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!
Congrats on the move! Change is hard but I’m sure you guys will do great 🙂
Thank you! Definitely hoping so!
I know Amy at Bay Yard. Well, she rides at Bay Yard. I know her from dog rescue so if you haven’t met her, I know you will and will get along fabulously! I’ve always had my horses at home so have to haul to lessons and shows. I think it would be great fun to have a barn family and easier access to a trainer, but I do love looking out my dining room window at my four horses (and all the other zoo of animals we have!). Best of luck at the new digs!
I haven’t met her yet, but I look forward to it! I grew up with my horses at my house, and LOVED it, but do not miss all the work involved LOL! Maybe someday… who knows! I do love love love having a barn family though, so I look forward to getting to know this new one 🙂 . Thanks for the luck!
The new place sounds great 🙂
I hate change too but this one sounds good for both you and Rio. Did you ride with the trainers before making the decision? Or just met them and jumped in with both feet (inquiring minds wanna know LOL)….
Will you not ride with MM anymore? Or will you still show with her? Sorry i am too nosy 🙂
Congrats on the move and I think you and Rio will be happy there. Sounds like a very nice place……
I did not do a trial lesson. My trainer before MM took lessons with the head trainer at Bay Yard, who is also an R judge. I know from her credentials, reputation, recommendations from friends, and my old trainer that it was a good place with a solid program. I was also in a bit a of a time crunch to move, so I ran out of time!
I will likely not ride with MM anymore. Bay Yard has a show program and they go to quite a few shows. I think my first show with them will be at the end of May. Nosy is ok! So far so good, I have a lesson with a different trainer tonight, so I am excited to see how it goes 🙂 🙂
good luck at the new place! i definitely know how you feel about not wanting to miss out on any more time after everything Rio’s been through. i feel the same. change is hard but it sounds like you’ve made a lot of choices to meet your and Rio’s needs!
Yes! I am sure you feel the same with Charlie. I feel good about the decision, and Rio seems really happy, which is of course the most important part!
Good luck at the new barn! Sounds awesome with a whole pack of adults to learn with! Totally get what you mean about wanting to move forward. We don’t really get endless time with our equine partners, so you want to make the most of that partnership while you can. My Rio reinforced that for me as well.
Exactly. You never know how much time you have with them, and I want to maximize it. It is definitely nice being surrounded by other adults that ride and compete, I can’t wait to get to know everyone better. Thanks for the luck!
Change is hard, especially when you’ve been with a trainer/barn/etc for a while. Hopefully you and Rio get settled in quick. Can’t wait to see your progress 🙂
Thank you! I will hopefully have a lesson update for everyone tomorrow!
Sounds like you made a great decision! Excited to hear how you like it!
I have had to go through my own fair share of barn hopping and while it isn’t necessarily a stress-free process, it definitely opens your eyes to what else is out there. I can’t wait to see how you can progress at this new farm! Change can be exciting!
I agree, sometimes you have to shop around to really see what’s available and to compare value between programs. I am cautiously excited at this point lol!
It makes total sense that you wouldn’t want to miss out on any more time. Best of luck with your goals and the new barn!
Change is SO hard, but it sounds like you found a great new place with lots of exciting opportunities ☺️
I’m glad others can empathize with my aversion to change lol!