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View Full Version : Rude or not? Prospective boarders showing up unannounced



onelanerode
Jan. 22, 2009, 04:30 PM
BOs/BMs, do you think it's rude for someone to show up at your farm without calling and want you to talk with them about boarding at your farm? Would you be willing to overlook it if the person seemed to be a good fit in your barn, or would such behavior automatically rule this person out if you had an opening?

I've been wondering this for a while, having seen both ends of the spectrum and everything in between. Personally, I would call/e-mail first and set up an appointment. I think it's rude to show up unannounced — most BOs/BMs are pretty busy (and if they aren't, you probably don't want to board there) and have a schedule they need to stick to. If I were a BO/BM, I would probably be turned off by someone who did this, but I might be willing to overlook it if the person seemed to be a good fit in the barn. I would just be worried that such behavior would indicate a lack of consideration overall.

OTOH, being a boarder, I could understand wanting to show up unannounced to see if horses really did get hay X times a day, or water troughs were clean and filled, or the arena lights really did work, or whatever.

Thoughts?

Simkie
Jan. 22, 2009, 04:35 PM
Do you have your contact info on a sign at the property entrance?

Plenty of times, I've just driven around looking for boarding barns. If the info is out there, I'll give the number on the sign a call. If not, I'll just stop in.

So many barns aren't listed in the phone book but do board, and so many times I've heard from others that "barn on xyz street" boards, but they may not be able to remember the name of it.

I don't expect people to drop what they're doing to show me around, but I do expect to be told if they're accepting new boarders and for what rates. Nobody has ever said "no" when I ask if I could just take a look around.

If you really don't want people to drop in, put a gate on your drive, with a sign that has your number and "visitors by appointment only."

Kementari
Jan. 22, 2009, 04:42 PM
I've never done it, but I can see how if you were just driving down the road and saw a nice big barn and were interested, you might stop in. I almost did this the last time I was looking, as there was a big barn for whom the only number I had was no longer in service (very rural area, so not a lot of web presence or anything). I figured I'd just pop in one day on my way by, but ultimately I got the right number from someone else and called.

I think dropping in to someone's backyard barn is rude - that's their home. But a big business-type barn? I think it's unwise, as you don't know who will be there or if they'll have time to talk to you, but I'm not sure that it's rude, per se.

Personally, I'd rather get recommendations than just pop up unannounced - ONE visit isn't going to tell you much about the way things are, anyway, and it's certainly at least something of an inconvenience (how much would depend on what else was going on at the time...).

I can't speak to it from a BO's perspective, though, since I'm not one... ;)

Sparky
Jan. 22, 2009, 04:45 PM
I'm a BO and don't mind people stopping by to check us out, in fact I can tell a great deal about them from a short visit. If they immediately understand that we have a daily schedule to maintain, and they're willing to tag along while we answer questions, then they would probably fit in. If they want us to drop everything and focus on them for too long, then I've got a pretty good idea they wouldn't want to board here. So, no, it doesn't bother me at all.

Penthilisea
Jan. 22, 2009, 04:49 PM
While I can certainly see how this could be considered rude, I have done this MORE then a few times. Generally I hadn't been able to find a phone # for the farm, other times I wanted a look around when it wasn't "show ready".

Rev
Jan. 22, 2009, 04:52 PM
I think so much of it depends on the context of how they "unannounce" themselves.

My location is pretty visible and on a well-travelled route. The Farm # is prominently displayed. So, I've become accustomed throughout the week to fielding calls of, "We're here at the gate and interested in XYZ, can we come in?" The nickle tour will vary depending on my availability or who on staff is able to escort them, but I don't take umbrage to the request. I extend that courtesy to families with horse-crazy children or nostalgic old-timers in the car, too.

OTOH, when the dogs "announce" that someone has come on in and is showing themselves around or a staffer happens upon a lookyloo...Mother Teresa herself would have a hard time overcoming my initial impressions. Lack of consideration is the kindest thought that flashes through my mind in those circumstances. "Casing the joint" and "PITA" are more common immediate reactions. ;)

I'm sensitive to the desire of potential boarders to see the "real live" day to day operations. When setting appointments, I will usually outline the daily routine and provide the opportunity to "swing in at their convenience" on a given day when I'll be available to tour and talk. Ditto for potential students--I'll glance over the scheduled lessons, note any that are similar to their age/level/interests and suggest a set appointment before or after so they may stay and audit if they wish.

