Sunday, November 25, 2018

puppies: the ultimate distraction

There are a number of benefits to boarding at a sprawling historic multi generational family farm. It's a giant farm, with a ton of people around all the time and all manner of buzzing activity.

Bess is a real troublemaker haha
Cars up and down the drive all day long. Lesson ponies endlessly cycling from the kid-filled shedrow barn up to the arenas, and back again. Tractors and kubotas and trailers chugging hither and thither. Shetlands literally everywhere, not to mention the sheep, goat and Goose the pig.


Oooh, and the dogs. Lots and lots and LOTS of dogs. Everywhere. At least half a dozen (if not more) live on the farm itself, spread across the multiple households onsite. And of course boarders and trainers often bring their dogs too.


All this to say - it's a great farm to board if you want a horse completely bombproofed and accustomed to all manner of shenanigans haha.

dog ball!!
Also nice: the farm hosts all sorts of fun schooling shows all year round, meaning the dressage ring is routinely set up with a proper court. So even tho Charlie and I aren't entered to ride in this particular show, we still got to school inside the boards for as long as we wanted! And even better? We had the ring all to ourselves!

puppy is having the most fun ever haha
Well.... Almost all to ourselves haha....

Is your farm similarly busy? Do you like it? Or do you prefer a quieter atmosphere? Or are you like Charlie, preferring the distraction of a puppy to actually, ya know, working on that whole 'dersage' thing?? lol....

22 comments:

  1. My coach's barn is super busy too - all the neighbourhood dogs (and hers) seem to congregate there! Her son in particular has been super useful in bombproofing the horses-normally he is playing somewhere in the bushes around the area, and usually it involves dinosaurs/dinosaur noises, "hunting" with a NERF gun, or sword fighting :D I actually quite enjoy it, as compared to the arena At home where I never see anyone.

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    1. Oooooh yes the wayward kiddos with nerf guns.... I can see how that could be a brand new experience for the ponies LOL! Most of the little kids at my farm are there for lessons or for their siblings lessons so they’re usually fairly well behaved. Usually lol

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  2. I love an active barn, but I'm not gonna lie - I can get pretty surly about poorly behaved children/dogs/adults... HOWEVER - that dog ball is adorable :)

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    1. Yea I definitely feel ya there. Realistically tho most ppl who bring their dogs to the farm understand that horses have the right of way. And the dogs that live at the farm (like this adorable puppy haha) learn pretty quickly to stay out of the way!

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  3. I would love to be at a bustling place like that. I do like the peace in my barn though.

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    1. Peacefulness is definitely nice sometimes - esp like during bad weather or dark nights when everybody is trying to crowd into the same spaces to ride lol.....

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  4. I feel like ours is somewhere in the middle. Always lots going on on the weekends, so June gets exposed to a lot of different stimuli. But it's usually quite quiet in the evenings after work, which I appreciate. It's got about 65 horses boarded there, which seems like A LOT but I would say only about 1/2 of them are regularly ridden, which makes a difference.

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    1. 65 is definitely a lot! Idk how many we have but it’s probably around the same number (tho tbh I have no clue how many shetlands there actually are haha!). But yea. Many don’t really get ridden. But still. The quiet evenings can be nice! I tend to ride in the dressage ring whereas the instructors tend to go in the jump ring or the indoor, so that helps with crowding. But when it’s rainy or the ground is frozen, things get really interesting haha

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  5. I like the busy atmosphere as it takes care of a lot of desensitization for you. Having the horses at home can be lonely but I will say that mine get a lot of work being around equipment, dogs and the kiddo who is much like T above with dinosaur games, neef guns and the like. I’m a curmudgeon about dogs and horses though.

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    1. Yea I definitely appreciate the company of having other folks around the barn. Esp on the cold dark nights it helps with motivation knowing I probably won’t be the only one!

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  6. The busiest barn I've ever been at was a university program, and all of the barns I've boarded at have been relatively quite. I'm usually the only one out at my barn in the evenings after work. I actually strongly prefer to board somewhere where there aren't any lesson ponies and children. Maybe I'm a Scrooge, but I like my peaceful, adult horse time :)

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    1. ha i think that's totally fair. i mean, we ought to enjoy the time we spend in the barn, right? i grew up as a horseless barn rat, so almost my entire horsey experience has revolved around lesson barns, helping out in exchange for saddle time etc. so i'm pretty accustomed to the rhythms and business of a bustling lesson barn. tho, in my current boarding place, the actual building where my horse lives is fairly separated from the lesson shed, and i do, in fact, appreciate that haha!

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  7. I have 4 dogs and a duck, plus we are always doing renos so its busy busy! Not the same as boarding barn busy, but loud and crazy usually lol

    Love the pup with zoomies!

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    1. ha loud and crazy always comes in all shapes and sizes, right?? i love that your duck just adopted you too, what a cool story lol

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  8. Right now my filly is boarded at a quiet, private barn with only a few boarders. The small facility is owned by a young family, so while there aren't many boarders around, there are four-wheelers and dirt bikes and screaming children. I think it is the perfect environment for a young horse that is just learning to be a partner.

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    1. definitely!!! such a great way to show them all about how they can still focus in the face of chaos and distraction

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  9. I hate super busy places I find them so stressful.

    I also get super annoyed with people bringing dogs to the barn and then just... not supervising them.

    I don't mind the dogs *if* they behave but I went out to find a sheep dog nipping bumpers heels to try and make him run with not a soul in sight. I was furious!

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  10. I enjoy riding and being around people at the barn so long as they can steer. Only I don't ever seem to be able to get those people to ride with. THE WORST.

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  11. While my *barn* isn't very busy, the subdivision IS. Lots of ATVs, cars, playground equipment, kids running, loose dogs... loose horses haha. It's great for despooking them haha.

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