Nibbles was moved to the new barn on Saturday, March 19. The new BO and her family came to pick us up. Nibbles marched right on the trailer and we left without a backward glance. She settled in almost immediately. This is a small, fairly private farm with a handful of boarders who found the place like me through word of mouth. They don’t advertise and they offer a very high level of care. I quite seriously asked this BO if she was crazy before making the decision. We talked at length about her expectations and mine and I feel very good moving forward into this new arrangement. I also went to look at two other places but decided this one best suited our needs. Bonus: it’s only 20 minutes from our house as opposed to the 35 minutes of the old, crazy barn.
We have one week left of no riding before we will test the waters. I lunged her for 20-25 minutes on Saturday and she looked super. She was a little sore for the mini massage I gave her but really enjoyed her stretches. I don’t have a saddle that fits so we’ll see how this goes. I have my eye on a few that I’d like to take on trial but saddles aren’t cheap and I have a small stack of vet bills lately. I know everything will work out in time. For now, I am so happy and feel like I can exhale at the new barn. The first night, the new BO sent me several photos of Nibbles in her new stall (she is going from being out 24/7 to having a stall with private turnout). The next morning, I got a video of her eating breakfast and snuggling the BO. Talk about a stark contrast between BO’s already.
The new barn checks a lot of boxes:
- Relatively close and in my budget (although my husband agreed that we would pay for the most expensive barn in town if the care matched the price tag)
- Indoor and outdoor arena with good footing
- Climate controlled, lockable tack room
- Excellent hay and willing to feed whatever I want (bonus: they already feed what I feed)
- Flexible turnout (they offered to let Nibbles have private turnout until the vet clears her, no extra charge)
- Willing to trailer us around (not that I can afford any shows this year after all these vet bills) – bonus: they’re heavily involved with our local GMO which means I’d just be hitching a ride with them
- Excellent references – I checked them out with the local community, online, and our massage therapist is the one who sent me their way in the first place
- Nice indoor area to groom/tack up plus a lounge for the husband to watch (aka work while I ride)
- Reasonable rules and expectations, willing to hold for vet/farrier at no cost, BO is great with texting and was super open and nice from the moment we were introduced
It does lack a few things:
- No indoor wash stall. They are finishing two outdoor wash stalls that are very nice with the overhead hose guy and hot water. Crazy barn had no wash stalls and no hot water period.
- Limited turnout space. They are clearing 10 more acres but for now it’s 8 horses on 6ish acres so turnout is rotated.
- No immediate access to trails. Not a massive deal but the crazy farm was surrounded by a ton of farm land we were supposedly allowed to ride on.
The “missing” list is short and nothing was a deal breaker. I am paying more now but I think I am gaining so much more than the increase in price reflects.