5 Things I Need in a Barn

I am in the midst of the longest period without riding in the last 6 years. It’s weird – a part of me is deeply sad but I’d be lying by omission if I did not say that another part of me is relieved. Trying to ride while also figuring out how to move would have brought new meaning to insanity.

I have been attending horse-related events (see Polo match) and checking the horse blogs that I follow on the daily. Not to mention scouring Instagram for Pony Finals related posts and pictures and videos from my old barnmates.

I am ready to find a new social circle of confidantes to whom I can outpour all of my thoughts and theories. While I am sure my “normal” friends would not mind hearing this type of conversation, I try not to burden anyone with my theories on Kent Farrington’s success or how much I love Beezie Madden.

Image result for kent farrington
Photo credit to Phelps Sports. Also, Kent is from my hometown so clearly we were both destined for greatness (HA).

In the meantime, I get to lurk places in my new city.

As I get to gather intelligence about a new barn, I am narrowing down my results. What better way than to organize a wish list?

My Barn Requirements

  1. Horses are happy, well-fed, and do not have any appearances of environment-induced stress.
    • Every horse is different and can react differently to a given setting. Outliers should not be considered the average. But there should be few outliers.
    • Anecdotally, I’ve always found horses who get regular turnout with friends seem the least anxious and have fewer health and soundness related issues.
  2. A knowledgeable person (or people) who is (are) regularly onsite.
    • Horses can get into things and oftentimes need our assistance.
  3. A welcoming and supportive community of horse-lovers.
    • Notice, I do not include competitors. I do not care if you regularly attend shows, but I do care if you create conflict for entertainment. Those who thrive on mean-spirited gossip can be toxic.
    • If someone is being dangerous to themselves, their horse, or others, I try to maturely and calmly communicate with that Luckily, I have not had to do that to a fellow adult, but I have talked to children before.
  4. Stables that are functional and not falling apart.
    1. I have had good fortune of riding out of mind-boggling facilities, ones that likely cost as much to build as I will earn in my lifetime. Crazy as it may seem, I almost dislike riding at these facilities. To me, it’s so far removed from where I began in the sport, and it becomes more about opulence than the animal.
    2. That said, it is equally uncomfortable to be somewhere where I worry of structural failure.
    3. An indoor, outdoor, decent footing, comfortably-sized turnouts and stalls. That’s all I need. Leave the kitchen facilities, air conditioning, euro-walker, and free wifi for someone who will appreciate them.
  5. Access to good-value lessons.
    • There is so much to learn, and I prefer someone on the ground for safety if I am jumping. I do not hesitate to pay handsomely if I feel as though the education received is equivalent. But I would also need a person that respects my budget – the higher the cost of lessons, the fewer I am able to take.
Image result for heritage horse farm
I am cool with just touring Heritage Farm one day though… Photo Credit to James Courdes.

What a nice number five is. I did not set out to create five, but I think that’s all of my necessities. Although surely I am forgetting something.

Nice to haves include proximity to other life activities (ha, I’ve never gotten this as an urbanite), wash stalls, horse-involved facility owner, and smaller in size.

6 thoughts on “5 Things I Need in a Barn

  1. Hi! Just found your blog so hope you don’t a random stranger commenting and following along! 🙂

    But I totally agree with all the above! I feel the same especially when it comes to #4. I don’t need a facility that comes with a heated exercise pool, a spa area or a fancy kitchen. As long as the barn is safe, functional and can provide a bit of variety (ie not riding around the same paddock over and over again), I’m sold! Although I wouldn’t say no to visiting Heritage Farm… although my horse would probably poop everywhere in that jump arena and get us thrown out.

    Also, I concur that Beezie Madden is the very best!


    1. I love dialogue, noting but love for follows!

      It is clear when a barn is built for humans versus when it is built for horses. Plainly, horses do not care about chandeliers in the aisleways. (Actually, I don’t really either, but that’s for another day).

      I am sure Heritage assigns someone on active poop duty 24 hours a day to prevent our horses from going rogue. I do find it very impressive when barns are cleaner than my car or apartment!

      Isn’t Beezie an idol? Swoon. I’d donate kidneys just to ride with her.


      1. Oh absolutely! I look at some of the barns on Pinterest and you can tell what features are there for sheer decadence or photo appeal. I personally don’t care for chandeliers in the aisles either (I think that’s asking for an accident) or a solarium.

        Absolutely! I mean, she would probably tear me to shreds within five seconds of entering the arena but even the chance to soak up a smidgen of knowledge would be amazing (but unlikely unless she makes a surprise trip to Australia ;)).


  2. I agree with all of your points! I also like to have a trainer on-site, since I enjoy being part of a program. I don’t have a truck and trailer, so not having to haul out for lessons is key!


  3. Pingback: “Home” – Another Bay

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