8. A little about the barn/stable you ride at
I keep our three horses at a private barn in Cupertino. There are 13 horses on the property and 3 of them are ours. Ours at 10, 12, and 16(?) are the youngest horses there. We have a small 3 stall row barn with attached paddocks.
|Our little private barn|
The paddocks also open onto a very small turn-out that can only be used when it’s not too muddy and not too dry (so almost never).
|Turnout behind the paddock|
We have a small tack room/feed room next to our stalls and share space in a much larger tack room up the hill. We mostly use the second space for spare tack and changing.
There are two arenas: a small one right by our stalls – which also doubles as a round pen/turnout/place to roll and a larger one that is about a 1/4 mile ride/walk up the gravel driveway.
Neither area is covered and there is no electricity, so we rely on good weather and sunshine to ride. The mounting blocks and almost all the jumps were built by us so I’ll do a how-to later.
We do have access to trails without trailering out. We can even ride to two different wineries. We have a membership at the one closest to us and go up frequently to hitch our horses and have a wine tasting and/or picnic. The small park with winery near us offers about 3 miles of trails.
|Trails at the winery|
If we go the other direction, we ride about 3 miles through a combination of fire road, actual road, and trails to get to another park which has 13+ more miles of trails. That’s a long trip though.
|The view from the further park is great though|
Our barn was supplied by a well, but that well also needs to supply water to the three houses on the property so the barn was put on a tank and water is brought in a few times a month. We are no longer allowed to do regular baths/rinses. My husband and I will fill a water tank at home and bring it by truck to the barn when we want to wash them. This is all as fun as it sounds.
|Especially when you own 2 palominos.|
We do not really have a trainer although a trainer does run lessons out of the barn about half the year. I’ve taken lessons with her and also had her do some riding on Nilla. There was also a driving trainer who was working with some other ponies at our barn and was in love with Nilla so I had him train her for a while. She’s not a finished driving horse yet (he had to have surgery and took a break) but the training really helped her develop.
|Did you say treat apron?|
Our barn is self-care. Hay and water are provided and we have to do grain/supplements and clean our own stalls. We manage to not go to the barn every single day through a combination of paying some people, doing free leases in exchange for care, and exchanging. We’ve also built a lot of things like our feed bin, mounting blocks, jump standards, and much more. It’s a lot of work, but it allows us to have 3 horses in one of the most expensive places to live in the country. This is where the DIY comes in.
|plus, there are chicken|
As much as I’d love to have an indoor and electricity and water and people who take care of my horses for me and a trainer and all the things anyone reader this thinks I’m crazy to be doing without, I’m grateful every day to be a part of this barn. The owner truly cares about the horses, goes out of her way to help us, and there’s a real minimum of drama at such a small barn. It’s about 5 minutes from my house and 15 from work. And who doesn’t want two tack rooms?