For those who got their own indoor arena...

DJR
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For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:57 pm

I'm getting progressively more and more sick & tired of having to board my horses out over 4-5 months every year in order to ride year-round. Now that Jet is schooling Third/Fourth Level and needs to be in regular work, having to put them off-site to continue riding makes it VERY difficult to attain any sort of minimum riding schedule. They are at home the rest of the year, but I'm still at the whim of the weather & footing.

I do have outdoor lights for my large outdoor sand ring (100x200'), but if it's nonstop raining the ground is so saturated that I worry about just getting to & from the outdoor ring (very slippery), let alone putting my horses back in the elements after a ride. My horses live out 24/7. I do note have a proper indoor stable, but all have huge shelters with the option of using stalls in the shelters if injury/illness, or really crappy weather, but all stalls are in a Shedrow barn style.

I've looked into building my own indoor, but it's very difficult to get financing for this when I have no equine business & little interest in running a boarding facility (so no business plan to submit). My banker & realtor as well as other consultants I've talked to tell me that it's often better to find a place with an indoor and move there rather than try to build my own arena.

So, now there is a 30-acre property that might fit the bill. Unlike many equestrian properties, it's affordable but not derelict. It has a lovely house (which would be a welcome upgrade from my current, modest 2-bdrm raised bungalow), and a well-managed barn with 8 stalls, water & hydro, and a 60x120' indoor arena (well maintained coverall) that has a viewing area at one end including a small heated viewing room. The arena is about 30' from the stable so a short walk outside is required (my ideal is to have the barn attached to the arena, but I can manage if it's not far to walk). There are excellent paddocks with shelters and most have water right at them, and several nice pastures & a hay field that has a X-country course in it.

I know that the length of time it takes to do chores will increase if the horses are in. My friend has her horses inside and it takes her about 30 min in the morning & 1-1/2 hrs in the evening (or less). That's about twice the time it takes me to do chores now in my current set-up. Not all the horses would be in, either, just the ones in regular work or if weather was awful. The commute is 40+ minutes whereas my current commute is 25 min.

This would allow me to ride more often, regardless of weather, and do what I do in summer which is to ride after my daughter goes to bed. But I'd have a bit more work to do on a daily basis and I already do it all by myself (single mom, no partner, no relatives nearby). I'd consider getting a farm hand who could also get my daughter off the bus as I used to have that here but lost the last nanny last spring.

Anyway, am I missing anything in considering this? For those who made the leap, what tales of caution (or woe) would you have for me?
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:02 pm

I think you might want to buy someone's time if you make this leap. Your commute will lengthen and your chore time will lengthen, so you will have less time available every day. Is the farm in a location that you have a decent shot at hiring someone to do chores so that there is less to do when you get home?

You might want to do a weekly "time map" of the effort of boarding out vs moving to this place to see how it really shakes out on a daily and weekly basis. You might be surprised.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Josette » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:05 pm

I'm in a similar situation at home without an indoor - no plans to build at this point either. This property does sound lovely as you described. However, I recall that you ride large horses and currently school in a large ring. I would consider the down-sizing to the 60x120' ring. I ride in a smaller ring 68x138' and many times wish it were larger. If this is not an issue for you it does sound lovely on 30 acres.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:28 pm

piedmontfields wrote:I think you might want to buy someone's time if you make this leap. Your commute will lengthen and your chore time will lengthen, so you will have less time available every day. Is the farm in a location that you have a decent shot at hiring someone to do chores so that there is less to do when you get home?

You might want to do a weekly "time map" of the effort of boarding out vs moving to this place to see how it really shakes out on a daily and weekly basis. You might be surprised.


Thanks for the idea of a time map -- I'm going to do that this weekend!

I do agree that hiring some help would be in order. I miss having the help I had last year.
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:30 pm

Josette wrote:I'm in a similar situation at home without an indoor - no plans to build at this point either. This property does sound lovely as you described. However, I recall that you ride large horses and currently school in a large ring. I would consider the down-sizing to the 60x120' ring. I ride in a smaller ring 68x138' and many times wish it were larger. If this is not an issue for you it does sound lovely on 30 acres.


