How to Find a Stable

  For any of you who are wanting to ride again (like me!) or maybe you're wanting to switch barns or maybe you want to try riding for the first time, you may feel like finding a stable is a difficult task. I get that, I'm in the same boat. But as I find myself narrowing my options down, I've learnt a few things that I thought I'd share with you.

  If there's one thing I know to be true is that horse people know other horse people. I mean, you know about me and other bloggers because you share the same passion. So horse people in your area know about the stables around you and what they are like. Talking to them is the best place to start your search. Maybe they'll be able to recommend a stable that would be the best for you or they'll tell you to stay away from another. If they ride, ask them which stable they go to and how they like it there.

  If you're not sure where to find horse people, a tack shop or feed store is the perfect place to find them. Ask the employees and look at their bulletin board ads. Usually, the employees are just as passionate about riding as you are and are happy to help you out. If they aren't much help (like the situation that I went through today), don't get discouraged. Visit another store and continue to do your research.

  The internet makes things so much easier to find new places. Try typing in different keywords into search engines and see what you come up with. Google Maps is also a great option when finding a stable because then you'll be able to know just how far away it is from where you live.

  The only real problem with search engines is that some stables rely on word of mouth alone and may not have a website. So when you may not know anyone who rides or they don't recommend you places to visit, you may never know they exist. There is a way around this though. If they are a recognised stable, they will have a membership with an equestrian association. These associations will usually have a stable directory that you can use to find other stables.

  Visiting local horse shows is also a great way to discover stables. You'll also be able to see how they do in comparison to other barns and you'll be able to listen to the instructors coaching their students before they enter the ring. If you're interested in a few of the stables while at the show, it's the perfect opportunity to talk to them. Because they are in a high stress environment, you'll be able to see how they handle stressful situations and if they are proud of their company. Do they take the time to talk to you or do they just hand you a card and go about their tasks? Are they excited to talk about their barn? Obviously, don't try to talk to them as they are running from one area to another. At every horse show, there will be a break period where riders and staff can eat and just breathe for a bit. Wait for that moment before you approach them with your questions.

  I hope some of these tips were helpful for you if you are looking for a stable. I'll link another post here where I talked about different things to look for when choosing a barn. If you can think of any other ways to find a new stable, please leave them in the comments section below.

  Until next time, happy riding!

Barn Ownership

  Horse and barn ownership is something that I have been learning quite a lot about in the past few years. There is a lot involved with both of these things, but today I'll be talking a little bit about the things involved with having your own barn.

  I love driving through the country and looking at all of the farmland and stables some people own. I love the look of the different styles of barns and seeing their horses playing out in the fields.

  What I have come to realise is that running a stable is no easy task. Not that I expected it to. In fact, I had worked at a facility in the past so I already knew some of the things involved.

  Chores

  This is probably the most obvious aspect in owning your own barn. You have to muck out each stall, feed your horses, give them water, turn them out, turn them in, fly spray them, blanket them, sweep, manage the manure pile, fix the fences, water the riding rings, level the riding rings, keep the tack room organised... The list goes on and on. When owning farmland and horses, there is never really a time when there's nothing left to do.

Finances

  This is maybe not the most fun aspect of the stable, but it's something that needs to be addressed. You'll have to pay your mortgage or rent, vet bills and farrier bills. You'll also need money to buy hay, grain, tack, farming equipment, a truck, a trailer and don't forget gas. The dollars add up. This is usually why most places will rent board to other horse owners. It allows them to be able to keep enjoying their own.

Business

  This brings us to the next point. If you decide to turn your hobby into a business, you'll need to do a bit more work. You'll need to have a good accountant, a lawyer and a good insurance plan. You'll also probably want to advertise. That way people know that you exist. You may also want to hire a person or two to help you out. All of these tasks will usually be too much for just one person to handle.

  So there you have it, these are just some of the things that you need to be aware of when owning your own stable. I think it's much better to know this ahead of time than going into it blind. Some things might differ on your size and circumstances, but this is just a general overview.

  I hope you are all enjoying your day and that you have a great weekend.

