Hypothetically if you were searching for a new barn what would you look for?
What are some of the questions you’d ask?
I’m not looking. At least not yet. But I am starting to feel like things at my barn are changing. And I can’t see how board won’t go way up once the new indoor arena is built. I can see that it may also attract a different caliber of clientele. Assuming that’s the way things are headed I am 100% sure that Tucker and I do not fit into the A circuit mold.
I do like to be prepared though. So I’ve started to think about it. Where would we go if the cost of board got too high or we stopped fitting in?
What’s turnout like? Group? Individual? Do the paddocks have grass? Is there water in the paddocks? Does they put out hay? Is turn out all day or just for a few hours? Is the fencing safe? How are they brought in and out? Are they allowed to run in or are they led?
What are the stalls like? How much bedding do they use? Is there any kind of rubber mat? Is it automatic or bucket water?
What’s the tack room like? Is there a locker for every boarder? Is there somewhere to hang blankets?
Is the barn neat and tidy and in good repair?
How often are the horses fed? Do they feed hay or hay cubes?
I’m a little bit lacking in my knowledge of feeds but do they feed a good quality one?
Are there staff on site 24/7? How knowledgeable are the staff? Are there other adult amateurs (something that’s lacking from our current barn)? Is it low drama? I know there will always be at least some drama. What are the levels and goals of the riders at the barn? This is not a huge thing but it’s always nice to have others around that are working towards a similar goal and to help each other along. Is there a coach on site or can I bring my own?
Are there multiple rings? Indoor? Outdoor? What’s the size of the rings? Can I ride at any time or is the ring booked up with lessons at certain times? What’s the footing like? Are there jumps and fill?
What does the cost of board include and how much? Are there extra fees for things like blanketing, feeding supplements or taking care of minor first aid stuff?
How far is it from where I live? How much more time will it take me to get there?
Can I bring my own farrier and vet? What’s the lighting like in the barn and arena?
How big is the property? Are there trails or access to trails? Do they have a trailer and do they trailer out to shows? Is there a lesson program?
I hope to never need to use this list. I just can’t help feeling the winds of change blowing.
Did I forget anything? Is there anything else that you’d look for or ask?