Anne and I visited a second boarding barn yesterday in hope of finding a new place for G to live. This place is about six miles from where I live and it took me about 15 minutes to drive there, so that was a definite plus. The owner was very friendly and helpful when I called her to get directions (Google Maps sent us in the opposite direction of where we needed to go). When we arrived, we were greeted by a short, pleasant woman who happily took us on a tour of her small barn.
Like the last barn, this place isn’t a training or showing facility. It’s strictly boarding. The horses there are currently a mix of the owner’s and a couple of boarders. They are all in good weight, show signs of recent hoof care, and were exceptionally friendly. Most are Thoroughbreds (the owner rescues OTTBs). The barn was small and homey. It had six stalls, a tack/feed room, and a hay room. The hay was all good-looking, good-smelling grass hay. The feed is Nutrena LifeChoice, which is okay with me. The pastures…well, they were looking a bit rough after a long, dry summer and grazing from several horses. All of the pastures had a couple of round bales, though.
The fences in the pastures concerned me the most. While most of the fence was smooth metal rail, some of the cross-fencing was barbed wire. Barbed wire is a problem. While I’ve never had a horse get snared in it (and this woman mentioned she hadn’t had any problems in the 4+ years it’s been up), I have seen what it can do to an animal. I would prefer that not happen to Gina. The pastures had plenty of trees for shade and one pasture had a nice pond.
The arena was adequate- turf footing, medium-sized. The barn owner said she’d have no problems with us setting up dressage letters or jumps, and said she would be fine if I wanted to take Gina on a gallop through the pastures. It sounds like everyone regularly trailers to the local lake for trail rides, and I’d be really excited to get G out on those.
Overall, I was most impressed with the owner. She was really pleasant and friendly and was clearly comfortable with the horses. She absentmindedly petted one big Thoroughbred gelding and fed him treats while she talked with us, and at her call, her little herd of mares came running. I would feel like Gina was in good hands at this place.
After talking it over with Anne, I think I’ve decided to move Gina to this place, provided she can be in a pasture with no barbed wire. It appeared that one front pasture containing a giant warmblood mare and an Arabian didn’t have the wire, so ideally I’d like G to be in there. If not…well, she might have to be stabled at the other barn, or we’ll just have to keep looking. Sigh.