There's my thoughts. That & $3.50 will buy you a fancy coffee. It's a bit of a moot point for me since I've seriously scaled back (aka quit! akk!) to all but a few long-time clients this year.

cheers,
Rev

smid2
Jan. 22, 2009, 04:53 PM
At my barn (I'm a boarder and employee), we don't mind if you drop by as long as someone is there. There is not always someone on the property to help show people around, answer questions and the like. There is a sign with a number posted and we don't mind if people call ahead of time to get times when someone is around who can help them out. That being said, if you do make an appointment, SHOW UP PLEASE! We had one person call wanting to move their horse in ASAP, so a bunch of us pitched in real quick to get the stall set up and ready for the horse. This was 3 weeks ago and still no sign of the horse or even of the owner coming to check us out. *sigh*

Ibex
Jan. 22, 2009, 04:54 PM
When I'm looking I WANT to be able to come by unannounced. BUT... I'm also not expecting the grand tour. I want to see what it looks like on a daily basis, and will happily make an appointment to come back another time for a more official look.

joiedevie99
Jan. 22, 2009, 04:55 PM
I have a few horses and have had to move them (to different barns) quite a few times (college, law school, job). I generally always stop in unannounced - though not at backyard type places. If someone is busy, I always offer to come back at a better time or ask for a phone number and a price list and will call to set up an appointment- but most times someone takes 10 minutes to give you the basics. I also like to be able to change things up during my visits (which aren't usually from down the street or the same state). I stop at the tack shop and ask for recommendations just in case anyone important didn't make it on the list for one reason or another. The barn my show horse is currently at was a recommendation from this board, and I did call her first because I couldn't find the barn she was at- but I did stop by that same day after finding out she was there and getting the address.

My last retirement barn shopping trip was the first time I ever made appointments because I had to get them all done in a day as I was driving in from several hours away. Those also tend to be the types of places without a staff that has regular working hours- and can generally be found on a Tuesday afternoon. I never stop in anywhere on a Monday- and try to avoid weekeneds when people may be away showing.

cloudyandcallie
Jan. 22, 2009, 04:58 PM
When I'm looking I WANT to be able to come by unannounced. BUT... I'm also not expecting the grand tour. I want to see what it looks like on a daily basis, and will happily make an appointment to come back another time for a more official look.

Me too. I've dropped in just to check out a barn I was interested in. I didn't want or expect a tour, just a brief look, and then I could come back later for the tour. It's a good way to see how the barn and horses look when there's not a show or clinic going on, and I don't think it's rude if it is a boarding barn.

Now a semi-private, backyard barn, requires an appointment. Don't want to go trampling across someone's back yard to see her/his little barn.

Jo
Jan. 22, 2009, 05:13 PM
I found my favorite trainer this way - was in search of a different barn, went past this one, threw the car in reverse, and never looked back! Theoretically speaking, of course. :)

Giddy-up
Jan. 22, 2009, 05:15 PM
I've done drop by's. But never at odd times--late, early, feed time. I make sure there are vehicles there & I don't just go in the barn strolling around. I ask if the BO/BM has a minute & ask for a rate sheet, maybe some quick basic questions if they can. I don't expect some fancy grand tour, I can come back for that if it's a place I can afford & it appears on the inside to be somewhere I'd want to board.

BuddyRoo
Jan. 22, 2009, 05:23 PM
Maybe it's just because I've had a few bad experiences where I made an appointment, all looked well...but once I decided to board, I found out that "special effort" is put into scheduled visits that is NOT the norm.

IE: Clean stalls or turnout or barn staff poking horses with pitchforks or all horses blanketed for my visit because they're thin, but BO doesn't normally blanket.

As a result, I am happy to schedule a visit...but I still want to drop by unannounced and make sure that things appear as they should. I don't expect sunshine and roses, but I want a snapshot of what "normal" is.

So....if it was a large boarding facility (as opposed to a ma & pa backyard deal) I'd likely stop by, take a peek and then ask to schedule a formal appt and tour.

Blue Yonder
Jan. 22, 2009, 05:32 PM
My "backyard" barn is on 100 acres. I am the sole caretaker of the beasties. I would mildly flip out if someone appeared at my barn arbitrarily. Although if the barn was large enough to have lots of in-and-out traffic, perhaps it wouldn't be quite the big deal it would be here where it's just a few of us.

I highly suggest an appointment for or quick call before the FIRST visit. Why? Respect for the owners/workers and their schedules, for one. You'll need basic boarding info, and the way to be sure you can get that is if you know someone will meet you! And turnabout being fair play, if you boarded your horse somewhere, how would you feel about un-vetted strangers wandering around your horse?

At the first visit, if the "vibe" is right and you might be interested in boarding there, ask if you can visit unannounced and what the barn hours are. If I don't know you from Adam and come across you traipsing through my barn, messing with my and my boarder horses, that would be a very bad first sign!!

HydroPHILE
Jan. 22, 2009, 05:51 PM
I think it depends on what "unannounced" visit means. If I know the barn has an office attached or know that the farm has an office somewhere on site, I'd stop in for a visit unannounced, but I would NOT wander the grounds or the barn without arriving and immediately reporting to the barn manager/barn owner.

Blugal
Jan. 22, 2009, 06:24 PM
In addition to the above-mentioned reasons to stop by unannounced, I've done it because:

a) I tried calling during "normal" hours but no answer, repeatedly. I don't call strangers before 8 am or after 9:30 pm.

b) the barn down the street (or the tack shop) said the barn was looking for boarders

c) your granddaughter told me to stop by and ask for you because you might have an unadvertised spot open in your private barn

d) The BO me to stop by but forgot I was coming and didn't tell you! Understandable, but then being hostile when I show up...

e) The barn advertises in those sales magazines that they're always happy to have visitors...

