7 barns in 4 hours! Not bad if I do say so myself.
I met Denali's lessor to go look at barns around one. I didn't want to go by myself, and like I told her, I don't plan on jumping ship right away, but want to know options.
Barn 1- It said it had turn out. I don't know if you consider little tiny, muddy postage stamp sized boxes "turn out." I do know that Denali would FLIP OUT. She needs to be out for the majority of the day. It was dirty and it was really, REALLY busy! There were at least 6 kids riding in the arena while I was there.
Barn 2- Next door to barn 1 and really nice! Huge turn outs, and runs off the stalls. Nice footing, and it only looked like there were 6 or 7 horses. $450.00 per month. The con is that it is pretty far from Seattle for me. I want to be closer than 30+ miles.
Barn 3- Seriously, there were more chickens there than horses. I could hear chickens in the "office" there were chickens in stalls, there were huge cages full of chickens outside. It was crazy! Nice arena! Nice turn out, but I'm not too sure about the chickens!
Barn 4- I was/am IN LOVE!! It's a dressage barn with HUGE turn outs and amazing stalls and arena. Of course they don't even take names for a waiting list because no one ever leaves. It's $700.00 per month, but that includes lessons/training with some guy who won gold. I won't be able to get here in there ever (and even then I want to make sure I we can walk/trot/canter including transitions with ease) I would just embarrass myself. It was beautiful!!
Barn 5- Was a western pleasure barn w/o any turn out at all. Yuck. (Not the WP, the no turn out.)
Between barn 5 and 6 we stopped by a barn that was a private barn that I had only seen from the road, I didn't know much about it. Turns out to be someone's house. A huge beautiful amazing barn with an amazing arena. We stopped and just watched a "girl" riding her beautiful horse. She stopped and looked at us, so we left laughing. I felt like a stalker.
Barn 6- Really nice, a bit expensive for what it is, but it's closer to where I live. Nice light filled barns. They also have pasture board available. Denali would be with 2 other mares on a pretty big piece of land (big for Seattle standards.) That is $550.00 and so not top on my "love list"
Barn 7- Barn 7 was really nice. The roof collapsed last winter so they are in the process of re-doing the stalls (arena is Olympic sized and totally amazing.) She has an Oldenburg Stallion who I had read about, so I was excited to stop by the barn in hopes of meeting him. He's in California training with (insert big name here) and won't be back for a few weeks. We did get to see some of his off-spring. One was named Rumpus, and is only 9 days old. She was the most correct (confirmation wise) filly I have ever seen. She was amazing! And for the cheap price of $20,000 she can be yours! Ugh. She was so beautiful!! We got to see some pretty amazing horses while we were there. The woman who owns it seems really down to earth and really nice. She's hosting (insert big name here) for a clinic in May and so I am going to audit it and go. The boarding and training are reasonable (for what you get) and I think if I had to pick one, I'd go with Barn 7. If Barn 4 ever had openings it would be a toss up!
I went to my barn after and met a totally different trainer (still my trainer) she came up with a plan for Denali and I. We discussed what it is that I want to get out of it and how we are going to get there. It was a good feeling. We'll see how things go. What I like about my barn is that I can show up and do whatever. It's small and private. I like that about it. I think she got crap from the other trainer for not having a plan for Denali and I. I have a nice one now. I'm going to do a lot of trust building and relationship building with her. I also need to get into shape so when she does spook I don't come off. That scares her and makes her nervous. We'll get there. I will post the plan here when we figure out what/when. I need to make goals. Right now my goal is riding her in the arena. :) Crossing my fingers, it would be so much easier if I hated my barn!