Those of you who keep your horses at home are very lucky. One of the most stressful things for a horse owner is finding the right place for your horse to live. I currently board my horse at a farm called “No Worries”.
When farm names were initially considered, the partners’ children wanted to call it “Hakunamatata”, which means “no worries” according to Disney. Rather than try to get permission from Disney or have any legal problems over the name, “No Worries Farm” was chosen. It could not have been more aptly named.
In the five plus years that I have owned Timmy, he has been boarded at three other places. Each prior facility had issues. One was just old with very few amenities (we were lucky to have a ring) but my two friends and I were the only boarders, so there was no barn drama.
Another had a decent facility but a barn manager who was a dictator. Any question was interpreted as a criticism and everything was her way or the highway. It was a happy day for me when a week after giving our notice to leave, I was thrown out for asking if it was ok to provide my horse with the heated water bucket I bought.
The other facility was lovely, with lots of amenities, including awesome pastures, but the owners had more rules than made sense. I never quite saw the reasoning behind having to set up and take down jumps EVERY time they were used. They had to be neatly stacked against the fence and the ring left clear of manure. I love a clean barn, but let’s be real–these ARE horse barns and not houses!
Then there were the barn hours, which barely allowed after-work rides because the owner’s children had to go to bed early on school days—and the family lived above the barn.
Deciding to leave a barn, is not always an easy decision. I will say that each place Timmy was boarded, he got good care. He is a very easy keeper and has impeccable ground manners, so he is never a problem for an owner. Two of my friends and I board together. We want to stay together because we spend an awful lot of time riding and we use the same trainer.
When the time came for us to leave our last facility, we looked hard for a barn that would meet our expectations. We wanted a place to go where the facility would be well-maintained, but treated like a barn. We like organization and appreciate the need to clean up after ourselves and our horses..but not to a fanatical extent. We wanted to find a place where there are riders…not just people who sporadically came to visit their horses to give them a treat or two when the weather was perfect.
We wanted to be with people who actually got on their horses and rode..even competed. We hoped to find a barn family where drama is left for TV and the atmosphere was supportive. Lastly, we wanted a barn owner who was willing to talk with us about our horses and our concerns.
We had been to a clinic at No Worries and were very impressed with how that went. When we called to find out if they had stalls open, we got lucky. Someone had just left and exactly three stalls were available. We met with the barn owner, Anne, and all agreed to move to No Worries after giving the proper notice to our current owners.
They were gracious enough to allow us to leave when we wanted without penalty, so were pretty much gone in a week. I will never forget feeling guilty about the fact that just before we went to No Worries, they had 500 bales of hay delivered and since their hay barn was still under construction, they stored the hay in the 3 empty stalls were were about to occupy.
Anne and her husband moved all those bales out and got the stalls ready in just a couple of days. Before we knew it, we were settled into our new home. Our horses were unphased by the move. The barn was lovely, with spacious stalls, “windows” to the outside, a lot of natural light and lots of activity. What wasn’t to like? The first turnout for all three horses was pretty benign, so before we knew it, were were happily settled in.
That was almost two years ago. We are as happy now as the day we moved in. the hay barn was completed shortly after we arrived, so hay storage is not a problem. Our barn aisle has since been finished with lovely pavers and a medallion. Our tack room has spacious cubbies for us to store our multitude of “stuff”. We have a lighted outdoor ring with lovely jumps—that stay out there in place!!
We also have a spacious covered arena that when lit, resembles the brightness of Broadway. The barn has two wash stalls with hot and cold running water, a bathroom, a feed room and a storage room complete with washer/dryer for washing pads, blankets and such. Perfect!!
The absolute BEST part of being at No Worries is our barn family. I could never have imagined a more pleasant group. Our barn owner, Anne, is a vet tech and knows just about everything there is to know about wound care, feeding, leg-wrapping and all things “horse”.
She is an eventer, who takes lessons and competes. Most of all, she is an approachable owner who is always willing to talk with us about any concerns or just life in general.
My two friends event and compete, along with the twin 16 year old girls that board their two ponies, and another teenager whose horse is at our barn. There is nothing like going up to the barn after a long day at work and having the girls come in…full of life and energy. The decibel level increases the minute they arrive but always in a good way.
This is the first barn I have boarded at where there are teenagers and that, for me, has been such a breath of fresh air. There is also a 12 year old girl who rides our favorite pony, who is just the sweetest little rider. Rounding out our barn family are two lovely women who ride for pleasure.
They adore their horses and it is fun to see them ride just for the sheer joy of it. I am the sole dressage rider and never feel out of place. Our barn family is supportive of each other, we enjoy each other’s company and we avoid gossip and barn drama like the plague. Ribbons of any color…or finishing any event….bring cheers from the group. While we are all competitive, we are not competitive with one another.
I have always believed that going to the barn should be the highlight of my day. I want to spend quality time with my horse and reap the benefits of horse ownership. I want to ride with friends. I need that safe harbor at the end of those long work days. Our barn IS that place for me.
Anne allows all trainers to teach at our property, believing education is very important in the equestrian community. She doesn’t have a long list of add-on fees for us or for guests who are always welcome to come ride with us. We host clinics throughout the year in all disciplines. All vets and farriers are welcome. The atmosphere is open, friendly and supportive.
My horse ownership has been thoroughly enriched by boarding at No Worries. If all barn owners/managers were like Anne, the equestrian world would be a better place.
I have been telling her that she will need an eviction notice and a sheriff’s posse to make me leave. I want Timmy to grow old there. In exchange for all this, everyone in our barn family endeavors to be the best boarders possible. We help when there is work to be done, we clean up after ourselves, we are respectful of one another and guests, and most of all, we do not engage in gossip or pettiness. The perfect recipe for Horse Utopia!