Winter Facilities Care and Etiquette

Good day fellow horse afficianados!! December is here, El Nino is on its way, and the long, hot days of summer are a mere memory. We turn our attention to the cares of winter…warm coats, umbrellas (hopefully), and juggling time with our favorite friends, the four legged residents of Arriba Vista Ranch. We wanted to take a few minutes to remind everyone of winter’s special needs in a facility of any size, but especially in one as large as our community.

Basic etiquette reminds us to be mindful in turnout. Stay nearby when your horses are out for a bit of play time and be aware of those who may be waiting for their turn to use the turnout pens. Everyone has time crunches from time to time but most especially during the shorter days of the winter season. Rainy weather can also render some or all of our turnouts unsafe for use. This results in fewer turnout pens available and shorter turnouts allowed to give everyone a chance to get their horses out! Please simply keep an eye open and be courteous to one another :o) ***Of special note is that ARENAS are not turnouts. The vigorous play of the horses tears up and destroys the base of the arenas, drastically shortening the life of the footing and base.

We are fortunate at Arribavista to offer four arenas and 220+ acres for your riding pleasure. However, once the wet weather sets in, we suddenly find ourselves with only two viable options for riding and lunging our horses—the small indoor arena and the larger covered arena, both of which have very recently had their bases and footing replaced. As we are quite accustomed to having ample elbow room to work and play with our horses, the sudden appearance of downsizing creates the strangest set of growing pains! Please exercise caution when riding in crowded arenas and look out for one another.

Turnouts, of course, are not viable in the arenas as we’ve already discussed, but also, please do remember that riding takes priority over lunging and to keep your lunging in the small indoor arena.

WET ARENAS pose special problems. Damage to the base is very likely when an arena is ridden on wet but even more importantly is the risk to rider and horse. We want all of our riders and horses to avoid injury. Please exercise good judgment should you encounter an overly wet arena and choose to forego using that arena until it is safe again!!

Lighting can be an issue this time of year, as well. By all means, use the lighting as much as you need. Simply remember to turn the lights off on your way out if you happen to be the last one to head home!!

Last but not least, let us please find patience with one another.:) We are all friends, family practically, and enjoy one another… but then there is that winter thing where we all start to feel hemmed in and cramped and begin to feel the stress of the season. So, take a deep breath when frustration sets in and remember that we like each other and we are all trying to achieve the same goal … a little relaxation with our favorite friends!!