  Until next time, happy riding!

Build A Barn

  If you could build your own barn, what would it look like? Would it be big? Would it be made of stone? I can't be the only one out there who thinks about these things and designs their dream barn on their free time.

  I enjoy searching up companies that help you build a barn and seeing all the options available. I love searching on Google Images or driving by stables and getting inspirations from their designs. If money was not an issue, I would love to take on a project like this.

  Of course, there is a lot to think about when it comes to building a barn other than building up some walls and throwing on a roof. There are things like dust control, ventilation and fire safety that need to be taken into consideration.

  Once those are thought out and you have an idea of how many horses you want in your stable, you can start planning out the layout. If you are planning on building a big barn that you hope to turn into a business, then an office and a lounge area are two rooms that should be included in the design. If you live in areas where you cannot ride outside all year round, you might want to consider attaching an indoor arena to your stable.

  When you're happy with the layout that will work best with you, you can look at the things you would like to put into your barn such as stall design and tack room furniture. You can look at different locker designs to put in your tack room or find unique hooks to hang your bridles on instead of the basic metal ones. There are different types of grain container options to look at too.

  As you start to think of all these things, you'll slowly see your dream barn come to life. Maybe you already have an image in your mind. You might even have the location picked out. Having a stable layout concept in mind doesn't always mean that it will turn out that way in the end. Sometimes other opinions need to be considered or the layout just won't work structurally or electrically. Other times your budget will make it impossible to get everything you want. Depending on the situation, you can work towards your dream barn slowly or you can be happy with what you have. A dream barn is exactly that: a dream. That doesn't necessarily mean it needs to come to reality, but it can give you something to work towards.

  So the next time you are wandering around the stable, think about what works and what doesn't. Is there anything you would like to change or add onto your dream stable design?

  A dream stable doesn't always mean building a stable from the ground up. Sometimes it can mean finding a stable that is already built and working towards making it into your ideal stable by changing its layout or extending its size.

  I hope you are all doing well and that the weather is nice and warm where you are. Where I live, it doesn't feel like spring. There is still snow on the ground and it is cold most of the time. Hopefully spring will show up here soon.

  Until next time, happy riding!

Amazing Equine Homes

  Since last week's post was a little on the sad side, I decided to write something a little bit more fun this week.

  We all love our horses and we love a beautiful stable. Some of us, have the finances to build a stable that is so majestic that it takes your breath away. This week's blog post will be showcasing some of these beautiful barns. 

Picture from:

http://www.selectbreeders.com/news?category=Focus+on+our+Breeders

  The first stable is located in Hawaii on more than 53 acres of land. This property had been for sale at $12,895,000. To learn more about the details of the property and to see more pictures, you can click here or you can click on the link below the picture.

Picture from:

http://www.hawaiilife.com/articles/2011/03/53-acre-equestrian-estate/

  The next stable is located in Nottinghamshire and was built by Monarch Equestrian for the Irish show jumper Billy Twomey. You can learn more about Monarch Equestrian by clicking here.

Picture from:

http://news.monarch-equestrian.co.uk/2012_06_01_archive.html

  Another stable is located in Santa Rosa, CA on 11 acres of land. You can read the property's details by clicking here.

Picture from:

http://adreamhousefortrish.blogspot.ca/2010/06/amazing-home.html

  Here is a Royal stable in Christanborg, Copenhagen. You can click here to see some more unusual stables this website has posted.

Royal stables at Christianborg in Copenhagen

Picture from:

http://kingdomofhorses.com/unusual-stables-and-horse-barns/

    Finally, the last stable I will be sharing with you today, designed by GH2 Gralla Equine Architects, is in Warsaw, North Carolina. You can click here to see all of GH2 Gralla Equine Architects projects. 

Picture from:

http://gh2equine.com/portfolio/index.html

  Well, I don't know about you, but these pictures sure make me wish that I had more money to own a place like these. Oh well, maybe someday...

  I hope you are all having a wonderful day and thank you for reading my blog. 

  Until next week, happy riding!