The Ritz.

I went to my new friend's barn the other day.  She's going on vacation for two weeks back to her hometown across the country, so I felt like.. speediness was necessary.

Her barn is toted as being the premier in the area.  I mean.. it's Savannah.  That's not really a competition.

But, damn.  It really did take my breath away.

(not my photo!)
Pulling up, she had to enter a PIN into the security system so the gates would open.  Then it was a short drive up and parking on a little gravel area.  The fences are set up to inhibit wandering horses, I think, and had one of those slip-through gates intended for humans.

The barn was super picturesque with a second floor and a balcony.  To the left of the barn was the covered arena.  No shit, I've never seen a covered arena that wasn't affiliated with a college equestrian program.  I just.. seriously didn't think anyone in the south had a private one.  To the right were the individual pastures and the jump ring.  We entered through the center and I took a quick moment to wipe the drool off my chin.

Everything was immaculate, from the shaved chins and pulled manes to the swept aisles and neatly lined tack trunks.  There were two aisles with stalls lining the walls and a row down the center.  Every stall had a generous amount of clean shavings, was spacious and had bars for the upper.  The barn was divided in half and each half had a Big Ass industrial ceiling fan.  I didn't get to see the tack room, but I'm pretty sure she had to enter a code in that door, too.

I can say that the bathroom might have been nicer than mine at home.  Including the corner shower.

She pulled the little warmblood mare out from another, lower barn and brought her back up to the main barn and proceeded grooming and tacking up.  I never offered to help, but instead explained that I was neurotic about people touching my pony, so I wasn't going to go there with hers.  Also, I wanted to take photos!

After her ponykins was all tacked up, we walked out to the main ring.

And I promptly fell to the ground, rolling.

Not really.  But I did ask if she could back her car up and let me start filling the trunk with the footing.  It was that magical rubber-something/sand/unicorn spit combination that felt like I was walking on air.

All of the jumps were pristine and gorgeous and set to a height I wouldn't have felt comfortable jumping.  A little trot pole/cavaletti was set up and a few lines.  New friend (nickname pending) warmed the mare up and did a few jumps before calling it a day.  I have more photos, but only wanted to share the ones where you couldn't see her face.  Then back inside to untack, hose off, and head out.

See the liverpool in the back?
The little run in for the pasture?
To the left of that white panel fence was a triple combination of more pretty white fences.
She swears that the board is under $500.  ...which is still $200 more than I currently pay a month, and which would have been feasible before I bought a car.  It's a thought, though.

 I, of course, asked her when she wanted to come out to the ghetto with me.  I think my barn could be amazing and still be considered ghetto-fabulous comparatively.

All cute and stuff, but that bay on the far left tried to eat us.
I think the only issue I had was that so many of the horses were up, with empty pastures.  I know that most of these guys were show ponies and that show ponies don't get turned out (enough - there, I said it).  But I couldn't do that to Archie.  He has no problem with stalls, no pacing, weaving or cribbing.  He will try to kill whomever is next to him come dinner time, though.  But..  horses are meant to walk miles and miles every day.  So if this place was magically reasonably priced and if I could find that extra money in my budget (it's only $85 more than I paid at the crazy barn) (you know, before I bought a car), my need for him to wander would still have to be accommodated.   Lots of ifs there.

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  1. Wow that's crazy cheap.

  2. Gorgeous and affordable! love it! However, mine does better being outside A LOT though, so that could be tricky.

  3. That is stupid cheap. I'm moving. As soon as you get rid of the heat.

  4. Did you ask your friend about the turnout situation? Is it possible the horses just come in for the heat of the day? That's what my barn does - they're in from like 9 - 5 so everyone gets to relax and nibble some hay.

  5. Why so cheap...just gorgeous.

  6. Just read the last bit about the turnout. I would ask what the schedule is. Here in TX it's pretty standard to do night time turnout during the summer, they aren't happy being out in the heat of the day. Mine goes out from 6pm to 6am, then in late fall they switch to daytime.

  7. OMG! I pay somewhere in the vicinity of what she pays now and I live in Atlantic Canada, for god's sake. And let me tell you, there ain't no security code on my non-fenced in barn property, that's for sure. This place is amazing!

  8. They might have been on night turn out if the place has a lot of stall board. 500 bucks around here will get you decent care boarding but not a covered arena and jump ring with fancy jumps and awesome footing. I pay a lot more then 500 a horse for the facilities i have at a high performance barn. Id be all over that place like white on rice if i was out your way. Security code?! Wow

  9. I bet they do nighttime turnout, but who knows. I wish we had a place like that here for that price!

  10. Woooow for $500... Jealous!!!

  11. I know we don't know each other but I wanted to say - I feel your pain... I ran across your post while looking up new boarding barns (I'm in the St Louis, MO area) and comparable boarding prices.

    A couple places I'm looking at are $650 and higher - and that is just full-care stall board. To find a place that even *offers* pasture board means also going to a place that has a crappy arena, no customer service, and bad farriers. *sigh* And I'm not made of money (just finished my degree and have a new house with partner), so paying $780+ for a place that *does* offer legit pasture turn-out plus daily grain and full-care is just not an option...

    Damned if we do - damned if we don't... Anyway - thank you for this post... It made me feel better about not being able to afford places like the above - I'm not alone... :-/