Meredith Clark
Jan. 22, 2009, 07:09 PM
I've stopped in unannounced by only by reference.. like when i was looking for a boarding barn and someone would say "oh you should check out Joe's place, I boarded there for months and he's great, he doesn't do e-mail and is bad with messages so just stop by"

I do know that if I do this I have to be prepared for the BO/BM to be too busy.

I have my own barn now (totally backyard barn) and I've had people stop by unexpectedly. It can be a bother if i'm in a rush (I work and i'm a full time college student!) but I know that I have a reputation to build so I always try to be nice.

RU2U
Jan. 22, 2009, 07:10 PM
I always stop by unannounced. I want to see what a barn looks like, not a dog and pony show, If you don't have time for me that's fine. If you have an opening mind if I take a look around? Alot of people don't adv. their barns so most of the best barns I have boarded at were a knock on the door.

Barns are a business and typically are open 9 - 5 just like any other business. If they don't want anyone around well, chances are they have something to hide and I wouldn't want to board there anyway.

EqTrainer
Jan. 22, 2009, 07:14 PM
I think this is one of those things that really depends.

Some barns are small and private. If it has a perimeter fence and a gate, entering without permission is, in my mind, an absolute NO. I feel this is flat out trespassing.

If it is a big barn, with easy access and obvious traffic coming and going, with a sign stating their business name if nothing else, then yes, I might carefully drive up and try to figure out how to find someone in charge. I would not poke around, check things out, look at horses - no, I would be all business and try to not get into anything or anywhere I shouldn't be.

mkevent
Jan. 22, 2009, 07:17 PM
I have a small back yard barn and one of my favorite boarders came this way!! I've never been upset when people stop by and ask-I've even done it myself! I think as long as people seem polite in how they enter your property-i.e. go up to the house first, or if they see you in the barn they wait by the fence until you come to them, then it's ok. I think sometimes the best way to find things out is to ask! I also get to speak with that person and get a vibe as to whether or not I think he/she will be a good fit before I even let it known if I have a stall available. I feel alot more comfortable speaking face to face than over the phone because you also get a feel about a person by his/her body language,facial expression,etc.

Linny
Jan. 22, 2009, 07:18 PM
If you are a boarding and/or lesson barn and are to a certain extent open to the public, you will have to accept walk ins. If the property gives the appearance of a "public" space (parking lot with alot of cars, appearance of traffic in and out, posted hours of operation etc) you have to assume that some folks are going to walk in. If it is your private farm and you don't want visitors at random the best thing is to post "private" signs near the road. If you DO take boarders into your "private" barn (I rode at such a place, leasing one of the owner's horses) then you have to figure that you wont get possible business via walk in or someone saying "There's a pretty big barn down on Rte X that might do boarding."
If I was looking for a new place, I'd first try email and or phone but honestly, barns are not always great at getting back to callers and checking email. I once recommended the lesson barn where I was riding to a friend who asked about lessons for her child. She called 3x and no one ever called her back. She complained to me and I took the friend and daughter to the barn and "put her in the BM's face." The kid's still riding 2 years later, doing little shows etc. If I (who rode a boarders horse once a week) hadn't taken her in there, she surely would have gone to the place down the road a mile or so.

At every place I've ever ridden, at least once, I've encountered someone looking for lessons or boarding or training. It's part of running a business. Most folks, if they are horsey (maybe looking to move horse) understand that they wont get the grand tour. Maybe they prefer that. Remember, they are the (potential) clients and when they walk in unannounced and are met with a "DID YOU MAKE AN APPOINTMENT???!!!" they might be far less inclined to board their 3 fancy horses and a baby in full training with you. You never know who ou may be turning away.

Percheron X
Jan. 22, 2009, 07:27 PM
If there was a sign by the entrance advertising boarding than I would expect that some may stop by unannounced to see the barn. But if there are no signs, then I would consider it an imposition to come without calling first.

The more you make the "public" aware of your business, the more you must expect people to become interested. If you don't want anyone to stop by without first calling, then have that on a sign at the entrance..... and even then expect a few to show up on occasion.

coloredhorse
Jan. 22, 2009, 09:17 PM
When I ran a boarding barn, this was my policy: Potential boarders had to call me and make a definite appointment to meet with me for the first visit. If we talked and agreed that my place would fit your needs, then you went home with a boarding contract, list of barn rules and a few other documents to review. This meant that not only do you desire to move a horse to my operation, but also that I find you acceptable as a client. At the conclusion of the visit, my last comments to you are: "Feel free to stop by anytime to check things out further. The usual daily chore schedule is on Page X of the papers I gave you, if there is something in particular you would like to see."

If you left without any papers and without the above open invitation, it meant that I did not find you acceptable as a client and you were not welcome to come back.

Anyone who showed up unannounced was informed of the policy, escorted off the property and asked to call to set up an appointment. The only exception was an associate of a current client who came with that client as her/his guest. In such a case, if I had time, I might chat briefly. Otherwise, I would provide a fee schedule and instructions to call to set up an appointment to talk more in depth.

