Good arena, with nice lighting and footing. Large stall with attached run or paddock. Field turnout . Conscientious handling, and a well maintained feeding program based on the horse's needs. Always making sure the weight, coat and attitude were correct. Sometimes trails available off the property, have been a plus too.
Asking for these and finding them, like I said, has been easy for me. Clackamas Co. is one of the most populated horse areas in Oregon.
BUT- ( and it is a big one too) The telling me what I want to hear, as part of the equation, I did NOT count on in the past, to be able to have me sign contracts and pay the money. That part= has rendered such turmoil for the mare and I, as I discovered that some folks do not portray the truth so well. In fact , the truths they thought to be offering were so askew; they were outright Lies.
All this said, I have been extremely happy in my current location. It has been a wonderful place to land after despairing times from ere mentioned- flip personalities. I have had my rough patches all summer...mostly due to no arena to train in and the development of a more "NAPPY"
attitude in Washashe toward working around the barn area. I have thought all summer that I would eventually leave, for an arena atmosphere. I have kept my eye out all summer long and visited and ridden in a few. Taken lessons from some pretty keenly trained women of stature in the horse community. Having had a few of those too(trainers)....
I like my trainers older with a nice human/horse savvy -that is not given to an attitude towards understanding and knowledge that is only privy for the ones they choose. They have been there and done that and the maturity in them allows them to be sensible people, without reproach.
I am on a waiting list for 3 stables and have been interviewing 2 others, of late. I need the stables to be in a certain area as my "Must Ride Mondays" riding partner has told me that if I remain in the area, she will pick me up for outings to trails, if the arena I choose has none. I love it!
I did this very thing for so many in then past, giving them times away from the arena and new trails by trailering them with me. It is MY turn now...God is good to share this gal with me, she lets me chip in for gas and we go, go, go...all over the countryside with our equine friends!
Back to the decision....I found a wonderful new stable near where I have taken some lessons. It was by mistake I found it...I was to interview at another and passed it up and saw this other one. Since I was early by an hour, I stopped in. The owners took me around themselves and I enjoyed them and the care they took building the stable. This arena is the most cleverly made, I have ever seen. Sitting on 70 acres and with a perfect view of Mount Hood, the footing alone cost $25,000. A cedar mix that has absolutely NO DUST! I tried to make some dust..and could not raise any! It is springy and spongy..only needs water once a mo. It is airy and open for light. 205 by 100. Yea, huge. Well...it really impressed me and some other aspects too like- my trainer comes there. They only have one other border for now as she raises and trains/sells warm bloods and keep pasture mostly for them.
Then, I went on to my actual interview, down the road. She is great and I trust her with mostly all aspects of boarding save 2. The fact that she told me that my mare would get "scratches" and the fact that she participates in, what I call ,a dangerous stable practice.
Many folks do this and maybe one of you reading does... too. I have been warned by my sister not to allow my mare to do it. She is the exception to any rule- horse, so I can NOT sign into this practice for she would be the one getting her hip "Knocked down", for going around a corner too tightly with speed. The practice is, you open the stalls and gates and they turn themselves in /out , with the feed ready in place.
I handed my riding partner a pros/cons list, last week, for the 2 stables. It would be for the winter only..a few months time. I would return to my lovely barn in the country again, come springtime. She looked them over and finally said, " I am going to recommend you stay put." "Oh", a bit surprised, I groaned. She then explained, "because the extra money you are going to spend, is your truck payment. I will come and get you twice a week, for rides and lessons." "OH!!!!", I then said.
So there you have it. With the help of some friends, I am sighing relief and have found since, that 2 other options are now available to me as well, staying put.
There is a new stable a quarter mile away(walking distance) that I arranged yesterday to ride into once in a while. They have put my other favorite footing in-Riversand-3-5 inches deep.
You do a light misting of water on that before your ride and you can draw in it with your horses hooves and track your progress of round and such!
The other barn is a bit farther...but on nicer winter days, I can ride there in 10 minutes warm up time and have it to myself -anytime..they built it for themselves, so competition for use- is Nil.
Decision made and mind settled! Whewwee...I feel good!