November 29th, 2012

Trainer wasn’t there, but luckily I drove up with my friend C so I had someone to ride with.  When we got there, around 3, the groom was leaving and had already put blankets on and fed dinner.  I was super upset, because not only was that super early for them to be fed, but also it was 75 degrees out, and Libby still has a full coat and she had a sheet on. Thankfully he had just put it on so I took it off immediately, before she had time to get too hot.

Groomed and tacked up very slow, to give Libby enough time to digest her food.  Got out to the ring and Libby was LAZY, yet again.  I started working her on being more responsive to my leg, with some lateral work.  Lots of serpentines and transitions.  Needless to say she was pretty sweaty when we were done.  But it felt good, and she improved a lot.

So I’ve been facing another decision lately.  As I said before, my trainers lease on that one property fell through, and I’m getting the feeling that she just really isn’t interested in finding another one.  While I love my trainer, and I know shes probably the best I’ve ever had, I just don’t like being so alone at the barn, not having really any input in Libbys care, and not having a barn family.  I was talking about it with a friend of mine, K, who has her jumper at another farm with basically the same problems, and shes been looking at other farms.  So today I went out with her to one that I’d seen before when I was looking at places for Ollie.  Its Twin Oaks Farm, if any of you want to check out their page.  I really like the facility, they maintain it really well, and they seem super accommodating.  I just don’t know if I like the trainer there, which was my problem last time.  I wasn’t even really thinking of moving, because I like my trainer so much, but after talking with K I’m actually considering it.  I just don’t think I want the same things as my trainer.  She wants to buy and sell a lot of horses, and doesn’t want to run a boarding/training farm.  She doesn’t even seem to want her own farm right now.  And shes so busy right now, I know during season she isn’t going to have any time for me.  I’m very confused about what I want! So I’m making a pro/con list for you guys, so maybe you all can help me out a bit:

Barn 1: Current barn

  • Awesome trainer
  • Stalls are big, with nice concrete barn
  • Will get to know a lot of top people in the industry
  • Libby is doing well now 
  • Close to the show grounds


  • Very lonely
  • Have to take back roads to get there
  • Footing is just okay
  • Not very involved in Libbys care
  • No one really tells me anything that happens to her if I’m not there
  • Will get super busy with lots of people going in and out
  • 35 minutes away
  • Can’t really take Oscar there because its not fenced in completely
  • Grooms have no idea what they’re doing
  • No bathroom

Barn 2: Twin Oaks

  • Great facility, brand new barn with HUGE air conditioned tackroom
  • Nice rings, with decent footing
  • Very proactive owners, always trying to better the farm
  • Nice people there already
  • Owners are almost always on property
  • 25 minutes away
  • Quiet, but nicely busy and tucked away
  • Cheaper
  • Laid back
  • Don’t know if I like the trainer, or her training methods, and can’t bring in my own 
  • Wouldn’t get to meet as many people in the industry
  • Far from show grounds, maybe 40 minutes

15 thoughts on “November 29th, 2012

  1. I think it depends on what you want, for me the number of people at the barn is not that important, but instruction is probably the most important thing. I'd consider a bathroom to be important, I mean it doesn't need to be more then a porta potty but at least have that!


  2. I agree on the bathroom part being important. In my opinion, facility is one of the most important things, and it never hurts to give the trainer a try. Maybe once you get working with her, you'll get a better feel for her methods and maybe even like them (unless they are completely different from what you want). The nice thing about having more people around is that you have more people to help you, I guess.


  3. Yeah. It sounds like you're more interested in being a happy ammy and having fun with barn friends at shows than you are in networking with hunter bigwigs. I'd find out more about the trainer at the other place, but it sounds very promising.

    PS Bathroom is a must.


  4. Can you take some lessons with the trainer there to get a feel for her?

    Or maybe trailer out to take lessons with your trainer?