Now this was a very small boarding-only business not generally open to "the public." Driveway was gated and we were in a no-man's-land between commercial and residential areas. Random traffic was discouraged, both for liability and security reasons. Tack and equipment theft, even horse theft, was relatively common in this area, so random people wandering in were strongly discouraged.

As far as having something to hide ... not at all. This was a place I rented because I wanted to keep my horses there. It was too much for just mine, so I took in boarders as a small side business. Advertising was minimal and mostly word-of-mouth. I interviewed potential clients every bit as aggressively as they interviewed me, often moreso. I had my program and if you fit in, great; if you didn't, here are a few places you might like. This was basically an extension of my backyard and hobby, not my actual living-wage-earning business. People tramping in and out randomly was just not on the docket. Those 3 fancy horses and baby in full training? Ugh. No way; I'd refer those folks to my trainer or others in the ares!

Jsalem
Jan. 22, 2009, 09:35 PM
That just wouldn't bother me at all. I would hope that a prospective boarder would see us as we are and feel comfortable with our professionalism.

I do think it's wierd that I have some neighbors that drive up unannounced with grandchildren and walk through my barn to visit the horses. When I see them I ask if I can help them and they just say, "Oh we live down the street and we're just visiting." Kinda strange, but I'm too polite to say, "please go away".

Woodland
Jan. 22, 2009, 09:41 PM
BOs/BMs, do you think it's rude for someone to show up at your farm without calling and want you to talk with them about boarding at your farm?


Yes I do think it is RUDE! I work away from the farm during the day. I do not like or care for STRANGERS wandering about my place. What if they opened a gate or forgot to latch something? Smoked in my barn or antagonized my dogs? Walked in my pastures or entered a stall :eek:

For heaven's sake CALL FIRST! I have nothing to "hide" I just want to be here to check you out before I allow you all over my place :yes:

If people call and tell me they "inspected my farm" as a potential boarding situation while i was not at home they can NEVER EVER board here PERIOD! They over stepped the line. And if they did it once can you imagine if you invited them in afterward knowing how RUDE and presumptuous they were :eek:

Jaegermonster
Jan. 22, 2009, 09:57 PM
If it were a training/lesson/public barn, they should at least be open to people to let them look around, maybe make an appointment to talk about rates or whatever. If I did have an appointment, I always came early. I never expected anyone to wait on me, I can walk around and see what i need to see.

I do take in a few boarders here at my house but it's a private residence, not a lesson barn. A few folks have just come up to the gate and asked if they can see the barn,which is fine, but I do check their id and write down their tag number. If they don't "feel right" I tell them I'm not taking boarders and that's that. I do have my property perimeter fenced and gates are kept locked, along with a bunch of dogs :)

I was always leery of barns that only wanted people to come at set times and such. What don't they want me to see?

Marengo
Jan. 22, 2009, 10:38 PM
I wish every barn had a website with up to date pictures and they responded to email quickly. Unfortunately many barns, and most of the good ones I've been to, don't even have an email address. I feel strongly that is it alright to stop at someone's barn and knock on their door if its during business hours. It is not alright to wander around, walk into fields and pet horses. If they're not home, I leave but honestly there is no better way to catch a busy horse person than to just show up. If the property is gated then of course I wouldn't hop the gate but what's wrong with driving up and knocking on their door? Do any of you find it rude when strangers knock on your door for a non-horsey request? Aren't there still kids selling chocolates and girl guide cookies who show up unannounced?

Jaegermonster
Jan. 22, 2009, 10:46 PM
Do any of you find it rude when strangers knock on your door for a non-horsey request? Aren't there still kids selling chocolates and girl guide cookies who show up unannounced?[/QUOTE]


Unless they are visibly in distress, like visible and copious amounts of blood, yes I do.

I don't like people showing up at my home unexpected. but as I said, my entire property is perimeter fenced with locked gates and big dogs. So we don't get much of that. But if I'm out on the property and someone drives by the fence and inquires about boarding I don't mind that. OftenI work at night so I don'twant people coming to the door, but that really isn't an issue.
Really it isn't safe anymore to go door to door, I just bought some GS cookies from a coworker whose daughter is selling them.

Vandy
Jan. 22, 2009, 11:01 PM
This is why I have my phone number on the farm sign at the entrance to my (very long) driveway. About 10 feet further down the driveway is a NO TRESPASSING sign. I think this makes it pretty clear that random visitors are not welcome without an appointment.

As my farm is pretty far off the beaten path, I've only ever had one potential boarder just drive on in without a phone call; I ended up taking her on as a client because she *did* have a fancy baby, and she turned out to be a nightmare with no sense of personal boundaries...I should have known better! Who on earth blatantly ignores a NO TRESPASSING sign?

shakeytails
Jan. 22, 2009, 11:15 PM
I have a private barn, but it's big enough to look like it might be a more public facility. There's a front gate, but it's always open. We occasionally have unannounced guests, and I don't think it's a big deal at all. Unless I'm incredibly busy, I can always take a few minutes to show them around. I don't look at it as an intrusion, but as a way to meet new people. However, in this rural area, folks tend to be polite and don't go wandering around other people's properties. They will generally wait in their car until one of us extends a greeting, or knock on the house door or holler into the barn before entering. We've also had people stop in saying that they'd been wanting to see the barn and had driven by several times, but this was the first time they saw anybody out.

