As you probably know by now, we’ve moved—again! For the third time in the past fourteen months and what is hopefully that last time for a while, Ax and I have moved barns.
To make a long story short, my barn owner at the time was ending her lease on the facility and was getting out the boarding business. Ironically enough, I had looked at a different barn less than a month before and turned the stall down after deciding to stay where I was. Unfortunately that opportunity was now gone, so I started looking at barns the day I got notice that we had 20+ days to leave and promptly posted on Facebook for recommendations from friends in the area (thank goodness for social media).
My New Year’s Eve day was spent getting up at the crack of dawn to finish packing Ax’s stuff, wrapping him for the trip, and getting him on the trailer by 9 AM. I can’t be more thankful for a horse that adjusts so easily to new situations and is content to go literally anywhere as long as there is hay. After a little trot around his new paddock with his new neighbors he was quietly munching on hay by 9:30 and José had taken the day off to help me unload my things (he’s a keeper), so I was completely moved in a few hours later.
The barn is a cute, little boarding facility in the middle of a small neighborhood with an indoor, outdoor, jump field/grass ring, two barns, and a bunch of turnouts. I’m told that the original portion of the barn used to be an old cow barn and then was later added on to, so it isn’t set up like your typical facility—both barns, a covered building, and the indoor are placed facing each other to create a square courtyard in the middle and then the paddocks, outdoor, and jump field surround the buildings.
When you walk into the Upper Barn (where Ax is), you enter via a little area with two wash stalls that leads to the actual barn. The barn is shaped like a 7 with the “vertical” section being the older cow section (the rest of the old barn burnt in a fire years ago) and the “horizontal” section being newer and two stories. It has nine stalls in total (four of which have a few-feet-wide space and hooks behind the stalls for blanket storage—hallelujah), four crosstie areas, two tack rooms, a grain room, a heated bathroom with a cute barn kitty named Punkin that meow-yells at you the whole time you’re inside, and a washer and dryer. The lower story of the newer half is mostly storage (I think) and has stairs from the top section to the courtyard below.
The Lower Barn is more of a shed row-type barn with stalls that look into the courtyard and a tack room space. Next to the Lower Barn is a covered building that is part grain room/storage space, part crosstie area, part run-in for one of the paddocks, and part aisle way to the outdoor. Across from the Lower Barn is the indoor which has tons of jumps and is surrounded by turnout areas. The large outdoor sits around the corner and has a gate to the grass field.
Aside from all of the physical features of the facility, the care is impeccable. Ax’s blanket gets checked and changed multiple times a day because the barn is so warm at night, he always has plenty of hay and water, has a clean stall with fresh bedding, and gets plenty of play time outside in a paddock that is cleaned daily. It is just a bonus that it is nearby, in my price range, and everyone I’ve met is super nice.
We are still getting used to walking around the barn and down to the indoor—I’ve only ever been at barns with an attached indoor—and standing on cross ties that don’t have walls on either side (Ax has realized that swinging his butt in either direction is fun. Other than that he has settled into the swing of things nicely. He loves getting to stick his head out of his stall for a few hours after turn-in, I love the washer and dryer set up—my saddle pads and wraps have never been so clean—and can’t wait to use the grass field.
Heres a badly edited and super shaky (walking on frozen mud is hard) video of the place.
As stressful as barn searching (again) and moving over the holidays was, we’ve definitely found a good place to stay.