When Jet was younger & less schooled, the 60' ring would have been problematic (a bit, not a lot). Now, it would be fine. It works out to about 18m wide which is manageable. It's better than nothing, that's for sure! Besides, it would just be my daughter & I riding in it, MAYBE 1-2 boarders (only if necessary financially). Although, I have considered having a boarder who ends up being my barn help, but I know it's hard to find someone trustworthy for that sort of arrangement.
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:31 pm

DJR wrote:
Josette wrote:I'm in a similar situation at home without an indoor - no plans to build at this point either. This property does sound lovely as you described. However, I recall that you ride large horses and currently school in a large ring. I would consider the down-sizing to the 60x120' ring. I ride in a smaller ring 68x138' and many times wish it were larger. If this is not an issue for you it does sound lovely on 30 acres.


When Jet was younger & less schooled, the 60' ring would have been problematic (a bit, not a lot). Now, it would be fine. It works out to about 18m wide which is manageable. It's better than nothing, that's for sure! Besides, it would just be my daughter & I riding in it, MAYBE 1-2 boarders (only if necessary financially). Although, I have considered having a boarder who ends up being my barn help, but I know it's hard to find someone trustworthy for that sort of arrangement.

I should add that the outdoor sand ring on this property is larger, almost 90' wide, so that's good. And it has a HUGE (probably 200x200) turf ring, plus excellent hacking with gentle hills for conditioning.
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Josette » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:56 pm

Those last details you mentioned would really motivate me. :)

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:43 pm

So, with respect to a time map, here's what I came up with:

Current situation:
Board x 5 mo (worst case) with riding 4 times a week (on average, less in the coldest months).
-40 min commute total (there & back)
-get home typically at 6 or 6:30, occasionally earlier, about once a week it's later (as late as 8 or 9)
-have to feed the kid (and me) first or after, so that takes about 30 min total
-have to let the dogs out for a potty break which we do while we're getting changed and/or eating
-takes about 90 min to get horses, tack up, ride, cool out, untack, groom, put away, sometimes 60 min

So, that adds up to about 75 min of commuting & prep to go to the barn per day that we'd ride.

If I move to the property in question:
-no commute time - saves 40-45 min per day which accounts for all prep time (supper, changing, dogs)
-add 15 min extra commute time on way home
-time to ride, etc, would be unchanged
-add another 30 min to do chores each day (unless I get help), but this can be done after kiddo goes to bed, and I can ride after kiddo goes to bed if I'm riding at home

It seems to pan out to favor a property where I don't have to board out during the worst months. And it means that the dogs aren't abandoned through the winter when we disappear after work/school to go ride.

I'm going to look at the property on Saturday. We'll see what, if anything, comes of it.

So, already, it's
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Literiding » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:02 am

One of the things I would obsess over is "snow load" on the indoor in your part of the world. There should be a building code that specifies how much snow, probably measured in Kg per square meter, a roof needs to be able to hold up. So questions about was it built to code, was it inspected after construction, are there routine inspections/maintenance required etc. are definitely in order. It would also be nice to know how much snow it has actually held up during it's life. The collateral question is how much would the structure cost to insure in case of span failure.

Insurance is another sticky wicket. The place you describe falls between a residence and a working farm. Not an uncommon problem but you need to make sure your agent is experienced with very large properties that are not a business or business related. Of course if you have even one boarder, that can turn your operation into a business and changes the whole insurance coverage. Also need to understand how your carrier would cover a guest if you are not a business in case of a horse related accident.

Another issue that doesn't always come up in purchase negotiations is drainage. When you have snow, when it melts, where does the water accumulate before it leaves the property. A good look at a topographical map of the property would give you and idea of gradients and drainage routes.

Also ask about easements across the property for power, underground transmission pipes, and water drainage.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:42 pm

DJR, I think your time map excluded the extra commute time in the AM with the other property? (I know that I tend to think about the commute home, or from work to barn rather than the commute to work!)

The new place does sound worth checking out :-)

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Tarlo Farm » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:32 pm

If you're young, financially astute and capable, and planning to stay on the new property for at least 15 years, it might be worth it. And I mean "worth it" both in time, effort, and money.
It might be more "worth it" so put a roof over your outdoor (via a home equity account), and improve the slippery footing "to and from". The indoor you describe is not the size of a standard by six feet on the width and 12 on the length. That is enough to throw off your figures and can make a mess of your work if you're showing third and fourth level. You need a full size arena for the lengthenings and extended work.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Chisamba » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:56 pm

In Colorado we had a 20m square covered arena. It was ride outdoors or manage in the square. It was not ideal but very useful for every horse.