As far as a public barn, I don't think it's rude at all to just stop in to ask about services offered as long as one doesn't expect undivided attention during the initial stop. I've done it in the past and was never turned away or treated rudely. I will not, though, set one foot into a stranger's barn unless I see a person that I might introduce myself to.

trafalgar
Jan. 22, 2009, 11:22 PM
I agree. If they walk around the grounds without an invitation I would be very put off but if they are polite and seem right I would be fine. Some people are so casual they assume we are all the same and certainly do not mean to offend. They should however be agreeable to any restrictions which are reasonably expected i.e. Do not show up at Midnight or whatever

Silence
Jan. 22, 2009, 11:28 PM
I manage a barn, don't own it.

I don't mind people dropping in unannounced, as long as they understand I'm working and don't expect me to drop everything to cater to them. Follow me around watch what I do and talk while I work? Fine.

I was sick last week and the week before. Apparently a lady came by while I was inside sending my breakfast down the toilet and called the BO to tell him the barn looked horrible. I felt like it was pretty obvious that someone WAS around as I had the wheelbarrow sitting in front of a stall (that was half clean), the rakes were out and the radio was on. I never saw anyone on the property, but again, I was in the bathroom.

I got lectured for it, and the lady hasn't yet come back. Which is perfectly fine with me.

I don't really like people coming by on Sundays, as even though I don't get that day (or any day) off, I am a bit more laid back. I do what has to be done with the horses and then hang out with my fiance or go see family.

Pat
Jan. 23, 2009, 12:02 AM
If you really don't want people to drop in, put a gate on your drive, with a sign that has your number and "visitors by appointment only."

That's probably the best approach. You don't want to appear bitchy or snooty.

I worked for a seriously obnoxious woman in MD so loong ago, but she had a theory on this... She swore some of the best customers she's ever had were people who randomly appeared at the barn for a look see. We were to never turn folks away and to be sure to give them the nickle tour and give them the owner's numbers if they were not in at the time.

nashfad
Jan. 23, 2009, 12:43 AM
I do not like unannounced visits---Mon - Fri, I am 95% by myself here & when the dogs alert me to someone here, I can get anxious. And I don't want someone here if I have gone to get feed, etc. We are a boarding facility & do lessons but we are not a public facility. Unannounced is just wrong. That is why there is a phone # out front and a sign that states if you do not board or have an appt., please call before entering (and some do ignore that). I have nothing to "hide"---just believe in the safety of the facility & my own safety.

ReSomething
Jan. 23, 2009, 01:50 AM
Well, it really kind of depends. Big ads in the yellow pages say to me that this is a business, open 9 to 5, and if I call and don't get a response I'll show up anyway just to get a feel for the place. Big signs advertising services ditto. Listings in the local discipline website would get a call first but probably not a show up. If they never got back to me they'd probably not get my business at all. I tend to respect a closed gate. It's closed for a reason.

Lambie Boat
Jan. 23, 2009, 07:05 AM
a little off topic, but not:

before I had my indoor arena built, I drove around looking at arenas I could see from the road. If I saw a person around, I would stop and ask questions.
Everyone was VERY eager to discuss EVERYTHING about their arena, including what they would do differently, their contractors, their suppliers and footing.
I was surprised! Maybe it's different for potential boarders, but I was a stranger and there was no potential money to be made from me. Just one horseperson helping out another.

slc2
Jan. 23, 2009, 07:14 AM
Someone who has always boarded at a large public stable would simply be in the habit of showing up. Those places have long hours - often 6am -10pm 7 days a week, and many of those places, the owner/manager or someone who acts for them are onsite most of the time they are open. That's all the boarding experience many people have. People just get habits. They don't realize they're being what you think of as 'rude'.

If you want to run a boarding stable, you have to get over the idea, to one degree or another, that you have 'office hours'. You can't really care for other people's horses or bring in new customers during very rigidly set hours; to an extent, 'stuff happens'. When you board horses, to some degree, you agree to somewhat irregular hours. Occasionally, someone shows up who's going to be a very good customer.

IF showing up is showing up at 12 am, drunk, smoking in the barn and acting like an asshole, and you simply don't like the person and are running a very small family operation, then you usher them off the property and tell them very plainly you don't board people's horses if they drink and show up at midnight, and you STILL risk getting it spread around as a single very biased POV story, but you can't really prevent all of that.

You CAN train people to not bother you without an appointment, but it takes time. If you want to not drive all your potential customers away, you have to compromise a little bit and cooperate with them a little bit. 'Oh gosh, I'm sorry, I'm on my way out the door, can you come back tomorrow at 3 pm? No you can't? You have to pick up your kids at school? Oh. How about tomorrow at four? Ok, thanks'.

You don't have to be a patsy and let people walk all over you, but boarding IS a business that earns money, and that means calmly making a few practical compromises now and again to not drive people completely away.

