Friday, November 12, 2010

Boarding boarding boarding

Let me just preface this by saying I am getting a good deal (money wise) at the facility I currently keep Milo at. I love the BO and its a great facility. Now with that out of the way, here are where my frustrations lie: indoor arena access. The facility Im at makes a lot of money off of their lesson program(s). There are lessons nearly nonstop in the indoor arena. In the summer there is no problem, I can just use the outdoor arena or go for a trail ride. In the winter, it makes things harder because all I have to use is the indoor. I arrive at the barn around 4:30, prime time for lessons. Kids are out of school, people are off work. I really dont mind sharing the arena, its that a particular instructor doesnt much like to. And the arena really isnt large enough to comfortably accomodate 2 lessons plus a boarder rider (or more). Not to mention poles, cavalettis, cones, etc in the arena in lessons. Makes things difficult.

I love that Milo is on pasture. He is so happy. But honestly, I am tired of cleaning muddy pastures. Yesterday I was cleaning in the dark and in the mud, and I just got so frustrated. But I have no other option. I cannot afford board where Im at unless I supplement with cleaning. I dont mind cleaning per se, I would rather clean stalls than pastures (its not a grass is always greener scenario, I used to clean stalls before I moved Milo to our current facility).

We are also having an issue with feeding. Milo and Jake are kept in the pasture together, Ive shown you all an image of what their shelter/stall looks like. Theres no real division, or way to keep one from going into the other. The problem is that Milo gets less grain than Jake, and gobbles his down than goes and steals Jake's. This isnt something that will necessarily adversely effect Milo, but I feel terrible that he is taking Jake's grain and supplements. Also, the barn workers dont check the waters in the pastures. That responsibility lies with me, and Jake's owner. My concern is that with winter coming, what if I cant get out there for a week or more? Can I guarantee that someone will be breaking ice and filling water? Im not so sure.

Ive talked about Diamond Hill Ranch before. Its where I haul to to work with cows. Its where our drill team held try-outs. Its a great facility and I know the owner well. As I plan to take more lessons with Sarah (who is a trainer at DHR), I will have to haul into DHR every lesson adding $10 to the cost for haul in fee, as no outside trainers can come to where I am currenly. Cathy at DHR a few months back offered me a good deal for board with only Sunday cleaning/feeding. At the time, things seemed to be working well where Im at (I could use the outdoor arena), so I had turned it down. Now Im hoping I can strick up another good deal with her. She said she has availability in her outdoor paddock/pasture with shelter.

So for my visual mind (and I have to think things through carefully) here are my pros and cons for each.

Current Facility:
Good deal $250/mo                                
Pasture board = happy horse                   
Hot water rack                                        
Locking heated tack room                   
Indoor arena                                           
Outdoor round pen                                 
Outdoor arena                                        
Friendly BO                                           
Lots of trails
Grain and hay included
BO lives on site

Cleaning pastures weekly
Muddy living conditions for Milo
Not close to home (close to work)
Busy facility (lots of lessons)
Small arena - hard to work in irregardless of lessons
No outside trainers
$10 trailer parking

Diamond Hill Ranch:
HUGE indoor arena                               
Indoor round pen                                   
Outdoor arena                                       
Trainer on site - save $                                
Cows on site - save $                               
Hot wash rack                                         
Pasture type board
Locking tack room
Friendly BO
Person on site

More money (but nearly the same after taking off haul in fees)
Not close to home (closer to work)
Leased facility - scared of lease ending unexpectantly.
Cleaning on Sundays - one more day of driving to Poulsbo (35 min from home) meaning more money in gas and less weekend availability.
Steep driveway.

I know where I want to be at. Im just not sure that I can financially afford it. Than I wonder if I should just stick it out until Milo comes home in (hopefully) about 6-8 months. Not to mention, if Im spending more, that could delay my getting a (new) truck, and/or effect any extra money for farrier/food/gas/shows. I need Wes to be home from hunting so I can talk things over with him....sigh.


An Image of Grace said...

I say find a way to get up to DHR! I hauled in last night (I'm hauling in again tonight) and I had the place to myself. All 100 x 200 of the indoor arena! I don't think she charges for trailer parking either. Even if they have a lesson going on while you are riding there is plenty of room to ride.

Mare said...

That's a hard one, but it seems that the indoor arena is a big factor for you. If you are unhappy with where you are and are willing to spend more time/ money then moving maybe isn't so bad...Good luck with this choice!

paint_horse_milo said...

Mare: It is frustrating to feel like I cant work on something I need to because there isnt space in the arena.

Melissa: I really hope I can find a way to make the money work. Im scared of moving than realizing its too much of a stretch. PLus having to drive out again on a Sunday, also limiting my weekend to only one day.


in2paints said...

Not being able to ride would be really frustrating, especially since that's a huge part of having a horse. I'm tempted to suggest that you stay where you are since you'll be able to move him in 6-8 months anyway, but that's a long time to wait until you can ride on a regular basis.

If you can afford it and want to move, go for it! That's what I did and look how happy I am... oh wait. LOL Just kidding!

Good luck with your decision! :)