I trained small horses, big horses, dressage, jumpers, green horses and everyone in there. It was surprisingly perfect. If I had my own place and had to be economic, I would do that again. I honestly don't think there was a single movement, from laterals to extended gaits that did not benefit from the technique of a few perfect strides and many transitions.

If I liked my place and my commute I would go with a small indoor or a big gazebo. Only because I had one for two years and realized some huge advantages

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:32 pm

I can't put a cover over my outdoor because the outdoor is next to & under a power line easement. There is no way to cover it. And even if I could, the financing to cover it in a climate that requires snow load issues, etc., is prohibitive (at least for the foreseeable future).

I've ridden in arenas that are 60x120. Sure they aren't ideal, but I can still keep my horse conditioned and I can work on the stuff we're working on. That arena size doesn't throw me off.

Good comments about snow load & arena structure. It is a coverall that was built about 8 yrs ago. It has fared well in all winters, no issues with it. I know the facility and the former owners (not the current owners) and it was built properly, to code, and has weathered our bad weather well.

Excellent comments about running it as a private farm vs. business. My agent is very good with this and knows the right questions to ask. I'll check further about easements, etc. And I need to look further into insurance if I were to take on even one boarder.

As for my age, I'm 53 so I do have at least the potential of 15 more riding years in me (knock on wood).

I didn't factor in the extra 15 min of commute time in the mornings because it doesn't impact my ability to ride. I just have to get up 30 min earlier (to make up for the extra 15 min of commuting and the extra 15 min of morning chores). I've done that before even where I live now and that''s manageable with my schedule. I may try doing it again to see how it works with a view to the other property.

Thanks - these comments are very helpful.
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby boots-aregard » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:30 pm

DJR wrote: I'll check further about easements, etc. And I need to look further into insurance if I were to take on even one boarder.

We got extra insurance even when we didn't board. If you have anybody -- ANYBODY -- who comes on your property to look at a horse, to tend a horse during your absence, to farmsit, to just about anything, that additional insurance will help and give you peace of mind.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby scruffy the cat » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:39 am

As a parent, I'd resent and worry over every single minute of that extra commute time and even chore time. I know we're talking about horses but the time factor is hugely significant when it's taking away from your loved ones.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:48 am

scruffy the cat wrote:As a parent, I'd resent and worry over every single minute of that extra commute time and even chore time. I know we're talking about horses but the time factor is hugely significant when it's taking away from your loved ones.


I thought about that today when I was driving home after being away overnight. Even though the property is only a 15-min longer commute, it's significantly longer to drive 25 min each way compared to 40 min each way.

But it would remove another 40-45 min of commuting per day through the worst parts of the winter when we have to drive to the barn to ride.

The other thing that I didn't mention before is that I could fairly easily move my practice to a location closer to the new property. It would take time to do that and could potentially impact a few things work-wise, but that's a longer-term option for me if everything else panned out.
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby scruffy the cat » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:10 am

The difference is that when you and your dd are commuting to the barn you are doing it together. It's very possible your and dd's situation is different but I was greatly surprised to find out that when my kids were 13-18 I needed to be around more than when they were 8-12, not less. But that's just my one situation and I don't presume to know yours. I just know that if I was really far, it would have had an impact on my life as well as theirs. My personal rule for my horse time was no barn farther than 30 minutes away (but they weren't with me-if they were, I could have gone farther).

Moving practices seems like a wonderful option if you can swing it.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby kande50 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:23 am

DJR wrote:
I've ridden in arenas that are 60x120. Sure they aren't ideal, but I can still keep my horse conditioned and I can work on the stuff we're working on. That arena size doesn't throw me off.


I started out with a 60 X 60 indoor. We were kind of forced to add on before new state regs prevented us from ever being able to add on, and the extra length has been a nice bonus, but I could have lived with the 60 X 60.

Good comments about snow load & arena structure. It is a coverall that was built about 8 yrs ago. It has fared well in all winters, no issues with it.


Check the warranty on the cover, as some of them only have a ten year warranty.

