Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Bit More Info

Obviously not my barn but very cool picture

I’m hoping to make my decision about barns this week but thought that I’d share a little more about each because I know I always find this sort of thing interesting when reading other people’s blogs.

Current Barn
Current Barn ($760):
$600 per month for stall board
$160 per month for weekly lessons This includes a semi private paddock (the only option except for a private paddock which would cost more) and is a heated barn with a connected heated arena, outdoor arena, really no trails (although that’s getting better), nice wash stall, two amazing boarder tack rooms, THE most amazing care that Katai has ever had, really nice lounge with a fully stocked fridge including wine, beer, K-cups and a Keurig, microwave, toaster oven, and water cooler. The arena footing is amazing, the facility is very nicely looked after, they add or remove one blanket each turnout/turn in and fly spray, add fly mask etc. They do a great job at feeding time including soaking beet pulp and putting together sometimes very complex diets for each horse.

Barn Option 1

New Barn Option 1 ($535):
$425 per month for stall board
$85ish? I’d either take 1 lesson per month with the more advanced dressage instructor (who is really an eventer) or a couple with the lower level dressage instructor
$25 per month for semi private paddock (large public pen has 24/7 round bale so I need to avoid that with Katai).
This is a heated barn with a connected heated arena but that arena footing is deep and it’s quite small as it’s meant more for western riders. There is another non-heated indoor arena in the other barn on the property. There are multiple (3-4?) outdoor arenas, 1 mile gallop track, TONS of trails, lots of events going on all the time (both good and bad since it would be amazing to have the Schramms have a clinic at my barn but all of the chaos all the time might get old) and nice tack rooms. The arena footing isn’t amazing but isn’t dangerous, the facility has been operating a long time so they know what they are doing and run it as a business. Because of that there is much less individualized care but you also know that your horse will be looked after and that no stupid decisions will be made, I’m definitely trying to avoid that after the crazy barn. One of my favorite things with this barn is that the horses only come in for feeding times in the summer, otherwise they are out 24/7. I actually boarded here previously when I "fled" from J's barn and left because I was looking for that dressage show barn that I've mentioned.

Pictures soon!
New Barn
Option 2 ($430):
$350 per month for stall board
$80 per month for weekly lessons which are required to board there
This is a heated barn with a heated arena (although it sounds like the heat is only turned on during peak hours since there aren’t many boarders). There isn’t an outdoor but there is a nice outdoor “lawn” to ride on. There aren’t any real trails but this property is on a dead end dirt road so there’d be a place to go on an outdoor ride. There are large paddocks or pasture (which of course I wouldn’t do with Katai) and the owner is used to feeding horses that don’t need many groceries. I believe there is one other boarder currently and then three of the owner/trainer’s horses.

This sounds fishy from the low cost above but the instructor is actually an upper level rider capable of getting other people to the upper levels. The other boarder is currently showing 3rd on her small Arabian and I know of at least one other person that she trained up through Grand Prix as well as the fact that at least one of her horses is a Prix St. George school master that she brought up the levels herself. This is not only the cheapest option but also the best option for me being able to make progress towards my goal of getting my Bronze Medal. I wish there were more trails available (since I was originally planning on option 1 before I knew there was an option 2 and got all excited about the trail riding and gallop track opportunities) but this fits much better with my goals, both financially and riding wise.


  1. Not an easy decision- I wish that there would be the perfect boarding barn!

    1. I agree!! I think it's always tough to find the combination of amenities that work best for you and your horse. I have to say that for the most part I've been really happy most of the places that I've been (with just a couple of exceptions) and Katai has done pretty well in most spaces (other than pasture board) so that helps!

  2. Sounds like from a aiming-towards-being-competitive stand point, Option 2 is the way to go. They both have their pros though!

    1. I agree completely and I'm not quite sure what I'd do without weekly lessons. I think I'd be ok for a couple months but I'm pretty sure that after that I'd snarly myself into a knot pretty quick