As equestrians, we all want the best for our equine friends. And first and foremost on our list is a place to board and train. Most important is to find a place that suits your equine friend's needs. Turnout, quality grain, good bedding, fresh water, and free choice hay are obvious must haves. But the most overlooked is asking yourself this simple question,” What are my goals and plans with my equine partner?” Find the place that is going to get you there. My daughter, my sister, and myself are riders. And our equine partners have different jobs -a barrel racer, an eventer, and a hunter-jumper. Obviously, the hunter-jumper would not fare well at a barrel racing facility and vice versa. However, in my experience people overlook the obvious. Big first mistake everyone. A trail rider is most happy trail riding, a barrel racer loves hunting barrels, and a jumper loves jumping. Pick the facility that matches your discipline. And take time in your decision making-not all trainers are a perfect fit for everyone. To no fault of the trainer’s people-lets face facts-they take the most heat. Try lessons with them first. I have watched people move right in to a boarding facility with zero knowledge of the trainer running the show. Work with the trainer, watch them work, and discuss goals. See if the personalities work well together, and see if your horse will fit into the environment. A spooky horse might not fare well in a cattle -sorting facility with a lot of action going on. A cutting horse isn’t going to fit into a place that doesn’t have cattle. Keep in mind we all love horses and we all want what’s best for them, but somehow, we mess up where we place the ones we love. Find the place that keeps you and your horse healthy, happy, and that helps you reach your goals! Don’t follow the Jones-what might work for one may not be the best decision for another-this is our job as horse owners first and foremost.
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