As for my age, I'm 53 so I do have at least the potential of 15 more riding years in me (knock on wood).


In my case, having an indoor has extended my riding years, because I'm not so sure I'd be able to come up with the energy and drive to continue to get out there if I didn't have an indoor. And I'm pretty sure that if I stopped riding for any length of time that would make it too hard to get started again, so now I can justify the expense of the indoor for its health benefits. :-)

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Sue B » Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:23 pm

Just a comment about kids. I definitely wind up spending MORE time with my now teenage ds than when he was younger because of all the extra-curricular activities he has in and out of school. The thing I will miss most, is that soon he will be driving himself to many of these things and we won't have the in-car talk/sing/laugh time I so treasure.

So far as moving, I think I am falling towards the indoor-at-home proposal, if only so you won't have the risky drive-in-the-winter-at-night thing you have now. I gave up boarding my horses at an indoor in the winter when a large deer took out the whole left side of my car one snowy evening. It happened out in the middle of no where, without even cell service. Luckily, my car was still driveable and I made it home okay.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Tarlo Farm » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:46 pm

Sue B wrote:The thing I will miss most, is that soon he will be driving himself to many of these things and we won't have the in-car talk/sing/laugh time I so treasure.



Is there a reason he has to drive himself? My high school won't allow kids to drive themselves to sports events, even parents have to get permission to drive their kids to events the school bus takes the rest of the team.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:59 pm

I saw the place and it's a really nice property with a well-thought-out design. It would easily be amenable to a private operation. The arena has nice footing and good lighting. The cover's warranty, though, is expired I'm told so that's a thought. The barn is quite nice. The pastures & paddocks are well designed and the footing is good in the turn-outs. It's on a busier road than mine, but it's not super busy.

The two main things that are making me pause are the commute (not a deal-breaker, but it's enough to make me think more about it), and the higher mortgage payments I'd have to make.

I'm going to do some more research & soul-searching this week to see if there are any solutions to these two issues. There might be, but I'm not sure.
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Chisamba » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:04 am

I do want to warn you that we have had a couple of nasty accidents in this area where the coverall failed while people were riding. We do not get the same snow load that you do.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Sue B » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:16 pm

Don't mean to hijack, but Tarlo, I drive ds to school early every morning and pick him up after school; so when he gets his license he may well want to do that himself from then on. He has a learner's permit now and will be eligible t drive on his own in March! There are also piano and french horn lessons, ball games (pep band) and 4H meetings he'll be driving to if he wants. I don't even want to THINK about when he starts DATING! :shock: Sports and band comps, of course, he rides the bus.

DJR, so much to consider. What ever way you go, I'm sure it will work out.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby kande50 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:33 pm

Something else to consider is that it might work better for you in the long run if you could find a house with enough land that's located as close to work as possible, and then have your barns, fences and indoor built.

The way I always felt about my commute was that the less time I spent driving back and forth, the more time I had to spend doing what I wanted to be doing. I know that some like driving, but the older I get the less I want to spend any of my time driving anywhere.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:00 pm

kande50 wrote:Something else to consider is that it might work better for you in the long run if you could find a house with enough land that's located as close to work as possible, and then have your barns, fences and indoor built.


If I could afford to build an indoor, I'd put one on my current property. I cannot, and my financial advisors tell me that it's often cheaper to purchase a farm with an indoor already present than to build my own.

FYI, the size of arena you have, kande, is far too small for me. For me, 120x60 is the minimum, and that increases the cost of the building.
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby kande50 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:24 pm

DJR wrote:[

If I could afford to build an indoor, I'd put one on my current property. I cannot, and my financial advisors tell me that it's often cheaper to purchase a farm with an indoor already present than to build my own.


Oh. I thought you didn't have a place to build it because of the power lines?

FYI, the size of arena you have, kande, is far too small for me. For me, 120x60 is the minimum, and that increases the cost of the building.


That's what mine is. The whole thing is 60 X 144, but we use 24' to store hay.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:34 pm

kande50 wrote:Oh. I thought you didn't have a place to build it because of the power lines?


No, I was responding to someone else who suggested just having my outdoor ring covered. I can't do that because of the power easement. I have plenty of room to build elsewhere (I'm on 36 acres).

