In the spring of 2013 my husband and I made the difficult decision to leave Texas and return to Central New York where he grew up. It wasn’t the first time we had lived in N.Y.; all of my children were born in Rochester, N.Y. We loved Texas but, between job considerations and the call of extended family, it was time to go back.
We had moved many times before so the house selling, house hunting, school hunting, and all the rest we had down pat. What we hadn’t done before was move two horses halfway across the country. Clearly I had a lot of research to do, both to find a way to transport the horses and to find a boarding facility in N.Y. Since I knew the general area that we would be moving to, I decided to start with finding a way to transport the horses to N.Y. My husband suggested that we purchase a trailer, but I soon nixed that idea. First, a decent trailer that could go the distance was going to cost us at least $9,000, and I didn’t feel at all confident getting the horses all the way from Texas to N.Y. without the help of a professional. Through my research I learned that when transporting horses it is best not to stop along the way, other than for short breaks. I knew that there was no way my husband and kids were going to be willing to drive all that way without stopping somewhere over night. In my mind I also had this horrifying image of me getting the horses out of the trailer only to find they wouldn’t go back in again!
Realizing that I would need to hire a professional company to transport the ‘boys’, I got to work. I used Google to create a list of equine transportation companies in our area. It turned out that there were quite a few. After calling each company and asking a set of questions that I had prepared, I looked for online reviews of each company and made sure there were no outstanding criminal complaints against them. After taking into consideration price, stall options, and customer service, I choose Equine Express. Based out of Pilot Point, Texas, this company met all of my needs and then some.
So, with transportation taken care of, I now had to find a barn to keep the horses. This was going to be difficult. There was so much to consider: size, lesson options, price, quality of care… Oh, there was so much to consider! I created a list of barns to explore by using NewHorse.com, and by completing a Google search of boarding stables in the area where we were hoping to live. I managed to narrow down my list after looking at the websites and reading reviews posted on line (hallelujah for the internet! ). My list was long, but there was one stable that really stood out, so I planned to visit that one first.
My research complete, we flew to New York to find a house and, hopefully, a barn. Unbeknownst to us, we flew into Syracuse 48 hours before a blizzard was due to hit the area. The entire next day was spent looking at houses, and by that night we had narrowed it down to two. Since both houses were in the same area, we felt confident to start looking at barns. The next morning, 24 hours before the storm hit, my teenage son came down with one of the worst cases of stomach flu I’ve ever seen. We left him with family while we went to tour the first barn on our list – Tanglewood Riding Center. Nestled among green rolling hills, this beautiful barn is situated on 100 acres of trails. We felt at home from the second we walked in, having been greeted by the owner, an amazing horsewoman who still rides at the Age of 84! The facility was impeccably clean and spacious. The stalls were roomy, and every horse looked happy and healthy. Two large indoor arenas, two out door riding rings, and numerous turnout pastures rounded out the tour. The owner was personable and answered all of my questions. This was the barn to beat. We left feeling satisfied, but knew it would be wise to look at some other barns on our list. Only, we got sick – really sick. Before we could get to another barn my husband, daughter and I all got hit with the same stomach bug that had brought down my son only hours earlier.
At the time, this seemed anything but funny. Now, however, we look back and say that it was meant to be. Since we were too sick to look at any more barns, we decided on Tanglewood. It was as if a higher power was telling us not to look any further. Now, I cannot imagine entrusting our horses to any other barn. They have become like family and have impacted our lives in so many wonderful ways.