Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Not me. But friends and their barn buddies.
The owner where I previously boarded Phantom made the difficult decision to change from a full care facility to a self care barn. As a result, most of the boarders have made the equally difficult decision to relocate their horses. Sadly, those jobs that pay for our horse habit don't usually fit a self-care schedule.
So my former barn buddies compiled their lists of "must haves" and "would be nices" and started perusing the metro area. Although Oregon's land use planning laws can begin an argument at the drop of a spotted owl feather, it does mean equestrian facilities are still relatively accessible for urbanites/suburbanites lacking acreage. Still, the selection process can be stressful when seeking safe and affordable accommodations with the amenities desired (turnout, covered arena, trainer in chosen discipline, trails, etc.). Based on my sources, it seems most everyone involved in the current change has located and secured stabling. Whew.
However, any barn shakeup (whatever the cause) is traumatic. There is the change in routine. You know where everything is as well as the daily schedule. The move may require a change in professional services (trainer, shoer, vet, etc.). The car knows the way to the barn. Most significantly, a barn shakeup usually results in the separation of a close-knit group of boarders and students.
A bad barn shakeup can mean hurt feelings and the permanent end to friendships. Not to mention a loss of business. I've been known to duck behind cover at horse shows to avoid running into folks from barns past when the parting of ways didn't go well.
However, I've also been delighted to unexpectedly encounter prior barn buddies when out and about.
That's the message I have for my former barn buddies who are in the midst of change. Yes, your cohesive group seems to be scattering to the winds. But you will make new friends at the new boarding stable. And best of all, you will retain the friendships of your former barn buddies. Your circle of equine friends is growing!
My former barn buddies have presided over a statewide equestrian organization, started a successful equestrian clothing business, completed their education, married and begun a family, become grandparents, etc. And I can always say I knew them when....
How cool is that?