Your arena size would be fine for me! I wish I could afford to build my own. I'm not AT ALL handy and have no time to do any of the work myself, so it would entirely done by professionals with nowhere to save some money.
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby kande50 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:21 pm

DJR wrote:
Your arena size would be fine for me! I wish I could afford to build my own. I'm not AT ALL handy and have no time to do any of the work myself, so it would entirely done by professionals with nowhere to save some money.


Check into what the Amish charge to build an arena, too. If I'm remembering right, Musical Comedy has one that's bigger than mine and it cost her less to have the Amish put it up than it did for us to build our smaller one ourselves. We may have built at different times and/or had to conform to different building codes, but I think she did get a lot more arena for less.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:47 pm

kande50 wrote:
DJR wrote:
Your arena size would be fine for me! I wish I could afford to build my own. I'm not AT ALL handy and have no time to do any of the work myself, so it would entirely done by professionals with nowhere to save some money.


Check into what the Amish charge to build an arena, too. If I'm remembering right, Musical Comedy has one that's bigger than mine and it cost her less to have the Amish put it up than it did for us to build our smaller one ourselves. We may have built at different times and/or had to conform to different building codes, but I think she did get a lot more arena for less.


Already done -- there are no Amish close enough to build an arena for me, unfortunately.
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Tarlo Farm » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:32 pm

The "formerly Amish" built mine. For a fraction of other bids. Look into Mennonite or like-communities.

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:41 pm

As an update - the viewing of the property went well. The set-up is very amenable to it being a private equestrian farm, but also allows room for a few boarders if I were to so choose.

For those who have taken on boarders, how much a pain in the a** was it? Am I looking through rose-colored glasses to imagine I could find 3-4 boarders who played well together?

Regarding the commute, I've confirmed that there is a closer work opportunity that would make the commute shorter than my current commute. That opportunity could be available as soon as the first quarter of 2018. My income would be a bit less, though, so I need to be mindful of that. And, changing work venues is no small feat so I need to be mindful of that, too.

Regarding the mortgage, it would double my current monthly mortgage payments. This, for me, is the main sticking point (and ties in with my above question about boarders). It doesn't take it off the table, but I need to be careful re: financial implications. Obviously, it would remove the necessity I have now of boarding 3 horses out for the winter months (which is 4-5 months of the year). And it would remove the need to commute to a barn for the privilege of riding my horses (especially in the months when driving is the worst). Plus, it would give me options to ride when it's otherwise yucky out year-round (windy, cold, snowing, raining, etc.).

If I stay at my current farm, it would mean:
-more improvements needed before winter hits (more money sunk into the farm) including water issues, footing issues, etc.
-having to board my horses elsewhere which is coming up soon (probably Dec 1st) - hate that - and this year, the barns I have to choose from are slim pickings and none are ideal
-struggling through the freezing rain storms with closing up the Shedrow-style barns, putting 2-3 horses in each barn, having to piecemeal a solution to keep everyone safe - it works well, but is VERY time-consuming because the barns are set up for 24/7 access, not having horses in stalls

If I move to the new property, it would mean:
-having to tighten my financial waistband (with the potential to offset some of the increased expense by taking on boarders)
-likely hiring part-time barn help (this could be a hidden blessing, though, as I lost my kid's nanny last spring and would like to have someone around again to get her off the bus, help with the farm, and some light housekeeping so I'm not doing it all by myself)
-a longer commute at least in the short-term
-no need to board my horses out, and a safe, well-insulated barn to put them in for inclement weather (and to keep the ones inside overnight who are in work, clipped & blanketed)

There's more to those lists, but those are the highlights. Thoughts?
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".

Literiding
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Literiding » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:35 pm

I boarded for 20 years before I bought my place - military duty. I moved every 18 months for the 20 years I was in the U.S. Navy. I’ve boarded in small barns, big barns and in-between barns.

I bought my little five acre farm and initially was set up as a co-op with a lady who was an accountant. Her boy friend helped me convert the sheds to barns and put in fencing. Once we were horse ready, the deal was that I would provide the physical plant, dressage court, lights, fans etc. and she would do the daily feeding and stall cleaning. It worked for about four months and fortunately for me, her parents became ill and she had to back out of the deal along with the drama of her trainer killing her yearling. I have never had another boarder or even had a person keep their horses over night!

