I really want my own farm. I've hit the wall as far as where I board my horse. The footing in the arena is horrible (wet, slippery, hard-packed dirt that was getting too dangerous for horses to work on and riders to be riding their horses on because of how muddy/slick it was, so the owners scooped up a bunch of dirt/pine needles/sticks/rocks from the back of the property and spread them in the arena). Anyway, it is ridiculously bad for a place that part of our board includes an indoor arena. We have an indoor vacant lot. That isn't all that indoor because the roof leaks so badly that we refer to it as "raining in the arena".
So, I'm torn between staying at this facility that is about to fall down around my ears so I can be with my trainer and my barn friends or moving to a new barn. I've pretty much decided I am moving to a new barn but it breaks my heart to not be in the same place as my trainer and friends. But I don't foresee the owners fixing the footing or the leaking roofs or the rotting support beams or the flooding stalls ever. But I was watching my horse in training today and thinking how great my trainer is with her and how much my horse likes her and really feeling torn. But I deserve safer and better and so does my horse (and so do my trainer and friends but there's not much I can do about that). It's not like there are farms out there just begging for five people and their six horses to come move in not to mention most farms already have resident trainers who don't want another trainer on their turf.
Why is footing such a big deal, you ask? Well here's a quick Footing 101. First off, we're not just riding our horses around hanging out - we don't need an arena for that, we can do that out in the pastures, on trails, down the street, etc. Arenas are used for working out. Would you train for a marathon on a concrete track in a dank, musty basement of a falling down building? Well, that's what this arena is like for our horses when we're working them. Footing is not just dirt, you have to get the right kind of product that will not hard pack so you can't just go dig up some dirt from the back of the lot and spread it on the ground in your arena. You also have to maintain it by going in and "dragging it" with a rototiller or some other device. Sand would be ideal in the arena where I am boarding because not only does it "rain in the arena" to make it wet but also it floods so badly on that property (the owners won't go the distance and create proper drainage) that water comes up from under the flooring. That is a problem in the stalls and in the groom rooms if it rains too much. It feels like you're walking on a floating dock because the boards squish in the water. Which is why all the wood is rotting.
I seriously doubt I would've cracked my sacrum had I fallen on good footing. I may have well have fallen off my horse out on the concrete in the driveway that day - that was about as hard as the footing was. Now it is slightly less hard because it is covered with pine needles and dirt from outside.
On a happier note and I will have to write a post about this soon and all my grand plans - my daughter is excited to start her own garden this year and help me with my gardens. We went out to buy seeds together the other day and it makes me so happy that she is excited about gardening!