All Aboard the Good Ship Mutiny

If you think about it, boarding stables are a bit like pirate ships.  You've got your scallywags, your good-for-nothings, your *tack* thieves, your loyal compatriots, people who love the sauce, people who love to swear, and the occasional parrot (CobJockey, I'm looking directly at you on this one).

Like any good pirate ship, you're going to have to deal with a mutiny at some point.  Now I myself have been feeling a hair mutinous recently, but have kept it to myself (see: people pleaser who hates to tell people when I'm upset about anything they're doing or have done).  But suddenly the entire barn has erupted in it.  People are parking their horses out front and just talking, which is typically not a good sign at a barn.

The mutiny is both good and bad.  Good because hopefully the issues at the barn will finally be addressed; bad because the people who own the barn are good people who don't know a whole lot about barn ownership and thus I feel bad for them (see people pleaser comment above).

Here's the backstory as to what led to the rebellion.  Our barn has two main arenas.  One is indoor, one is outdoor.  The outdoor is large and in-charge in the summer/fall.  Everyone would rather use the outdoor.  But that's only when it's available.  I live in Colorado, and winter = snow, here.  So you can imagine we haven't been using the outdoor.  That means everyone and their mother (sometimes my mother ;)) is in the indoor.  The indoor is pretty tight, but that's not the real issue. 

The real issue is that the footing is dirt.  This isn't a huge deal until it gets too cold to water the footing with the overhead sprinkler system.  Suddenly you can't see from one end of the arena to the other.  It is DUSTY.  I feel like a coal miner in there, and can only imagine the black lung Gavin and I are slowly acquiring. 


I can actually feel the grit in my teeth.  When I spit, which I do because of said grit, it comes out brown.  It's gross.  This wasn't an issue last year, as the barn manager at the time would just water with a hose, turn the footing over, and repeat.  It's not the world's greatest footing, but it does just fine.  That manager left, and in her place, the property owner's came in.  Like I said, nice people, but not barn managers.

Everyday that we tack up our horses and optimistically march them to the indoor only to be met with a brown haze is one more day that we can't really ride our horses properly.  My friend's horse, who is typically a saint, has turned into a bit of a pig from the lack of real exercise.  But Sterling isn't the only one developing a bad attitude; it seems to have spread to all of the boarders.  And that is a scary thing. 

As sorry as I feel for the barn owners, and I do, they are good hearted people, they're also running a business, and that business charges me a price indicative of having an indoor arena.  I can't use the indoor, though.  I don't want to be just another boarder nagging at them as I'm sure they've got plenty of that, but I'm not sure if I should just stay silent either, as I know the arena smog is bad for me and bad for Gavin.  And I don't want to go from being Real Old Tom to being Dead Tom.

Any thoughts or suggestions on footing fixes?