He's at my friends pasture but I know I will need more than a field to get us back on track. I've been looking at places. Boarding is so hard. Either the location is perfect but it's too expensive. Or the arena is too small. Or not enough turnout. Or nowhere outside to ride. Over the last year of trying to settle into the right place I have figured out what is a must have for me and what is a want. My last barn had pretty much everything if only the owner wasn't terrible.
Here is a list of my boarding must haves (what are yours?)
1) At least one arena bigger than a small dressage court. Dickie is a big guy and getting bigger. Having a forward horse is really important to me. It's hard for a horse to feel confident moving forward if they are constantly worrying about the next corner. Not to mention the wear and tear on joints.
2) Outdoor arena. I forgot how crazy I go being stuck inside until I was at a barn with no outdoor. Sometimes I ride in the pouring rain just because I can't stand the walls anymore. Plus, most well maintainined barns also have a lesson program of some sort. The outdoor means I always have a place to escape the crowds.
3) Trails or a path around the property. Even a big field would meet this requirement. This is also related to my winter claustrophobia. I have to get out of the arena. I don't have a trailer so I can't just pack up for a trail ride. Hill work is also essential to building a strong balanced horse.
4) Turnout. I want my horse OUT. He gets stir crazy when he's in and it's just not good for horses to be stuck inside. It makes them more prone to colic and ulcers. Turnout on hilly pasture is important for horses with lose stifles.
My other needs are the basics that go without saying (low drama, clean water, safe). Everything else is gravy but I can live without. I don't care if the barn looks run down as long as it is safe. I don't need a fancy tackroom. Washrack is nice but I can use a hose outside if I need to.