Lambie Boat
Jan. 23, 2009, 07:17 AM
lots of private barns around here require people already boarding their horses at the farm to call before they come out. yes, every single time. Maybe that is an Oregon thing? I'd never heard of that before I moved here....

trubandloki
Jan. 23, 2009, 07:38 AM
I think the question has two very different answers depending on the facility in question.

A facility that advertises boarding, lessons and such I think should expect to have people stopping in and looking for information.

A small facility that does not have the show/lesson barn thing working I can see how it would be rude for people to just stop in.

spurgirl
Jan. 23, 2009, 08:09 AM
I have a small backyard barn, and do no advertising, so I've had three boarders over the years come on down the driveway unannounced. All three were wonderful boarders, two have their own farms now, and we are all great friends. The other one is still here, 4 years later. I DID have a (weird) couple who came unannounced, a big barn on the main road was closing, that visit did not go so well..."We like to spend about 3-4 hours a day at the barn","Sometimes we stay until 10 or 11 PM", "Your trails aren't all groomed??","There's ROCKS and exposed ROOTS on your trails?","You run the tractors (backhoe, log splitter, 'dozer, etc., etc.) when horses are around?"....Needless to say, I declined them my 2 open stalls. Ummm, this is a WORKING FARM (horses, beef cows, firewood, hay), not a "gentlemen's farm" for lack of a better description...Both sides can tell a lot about each other during a surprise visit. Of course, if I was busy at the time of an unannounced visit, I'd tell them so, and if I got a good vibe, I'd tell them to come back later.

mkevent
Jan. 23, 2009, 08:27 AM
Spurgirl-3 to 4 hours in the barn is a big red flag!!!!! Thank God they told you that before they moved in!!

Dakotawyatt
Jan. 23, 2009, 08:35 AM
Every lesson barn I've ever tried, we always tried the "barn phone" first, and never got in touch with someone. So, I stopped in! I liked to walk in, find someone official, introduce myself, and watch any lessons/riding that was going on. If I liked what I saw, I'd ask the "oficial person" if there was anyone to talk to, and if not, said thanks, I'll come back some other time, and when would BE a good time? There are TONS of nice barns in our area, and many of those barns just LOOK private. Those, I wouldn't go up to randomly. All the lesson barns I ever rode at as a kid were very obviously public lesson barns. The barn where I am now is one of those really nice farms, and usually has a closed security gate with a keypad. Obviously, no stop ins there. But when the gate is open, people have just driven up, and have been treated courteously. I've gotten a few new lesson clients that way!

Bottom line, I don't feel it's rude for people to do a quick "look see" at an obviously public lesson barn. If you don't like what you see, you don't bother anyone asking useless questions, and wasting their time on the phone. If you are a public barn and don't want people wandering in, you should post a phone number or e-mail where someone can TALK to you, and post either a "private drive" sign, or a "no trespassing" sign.

MistyBlue
Jan. 23, 2009, 08:49 AM
before I had my indoor arena built, I drove around looking at arenas I could see from the road. If I saw a person around, I would stop and ask questions.
Everyone was VERY eager to discuss EVERYTHING about their arena, including what they would do differently, their contractors, their suppliers and footing.
I was surprised! Maybe it's different for potential boarders, but I was a stranger and there was no potential money to be made from me. Just one horseperson helping out another.

Had the same thing happen to us when we were building our barn. The barn is visible from the road and 3 different couples stopped by very apologetic about dropping in but wanted to ask questions and see the barn closer since they were also planning on building soon. I had no issues with that at all...as long as they didn't mind how filthy I was from trying to help the barn builders. :lol: I also had a handful of people drop in during the building to ask if I was going to be boarding horses...which I wasn't but didn't mind the dropping in and asking.
The most visitors I got while building was tons and tons of people asking about the small mountain of topsoil we had removed from the building site to keep the large euipment from sinking in mud...everyone wanted the clean topsoil. Got to the point I was worried someone would come steal it at night. :winkgrin:
And I get a couple drop ins annually asking if I'm missing any horses....it's not unusual for loose horses to be seen trotting up the roads around here. A few too many people are overly fond of t-posts and one strand of tape as their only fencing...in heavily wooded areas small sticks fall all the time on the tape and horses know when they can get out. I don't mind those drop ins either...I run outside, do a fast head count and then take off in the old farm Jeep which has a covered bucket of sweet feed and two halters and leads stored in there for horse wrangling. :yes:

So what type of indoor did you go with?

Daydream Believer
Jan. 23, 2009, 09:04 AM
Not rude at all. I've had drive in's before and once it ended up giving me excellent business for over a year. It was folks building down the road from me and looking for a close place to keep their horses. Our relationship built into a good friendship also. :-)

theoldgreymare
Jan. 23, 2009, 12:22 PM
Some barns are small and private. If it has a perimeter fence and a gate, entering without permission is, in my mind, an absolute NO. I feel this is flat out trespassing.


This is basically my set up and I agree with EqT. While we do mainly retirement, I do take in the occassional well screened active boarder. If I had a nickel for evey time someone opened the gate and pulled right in or sat at the gate and honked for me to come open it, I'd be rich. There is a reason there is a big PRIVATE sign on the gate. Most of these people are looking for lessons, pony rides or are under the impression that I operate a petting zoo ("Pookie just wants to pet a pony").

