Friday, August 10, 2012

Opening the Door

I really appreciate all the comments/advice on my last post.  I have been thinking a lot about the comment about Arabians going a bit stir crazy only having arena time.  Tessa has been a bit hot and cranky lately and I'm wondering if this is a big part of it.  She's been in the same arena for a year now.

The one time she did go to a show was about a month after I bought her.  She was amazing.  She was quiet and walked around the property like an old pro.  It helped that it was all outdoors and there were lots of other horses.  Other horses give her confidence.

So, I have been researching other barns and had found a barn close to my house that intrigued me.  It seemed to have everything on my wish list.  Indoor arena, outdoor round pen, daily turnout and best of all, it was a short ride down a dead end road to a giant local park with outdoor arenas and trails.  They had three trainers working out of the barn.  A dressage trainer, a hunter jumper trainer and a woman who studies with Buck Brannaman.  Perfect!  My saddle fitter keeps her horse there and absolutely loves it.  This barn is also much closer to my home.  The only reason I hadn't looked into it before was the price tag.  My board would have gone up $200 a month and lessons were more expensive.  Would it really be worth it?  I have spent the summer discussing it with my husband (over and over and over and over....I solve problems by talking them out.  Luckily, my husband is a patient man.) and decided that I needed to try this barn.

My saddle fitter was out yesterday to take my saddle in for some adjustments.  We're removing some of the stuffing from the back so it doesn't feel so downhill.  It's hard to have a deep seat saddle on a downhill horse; it can feel like you're falling off the front.  I asked her about her barn again.  She was super excited and said I would be a perfect fit!  She told me they are letting the trainers go because they want a facility with people who aren't so driven by shows.  They are going to focus on having fun with their horses.  Perfect, right?

Then she let this little bomb drop.  They're raising the board.  Another $200.00.  Which brings board to a whopping $1,000 a month and puts it firmly out of my price range.  I was so disappointed.  She tried to convince me it was worth it because of the excellent care and everything, but my pony gets BEYOND excellent care at the barn I'm at.  The only reason I would be moving is for the access to trails and outdoor riding without needing a trailer and $400 extra dollars a month just isn't in my budget right now for that.  Especially when the barn across the street from them (it's full so I can't go there) charges only $450 a month.  Granted, they don't have an indoor arena or a wash rack, but $400 extra a month for those things?  No thanks.

So, time for a plan B.  The girl that rides my horse for me on Wednesdays (who is great with her) said that she can use a truck and trailer.  We would just need to fill up the tank.  I am going to email her today to talk about how much I could pay her to take my pony and I on field trips.  Knowing how Tessa does in new situations, new arenas, trails and outdoor arenas will help me figure out what the next step is....hopefully.


  1. Dang! Big discrepancy in board prices in your area! Makes me feel very fortunate to pay what I do for what I have access to.

    Your plan B sound good - getting Tess outside riding will boost your confidence and hers to.

  2. $1000?! I was feeling sorry for myself because our board is $400. Of course Husband just recently pointed out that it also costs over $300/month in diesel to drive out there, and then we also pay extra for our own grain and supplements...

    I'm such a chicken when it comes to leaving the confines of the indoor arena. It's my security blanket more than the horse's I think. I so much want to trail ride but I can barely even face the outdoor ring some days! Baby steps, right?

  3. WOW yeah, so not worth the extra $400 a month. And then if the trainers were gone who would you take lessons with? But Im a lesson addict!

  4. I like your idea of going out with Wednesday Girl. Nothing like having an experienced buddy for trail rides!

  5. Jeez is board ever expensive up there! I couldn't possibly imagine paying more than what we were paying at the last place we boarded, which is the nicest barn I've ever boarded at and the top of my price range. We paid $430 there, and are paying $260 right now for partial care (we clean). Both barns are pretty much directly equatable as far as amenities and care, and the decrease in price for a little bit less was definitely worth it for me.

    Anyway, there are so many options for adventure on horseback in the PNW!!! I have tried to take advantage of those options while I've had horses here, and have done a ton of stuff out in the world. One of my favorites is horse camping! So fun. There's nothing like sleeping all night in a tent and waking up to have campfire breakfast with your horse! Riding the beach is awesome too - there are tons of places on the sound where you can ride along the water! There are a few state parks in my area with horse trails, and those are great for experiencing things like bridges, waterfalls, wet bellies, other riders, bicycles, bats(!!!) and other startling things. I'm sure there are similar places by you! I also love riding along to shows and not showing, just to get some experience outside of the barn in a new place.

    I love hauling out to new places. Excited to hear about it when you do! :)