Guys. Change is HARD. I don’t like it. Not one bit.
There have been a lot of changes in my horsey world lately and I think it’s time to talk about them. MM got a wonderful opportunity and moved to a new barn at the beginning of February. Everything happened kind of quickly, and although I wanted to move with her, I didn’t want to lose my stall deposit by not giving 30 days notice, because it was an entire month of board. Instead, I gave my notice, and kind of did my own thing in February. I liked the facility and the people where I was (Flower Mound Farm), but I couldn’t exactly stay there without a trainer, especially since they don’t allow jumping outside of lessons.
Anyway, since change was being forced on me (LOL), I obviously had to spend weeks analyzing all of my new barn options (typical). Since I was essentially on my own for a month, it gave me plenty of opportunities to think about what I actually need from a new barn/trainer/program. I felt a bit frustrated at the recent lack of training, which I felt was reflecting in a lack of progress. Not that my rides had been BAD, they had been good actually, but I didn’t feel like I wasn’t progressing. I need that push to get out of my comfort zone or I become complacent.
When Rio was coming back into the work in the fall (after the splint bone surgery and LH wound revision), I remember riding him and thinking, “This canter is ok, but not great. I wish the balance was better, but this is the best we can do right now so I’m happy.” Then, MM would do a training ride, and in my next lesson I’d feel a TOTALLY different canter. I had no idea he could canter like that ! He could have a balanced, uphill canter, I just wasn’t asking for it. I was afraid to push for more.
My point is- I need constant guidance to feel like Rio and I are continually improving. I’m not in a hurry per say, but I also kind of am. I see some people stay at the same level for years, and that is great if they are happy, but that is not my goal. I have big goals! Especially after everything Rio has been through health-wise, I really don’t want to lose any more time if I can help it.
This realization led me to more change. It made me realize that I need a program that will always provide training and lessons, whether I travel to shows or not. I do not want to miss out on training when my trainer takes clients to a show, but I stay home. I only show a few times a year due to the cost, so I want to be improving during that time. I want there to be consistency for Rio and myself.
I also realized that I do not want to drive further away to get to the new barn. Like most Adult Ammys, I have a 40 hr/wk day job. My work/life/horse balance needed a bit of adjustment. I typically go out to the barn 3 evenings a week, and both Saturday and Sunday. That leaves me 2 evenings to to do laundry/errands/buy food/cook etc and I don’t know- see my hubby and non-horsey friends! On weekends, I can be at the barn anywhere from 4-6 hours each day typically. When you are spending an hour and 20 minutes round trip just getting to the barn and back, it really begins to add up. I’m sure lots of you with long barn commutes can commiserate! I am by no means saying my commute is the worst, but I had to consider what works in my life, and unfortunately, further away didn’t feel like an option at this point in my life.
I am familiar-ish with a lot of barns in the area, so after a bit more research, a few phone calls and a barn tour, I found the new digs- Bay Yard Farms!
New barn is only 2 minutes from FMF (henceforth referred to as “old barn”) and 1 mile further. Not a huge facility, maybe 25 horses, but that is an estimate so I could definitely be off. ALL ADULTS (minus one teenager who acts like an adult so she blends in) which is something I love about it. Camaraderie of the Adult Ammys! Only one arena (goodbye indoor, I will miss you) but incredibly awesome all-weather footing. The arena is nice and large and has awesome jumps. The turnout is amazing, with large paddocks that actually have grass. One of the major selling points? 4 trainers! Yup! 4 wonderful women that all work together and teach lessons interchangeably as needed. Two are gone at a show? No problem! They also have a head groom, and 3 other grooms that take immaculate care of the horses and live on-site.
Anyway, long story short- change is hard but hopefully the new digs are as awesome as the first impression, and fingers crossed that this is the last move for a long time!
***Photo cred goes to Cecilia- the resident barn teenager, but she blends in with us oldies!