So...it seems a new boarding stable has opened close to home. Actually, an existing barn under new management. So I visited the web site out of curiosity.
Now, Phantom is a charter boarder at CEC. He's been there since before the covered arena was built, and he seems happy as a clam, and I have no issues with the management or fellow boarders. So I'm not looking to move him. But when a stable opens up just a couple of miles from home, one checks it out.
The web site doesn't make it clear who owns the facility. Are they horse people, or investment dabblers?
The trainer/barn manager seems to be a young woman initiating her career. She mentions working with some area trainers who have good reputations, but doesn't indicate how long she was associated with these folks. One weekend clinic? A few months? A year or more? The web site has pictures of the trainer riding dressage (a couple of which raise questions with me) but apparently she also trains hunter/jumpers.
Everyone has to begin somewhere, but I don't recognize the trainer's name from area show results. If I was to move my horse to a barn for the purposes of training, I would like to know that the trainer is active locally in my preferred equine pursuit.
The full-care board is less than I'm paying now for apparently very similar care. But my current barn uses a reputable hay broker who has ironclad sources in eastern Oregon. And the owners of CEC have years of experience with horses and have demonstrated that the welfare of the horses is priority number one. Since I've never before heard of the trainer/manager, and don't know who actually owns the facility, there isn't much data on which to base a decision.
Boarder Genevieve and I have talked about the horrors of barn shopping. She was dependent on non-horsey family members to locate a boarding stable before she returned to the area. "It has fences and a barn" was sufficient for the family member. But for those of us who care about our horses, there's much more than that to consider when locating a facility. There are sooo many variables when barn shopping! Basic safety, knowledgeable and responsible caregivers, activities offered, and the intangibles -- that " gut feeling" that it's the right or wrong fit for owner and horse.
However, I am happy to see yet another horse facility open up in the burbs. Our local Chamber of Commerce has taken an interest in the regional horse "industry" and hopes to promote the area as an equine recreation destination. Few people realize how much horse folks and related businesses contribute to the economy.
So I wish the new boarding stable well. One never knows what the future has in store, so the more stables to choose from, the better. I am very fortunate that there are several good boarding stables at various price points in the vicinity.
Even though Phantom and I are happy where we are.