My plan to have a farm next year is very much so still a go! However, I decided last week that I was going to look into boarding in the meantime. The stress at work has been destroying me, and with the weight of school and everything else in life, I really needed an outlet. A place I could go to get away and de-stress from a long day. I knew I would own a horse when I eventually had my own property, but I decided I would begin soul searching for the right horse now.
First Things First…
I can’t get a horse till I have a stable chosen! I was VERY iffy on this part of the process, finding a stable I actually liked was not something I thought would happen. There was of course a lot of fear on my end of things. Horses tend to be a “women” orientated hobby or sport, so knowing that and debating whether I would fit in or be accepted at a boarding facility was worrying me. I began Googling stables, hoping to find something that would fit. Most places were too far, or too expensive. I called a few stables and visited others, only to be met with disappointment. None of the individuals I spoke to at these stables were too thrilled about friendly communication, it felt more like a business transaction. I had heard enough horror stories, to know that I did NOT want to board my future horse at a stable that felt off, or unfriendly; so I continued my search.
The Potential Stable
This past Friday I was contacted by a woman who was responding to my Craigslist post seeking boarding. She introduced herself and structured her email very well. There was talk of a possible opening at her stable come summer. I wasn’t looking for a stall that far down the road, but obliged and thanked her while saying she could keep me posted on availability. Later that evening I received another email back from her, she had seemed a bit puzzled; but told me one of the boarders there decided to pull their horse from boarding as they were going to be moving, so a stall was going to be available next week. This was good news and a surprise for me. We set up a time for me to come by and tour the stable the next day.
Trip to The Stable
It was a 35-38 minute commute to the stable, it was located on a road filled with other pastures and farms, not too far from the highway. I pulled into the long drive and made my way back to the barn. I sat in my car for a few moments, unsure just yet if I had turned onto the right property, when a woman waved with a smile as she walked up to my car. I got out and introduced myself, and she confirmed I was in the right place. I was led into a small barn with around 10 stalls, in the walk-way a beautiful draft horse was tied. Baji was the horses name, it was her horse which she was in the process of brushing out when I drove in. I fed him some treats and we began our long conversation. We took a tour of the grounds, and she explained that while it was not a fancy stable, they housed a lot of good people and horses.
Too Good to be True?
I will admit, I was skeptical… she was very friendly and honest, but I had seen too many ugly things from people to trust her right off the bat. I had thought it would be a quick visit, but I ended up being there for a couple hours. I explained my situation to her and told her a bit about myself. I was open, and honest which I felt she appreciated. I also mentioned to her that it was very important to me that the people at the stable and other boarders were accepting of a male rider and beginner. She understood and gave me a little background on the other boarders, I got the feeling they were all at this stable for a similar reason as I was; we didn’t want the clicks and expectations of a high end stable. These individuals here were much like me, enthusiasts that loved their horses and just wanted to spend time with them.
I Knew This Was the Place
I was more and more convinced that this was the stable for me. We got on the subject of how I would find a horse, since I had yet to purchase one. She was not hesitant at all to offer her help. She even offered to help me with hauling and transporting a horse to the stable when I did find one. I was surprised once again, that someone I had only just met was so willing to do all this for a stranger. I had explained that I expected it to be a few weeks to a month before I found the right horse, and that I wouldn’t feel right if she held the stall for me when she could rent it to someone else sooner. She insisted she had no problems holding the stall for as long as I needed, that finding the right horse is not something you can rush. I agreed and we left it at that.
We said our parting words and I gave Baji another pat before heading back to my car, she was positive that together we would find the right horse for me, and that things would work out well at the stable. Her positivity was a nice change of pace compared to how much negativity I’m usually around.
Good People Still Exist!
Driving away I still wasn’t too sure she would really help as much as she said, after all; everyone else has usually let me down. Later that evening as I was getting ready to head to bed, I received an email. It was from the woman I met at the stable earlier in the day. Attached in the email were links to horse ads she said she came across while doing some looking for me. It wasn’t just one email either, she had sent a couple that night, showing me different horses that may be a possible prospect, as well as put a word in with their farrier that I was seeking a horse. I was shocked to say the least… if I was a guy that cried I would have cried happy tears in that moment, I was amazed that she meant what she said and she was following through. She was helping me in whatever way she could, just as she said. Since that night we have exchanged many emails and are currently still on the hunt for that one horse; but I have so much more peace of mind now, knowing I have found the place where I was meant to board at. This was the start of something very positive.