This post is super hard to write, super hard to even think about. To me, and probably a lot of equestrians, the happiest place on Earth isn't Disney World it's the barn. It's my second home, my sanctuary, my therapy. But in the past couple of weeks I've come to realize my happy place isn't making me happy anymore.
This has absolutely NOTHING to do with my horses. I can not imagine not having Peebs and Cinder. Peebs is pretty darn close to being even on the list of heart horses with Phoenix. I don't see myself ever selling him. Cinder is far and away so much more than I imagined a baby would be. I can't wait to see her develop and be started under saddle.
January 1st marked 11 years that I've been boarding at my barn. So much has changed, but one of things I love most about it, is that it's always been a quiet low key barn. Even when we had the college team riding, it was never super busy except on practice day once a week. My trainer and a few others come in and give lessons, but there's no resident trainer. But that changed in October. We had an Arabian western pleasure, KH, trainer move 7 horses in, in October and she just moved another two in this month. Most are her own horses, 2 or 3 are client horses in training. She also gives lessons five day a week.
Before KH moved in Peebs had a double stall. We had taken a wall down between two stalls. I wasn't paying for the double stall, but we had room so my BO gave it to me. BO has been cutting back her barn time and letting another boarder become the barn manager, which is fine except BM has had a bit of a steep learning curve. When BM announced that KH was moving in, she asked about putting Peebs back in a single stall. I said I was ok with it, since I wasn't paying for the double and BM assured me that she'd try to keep him in a double, and if/when they had to put walls back up he would be the last horse to lose his double stall. Well, KH moved an "extra" horse into the barn and guess who was the first horse to lose a double stall? Peebs. And they didn't give me any warning that it was happening, just a text at 8:30pm after they did it. And it was the night before a show. I didn't blog about it at the time because I was beyond pissed and couldn't process. I did send some nasty texts a few days later and after a bit of back and forth BO and BM apologized for how it went down. And they assured me that nothing else would change with KH in the barn. (Side note: a horse moved out that was in a double and Peebs was able to move into it on the 1st)
Only things have really changed. With 9 horses in the barn KH is always there. There was one day I rode early in the morning and KH showed up at 9am. When I came back to feed that night she was still riding, having used the arena all day, at 5:30pm. If I hadn't ridden before 9, I wouldn't have had the arena. She's always doing something, has a horse turned out in the indoor or is riding or teaching. Her dogs are always in the tack room, which she's taken over except for my little corner. She had little kids and parents asking questions and wanting to play with Cinder when all I want to do is be left alone with my ponies. She does put her lessons on the board, but the schedule is never correct. I try to time my rides/turnout around her schedule but it's always screwed up. I've been cutting back on my barn time, and ride time because of it and only just noticed. But once I noticed, it's all I can thing of.
Like I said before, our barn has always been quiet and I've never had to deal with a lesson barn type atmosphere. Its been hard trying to adjust my schedule after having the same one for almost 11yrs. I've talked somewhat with BO and BM and basically my options now are to put my arena time down on the board and schedule myself. I absolutely hate that idea. There's not any H/J barns within an hour of me, and I can't afford big barn prices, and I still want to ride with my trainer who doesn't have her own place anymore. Most of the other boarding barns in the area are either trashy, or out of my price range for two horses. There's a couple eventing barns local, but I don't want to event. So I'm stuck. I'm not really hopeful that things will change, but until I can find another option, or please sweet baby Jesus KH leaves or gets kicked out, I'll have to come up with some coping strategies. Anyone got some for dealing with a busy lesson barn?