I've been boarding my horse Rosa at a stable that's about 26kms and a 25 minute drive from home for 1.5 years. I'm thinking of moving her to a stable that's 10kms farther from home.
Here are the main factors to consider:
[B](1)[/B] It currently costs $300/month for outdoor board -- meaning that Rosa is outdoors 24/7, and the only thing the stable owners provide her with are hay, a spot in a pasture, and a lean-to.
If I move Rosa to the new stable, board will be $265/month for indoor board -- meaning that in the winter, she'll be outside during the day and in a stall in the barn at night, and in the summer she'll be in a stall in the barn during the day and outside at night.
[B](2)[/B] The cost of board at the current stable will likely go up each year.
The cost of board at the new stable has never gone up in 7 years, and won't be going up in the foreseeable future.
[B](3) [/B]The current barn isn't heated, but it has a heated tackroom with a locker for each boarder, hot water, and a proper bathroom (heated as well).
The new barn is heated, but the tackroom doesn't have lockers, and there's no hot water (just cold) and no bathroom (although boarders can use the bathroom in the house).
[B](4)[/B] At the current barn, I have to pay for extra services -- like feeding Rosa her arthritis meds, basic medical care, putting a blanket on her, etc.
At the new barn, all of these services are free.
[B](5)[/B] It's great that the new stable will give Rosa her arthritis meds. But I have one concern -- I currently have to go see Rosa every 2nd or 3rd day to give her the arthritis meds. Which makes going to the stable feel like sort of an obligation at times. It would be great to be able go whenever I feel like it as opposed to when she needs her meds. On the other hand, will that make me lazy about going to the stable??
[B](6) [/B]The current stable has an indoor arena, which comes in handy when the weather is bad. On the other hand, I hardly ever use the arena, because I'd much rather ride outdoors -- I've used the arena maybe 6-7 times all winter.
The new stable has a lit outdoor arena. Which is great for riding at night, but if it's -30 or raining or the ground is icy, it won't do me much good.
[B](7)[/B] The current stable doesn't have a lot of options for trail riding. There are basically three "loops" that I can take, and that's about it. After 1.5 years of riding the same loops, I'm getting bored!!
A friend of mine who owns horses lives near the new stable. She said that there are lots of quiet roads, farmers fields, and forested areas to go riding, and that you can ride for miles without seeing a car. And she said she could show me where trails are, and she can ride with me once things quiet down after her daughter's wedding this summer.
[B](8)[/B] The current stable has a 1/2 mile dirt track, which is awesome for cantering. Although it isn't as well-maintained as it could be.
The new stable has no track, but there are apparently long, straight trails that are safe for cantering.
There are other pros and cons to moving Rosa, but these are the main ones. The bottom line is that I think the new stable would be better for Rosa but not as good for me in some ways.
For those of you who remember my red paint dilemma, you know I'm terrible at making decisions!! So I could really use your help here!! Which stable would you choose??