    I am like you, I want a good trainer and people to ride with/be friends with. I ride because I love it and want to enjoy something- it's important to have the social aspect for me… and I won't ride alone ever since Henry in young.

    Aye good luck girl!


  5. The thing is, I'm not sure she's even going to have time for me come season. And I like having the comfort of knowing that my trainer is almost always there, which she isn't. Its just not her priority, since she mostly gets her income from sales, not boarding or training.


  6. The thing is, in the boarding agreement I'd be required to take at least two lessons with this trainer a month. Also I don't have my own trailer so that would be another added cost. I don't like riding alone for the same reason.


  7. Ditto what everyone has said – go take a lesson with this trainer and see what happens.

    Things to ask though – since you don't have a trailer I would want to make sure that either the trainer/ owner of the farm does and would be willing to haul you A) for emergencies B) to shows – does she go to the shows you want to go to? How often does she show? etc

    Those are the biggest concerns I have right now at my farm – trainer/ and showing/ hauling. I would probably not even consider a farm that didnt have a bathroom of some kind… But that is just me. It sounds like you aren't super happy being alone and if I was you especially right now while you're trying to do school , have a social life, and ride I would want to be at the farm that is closer and has more people – you might get to go out to the barn more often?

    Good luck either way 🙂


  8. The owner of the other barn, the Twin Oaks place has their own trailer, and are willing to trailer for emergencies and shows. They say they will be showing the A circuit shows here, but time will tell if they do.

    I really don't understand why this farm doesn't have a bathroom. The owner built/designed it herself. And there are so many prospective buyer that come in, I'm sure people ask.

    I for sure don't like being alone, but I just think I wouldn't progress with Libby as much as I am now if I moved her. My current trainer is so knowledgable about bringing along greenies, and she knows Libby so well now that she knows when certain things are issues and when they aren't. I just don't know if, like L.Williams said, I want to sacrifice instruction quality for a busier barn atmosphere.


  9. My 2 cents – you need to make a list of what your goals are, and rank them in order of priority. Are your number one priorities to go to the barn and have fun, or are your number one priorities getting Libby trained in the style your current trainer would implement? No barn buddies wouldn't bother me (neither would no bathroom – been there, but usually I can run into the owners' house if need be… there have been some stall pees, haha), but that's a completely personal thing.

    Two other things I think you need to decide on are a) your current trainer might be BETTER than this other trainer, but is this other trainer BAD? Or just different/not as experienced? I agree with the others, try to ride with this trainer a few times (maybe on your friend's horse?) and see what you think. And b) do you feel you need a trainer with you at shows? I would think this would be a priority, especially with a young horse. If your current trainer won't be around and this new trainer would be available to you, that might change things as well.

    And if all else fails… there's always option C. 😉


  10. I wanna say having fun, because thats what all this is for right? But if I'm honest with myself, I won't like having mediocre instruction. And Libbys at such a crucial point in her training right now that I'd be afraid to go to someone who doesn't know what they're doing.

    In reference to the questions I think a) my current trainer is more experienced and knows what works best with the greenies, and b) I feel that I do need my trainer at shows. When I say that shes busy, it'll include showing sales horses so she'll be at the shows, but probably won't be at the barn giving me lessons.

    And option c?! Fill me in!


  11. Haha, by option C I meant a whole other barn entirely. 🙂

    What about moving to a place where there isn't an in house trainer? Would your current trainer be willing/able to come in once a week to teach you? Do you feel as though you and your mare still really benefit from the training rides, or would you feel confident doing all the riding yourself and getting your trainer in for lessons?

    It's tough for sure. Our horses will cause us to go grey early, I'm telling ya, haha.


  12. I've looked into it, but most of the quality places out here don't allow outside trainers. She really only gets training rides now when I'm out of town, since she really doesn't quite need them anymore. Plus, once season comes, I don't think she'll have time to drive out to another barn to give me one lesson. Seriously, its always something with these beasts!


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