Whether you ride Western or English, we all have to look for the same main things when it comes to finding the right stable. It's not like you can just go to the closest one to you and start to ride, even though it seems like that is what most people do. There are many things to consider before you start riding at a new stable.
When looking for the right place to ride the first thing you should look for is cleanliness. How clean are the stalls? How clean are the riding rings? How clean is the staff? Sure, you are at a barn so it's not like everything will be spotless, but there is a huge difference between a well maintained barn and one that is not maintained at all. Make sure to look at the aisles as you pass by all the stalls. Are there shavings or dirt lying around? Look at their equipment too. Everything from the jumps to the bushes should be in good condition. One of the biggest things to look for as well is the water buckets that are out in the paddocks. If you happen to walk by one during your tour, look to see how clean the water is. Would you drink out of it? The water buckets out in the field are usually neglected. They need to stay clean to keep the horses healthy. Bacteria will quickly grow in the buckets if no one cleans them. The next thing you know, there are plants growing out of the water buckets.
Make sure to do your research about the stable before you decide to ride there. There is no such thing as a perfect stable, but it will help to talk to other horse people and learn about the reputation before you jump in. The staff will try to make their stable sound great to you when you are taking the tour because they want your money for their business. The best thing for you to do is to listen to the stories about the facility you are considering. Do most people recommend it or tell you to not get involved?
The next thing to do before choosing a stable is to ask questions. Are you looking for lessons, boarding or training? What services do they provide? Are any of the staff registered to teach? When they answer you, make sure to not only listen to what they are saying, but how they say it. Some may come off eager and passionate whereas others may be more distant and indifferent. That will be a huge sign for you to know how they might treat you in the future if you decide to ride there.
The final thing I would suggest is to try it out for a little while. This may be hard to do if you are only looking to board your horse at a stable. If you are looking for lessons, this is a great way to figure out if that stable is right for you. Take a few lessons with them and see how it goes. Do you feel like you fit in? Are your needs being met? If you are not satisfied, then leave the stable. At least you tried it out.
You should never have to settle for a stable just because it's the first place you look. There are many stables that focus on different disciplines. The best thing you can do is look around and find the best one for you. Talk to your friends and family and do your research. The last thing you want to do is get stuck in something you didn't want to deal with.
Whatever your needs are, I hope that this information was helpful to you. I wish you all the best. Happy stable hunting!