So with these experiences, top of the list against boarding is the loss of privacy. You never ever know when your boarder(s) will show up. So you have to be always ready for visitors and unless your place has barn rest room, your bathroom is the designated facility for humans. If you do have a barn restroom, you’ll have to clean it at least daily and twice a day on weekends. If you have a get together with YOUR friends, your boarders will invite themselves too. If two boarders have a disagreement, you, as barn owner will have to arbitrate a solution and make the adjudication stick. Doesn’t matter that you’ve had a horrible night, your daughter has the flu and you just want to ride your horse, you have to solve their problem(s) “right now!!”

Everybody has a slightly different tolerance to risk and/or neatness. If you wind up with the “Odd Couple” boarders, it will be a full time job keeping peace in the barn. The worst thing for me was watching a horse being trained by someone who was clueless and there’s nothing you can to do to help the poor horse. You’ll also start worrying about your liability coverage watching your boarders handle their horses. I strongly recommend you not allow boarders to jump on your property unless they have a professional instructor giving them a lesson. Also, you’ll be the operator of the barn’s “Lost and Found.”

Another issue is you cannot have deferred maintenance on anything. Boarders pay for a certain level of barn “quality” and amenities and by gosh, they will not deal with the ravages of time and/or horse damage. If a light burns out, it better be replaced by the next evening. Any damaged fences that affect your boarders will need instant repair or you’ll be fielding complains as soon as you step foot in the barn.

You’ll be lucky to get through a month without someone complaining about the amount you feed (or don’t feed), and/or the lack of quality of the feed. Also, insulate yourself from being responsible for the feeding of supplements. Too may folks are obsessive/compulsive about supplements and will drive you nuts about them if you are feeding them. Of course if you don’t feed them, your worst boarder will show up every evening at your dinner time to feed their supplements and bother you.

Storage of tack is a major headache. In my short tenure of being a BO, I refused to allow any tack to left in my barn. If you do allow tack storage, you’ll need to provide individual lockable storage lockers to avoid a) unauthorized borrowing b) outright theft c) rodent protection.

Would I ever have boarders again? Not if there was anyway possible to avoid it.

The last item is a sort of personal, I don’t want to ever be in the position that someone hurt or killed their horse on my property and worse yet, they did it to themselves.

Perhaps a worst case view, but I’m a Grumpy old man!

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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Dapple Field » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:20 pm

On the subject of boarding, I have owned and operated a 30 stall barn which we ran as a business. I really didn't have people complaining about anything. Fencing was safe and repaired as needed, horses were well fed, if supplements were put in a baggie - I fed them, dressed and undressed horses for turnout, stalls were bedded deeply, and we did have a bathroom. A porta-john could always be a solution to having people use your house. I did discourage people from just walking into the house and it was no big deal once they learned that I valued my privacy. We also had smaller horse properties where we boarded a smaller number of horses, that being 2 - 6 horses. They were all good boarders except for one who I had to chase for board money. In my experience the best boarders are people who are older, don't show, and are mainly pleasure riders. Also someone who wants to retire a horse works well because they only show up occasionally. Only had trouble with missing tack once and it turned out to be a policeman's daughter who cleaned stalls for us. Go figure. I'd board again if I had the facility. My best friends are some of the boarders we had back in the 30 stall barn that we owned from 1978 - 1988. We have moved all over the country and are still in touch with our original boarders. well, those who haven't died by now.

Josette
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Josette » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:35 pm

I have a small setup 6 acres and had a single boarder years ago. I had to constantly remind her to pay her board bill. Her horse was high maintenance with behavior issues - kicking in stall and trying to kick my horses through the fence (private turnouts). After a year I asked her to leave and then had to physically move her too LOL.

When I boarded for about 20+ years I was like Dapple Field described - " In my experience the best boarders are people who are older, don't show, and are mainly pleasure riders." Boarder like us are out there and DF's farm would be the only situation I would consider. However, for me such a farm doesn't exist within a reasonable driving distance.

DJR - based on your pro/con list I still think this farm with indoor is worth serious consideration. It sounds like you are frustrated with having to board out and deal with bad weather then unable to ride. I know that situation and use to hate driving home late on winter night avoiding black ice. I am much older now and do not have the stamina for that anymore.

