Pasadena horse owners are facing their unique set of issues as the Coronavirus isolation continues. According to Joanne Batch, barn manager for Arroyo Seco Stables in South Pasadena, the biggest issue is that local trails in and around the local hills have been officially closed by the County.
“We’re no longer allowed to take our horses out on the trails, which is the primary way we ride at our barn,” she told Pasadena Weekndr Wednesday.
As Batch explained, “The nature of a horse that’s in the city is that they’re in a 12 foot by 12 foot stall. So they need more exercise than a horse that would be out in a field. You begin to have a dangerous animal on your hands.”
Once the horses begin to feel cooped up and restless, said Branch, “it’s almost impossible to handle them once they become that way. They have to go out.”
With only two outdoor spaces where horses can run around, said Batch, “It’s taking a lot of cooperation to try to keep our space with one another, but also at the same time, make sure that our horses come out of the stalls.”
Though considered a “small” barn with 25 horses, with only two spaces and horses needing to be out for at least 30 minutes to an hour a day, “It kind of puts us in a tight spot,” said Batch.
Batch explained that some horse owners are simply hand-walking their horses just around in the one open space area.
Like many other businesses, another challenge for the barn, is of course, financial.
According to Batch, the barn usually purchases hay every two weeks for “about $1,700,” and purchasing a stockpile is becoming more and more difficult. A number of horse owners have become unable to pay as well, she noted.
The horses themselves, however, all doing fine, says Batch.
“They’re getting a little more grumpy, they’re asking for a little more space,” she said. “You can definitely sense that. But I think some of that is just them feeling the owner’s tension, and things like that.”
As for the owners, they’re learning to adjust and make room for each other, said Batch.
“I have had to put a sign up and I’ve had to talk to people and ask them to make sure that they’re keeping their space and trying to work around one another, and people are starting to fall into kind of a rhythm now.”
Said Batch, “It’s like, ‘Well, I usually come at nine, and you usually come at 11,’ and so I’m trying to work that out. But obviously everybody can’t stick to the exact same schedule every day. So we’re just having to be really patient with one another.”