I have no problem telling a propective client that they can drop by unannounced, after I have spoken with them on the phone. I feel it's only appropriate to call first (whenever possible) and ask questions about the facility, services and rates. If you can't afford my rates or you have to have an indoor, why waste both of our time looking at a facility that won't work for you?

pony89
Jan. 23, 2009, 12:24 PM
When I was looking, my practice was to try to set up an appointment by phone the first time that I went to visit a barn. If I couldn't get in touch by phone, I would have tried to stop in to find someone who could set up an appointment with me.

Once I have visited the barn once, liked the barn, gotten a feel for the schedule, and been sent home with a boarding contract, I have no problem stopping in unannounced to check things out another time or two, while I am dropping off the boarding contract or asking questions. At the point where it is looking very likely that I will bring my horse, I need to know that she really will be fed, watered, and turned out when they are not expecting me.

findeight
Jan. 23, 2009, 12:41 PM
Done it both ways over the years.

The bigger, more commercial barns that advertise, I just stop by during what I would consider normal business hours...something like Tuesday or Thursday from 4 to 6 or Saturday early afternoon when I know they will be teaching. NEVER on a Monday when many are closed and never before noon weekdays when I know they are mucking and doing barn work.

The rest of the time, they should be open for business and welcome prospective clients even if they don't have alot of time-I can tell more from just walking in then the grand tour anyway.

Small, private places adjacent to somebody's home? No. That's a call first, not a barn first.

Rallycairn
Jan. 23, 2009, 01:00 PM
I think it depends on what "unannounced" visit means. If I know the barn has an office attached or know that the farm has an office somewhere on site, I'd stop in for a visit unannounced, but I would NOT wander the grounds or the barn without arriving and immediately reporting to the barn manager/barn owner.

This summarizes my thinking pretty exactly. I'm having trouble understanding why any business would see as "rude" potential CUSTOMERS who make a polite inquiry -- polite meaning not intruding into private spaces or walking right into your barn aisle, but rather going to the office (if there is one) or politely knocking at the door or standing at the entry to the barn and calling out a "hello." Also, I don't expect anyone to drop whatever work they're doing and give me the grand tour, but just a quick exchange of information if they're busy is more than fine -- "yes, we board, and we have openings now" or "no, we don't have any stalls now" or "come back on Thursday at 3" or whatever.



I think this is one of those things that really depends.

Some barns are small and private. If it has a perimeter fence and a gate, entering without permission is, in my mind, an absolute NO. I feel this is flat out trespassing.




Absolutely, if a place were fenced with a closed gate, I wouldn't open it and come on in -- but if gates were open, I'd consider going in. Again, I'd stop at the house or, if there was an obvious office, at the office. And I would certainly not wander down any aisles or enter any work space. But if you are a boarding barn, why wouldn't you want inquiries about your business?

Kind of reminds me of some reviews I've seen and articles I've read about B&B's. A couple who owned a B&B wrote a piece about how much they hated having their lives invaded, etc. Most of the responders to the piece failed to sympathize with them at all, saying that if they wanted a job with 9-5 hours and no after-hours intrusions, they didn't need to be in the B&B business.

DH and I got a business license and really gave some thought to taking in one or two boarders when we first got our farm, but we never really pushed the idea and quickly let it drop (we had one boarder for a few years), mostly because we realized that we're pretty private people and didn't necessarily want boarders coming in at all hours. Though, if we had kept it up, we wouldn't have objected to our boarders doing so, as long as it wasn't past 11 pm or so unless a horse were sick or it was show prep time or whatever. Similarly, I just figure "drop-ins" are part of being in a boarding type of business.



I wish every barn had a website with up to date pictures and they responded to email quickly. Unfortunately many barns, and most of the good ones I've been to, don't even have an email address. I feel strongly that is it alright to stop at someone's barn and knock on their door if its during business hours. It is not alright to wander around, walk into fields and pet horses. If they're not home, I leave but honestly there is no better way to catch a busy horse person than to just show up. If the property is gated then of course I wouldn't hop the gate but what's wrong with driving up and knocking on their door? Do any of you find it rude when strangers knock on your door for a non-horsey request? Aren't there still kids selling chocolates and girl guide cookies who show up unannounced?

Right on all counts!



That's probably the best approach. You don't want to appear bitchy or snooty.
... We were to never turn folks away and to be sure to give them the nickle tour and give them the owner's numbers if they were not in at the time.


This is a great attitude to have if you are a business owner!



Someone who has always boarded at a large public stable would simply be in the habit of showing up. Those places have long hours - often 6am -10pm 7 days a week, and many of those places, the owner/manager or someone who acts for them are onsite most of the time they are open. That's all the boarding experience many people have. People just get habits. They don't realize they're being what you think of as 'rude'.

If you want to run a boarding stable, you have to get over the idea, to one degree or another, that you have 'office hours'. You can't really care for other people's horses or bring in new customers during very rigidly set hours; to an extent, 'stuff happens'. When you board horses, to some degree, you agree to somewhat irregular hours. Occasionally, someone shows up who's going to be a very good customer.

