What to ask new Riding Stables? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-19-2014, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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What to ask new Riding Stables?

I'm going to tour three or four different riding stables in January in order to find out which is best for me. I am very serious about it because I am a committed type of person who likes to stay at one barn and get to know everyone and feel comfortable there and know I'm welcomed as well as getting nicely trained on horses. I wanted to know what questions I should be asking each barn in order to compare them to each other and decide which is right for me.

I also will be taking boarding prices into consideration and need to ask questions about that because I do want to try leasing a horse or owning my own eventually.

Questions I want to ask so far:

1. How many acres do you have?
2. Do you have lesson packages and how much?
3. What kind of different boarding do you offer and how much?
4. How many indoor and outdoor arenas do you have?
5. What time does the barn open and close?
6. Do you have any trails on your property for riders and horses or anything of the like?
7. Do you have regular farriers or vets that come out to the barn on certain days for boarders?

What else should I ask? Thanks!

"We are all connected. To each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the rest of the universe atomically." -Carl Sagan
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-20-2014, 02:44 AM
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Any odd rules, like are boarders allowed to use the arena if somebody is in a lesson?

Is there a bathroom on the property?
In regards to boarding, is turnout included? If so, how often are they turned out?
Of course, how big are the stalls?
Are there any feed restrictions? (such as only feeding x amount of hay/day)
Are the lessons group or private?
Are there opportunities to hack school horses outside of lessons?
If money is a big factor for you, are there ways to work off lessons?

Some of these questions may not even be relevant for you, but I figure better to have more questions than you need rather than not enough!
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-20-2014, 03:05 AM
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I would also ask if you always ride the same horse in lessons or have a variety to rode.
The latter being far better for you.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-20-2014, 10:01 PM
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It might be good for you just to hang out, watch, ask questions to the clients. The owner will tell you what he thinks you would like to hear.
Watch. I stop in at some of the local arenas and watch the lessons and as far as I am concerned the folks are paying lots of $$$ jut to be taken for a ride, round and round. They do not seem to be teaching leg, balance, how to have a horse come into your hands. My opinon of the teachers is that they are taking money for lettilng people ride.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-21-2014, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the replies! I will be asking those as well. Would it be a good idea to tour all the barns twice then? Or should one do it? I definitely want a barn I can learn and expand from. I don't want a barn where I am just riding round and round. I've been to one of those and it was so boring. I would like to work my way up to learn how to do jumping and dressage. I tried western and it wasn't really my thing. I guess I can add to ask if they teach those disciplines.

I really have high standards, I would love for my place to feel almost as if I am in some kind of adult version of a saddle club episode with everything pristine and a lot of land available to ride LOL. I am willing to pay more if they offer riders many options. We'll see though.

"We are all connected. To each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the rest of the universe atomically." -Carl Sagan
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-28-2014, 05:03 PM
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Red face More Questions

These are just some of them. I'm not sure that they're the best but I hope you enjoy. :)

Is there a restroom on the premise?
Does the owner live on the land?
Are there security cameras in/around the barn?
Is this a family oriented place?
Does a lot of barn drama go on around here? (you could ask some people who already board there)
Is this more of a show barn or a laid back barn?
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-29-2014, 10:27 AM
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A lot of good suggestions have been provided regarding questions to ask. I would like to expand on the idea of observation.

Ask to observe lessens by one or two instructors -- both individual and group lessons -- to get an idea of what is being taught and how. Does the method of instruction match your way of learning?

Are the horses kept isolated from one another or allowed to interact? How do the workers interact with the horses? Do they treat them with respect? Do they treat them roughly? Do they simply ignore them?

How do the horses respond to your presence? Do they perk up with curiosity and come toward you? Do they turn away and hide their heads in the corner of a stall?

What is the general atmosphere? Is it gloomy? Is it airy and open?

Observe how boarders or students interact with their horses. Do they seem like people you want to be around? Approach several individuals and their horses. Say, "Hello," and ask them how they feel about the facility, the owners, the workers, and the trainers. Most horse people love to talk about horses and will generally give you honest answers. Realize that the answers may be influenced by any limitations on experiences the speaker may have been exposed to.

Training riders and horses to work in harmony.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-29-2014, 01:42 PM
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Are you looking to board, take lessons or both?
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