Meet Ronaye


My story…

I had no idea what journey I was about to embark on when I decided to follow my passion for horses again in 1999.

At the time I worked as a web developer and project manager at an educational institution in the IT department. We rented a little cabin in the midst of a forest and commuted an hour each way to work.

As a young girl of eight I was taught in Holland to ride horses using traditional methods, but lost interest in my late teens.

Apart from financial constraints and having to get a career going I was also really missing something in my relationship with horses. I would ride off and on, but in 1999 the movie The Horse Whisperer created a turning point for me.

I picked up the thread with horses again and started to learn about Natural Horsemanship with my green broke lease horse. This journey evolved into me buying my first three year old untrained horse a few years later. I went through the experience of looking for a boarding facility and being a boarder before having my horses on my own property.

The journey didn’t stop there. We bought the property with the intent of building a second house, but in order not to lose the use of the first, we needed to get farm status. Since I knew about horses and rules to qualify for farm status now included the buying, training and selling of horses, we needed a barn. I could rent out a couple of stalls while I was at it! Apart from an old riding arena, there was NOTHING here.

I spent months researching and designing the barn, paddocks, roadways and pastures, before we ever even broke ground. My experience with the natural horsemanship made me very aware of what horses needed. My previous boarding experiences taught me about the things I liked and didn’t like in a boarding facility. It also taught me about many safety aspects that typically got overlooked.

When I was looking around for board I learned about the different boarding options available and what worked and didn’t. Buying my first horse taught me about the whole new world of horse ownership and the associated experience of dealing with the day-to-day care, vet and farrier visits but also the whole feeling of being a newbie. Having a young untrained horse taught me about what I needed in support from instructors and training aids. And the list goes on. Everything I had touched in my journey with horses became my direct input for my barn and boarding facility.

But because I was building my barn from scratch, I put even that much more research and thought into every aspect of the usability and efficiency of the barn, the ease of cleaning, maintenance, the safety aspects, the well being of the horses, the needs of the vet and farrier, hay trucks and other service vehicles that needed to visit the facility. I can tell you, not much got missed and my boarders, vet and farrier will attest to that.

When we finally broke ground I figured the barn was going to be finished in three to four MONTHS. Two YEARS later I finally finished the barn to the point where I could open up for business. While I still had my regular full-time job, I did all the costing, ordering of materials, organizing the trades and even worked alongside with them.

I designed and redesigned a lot of the barn hardware used in and around my barn for the purpose of efficiency and safety. I never thought I’d learn about framing, electrical or plumbing. I had to be an “expert” at just about everything even if it was just to make sure that the “professionals” did their job right!

So many times I had to crawl back in and redo the work they did because they made a mess out of things. It’s “just a barn” people kept saying. My answer never changed “it’s not just a barn, it’s MY barn.” Get used to it.

Five years after setting foot on the property, the place has been transformed. I have my farm class, three mares for breeding, one horse I use for lessons, one who is my riding horse, and one to be sold.

The barn is full with ten boarded horses and I have two part-time employees. I train horses and teach people about natural horsemanship. And now I’ve even written a book. If you had told me in 1999 that this is what my life was going to look like, I NEVER would have believed you!

So… why am I putting myself out to the world?

Part of my screening process for my boarders is that I visit their horses. Not only do I get to meet the horse, I also get to see the conditions in which they have to live.

I have been appalled with some of the things I’ve seen and how unsafe or unfriendly some places are for horses. I also hear about a lot of the frustrations and fears people have and why they are looking around for a better home. When people visit, I notice how much gets overlooked.

I have seen how unprepared people are when they buy a new horse. I have also seen how frustrated people are when looking for a new home for their horse and I can so relate because I’ve been there!

As you’ve figured out by now, I have a very unique perspective. Not only have I been the uninformed boarder and new horse owner, I have also built a complete boarding facility from scratch and that includes designing the environment for the horses but also the business side of things of the actual running of the facility. I have walked both sides of the fence for considerable miles.

Ultimately, I want to see our horses have a safe, happy and healthy life. They are at our mercy and depend on the decisions we make.

So, whether you are looking to board your horse or take care of other people’s horses, there is lots of information for me to share that benefits you. So by helping you, I’m also helping our horses :)

Ronaye Ireland

  • Do you have that nagging feeling that you may be paying too much for board and are worried that your horse may not be happy? Finding the right horse boarding stable doesn't have to be that overwhelming ... When you have the RIGHT information at your finger tips! Pick up a copy of my book How to Find Trouble Free Horse Boarding, Even if You are New to Horses.

    Do you have that nagging feeling that you may be paying too much for board and are worried that your horse may not be happy? Finding the right horse boarding stable doesn't have to be that overwhelming ... When you have the RIGHT information at your finger tips! Pick up a copy of my book How to Find Trouble Free Horse Boarding, Even if You are New to Horses.

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