Thursday, January 03, 2008

Wanting to stay, but needing to go

Today, with regret, I gave my 30 days notice at the barn.

After finding out that the girls tuition was going up, plus the cost of my health insurance was increasing, I just knew that financially I could not stay at the training barn any more. We had been on the edge (and over it sometimes) of being able to pay all of our bills for months now, but this new increase in our expenses is going to be too much for us to overcome. I don't see our situation changing in the near future, so it's not something I think we can just ride out.

First thing I did when I realized my predicament I called my trainer. I had told her when we moved to this new facility that I wasn't sure how long I could afford it, but I'd do everything I could to hold on as long as I could. Therefore, she wasn't really surprised, but of course she was disappointed. I felt terrible about telling her this bad news today, because tomorrow she is leaving for Florida for three months to train with her trainer. I didn't really want to give her bad news right before she left, but I wanted her to know what was going on. She said she supported me and understood my situation, and knew that we'd find a way to work together once she got back.

After I called my trainer I called Craig. His reaction really surprised me. He sounded surprised, and a little sad for me. He said "I'm sorry honey that we can't afford for you to keep your horse where he is. I know that you really want to keep him at a place where you can train." I assured him that Kaswyn would be fine where he was going, and he said "Will you still be able to train with your trainer?" Yes, I told him, I'm sure the new place wouldn't have a problem letting her teach me when she gets back.

I will be moving Kaswyn to Marge's barn, which is where I boarded him when I first bought him. He loves it there, probably because it feels like home to him. And since I trust Marge completely, I'm not nervous about his care. I know he'll get fed when he needs to be fed, he'll get out as much as possible, and that Marge will keep an eye on him.

Unfortunately, Marge's barn is not perfect, or I'd have never left. It's just not set up for serious dressage training, mainly because the indoor arena is small, and the footing is a bit deep and uneven. Also, there is no outdoor arena, and although I've ridden in the pasture in the summer it's not the consistent footing that is desirable for training. Marge knows this, and wasn't upset at all when I left. Well, she was sorry to see me go because it would mean less time to see each other, but she understood when it was time for me to go.

When I called Marge to ask for a stall, she also seemed sad for me. She said "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that you have to move. You've tried so hard, and come so far with him, only to have your legs cut off at the knees now." I reassured her that I was okay with this decision.

Really I am, for the most part. Yes, I will miss the great big tack locker, wide aisle way, big green pastures, large sized indoor arena with nice footing, heated/air conditioned observation room, nice bathroom, and stall for Kaswyn that has a dutch door so he can hang his head outside when it's nice out. But it's not like I'm putting him down, or selling him. It's not even that he's lame, because right now he's NOT LAME. He's been wonderful for the past week and I've been really excited about bringing him back yet again.

However, I know that Kaswyn will be going to a place that knows him and loves him. He'll get to see his old pasture buddies, be in a familiar barn, and be able to be outside almost all day if possible. Also this horse is trained. Everything he knows is etched into his brain, and there is nothing I really need to teach him. All I need to do is get him in shape and keep him there, because I know that I can ask for a half-pass or pirouette months from now without schooling them at all and he'll know just what to do.

Most importantly I'll save money on board, which I have to say is already lifting a huge weight off of my shoulders. I'm going to enjoy my last month in the training facility, and then we'll kind of go into conditioning and maintaining mode. And hopefully we'll be able to pay off that vet bill (which is a little out of control at the moment) and possibly get the credit cards paid down.

Another plus is I'll be able to spend more time with old friends, and maybe even get to ride Albert, my frind Susan's horse. He's a brat, but he's a blast to ride. We'll be fine, really.


Zuriel944 said...

Sorry to hear you have to leave the barn. It sounded nice. But if you can 't afford it any longer, then you have to do what you can. Trust me I know all about it. Even having Hen at Simon's barn I'm having a tough time making ends meet.

And like you said, it's not like it's over. You at least have an indoor to ride in and your trainer is close so you can still get help when needed. And who knows- you might be able to move back with your trainer when finances get more stable.

Lil Kate said...

I'm sorry, too. But you have a really good attitude about it and it sounds like with your continued training, you won't be behind at all. Still, bummer.

Rising Rainbow said...

Oh. life, it has that way of jumping up and changing our plans. I'm sorry that you're having to move but glad that you have some place you feel safe and comfortable to go.

Wiola said...

I am too very sorry to hear you have to move. I guess the surfaces will be the biggest problem as since Kaswyn loves his 'old' place and you trust the owner then it sould work well on the management front.
However, I had to sell my horse due to livery (boarding prices) in London. Although I am first for good facilities, if back then I had had a chance like you do, to move to a good friend with affordable facilities, I would have jumped with joy.
I hope all goes well and you manage to continue your training.

Another idea: at a yard where I share a horse, all the liveries (the boarders) got together and paid for a 20m by 40m rubber and sand surface arena which is excellent! They did a lot of work themselves (like drainage, digging etc) after work hours and a friend the builder did the heavy/more specialised job.

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