Monday, October 4, 2010


(Cue David Bowie in the background)

So... There have been some big changes in the world of Tucker lately.  Due to some big expenses in my non-horse life, Julie's impending training fees, and my desire not to live in my horse trailer, I moved Tucker to a new facility this past weekend.  Don't worry, I'm still going to train with Alicia, who has been very gracious and professional about my decision, and thankfully didn't disown me as a client.  I'll be shipping over to her for lessons (the new farm is only 15 minutes away from hers) on the weekends, meeting her at horse shows, and she's agreed to come and ride Tucker at his new place once a week.  Saving money on board will allow me to keep showing and keep Tucker's training program the same.  Thankfully, it looks like the situation will work out well for all of us, at least for the moment.

The new place is only ten minutes from my house, so I'll still be able to ride Tucker as often as I do now.  The boarders there are a mix of dressage riders and some kids who do hunter shows at a local circuit.  The barn manager is great so far, has a great attitude, seems very knowledgeable, and has been very accommodating (for example, she agreed to stock Tucker's Omelene 400 for me so we didn't have to switch feeds). 

The facilities are great.  Plenty of room for turnout:

Several nice buildings for housing horses and storage:

Two outdoor rings, one is 100x300 (plenty of room for jumping!), and the other is a regulation dressage ring (in other words...  I have no idea how big that one is):

My favorite part:  the indoor is 110 x 300 with great footing!  I'm pretty excited about riding in this ring all winter.

We also have direct access to the Amwell Valley Trail System, and apparently some of the boarders are avid trail riders, so I expect there will be some beautiful fall foliage trail rides in our future.

(And here comes the obvious transition to photos I took myself rather than pulled off a website)

The stall doors in Tucker's aisle have v-fronts, just like our old barn, so he can hang his head out like he is used to.  Here he is settling in, making sure his laser beam eyes still function:

The settling in process was totally uneventful.  Once there was hay in front of him (they grow their own and it smelled fabulous), this is the only pose I could get him to strike:

The stalls are nice and big, at least 12x12, maybe a little bigger, so that's perfect for him. 

Since barn moves are a common theme on the blogs lately (see here, and here, and here), I thought you might be interested in what my criteria were for a new facility.  Though not included in the list, obviously my reason for moving was financial, so a substantial savings was also a must this time around.

1.  Plenty of turnout room, with good grass in the fields
2.  At least 12x12 stalls
3.  Indoor ring and outdoor ring big enough for jumping, with good footing
4.  Permission for another trainer to teach, and/or to ship out for lessons
5.  Good quality feed and hay
6.  Trailer parking
7.  Indoor wash stall

1.  Barn manager or staff living on site
2.  Hot and cold water in the barn
3.  Neat, tidy aisles, feed room, and tack room
4.  Grooming stalls
5.  Storage for extra trunks
6.  Within 20 minutes of my house
7.  Feeding of supplements and occasional blanket changes included in board

1.  Unsafe fencing, stalls, barn/aisle, or rings
2.  Turnout with little or no grass
3.  Huge lesson program with lots of little kids running around
4.  Programs that don't prioritize turnout or don't use fields in the fall/winter

The new farm has all of my must haves, none of my can't stands, and is only missing one of my wants:  no hot water in the barn.  I may be investing in a hott wash (or seeing if someone has one that I can borrow).  I think we can live with cold water though.  We do cold water baths at horse shows after all. 

Hopefully things will continue to go well.  I have my first night ride in the indoor tomorrow night, so we shall see how that goes.  Hopefully it won't be too scary....


  1. New place looks terrific!! Best wishes for fun and happiness there.

  2. Looks really good, and glad you could keep training arrangements in place. (Swoons for indoor!)

  3. I had to do some settling for some of your must haves (no indoor arena so sad!) to escape ALL of your can't stands.

    Looks like you found an amazing place. I am glad that you are saving money there and you can still get all those lovely amenities.

  4. Gennyral says welcome to the neighborhood! He thinks Tucker is going to love being a trail pony.

    I am glad everything worked out and that you can afford everything you want to do still. I was at the Hunter Farms thing on Sunday and while I know that you two are HUNTERS I had visions of Tucker flying around a course trying very hard to earn his Mommy some much deserved money!

    You need to come stop by and say hi to my Gen someday...and I would be more than happy to come by and do a photo shoot of you and Tucker if you ever want it. I am getting much better at over jump photos these days. We are only boarding 5 minutes away now!

  5. Good for you Marissa. Hope it all goes well!!!

  6. I almost moved to this farm! I didn't know about the no hot water thing though, is that only in the smaller 10 stall barn? Have fun, I'm super jealous of the wonderfully large indoor!

  7. Looks like everyone is making a barn move! The new place looks great and has awesome amenities. I think its great that your trainer respected your decision. In this economy, a lot of us are having to make adjustments. Tucker looks very happy in his new digs and I am sure you will enjoy the short commmute!

  8. Thanks everyone! Hopefully it will end up being a smooth transition. I agree that I have a fabulous trainer who is willing to work with us. I am sure there are a lot of others that would have sent us on our merry way with a "goodbye and goodluck."

    OTB, I can't wait to meet Gen (though I feel like I know him already)! And Tucker would love to have his photo taken sometime!

    Sunshine, I am in the main barn, the ten stall barn is currently vacant. As far as I know, none of the barns have hot water. Might be coming soon though.

  9. I'm so glad you found something thats going to work for you. It doesn't look like much of a downgrade! Looks fabulous! I'm glad you and tucker and alicia are happy :)

  10. Little Tucker - he must have lots of treats and mummy cuddles due to the new barn! Looks good. I hope all goes well for both of you!

  11. That looks great. Gorgeous turnout... yeah.

    Glad it worked so well for you!

    (and exactly how many barns are within 20 minutes of your house? Jealous!)


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