Thursday, September 3, 2009
A-D Barn Style
So I received an email today from a woman wanting to have her horse trained and shown English Pleasure. Not a problem. A Can DO! But, then towards the bottom of the email she was stating how she wanted the facilities to be a certain way, style, basically borderline high maintenance, which made me think of this.... In a horse persons life there are certain barns, facilities, that I am now going to put into a classification system.
The A+. This is the premier facility. Has anywhere from 50 to 80+ boarders. This is the place that is $800+ for boarding ONLY. These facilities are more dedicated to one specific discipline. Dressage, Hunter/Jumper. They have 20 workers, their barn floors could be EATEN off of.Their stalls are 15x20 with sold iron bars and metal so the horses can not crib away at the stall. The horses get turned out for maybe a few hours a day and the pastures have beautiful loafing sheds. The stalls and pastures are cleaned and picked several times a day. Brand new equipment. Premium hay and grains, feeding 3-4 times a day. Their pastures and fencing are primo and in brand new condition. This is a place where the horses don't really get to be horses because the pasture may get torn up, or the $150,000 horse may throw one of his $300 shoes. This place has EVERYTHING! Hot walkers, maybe a track, trails, just to the NINES!!! This is a place that we all dream of owning. Rolling lush fields, white fences, immaculate arenas, yes ARENAS, more than one. All Olympic sized. Ahhh very drool worthy!!!! Most of us will never board here.
The A. A Nice facility. Has around 30-60 boarders. Hard to know everybody. Also more specified to one discipline. Western pleasure, dressage, H/J. It looks a little older, may have some scuffs or marks in the wood, but they keep it nice. Pressure washed, nice pastures, probably running about $400-$500 for boarding. A decent covered arena, good sized. Good hay, a few workers a clean nice place. The horses get turned out for maybe a half day to a full day (MAYBE). The horses could be turned out in small groups of 2 or 3. Has some tack lockers, hot cold wash rack, grooming stall. Good equipment, property is kept up on, nicely.
The B. A Working Facility. Around $250-$350 for board. A nice covered, tilled arena, round pen, 12x12 stalls, offers both full or partial care. Usually has 15-30 boarders, more of a close knit friends type of place. Nice hay. Trails. Hot/cold washrack, cross ties, a shared tackroom. Smaller sized pastures, but nice. More set up for breaking and training horses. Well kept, decent equipment. this is a bit more diverse. Western pleasure, reining, cows, jumping, gaming, etc. These are nice places and happy horses. This is where 80% of us end up.
The C. A Small Facility. Typically $150-$250 for board. This has a few stalls, nicely kept, an arena, not covered, a few pieces of equipment. You supply your own hay. Self care or partial care. Has on 2-3 boarders. It probably has one or two pastures that the horses share. Nice quiet down home place.
The D. A Homeowner's facility. A piece of property, maybe a stall or two in someone's back yard. $100-$200 for board. Probably self care, maybe partial. Has only only 2-3 boarders. You supply your own hay, the horses run together in the pastures. May or may not have stalls. No arena.
I have experienced every single one of these places except for the A+. And in fact as a trainer, I worked my way up from a D, to where I am now, HAPPILY at a B. I LOVE IT!!! I think it is the perfect place for what I do. Now there is NOTHING wrong with any of these places, it's all personal preference... So Where are you now??? And where would you dream to be????