Tricorne was located about two miles from my home in suburban
Anyway, Tricorne was set on about 10 hilly acres. A secondary road ran across the front of the property, by the main riding arena and a couple of pastures. There was a long dirt driveway uphill to the parking area in front of the barn complex. The original barn was a huge old thing; it basically was a gigantic hayloft, on top of stalls for boarder's horses underneath it (I wish I knew when it had been built, because I bet it was historically significant). There were wings of stabling off to the left and the right. The right side was all boarders, and the left was where the school horses lived, aka "my" domain. I think there was probably room for around 35 horses altogether.
We had a really interesting indoor arena in addition to the outdoor ring. It was quite large, around 150' by 50', and constructed of cinderblocks with a "real" roof (albeit draped with thousands of dirty cobwebs). It probably would have withstood hurricane-force winds. The footing was tanbark or some other kind of brown dirt. I wound up eating plenty of it, so I know how it tasted, but I'm not sure what it was. Needless to say, there was no sprinkler system, so a bunch of horses churning around in there meant the air was absolutely FULL of dust. That's what I meant by eating it - although yes, I also hit the deck quite a few times! And forget about blowing your nose afterwards (gross).
There were pastures on all sides of the barn complex, and the large one behind the school horse barn that was their pasture also had a riding track that ran around the inside. When it was time for the schoolies to go out, they simply opened the back door and went down the aisle unclipping chains from the standing stalls. The horses would back out and crowd down the aisle to freedom. When the horses would come back in, the process would be reversed, and we all knew we'd better be out of the way when they came charging back in the barn to get to their feed. What amazed me was every one of those horses knew exactly where his stall was and would head straight for it.
If you caught that - yes, I'm afraid almost all of the school horses lived in standing stalls. There were a couple of "special" ones that were accorded box stalls, but the majority spent their indoor time in a narrow space, haltered and chained to their mangers, with another chain behind their butts. I can't remember if there were windows; if there were, I'm sure they were covered in dust and cobwebs, like everything else. Once in a while someone would slip his halter (all geldings) and we'd find him turned around, quite excited to see what was going on for a change. Now I would be shocked to find standing stalls in a barn but I guess back then it was not unusual.
Everyone at Tricorne rode Hunter/Jumper. Even if I'd wanted to ride Western, I have no idea where that would have been possible in NJ at that time. George Morris and Hunterdon up in
Tricorne enjoyed a good reputation, but I don't think it was ever viewed as a "top-notch" stable. We had our share of wealthy boarders, but it wasn't a fancy place, and their focus was evenly divided between the boarders and the academy students. It was reasonably safe, the horses were well-fed, the facility was nice enough, and the trainers were good. They held twice-yearly academy shows. This suited me and my family just fine. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities provided to me there to ride and show without having to own my own pony or horse, and I am also forever grateful that my parents were willing to put up with and finance the "horse habit."
Now that I've described the facility, I'll get to the good part in my next post - the HORSES.
(Sorry there are no photos with this post - I have none of just the farm. But there are plenty coming with me in them!)