Srhorselady
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Srhorselady » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:26 pm

When I was first developing my property (5 acres 9 stalls) I had boarders to help finance the property development. I don't know how the Canadian tax situation works, but I found that I didn't make much actual monthly income but running a horse business did mean that I could take off a LOT of expenses on my income taxes. That helped me to get the features I wanted on my property. As for boarders I agree with what has already been said, middle/senior aged pleasure riders or owners with multiple horses. The horses are usually easier than the owners, so more horses with fewer owners works well. Also talk to insurance people before you make your decision and make sure you have an umbrella policy. I also agree with "baggies" supplements or Smartpak. It takes up waaaay too much time putting together individualized supplements for boarders and reminding them when they get low etc. I never had too many problems with shared tack room or getting paid. My property was new so few Maintanance issues. My main problem was getting rid of my boarders (they didn't want to leave) when I went back to work off property. Put all the rules in writing and be very clear about what you are supplying in writing. Have emergency numbers and alternate contacts for every boarder. Decide in advance if you are willing to bandage and medicate. (And how you will charge for it). Some horses can be a real pain, but it IS a nice thing for boarders. If you offer this you can get horse retirees who can be nice boarders. If you haven't ridden in two weeks, it sounds like you need to seriously consider this option. Good luck. :D

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quinta
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby quinta » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:11 am

I don't have much to offer in the way of experience, but following this thread with interest, as we have just purchased 30+ acres in the same part of the country as DJR. The place has great pastures, a lovely barn, but only an outdoor arena. I have no immediate plans to move my one mare away from our current boarding situation (which is fabulous, with one indoor and two outdoor arenas, and onsite FEI coach), but I can't help but think about the trade-offs of having her and or / a trusty trail pony at home.

Seems like it really comes down to whether the benefits of having them at a home with an indoor is worth the higher mortgage + reduced salary + hiring help. I would be leery of being financially dependent on boarders if you haven't had them before. What are the chances that another place might come up with an indoor but lower price? I saw a few places with indoors when we were looking (Ottawa area), but they weren't common, at least in our price range.

Tarlo Farm
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby Tarlo Farm » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:54 am

You also have to consider resale. Trying to get your money out of the investment is another burden to selling property.

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musical comedy
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby musical comedy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:22 am

Some of my comments.

1) I think you are probably stuck at your current place through this Winter unless you are willing to carry
two mortages. Do you have a buyer for your current place? Do you think it will sell quick? Some places
stay on the market for a year or more.

2) The only way to make money having boarders is to have a lot of them, charge a lot for board,
and spend very little on them. It’s not worth the effort to make a couple hundred bucks a horse.

3) Getting ‘reliable’ barn help is no easy feat. They can quit on you in a heartbeat and leave you up a creek
without a paddle.

4) Boarders mean more hay, bedding, grain, manure storage and removal. They rip up your pastures. They
are in the ring when you are riding. They often don’t come every day. If their horse gets sick or has colic
you are stuck with the problem.

5) You are not old (at least compared to me), but you are old to be getting into buying a big farm without a partner.
You might be able to handle your farm work now, but believe me, ten years from now will be a different story.
There is a big difference in stamina for most women between 53 and 63. Furthermore, unless you are getting a 10 year
mortgage, you are going to be forced to work for a long time to pay off the mortgage.

6) You need to think about re-sale value wherever you move. Farms can be harder to sell.

7) I think I know the property you are considering and that house needs a lot of improvement inside. I don’t
like the property at all, but then I’m not you.

piedmontfields
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:12 pm

DJR, my main concern is that to make the numbers work, you seem to need boarders. However, as most boarding barn businesses could tell you, very little money is made from boarders (but lots of work is required---by someone, if not you).

DJR
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Re: For those who got their own indoor arena...

Postby DJR » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:09 pm

All good points, thanks for all the feedback.

I'm realizing that I need to have another serious look at the numbers with a view to NOT having to take on boarders (and if I did, it would be icing on the cake, not a requirement).

Today I'm feeling more drawn to staying put and investing more in this property. Then again, we've had nice weather the last 3 days and we are riding in my lit outdoor arena (which is lovely) even after the sun goes down. Ask me again after more rain, or freezing rain, or snow ...

More thought required ...
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".


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