How to Choose the Right Barn
Last month we talked about what it means to be part of a show barn, but Spring Lane Ranch is more than just a show barn, we offer a boarding facility like no other to those who just want to enjoy the special partnership you experience with your favorite equine friend. Even when your plans don’t include the show ring. We know there are a lot of barns to choose from when you are looking for the perfect home for your horse, but how do you know which one is the right one?
Magazines and blogs such as Thehorse.com, Horse Illustrated, and Equus have put together a list of questions you should consider when choosing the right facility for you and your horse before making a commitment. It’s no easy task to make the big decision to move your horse so let’s discuss these questions and answer a few about Spring Lane Ranch. Why? Because we understand it takes time for a horse to settle in and acclimate to new surroundings and people and we know we aren’t the right choice for everyone. Since it can be stressful on you and your horse to move, and the goal is to try and make the right decision the first time we want to help you make the best choice.
Most of these articles suggest starting by making a list of what’s most important for you and your horse. What amenities can or can’t you live without? We all know safety should be top priority for your horse but other than safety, are you looking for a specific riding space such as a covered arena? Do you want your horse to be barn kept or left out to pasture? Consider both yours and your horse’s personalities, will the two of you thrive in a quiet environment or do you both enjoy a lively setting with lots of people around?
Once you have your list made of what you would like, it’s time to consider what your budget is. There is nothing wrong with having a smaller or larger budget, but you may have to decide what amenities you find most important because more amenities also cost more. Once you’ve decided your budget, location should be the next thought. How far are you willing to travel? When you head to the barn, longer drives will reduce the time you have to spend there and ultimately reduce the opportunities to be at the barn and spend time with your equine companion.
Now you know your budget, the area you want to search, and the list of amenities you are looking for, but before you start scheduling tours, ask around. Horse people love to share experiences. So, ask and check reviews but don’t necessarily write off a barn you are seriously considering because of one bad experience or review. We’ll be the first to tell you, no barn is perfect, and no barn can please everyone. It’s why we are writing this article to help you find the best fit for you and your horse but that doesn’t mean it will be the same for someone else.
Schedule a tour. You wouldn’t buy a home without seeing it, moving your horse to a new home should be the same. Once you’ve narrowed your selection, schedule the tours. Get a feel for the place and have your questions ready. Some important questions to have on your list are:
Is someone on site 24/7? Who handles the daily care? What services are included in full board? Can I pay for additional services a la cart? Is there a farrier or vet set up for boarders or can I use my own? How much storage space is allocated for boarders and where is it? Is there room for trailer parking and how much is it? What is the turn out schedule/policy? What is the pest control program? Can I supply my own feed and hay? Is the facility closed to boarders at any times? Is the barn private or is it open to public events where non-boarders may have access to the grounds or barns?
Spring Lane Ranch has a variety of amenities which does put us in a higher cost bracket then some boarding facilities, but we offer you and your horse so much for your money. Our program is a full board program including feed, hay and complete daily care of your horse. Boarders have access to our beautiful facility including a 129' x 220' covered arena with fans and lights, a large enclosed, covered round pen for working your horse in privacy, giving you both focus without distraction. A covered open square pen, and 6 turn out paddocks.