I really must become a little more creative in my titling, eh? But seriously, the baby was a big change, but NOW we are moving all three girls to a new barn. We have had many issues over the past years at boarding barns, but we've come to realize that is par for the course. It's just a matter of what you are willing to put up with and when do you put your foot down. Really we reached that point at our current barn before the baby was born and when everyone would not keep their hands off our horse and stay out of her stall. But, we decided recently to start looking again for a new place, hopefully one that was closer. Our current barn is about 35-40 minutes away depending on traffic. The cost was ok, but the drive (and certain people who refuse to leave our horses alone!) have gotten to the point of being enough.
I am a firm believer in the fact that things happen for a reason. If you really really want something and it doesn't happen, it probably was not meant to be.
Upon looking in the usual places that one would for a boarding barn, we found an ad that simply stated "6 stall barn with 7 fenced acres for lease. $500.00" and gave one of the suburbs of our city. I thought hmmmmmmm, sounds interesting. My husband started calling, but wouldn't leave a message. Finally I told him to leave a freaking message!! He did, the woman called him right back, they talked, he got some additional information, and he set up a time last Saturday to go have a look-see.
As we pulled in I almost fainted. I had initially thought to myself, hmmm, 7 acres, 6 stall barn, only $500, it's probably a trash pit. I was completely wrong. It is immaculate. The woman used to breed warm bloods for dressage and jumping. She would actually import studs from Germany for her breeding program. She decided she was getting to be a certain age that all she wanted to do was ride and show. She loved the babies, and loved breeding, but her husband and son did not really help her, and the taking care of the property and her horses was just getting to be too much and she just wanted to show. So this summer she sold off all but one of her horses, and is boarding at a facility close by that has all the goods for dressage and jumping competition. After a few months of looking at her gorgeous fenced in property, she thought to herself, what a waste. So she placed the ad. We came along and saw it, went and looked, and voila! We are now the proud lessor's of this gorgeous place. (I will definitely have to take pictures) She has an outdoor fenced riding arena and the rest of the property is fenced off into three pastures (in addition to fencing surrounding the property). Two are side by side, and the other is just the back, probably 1/3, of the property in a huge pasture. The pastures are thick, lush and green. She said she would turn her horses out year round, leaving them out continuously through the summer. She is leaving us all of her heated water buckets, pasture tubs, storage lockers (for tack) and everything. Manure removal (but not stall cleaning :)) and electricity is included, and she has city water. Between saving on gas, and not having the headache of other people, I think it's going to work juuuuuust fine.
Sounds like a dream come true, huh?
There is no lease, just a handshake agreement. She said if we are unhappy, we are free to leave whenever, but she hopes we will enjoy it and stay. I am going forward with the thoughts that it will prepare us as if we have them on our own property. Like a test run. If we figure out we can't handle it or we don't like it, we can always go back to (eek) boarding again. I figure worst case scenario, we come out even (while we save on board and gas, we now have to buy our own hay, grain and shavings). Best case scenario we come out ahead and save money. During the summer (and a lot of spring and fall) we will save drastically on shavings and hay because they will be in the pastures all the time.
I'm excited, can you tell?? We give our notice tomorrow to our current barn. Although only 7 days written notice is required, I think we had verbally agreed to give 30, just to be courteous. And we are nothing if not courteous to everyone there, even with all the issues.
So that's MY great news! Any tips or money saving ideas, I am all ears! lol We are looking forward to it though.
Baby is now 7 months old and she is only a few inches shorter than my mare! She's going to have daddy's height and mom's stocky build. I will have to take some more pictures and post them of all three girls when I get a chance. She's leggy and has a NICE hind end. The guys at the ranch saw pictures and said she's bigger and stockier than some of their yearlings!