Bobby lives one town east of Rochester, close enough that you can see hints of the glorious Rochester skyline (that being one building that I'm pretty sure is an apartment complex) as I drive out there from home. It's very much a suburban area, and while there are close to a dozen horse farms and a scattering of hay fields within a five mile radius of where I board, they're all smack dab in the middle of neighborhoods with nice houses and manicured lawns. It's by far the strangest set up of barn life I've ever been at. In fact, I think the land that the barn sits on is zoned for housing and not for ponies.
- Trim $35
- Front shoes $80-90 (although LOLZ not anywhere close to what I pay for Bobby's sneakers)
- Monthly stall board $425-$550
- I don't know anyone that really does pasture board around here. It gets so fucking cold, windy, and snowy that I don't think it's a popular thing.
- When I was searching for barns, I noticed almost all of them had surcharges for all the add-on services: blanket changes, booting, holding for vet and farrier, etc. One even charged you extra for turnout.
- Hay (square bales) $5.75
- The majority of the hay around here goes to the track so it's all premium quality, hence the premium price.
Weather? Anyone that's ever lived in WNY can go ahead and laugh at this one. The weather here changes by the hour--and I mean it can be 50* and sunny one hour and 30* and snowing its ass off the next. Because the barn sits so close to Lake Ontario, it gets a lot of wind. They do, however, usually end up with a lot less snow than we do at my house which sits a little further south. Last year's winter was very mild, and this one has been so far, too. I've lived in NY before though. It can get down to negative double digits with 4'+ of snow for weeks on end. Conversely, 90* in the summer isn't at all uncommon. NY sucks.
Riding demographic? Mostly hunter barns. Really basically all hunter barns. You have to head south to Geneseo to run into eventers and the driving people. There are a couple dressage trainers around that I would never use, and one or two big western guys, but hunter land rules in my area.
- The vet. The main vet is a large practice with several doctors. While they're easy to make appointments with because they have so many vets on staff, they're expensive as shit, and from what I've heard there isn't a single one that people actually prefer. Bleh. I'm going to have to bring someone new in for spring shots to see if I trust them enough to ultrasound Bobby and give me a clear reading on his legs. I'd like to feel confident knowing I can go back to eventing without blowing any important soft tissue structures to smithereens.
- Lack of trails. Because it's a suburban area, unless you want to go wandering down busy paved roads, there's not really anywhere to go for more than a half an hour meandering walk around hay fields close by. I can trailer out to Mendon which is only half an hour away, but having to trailer out for trail rides is kind of a bummer to me.