The barn is in Western WI and about 50 minutes from where I live currently which has increased my drive by 15 minutes one way and half an hour round trip. The extra drive time sucks and I'm not looking forward to that piece but for all of the benefits I think it will still be worth it.
Outdoor Spaces First:
Out the field road there is a way to get into an expansive trail system through other properties. It sounds like the owners of those pieces of land are more than happy to have horses riding through (around crops of course) and there are trails cut through the woods, around fields, through meadows, etc. These are exactly the type of trails that I grew up riding on and I am SO EXCITED to get to introduce Katai to proper trail riding.
There is also plenty of space to ride around the property itself including a long driveway and field road/paths around the barns. Even this is way more than we've had before and will be a good way for us to safely dip our toes into trail riding along with lots of potentially spooky things to look at which will be great for desensitization.
There is an outdoor sand, regulation sized, arena with white rails that I'm so excited to ride in and it sounds like they set up ground poles around the outdoor in the grass along the tree line and even a couple of jumps when the footing is dry and safe which will be fun to work on with Katai.
There are two barns (upper and lower which is the main barn) and one overflow barn. Right now Katai is in the upper barn that just has stalls but I'm going to hopefully be able to move to the lower barn at some point. At any rate, both barns are ours to use.
The lower barn/main barn, has all of the grooming spaces including four wash stalls with heat lamps, tack lockers, saddle closets, lounge, and indoor arena. I should have my own tack locker (once things shake out) and get to use a saddle closet in this barn. Currently I'm in the fancy tack room so no complaints! Both barns are heated warmer than what we've had which is nice and the lower is kept closer to 40* during the winter which will be AMAZING. Both are bright and extremely well ventilated so that you wouldn't even know that horses live there.
|Pretty sure she's punishing me for the move by blinking|
Turnout times are similar to Jane's with the horses possibly staying out slightly longer during winter. They also go out more days including in snow and appropriate rain (unless it's really cold) which I love. Katai being able to have group turnout with grass during the day and friends to run with is going to be amazing for fitness, for her mind, and very likely for her sometimes ulcery tummy. Hopefully the grass just doesn't cause any issues.
Tons of hay including alfalfa is also fed and it sounds like (and I observed when I was there) that horses eat their hay before their grain which speaks highly to the quality and palatability. There's also enough of it fed that they're eating constantly which will also be good for Katai's ulcery tummy.
The barn feeds a good ration balancer and will feed supplements. They have Barn Buddies which is great since my now more limited SmartPaks were no longer qualifying for free shipping and I hated paying for shipping on them every month.
The barn manager/owner (S2) lives on site and does some natural horsemanship training as well as being an accomplished dressage rider and competitor with her Silver Medal. She's currently showing Prix St. George. She is also able to give IV meds which is great just in case there's ever a colic situation that would call for it. Having met her and the other people who work at the barn I trust them completely with Katai's care. S2 runs a tight ship and has been showing for a long time so she has the infrastructure to do it well.
|The large, fancy, show trailer|
There are also a few big name clinicians who clinic there on a fairly regular basis including Ann Cizaldo which will be amazing both for auditing and riding opportunities.
I'm really hoping this is my last move for a long time. Maybe the last time until I'm able to afford my own property!