From Endurance to Dressage
House Hunters: Equine Version
I don't like to move. At all. As a kid, we moved a lot. I can't tell you how many places I lived in. As a teen, things were a little more stable, but then came college. I moved more times than I can count. As an adult, even though I HATE to move, we've moved four times in 22 years of marriage.
When it comes to my horses, I try not to move them either, but it happens. In the nine years that I've owned Speedy, he's lived in two places: four years at Silverado Stables, and five years at my current barn. I hate moving. And yet ...
Welcome to my new barn, although it's actually a ranch. It's across the street from my old barn. From this picture, to my back is my old barn's back lawn. I can't say that I've ever moved my horses where I was able to lead them to their new property. Until now. I moved all of my stuff by truck (loooong story - it took two days), and then I just walked the boys over. Pretty convenient.
There are so many reasons to change barns. Equus just had an entire article devoted to what you should look for in a new barn:
Izzy's new paddock is as big as some arenas. Pictured above is only half of the space. He's standing next to a gate that opens into the other half. Once he proves that he isn't going to try and kill himself, we'll open the gate and he can use both halves. When we're sure that he can handle that, my new barn owner said that we can take down the panels that divide the paddock, and he'll have the whole thing to himself.
Speedy is in a much smaller paddock. It's normal sized, but even that is only temporary. This ranch has many dry pastures, most of which are quite large. The row of pens where Speedy lives all open into a HUGE sandy turn-out alongside the river.
Right now, Speedy only has one neighbor. When Speedy can prove that he is NOT going to run around like a lunatic and re-injure himself, his paddock gate will be opened every twelve hours to allow him access to the huge turn out. He and the neighbor will take turns.
Last week, I helped the barn owner clean out and organize her feed/tack room to make room for my stuff. How and when did I get so much junk? It took five truck loads to get all of my stuff moved. I have water troughs, garbage cans for feed, poles, a water tank, bales of hay, stall bedding, more buckets than horses, tack, blankets, and on and on.
Of course, I have a big pile of stuff outside the window too: wheel barrow, shelves, muck bucket and cart, more buckets, and so on.
The property is about ten acres, so even if I just want to do a short hack, I have plenty of room. There is also a round pen and a place to park my truck and trailer.
The arena has great footing and is nearly dust free. It's about 60 meters long and close to 30 meters wide. Instead of square corners like in a dressage ring, it's an oval. The best part is that I no longer have to drag the sprinklers around. I am in Heaven! The ranch owner has a caretaker who lives on the property, so he has already freshly dragged the arena and pruned back the trees for me.
Before even moving in, my new barn owner suggested I use the arena to give Izzy a new place to school. It is a wonderful place to ride!
The owners live on the property as well. They have nine other horses on the ranch, most of them are old timers who have been with my barn owner for most of their lives. She believes in giving the old guys a place to live out their days. She also abhors small pens and insists that all of her horses live in large paddocks, especially as they get older.
Lucky for Izzy, eh?
As we settle in and get to know the place better, I am sure I'll post more pictures. For now, I am super excited about this place!
7/29/2016 09:59:20 am
So far, so good!
7/29/2016 06:14:01 am
Wow, what a sweet setup! I'm glad you found a new place that is so convenient!
7/29/2016 09:59:53 am
Me too!!!!!! We really need the extra space.
7/29/2016 10:02:24 am
I really hope so. Izzy already got promoted to the full space. He dug a big hole last night (which was filled first thing this morning by the property owners - and they were totally fine with it). If he's digging, he's either comfortable in the space and not likely to kill himself, OR he's still bored. Either way, I opened the gate and he immediately took off exploring. :0)
7/29/2016 10:05:52 am
There are pastures for rent in my area, but my criteria of safe fencing, ample feed, and a place to ride aren't necessarily met. We have very few public barns, and only one that I know of has pasture, and it's shared.
7/29/2016 10:06:41 am
It's not fancy, but it's very horse friendly. :0)
7/29/2016 10:08:27 am
I think so. :0)
7/29/2016 08:46:25 am
One thing your 5 truck loads probably didn't include was fencing supplies. That takes up an annoying amount of space in my tack room!
7/29/2016 10:20:46 am
Actually, the poles ARE fencing material; I just used them for cavaletti. LOL
7/29/2016 10:10:37 am
You are one lucky girl, Sarah! That's a bit hard to find in suburban California.
7/29/2016 10:21:34 am
It's very horse friendly for sure. :0)
7/29/2016 12:55:43 pm
We have very few public barns, and finding big paddocks is nearly impossible here too. My last barn was a private residence, just like this one. This is the third time I've rented space from a property owner. It's about the only way to get large paddocks or pastures.
7/29/2016 11:56:44 am
What a fantastic setup! The riding arena is gorgeous as I'd the ample turnout. Your boys will be so happy.
7/29/2016 12:53:50 pm
You're right, Val. When the owner does everything, it does generate more stuff. As I was trying to figure out what I have that I don't need, I glanced over to the saddle, bridle, girth, pad, bucket brush, and treat bag that belong to the young woman who just started leasing one of the ranch owner's geldings. I was a bit envious that she could fit it all in her passenger seat. But then I wondered what she'll do when her pad is dirty or she needs to wrap an injured leg or she needs to lunge. THAT'S why i have so much crap ... times TWO horse. :0)
7/30/2016 01:23:57 pm
Very true, Karley. Very true! :0)
7/30/2016 01:26:01 pm
Funny because the very next day, HE DUG A HOLE!!! Ranch owners promptly brought in a tractor, filled it, and said NBD. :0)
What awesome news.! And of course a lot less stressful since you've been able to check out the place for some time really up close. Great for Speedy and Izzy!
7/30/2016 01:30:31 pm
My last barn was also someone's house. It was only the barn owner and me. I was there 5 years, but Izzy just started to become too destructive; he needed a bigger space in which to live.
7/30/2016 01:26:36 pm
Thank, Sarah. I am sooooooo happy there! :0)
Comments are closed.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: