I am seriously at my wits end with boarding and now I am on the hunt yet again :( Why can't someone out there just donate some land to me so the Dynamic Duo can just be out my back door finally? Some day. Hopefully sooner rather than later. Come on business!!! Grow!!!
Gem has now been a resident at 7 different barns in 4.5 years (Pete at 6) and we are once again having to relocate. Sigh. I don't even know where to being again. I did a pretty exhaustive search back in the spring when we landed where we currently are and I doubt anything new has popped up. But I will spend the time this weekend to once again put together a list and see what is out there.
7 barns in 4.5 years sounds bad, but I swear I am an easy boarder. I try super hard to always leave the barn looking the way it did when I arrived (my goal is to make it impossible to tell I was even there unless someone saw me), follow any rules I know of, and I don't ask for special favors. The Dynamic Duo are easy keepers themselves, don't pick fights and don't test fencing. We don't have a million supplements or a difficult schedule. So why the moves? Here is a semi quick run down of our boarding history (feel free to skim :)
Barn # 1 Beagle Run in Ohio: Ohio boarding was insanely expensive, far away from where we lived and not so great in general. I chose the closest I could afford with the best care I could find. I then quickly realized it was not such a great place and that Gem and I needed some training help. We stayed here maybe 3 months.
Barn # 2 Promise Land in Ohio: This was insanely expensive, but she was put in full training. Of course no training actually occurred, the trainer never even rode her, but I got a lesson a week and Gem got time to relax, eat and enjoy life a bit. We acquired Pete while here, put him in training for even more wasted money and then got out 3 months later when we moved to Wisconsin.
Barn #3 Kings Ranch in Wisconsin: We managed to rent the house on a boarding facility which saved my sanity through my first year of residency. The barn managers became our best friends and life was good. But then landlord gambled all the rent away and the bank foreclosed forcing us to move a year later.
Barn #4 Willow Springs in Wisconsin: A truly lovely facility, in a great location for us, and with very knowledgeable and nice owners. We stayed there happily for the last 2 years we were in Wisconsin and would have stayed longer had we not moved.
Barn #5 Crabby Acres in South Carolina: We chose this place based on really nothing except location and price. We ran out of vacation time and money to be able to fly down and find a house and barn so both were chosen sight unseen. It is a nice place as long as you agree with the BO, but we didn't mesh well personality wise and Gem was getting the crap beat out of her, so we left a short 3 months after arriving.
Barn #6 FS Farms in South Carolina: One of my favorite places with super great BOs, friendly boarders, some trails, a large arena and plenty of grass. We were pretty happy here, but then we moved an hour away and it was just too far to keep them there. We were very sad to leave.
Barn #7 New Life in South Carolina: Our current location which is serving us pretty well. There are some issues here and there (like the 35 minute drive or showing up to find the gate to our pasture unlocked and wide open...that made my heart race and my temper flare a bit), but all in all the horses are doing well and I am managing to find ways to make it all work out.
So if things are going ok....why stress out and move?
Well...when we looked at the place the BO mentioned that she may be moving to FL, but not to worry because one of the boarders would be managing it in her absence. To me that came across as she would still own it and make the decisions, but someone else would be doing the actual day to day work. We were fine with that.
As time has gone on, it came to light that she only leases the property and so if/when she moves she would give up the lease and this other person would be taking over completely. But she was vague about if she really was moving or when and so we just kept on keeping on.
Well, yesterday she announced that she bought property in FL and will be leaving at the end of October. The new lady will take over then.
This isn't the end of the world except for the fact that I do not trust this other lady one bit. She is the one who left my gate open. She doesn't pay attention to details. She is very limited in her horse knowledge, but has been in the horse world for forever and thinks she knows it all. To me she is dangerous and I do not trust my horses in her care.
So we have until the end of October to find a new place. I called my favorite on the list (out of price range, but hoped I could bargain with doing chores or letting them use Gem for something) but they are full and have a long wait list to boot. Darn.
Let the fun begin :(