Farm Feature #1
Rollins Farm: A new idea in boarding
Luke Rollins, owner and inventor of Rollins Farm, dreamt of opening a boarding stable that is “cost efficient, and caters to hard working individuals of any age who may or may not be working two jobs or going to college.” His dream is quickly becoming reality.
Rollins Farm focuses on flexibility; far from the “one size fits all” mentality that is seen elsewhere. “Whatever the case may be, at this barn you don’t have to constantly worry about how you are going to come up with monthly board- instead you can take that extra money you saved and spend it on other services for your horse. We all want the best for our horse right?”
It is this focus on the horse’s well-being that makes this farm different. In such trying economic times, many stables are forced to cut corners. Rollins says that potential boarders should look at a stable from care standpoint, “People need to look at the big picture. Are the horses healthy? In good weight? Is it safe for horses? Is the food kept in a nice dry area? Do things seem somewhat organized? Is the owner personable?”
When Rollins first set eyes on the site of his future stable, it was far from inhabitable. Much time was spent cleaning and refreshing the facilities. This task, though daunting, has not dampened his spirits.
My new vision hasn’t come without obstacles. Upon moving into the barn I had to remove large pieces of sheet metal from the soon-to-be arena, remove boards and metal posts from the aisle-ways and remove hundreds of feet of hot wire from the pasture areas; not to mention all the old fly traps hanging all over. The pastures were way overgrown, and stalls had 12-18 inches of dried manure that had to be removed. It was a nightmare!
The farm is still in the works, though it is quite different from what it once was. “I have pretty much mapped out where my new grooming/tack area is going along with the new pastures. I have plans to put in a small observation room after I get the new footing for the indoor arena.”
At the end of the day, Rollins understands his barn is still a work in progress, and some potential boarders will not understand how far he has come, and how much is still left to tackle.
I have had several people come out to look at things and I don’t get too excited, as I know that most people look at the cosmetic aspects of a barn and if it’s not up to par they normally tell me they will call me. I don’t hold my breath.
To a point, what Rollins Farm isn’t, is just as important as what it is.
I have been to some barns where the owner acts like they are running a dictatorship, or barns where the owners will tell you everything and anything you want to hear to get you in as a boarder. Some barn owners will let you work off your board and you’ll never get to see your horse because you’re too busy taking care of theirs and the other boarders. As a new barn owner I intend to run my facility without the Drama and offer discounts to those who are eligible for them (multiple horses, college students for example) I like to be flexible- Adjusting board rates according to your horses needs without forgetting the health and well being of the horse.
Although I don’t quite see the end of the tunnel yet I have come quite a long way! Everyday I do a little more to improve things. I can see how far I have come and I know what still needs to be done.