Monday, December 5, 2016

virtual barn tour!!

For as long as there have been equestrian bloggers, there have been virtual tours of the barns where we keep our horses. L. Williams revived the tradition after settling on her new barn in SoCal, and I immediately wanted to hop on the bandwagon and share Charlie's new digs!

What you might not have realized is that while this barn is new to Charlie, it's quite familiar to me. This is where I rode before meeting Isabel and deciding to pursue eventing.

screen shot from da google
A - Adjoining barn and indoor arena. The "A" covers the arena section and the attached perpendicular structure houses the stalls, tack rooms, office, wash stall, feed room, etc.

B - Outdoor riding arena.

C - Riding field.

D - Charlie's turnout. Extends into another field past the upper edge of the photo.

E - Mares' field / occasional riding field. Home to that adorable little bank that Charlie so gracefully navigated haha.


Stalls & Amenities

The barn has wide aisles filled with cross ties and rubber mats to stand on (or pee on, if you're Charlie lol). There are saddle racks on every stall - very handy for setting up wherever there's space to cross tie the horse!

standard barn aisle
The wash stall, lesson tack room, boarder tack room, feed room and office are all in the same barn aisle too. I basically adore the wash stall, after so many years without one at Isabel's farm. It has an overhead hose hanger, rubber mats, and hot water.

it's also convenient for staying out of the way during tasks like mane pulling or letting freshly treated feet dry
The barn is always tidy and organized, with the lesson schedule, farrier schedule, daytime and overnight weather conditions, and turnout assignments posted on the white board.

white board and ferns, plus large wooden mounting platform visible through the door
There are stalls inside the indoor arena too. These are larger than the rest and have bars on three sides instead of solid walls. Charlie is MUCH happier in here; he weaved liked a maniac in the main barn but is mostly cured of the habit now.

i spy a star face!!
Only downside to this stall is that the horse is always covered in arena dust haha. Whatever, it's a small price to pay for his comfort and happiness!

Indoor Arena

And speaking of the arena, here it is! I don't know exact dimensions but it seems close to the width of a dressage court (20m). The narrowness makes it tricky when there's a lot of traffic plus jumps set up... but it's cool. We make do!

looking into the arena from the main barn
The arena has large exterior doors at E, B and in the back corner, tho they're only open in the summer heat when the indoor cooks like an oven.

Outdoor riding arena

The outdoor is is by far one of my favorites. While the arena at OF probably tops the list as #1, this ring is right up there. It's very generously sized and can hold lots of horses and a full jump course without feeling crowded.

with gazebo, naturally
There are giant heavy duty mounting blocks in both rings and a wooden platform just outside the barn's doors. Super convenient for those of us who need help climbing up on our high horses!

looking back toward the barn, in the upper left corner
The footing is that fancy fibrous cushy stuff - seems pretty nice and I like it, tho it's perhaps somewhat high maintenance with a propensity for deepness. They drag and water it often tho, and avoid riding on it in the rain (tho they don't close it to those who might brave the elements).

much pretty, so wow.
Only real bummer is that there are no lights. So night time riding is out. Meaning we're stuck sharing space inside during the work week when I can't get there until after night fall. It's cool tho, still grateful for the indoor. Plus the program director is trying for lights, so I'm holding out hope!

the whole arena, complete with judge's stand to the right
They host a lot of h/j shows here too, both for the resident IEA program and just general schooling shows open to the public. I have visions of competing Charlie here next season!

Other outdoor riding areas

Beyond the arena is that nice grassy riding area denoted by "C" in the aerial image. There's a gate between the arena and field that they open for derby classes too - so riders can jump out of the arena, around the grassy field, then back in again. Fun fun!

grassy riding area behind derpy horses. with single random skinny coop haha. we'll jump that eventually. 
It's an easy way to get out of the arena for a (slight) change of venue and scenery. Charlie likes it out there too and seems really comfortable on the grass. Must be his turf racing roots lol.

