And the Final Rose Goes to… : How to Find a Barn that You’ll Fall in Love With
Let’s just put it out their: barn searching can be a little stressful. Whether it is moving from a barn you have been at for several years, or finding your very first barn, picking the right one can be a hard decision. So many questions fill your head and it gets very overwhelming, but have no fear! We’ve got the keys to success that will make you say “til death do us part” to your dream barn (or at least “til the money runs out”). To make the search easier and less stressful, here are several things to look and ask for in your search for the perfect stable:
Maintenance of Facility
First impressions count, and when you walk into a clean, thoroughly maintained barn, it says a lot. It shows that the people really care for the place and pay attention to detail. They want to make sure that your horse has a well kept home and maintains good health.
Take notice of the bedding in the stalls, footing of the arena, and the tack room which will house your personal tack.
Reliable Routine and Schedule
The barn should be well established and have a schedule that meets for you and your horse’s needs. Ask about individual feeding programs and if supplements are fed regularly. The barn must be able to take care of your horse properly, especially if they require special care, medication or feed. Ask about their specific lessons programs since you might need an individual lesson or group lessons. The trainer should be able to create a schedule plan for you so you can have an enjoyable and productive ride.
Meet with some of the riders and ask them about their own experiences. They should be content and should want for you to join their barn. Observe how they treat their horses and their fellow riders. A barn with no drama is a good barn. The barn should be supportive, especially when going to horse shows. They will help you when you need them and will cheer you on when you go into the ring. It might also be nice to ask if they enjoy bringing wine to shows because after a long day of riding, who wouldn’t want to open up a bottle?
Meeting your Goals with the Right Person
When coming into a new barn, make sure you are clear with your riding goals. The trainer needs to be able to help guide you and achieve those goals. Doing research on trainers and their teaching style will help narrow down who to look for. You want someone who can really bring out the best in you and help you to continue to excel.
Questions that you should ask yourself about a trainer are listed below:
Will the trainer put my horse’s needs first?
How do they treat other clients?
Is he or she upfront about costs?
Will I be able to see eye to eye with the trainer?
Do they have enough experience to help me meet my goals?
However, the main question you should ask yourself when barn searching is, where will I be happy?
Take your time to explore your options. Do not hesitate to be honest and upfront on what you expect from the new barn. Whichever barn you choose to go to, make sure you and your horse get the best treatment and the warmest welcome.