Over the past year the topic of what to do with the horse has been an intensely debated topic. Being that I'm the primary rider of Toby, leaving town posed a problem. For many different reasons my parents want to sell him. Well ever since the economy tanked it's safe to say the market for buying horses is very, very, very slim. Not many people have the luxury of slapping down several thousands of dollars for a horse than paying insurance and board for it every month. While my parents want to sell him I've been arguing for keeping him even if that means finding a place an hour away that's cheaper. Barn management 101: if you own a fancy show barn in the west county St. Louis you can, on top of the price of board, charge exorbitant fees for just about everything else that is involved with horses. Unless we could find a well kept, cheap place our only option was to give him away to a college equestrian program. When you've spent 4 years with a horse, and it's your only horse (yes there are people with multiple expensive horses) you get to know how it works and moves and what its' personality is like. It's basically like having any other pet, you care about it (and with a horse you put a lot of trust into him that he's not going to decide to be stupid and run off bucking and rearing). Either way I've been upset about the day we were going to have to give him up.
But, recently one of our friends learned about a fairly new place out next to Castlewood park. Aptly named Castlewood stables. Me and my mom went to visit the place the other day, and it's a great little place. It's in the middle of the woods, the kind of quiet place that's impossible to get to on an icy day. The place is exactly the kind of barn I've been wanting to ride at for years. It's a really relaxed atmosphere, unlike the stress of my current barn. People ride both western and english, and they actually wear jeans. At my place I'm the only one who wears jeans, everyone else wears breeches (those tight white pants). The best part of all is that it's dirt cheap and they don't charge extra for a bunch of stupid things that my current barn gets away with. I'm excited about the fact that there's miles trails all around, on both the property and castlewood. They also don't have specific hours, which for us is amazing. As a rider I can't tell you how annoying it is to try and schedule your ride sometime between 9-4 when you've got a million other things to do and there's about 45 other people who need to ride at the same time. So, the moral of the story is that we're more than likely to move Toby to this new place and that makes me happy because now we get to keep him for the rest of his life.