Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Highs, Lows and Really Lows

I was hoping to have fun, exciting news to share today but unfortunately I don't. Jay and I just got back from our trip up to West Point and it turned out to be pretty disappointing. I had hoped I'd be able to share about some really cute house we were attempting to buy and neat barns I had found but that just didn't happen.

I did look at three barns and none of them were bad, they were all doable so I don't mean to sound as disparaging as I do. The first barn was pretty nice but a little disappointing for what they charge for board and compared to the pictures on their website. It had an indoor and outdoor arena, nice stalls and some trails. The downside was the price and the feeling I had that I would really stick out like a sore thumb. It was very much a hunter/jumper barn and a quarter horse barn. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against either of those things it's just that the feeling I got was that I would be the weirdo.
One thing every place had in common was amazing views.
The second barn was a bit of a drive. The property was large and the owner was in the process of re-fencing a lot of it so it was a little rough but with the potential to get a lot better. This place had the most amazing indoor arena I've ever seen that was not in a big horse park of some sort. I couldn't even begin to guess at it's size but I wouldn't be surprised a bit if it was as large as 200X300. Seriously it was immaculate with jumps that you see in places like the Kentucky Horse Park. The outdoor arena was a lot smaller than the indoor but still usable. Both arenas had state of the art footing and the outdoor had another set of competition style jumps. There were also trails and a very, very small set of XC type jumps out in a grassy field. The owner is a former Grand Prix show jumper. He did lots of name dropping and had lots of pictures from "back in the day." He's retired now. The downside to this place are the distance, and the lack of borders. I think there was only one or two other borders and I would be riding by myself a lot as the owner has another business during the day.
I'm kicking myself for not getting a picture of that indoor but here are some of the paddocks.
And finally I checked out the West Point Stables. This is an older barn and it is a little run down. However, the people were very friendly, the horses all looked well fed and cared for. There was plenty of turn out areas, although it seems like turn out is limited during certain parts of the year. There are three outdoor arenas but no indoor. There is also a small xc course and lots of trails. The lack of an indoor scares me but the manager said they do plow the outdoor arenas in snow and as long as the temperatures don't get too low they do still ride through the winter. She was honest that the last couple of winters have been very rough, though. The thing that excited me the most about this barn, though, was that the manager was a former Pony Club Graduate and eventer. She knows the eventing scene and that made me feel a little better. I can't find any pictures of this place but you can see a little bit at this link.

Right now it looks like we are going to try and live on post and I plan to board at the West Point Stables. It's a compromise just like every other choice out there but the benefits are less driving for both Jay and me, good schools for the kids and a community with people who share similar backgrounds. The downsides are we can only have two pets. This alone has already caused many, many tears for me and the kids. We don't have an answer yet as to what our plan is but we know that we will most likely have to re-home two of our cats. Our hope is that Jay's mom will take them for us but I don't know. The other downside is that we have no idea what our house will be like or if we'll even get one for a while. It's a long story but basically there are about 50 incoming officers in Jay's grade and right now there are only 18 available houses. Not everyone of those officers will choose to live on post and more houses will most likely come available but still the numbers are not great. If there is no house available that means we have to live in temporary housing until something comes available. Basically it just means a lot of being unsettled.

Sorry for the super long post. Believe me I'm leaving a ton of stuff out. This past week reminded me of all the reasons I really hate being in the military. It's not all bad and I shouldn't complain but it is tough more often than not. Big changes coming at the end of this summer and right now it just looks like a big, black pit of despair looming ahead.

11 comments:

  1. The West Point stables actually sound pretty promising - not having an indoor is a bummer but at least it's not a concern until later in the year and you have time to settle in first. That's really disappointing about the pet rule tho - good luck w your kitties!

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  2. Ugh,so frustrating. I hope things sort themselves out for you guys!

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    2. Thanks! It will. I guess we all have those moments where everything seems horrible but in the end I know things will work out one way or another.

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  3. Sorry that things didn't go as well as you had hoped. The West Point stables do sound promising at least. You can always trailer up to my trainer's for indoor time in the winter! My trainer didn't know anyone in the area specifically to send you to, but he knows of a lot of people, so he may be able to help if you want to know anything else about someone you encounter (like the GP trainer at the second place). Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.

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    1. Thank you! I'm feeling much better. I'll definitely let you know if I think of anything else I might need.

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  4. Moving is tough, and the military makes it even more difficult sometimes. Do you read "If The Saddle Fits" by chance? She is a military wife as well, who obviously rides.

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    1. I had never seen this one. Just checked it out, thanks!

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  5. I do not envy you :( barn and home shopping can be super stressful. I hope you figure out something that works well for you

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  6. I do not envy you :( barn and home shopping can be super stressful. I hope you figure out something that works well for you

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