. My third pony was absolutely brilliant; the boarders approved, and left me on my merry way. Things were fine for a while, but as I was the youngest I was always the one to get in trouble for leaving gates open that I hadn’t touched, and for leaving my brushes around that I hadn’t used that day. It wasn’t long before I grew out of this pony that I needed to sell him and buy a horse, something that I had not wanted to do at all. The other boarders were adamant that I was too heavy for this pony, and being ‘experts’ they told me in the long run I would injure him. The day I sold that pony was the saddest day of my life, I was attached and didn’t want to leave my boy behind, but as we all know we all grow up and have to move on to bigger and better things.
I then leased a pony and tried not to get attached as I wouldn’t have to go through the pain of losing another pony. I joined PonyClub and enjoyed myself as the bullies I had previously encountered had left due to not paying there board, and things seemed to look up.Although there was a father whose daughter rode, and was at the stables every second night watching her ride and he always made comments about my parents not being interested enough for me to pursue horse-riding further.
I knew I only had a couple of months left on my lease, and had to find a horse, but this time I didn’t want to lease anymore. That was when I was offered to take Joe off my Pops hand, as he has just rescued him and he was looking for a home, and I was looking for a horse. I had the grown-up talk with my parents about the boarding stables, and we both agreed that as I was taking on a green-horse we would have to be closer to my instructor, who as it turned out had a spare paddock for Mr Joe to agist in.
As I was packing up my old boarding stable tack room I remember all the people in there that I had encountered. Those bullies who made my first boarding experience hell, the farther and daughter, this crazy lady who always smelt of alcohol and smoke, the polocross gurus, the racehorse trainers (who eventually bought the place), Kelly who I adored, the family whose mum was a saint, a girl who sold a green horse which I nearly bought and finally the one lady who actually knew was she was doing.
The second agistment was much better, but I only stayed for a year. My instructor was going through a divorce with her husband, and my riding lessons turned into me counselling her about child custody and her hatred for men, something I did not need to here at age 13.
We left for the paddock next door, which was my current boarding area, and a place I will cherish as the goddess boarding areas. It had two stables, and was only accompanied by an older lady, whom I barely saw, I finally had no-one telling me what to do, and I was free to train Joe anyway I wanted. The only fight I had at this stable was about the hose, but really that’s a different story! I stayed there for three years up until yesterday, and I believe the paddock has already been taken over.
As I reflect on these horses, and the difficulties I had with ‘horse people’ in that time, I realise that it was all a part of the boarding experience. Without those crazy people in my life I wouldn’t have learnt the patience and hardiness to deal and it makes me feel so much grateful that due to these boarding areas I was able to live out a childhood dream and overall that makes these entire negative experience a massive positive one. :-P:-P:-P:-P:-P
As boarders I think we could all write books about our boarding experiences. Somewhere I had heard once that an average stay at a boarding barn was 6 months. For me I knew when it was time to leave when I did not enjoy going to the barn anymore. For me the horses and barn is my stress release and calmness in my hectic life, and when there is barn drama or conflicts I will leave. After a few boarding barns myself I have realized that I enjoy being by myself with my horses at a private barn. Just me and my two horses. I love it. I have friends who have horses on all sides of the property I am at and so I have people I ride trails with all the time which is awesome. Good luck at the new place I hope it all works out well for you :)
I have definitely had some horrid boarding experiences and am glad that I know rent my own farm where my horses are kept. One bad boarding experience was when my boarder tried to steal my horse and we had to call a sheriff out to deal with the problem 0.0. Luckily that issue got resolved. I know what you mean by people giving you advice that wasn't wanted. I got that ALL THE TIME. But the last place I boarded at was really nice. The staff was nice, the owner understanding, not to mention, everyone loved my horses and were sad to see them go. I swear, at least 5 different workers there who fed the horses and did turn out and things like that said something like,"Aww, I'm sad to see Robin and Gossip go, they're the nicest horses here! They're so sweet." That made me happy and it makes me kind of miss the boarding life, but no, I'm happy in my own place:)
just remember what it was like so if you take on others ( boarders ) you will treat them kindly :) and fair
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