Yeah. Not very much turnout (the small paddocks that we set up out of electrical tape is it), a smaller arena than I'd like, a disturbing scarcity of water, and a general attitude of apathy towards improvement projects.
So we went and looked at a new place today. The only downfalls I can see are that we can't bring our dog (which I know better than to expect at any boarding place) and it's about 5 minutes further away. They're actively remodeling the old parts of the barn, adding in beautiful new stalls, building a huge tack room . . . basically revamping everything, and doing it right. They have an all-weather round pen (it's nice to have on occasion!), a bigger arena with footing done well, plenty of turnout, and they're working on building runs for the stalls and a new hot water washrack.
I really like the facilities, and I totally love that they're improving the place. Plus we (that being me, my parents, Ellen, and Rose) are always happy to pitch in labor for a project, which I am sure they will appreciate when it comes to building new runs/the washrack/etc. We are always willing to help out when it means improvements to the barn happen faster. Oh, and they also back up to like 300 miles of trails, they're active with Pony Club and go to all kinds of Eventing stuff, and their neighbor across the road sets up small XC fences and lets boarders ride in her field.
We'll see how this pans out -- we're not really into moving without Rose and Ellen -- but honestly I'm ready to give my 30 days notice tomorrow. Fingers crossed for a better boarding situation!
Here' s my biggest requirements for a boarding situation (in vague order of most important to least):
- Turnout. Safe, preferably daily, preferably large turnout.
- Arena. Must have a reasonably sized, good-footing-ed, well-maintained indoor (or at least covered outdoor).
- Attitude. Barn owners must be generally friendly, perfectly willing to do necessary work on the property (yes, if you own a boarding barn, fences will need to be repaired sometimes), and generally flexible about horse care to fit the individual horse.
- Runs on the stalls. Unless my horse is going out every morning or is out 24/7, I'd prefer that she wasn't stuck in a stall 22.5 hours per day.
- Washrack. I'm sorry, but I have a grey-white horse, and she needs baths to look presentable for a show.
- Extra riding space. Trails, fields, whatever - I am SO excited to take McKinna out on those trails that they have. I have a whole summer for riding, and doing trails would be so good for her.
- A round pen. It's just a nice bonus to have there if you want to use it, though now that I don't have Bailey I'm not quite as reliant on one for groundwork.
- English-minded owners. Yes, I do very much like it that you have your own standards and cavaletti (though I'll bring mine), and I like that you don't find me strange for riding in such a small scrap of leather masquerading as a saddle.
- A big tack room. Yes, I can keep my stuff in my trailer, but if I leave leather in the trailer all winter, it will mold. No, I do not want to haul my crap back and forth in the car every day. It's nice to have room for my saddles, bridles, and storage dresser.
I know, I'm not picky at all . . .
What are your big requirements for a boarding barn?