Casanova cameo!
Plus during daylight hours it's nice to finish a ride by cooling out with a few laps around the grass surrounding the arena. I like to think of it as hacking-lite lol.

hacking up the grassy stretch away from the barn between the arena and the mares' field
Tho the side of the arena opposite from the mares' field neighbors a soccer field, which can occasionally be a bit distracting for the horses lol. 

heading back toward the barn, with Casanova's attention fixed on the soccer field lol
It's cool tho. While tournaments and busier weekends still grab Charlie's attention, he's basically gotten used to the sights and sounds of sports.

apparently not actually that spooky
Another nice feature around the arena is this strange little mound near the gate. Idk why but I always make Charlie go up and down it on our little walks haha. Race horse has gotta learn about terrain sooner or later, right?

to the arena! see the green mound too? just behind the tent?
The other outdoor riding area is the mares' field itself. It's usually occupied by turnout horses but we've made it out there a few times. The ground in this field is a lot more like what you might find on a typical xc course: more terrain and less manicured / perfect than the other grassy riding area.

baby bank in the mares' field! we've since actually ridden up and down it too
We haven't done much more than walk and a little bit of trot out there, but I look forward to more speed work next year! They occasionally set up xc style jumps too. Sounds fun!

There are narrow lanes around all the pastures too tho Charlie and I haven't explored them all yet.


Charlie's been in a few turnouts since moving to this farm. Starting obvi in solo turnout during his quarantine period, as pictured below.

looking back down a lane toward the barn
He was in with another herd for a while before moving into his current group in the biggest back pasture. I'm pretty happy with his group and the field itself, tho frankly the horse seems fine with whatever turnout he's given, especially if he has friends!

Just General Prettiness 

It's a fairly compact farm and I'm really missing hacking out and trail riding, especially since long slow miles would be perfect for Charlie during this stage of his physical transformation. Plus it's just plain nice to get that mental break too. It's cool tho. Have trailer, will travel, right?

Bc everything else about this farm has been really pleasant. It's a quick easy drive, the amenities more than meet my needs, the care is good. And - perhaps most importantly, the people are REALLY nice. (Even if they're all slightly skeptical of eventing in general, and pretty damn convinced that I'm basically certifiable lol).

swans!! and willows!!
Plus. Ya know. It's just plain pretty haha.

What about you? Wanna share a photographic tour of your barn too?


  1. What a gorgeous place! So odd the outdoor doesn't have lights at a place so nice, though.

  2. It's almost perfect -trails would make it perfect. But you have a trailer so....

  3. It's so pretty! I'm glad Charlie is happier with the stall change.

  4. Those grounds look beautiful and I love the spacious turnout

  5. I feel like very few places in Texas can hold a candle to 99% of the barns on the east coast as far as pretty goes.

  6. It is a gorgeous facility! So great that there are nice people running it too.

  7. ooooh your place is really nice!! I like the riding field and it's nice that charlie can be in the indoor with tons to look at.

    but mostly: omg hose overhead JEALOUS.

  8. Sounds like a really great facility!

  9. That facility is gorgeous. I don;t miss much about living up north, but even the fanciest barn around here doesn't come close to those available up north. Plus, no indoors. I hope you two continue to love it there.

  10. Such pretty barn. I miss east coast barns. Maybe I'll do a tour of my barn, which is essentially a collection of shacks dug into the hillside.

  11. It's lovely! It's like the Horse Taj Mahal, over there. I'm glad it's also got nice people. If I shared pictures of our... facility... nope. Not gonna. It has pluses: lots of trail access, state forest a short trail ride away, quiet country roads with decent shoulders along which one might ride without getting kilt, 4 miles from my house, exceedingly convenient hours, low cost of boarding. It has minuses: no ring, only jumps we have are the ones I built and painted, random calf encounters, tiny tack shed with incontinent cats, Unhelpful Border Collie, horse must tolerate gunfire, chainsaws, ATVs, and the wood splitter. It's what I've got, though, and it's close to home so that I can see my horses every day. There are worse arrangements, indeed.

  12. I'm so envious of everyone's barns.

  13. I love seeing other people's boarding set ups. I will totally have to do a post on my barn, though it's not nearly as nice as yours!

  14. What a fabulous set up!!