IF showing up is showing up at 12 am, drunk, smoking in the barn and acting like an asshole, and you simply don't like the person and are running a very small family operation, then you usher them off the property and tell them very plainly you don't board people's horses if they drink and show up at midnight, and you STILL risk getting it spread around as a single very biased POV story, but you can't really prevent all of that.

You CAN train people to not bother you without an appointment, but it takes time. If you want to not drive all your potential customers away, you have to compromise a little bit and cooperate with them a little bit. 'Oh gosh, I'm sorry, I'm on my way out the door, can you come back tomorrow at 3 pm? No you can't? You have to pick up your kids at school? Oh. How about tomorrow at four? Ok, thanks'.

You don't have to be a patsy and let people walk all over you, but boarding IS a business that earns money, and that means calmly making a few practical compromises now and again to not drive people completely away.

Yes, indeed! I don't think folks trying to make a polite inquiry during normal business hours are intending to be rude, and fielding inquiries is part of doing business, isn't it?


HOWEVER, it probably all evens out, because those BOs/BMs who find drop-in inquiries rude are probably not good matches for the folks who don't think it's rude to offer themselves as potential customers, even unannounced, so the drop-ins will move on to other places and everyone will be happy, right?:D

findeight
Jan. 23, 2009, 01:16 PM
Let me put it this way...

If see a sign on the driveway every day as I drive by that has the generic "boarding/training/sales/lessons" and, usually, a picture or logo displaying what kind of riding they teach? And there is no gate or the gate is open? They are open for business and any prospective client should be welcome at any sensible time.

If the sign says "boarding, fine horses for sale" and the gate is open or there is none, I would just stop by at a reasonable hour.

If the sign says "Home of xxx the wonder horse standing at stud/young stock for sale"? I would not stop by unless I wanted to breed to the stud or buy a baby...but, unless the gate was closed, I should feel welcome if I was looking to breed or buy a baby.

If the sign says "hours by appointment only"? Then, no. That means call first.

Any closed gate means it's closed to me.

And any barn without any signage at all means they are not actively looking for business and they are none of mine. Would never just drive up as a stranger on a strangers property, barn or not.

No way to control some blockheads that cannot read but a closed gate with "no tresspassing" posted right on it and a pair of noisy dogs should keep anybody that is not welcome from inviting themselves in. Was even in one small place that had a chain and padlock on the gate-was never locked, just looked like it. Never had anybody come in.

Anyway, you don't want drop ins, look to how you present the place from the road and your signage.

sid
Jan. 23, 2009, 01:33 PM
I have a prominent farm sign. On it, it also says "Visitors by Appointment Only".

Yet, back when did some boarding, you'd be surprised at the number of people who would just drop in and say "I saw your sign about an appointment...but.." Then they'd want to force me into discussing board and showing them around. I'm off the beaten path, but obviously they got the farm name from a local directory (which listed my phone #, btw).

Every single one who were "drop ins" that I accepted as boarders turned out to be problem boarders. They refused to follow "rules", written or otherwise. I booted them out.

I finally figured out that if someone would not respect the sign, they were not going to respect rules in general. And that's not what I wanted for my boarding business.

Sithly
Jan. 23, 2009, 01:59 PM
Not Rude:
--Stopping by a public-looking barn (signs, parking lot, etc.) during business hours.
--Introducing themselves and asking if you board.
--Leaving a note or a postcard inquiring about board.

Rude:
--Stopping by a private-looking, backyard barn unannounced.
--Failing to respect gates, signs, or normal social boundaries.
--Demanding unreasonable amounts of time without making an appointment.
--Giving off a creepy or nosy vibe.

billiebob
Jan. 23, 2009, 02:04 PM
I'm a BM, and I don't like it when people drop by unannounced. Mainly because this tends to happen when it's feed time or when I'm bringing in/turning out the stallion. I'm so not happy about random people wandering around because you never know who they are. All visitors at our farm have to sign a release before interacting with any of the animals just in case something happens--you never know with horses.

It's not that I have something to hide. Far from it, really! And I will normally take a few minutes to talk to you politely and answer any questions, but this always happens at inconvenient times! Please call or email first if possible!

onelanerode
Jan. 23, 2009, 02:28 PM
This is basically my set up and I agree with EqT. While we do mainly retirement, I do take in the occassional well screened active boarder. If I had a nickel for evey time someone opened the gate and pulled right in or sat at the gate and honked for me to come open it, I'd be rich. There is a reason there is a big PRIVATE sign on the gate.

Wow, that takes some brass ones! :eek:

I thought about the difference between larger, more "public" facilities and smaller private ones after I did the original post. The majority of my boarding experience has been at a smaller, more private farm where the owners lived on site, so that probably colors my perception of what is rude and what is not.

I'll freely admit that I can get crotchety when people knock on my door, so I suppose it's a good thing I will probably never be in a position to be a BO/BM. That would take some "rewiring" on my part. :yes:

I do think it could be helpful to talk with prospective boarders on the phone first — that could at least help you weed out the ones who would really NOT be a good fit.

goeslikestink
Jan. 23, 2009, 02:33 PM
Do you have your contact info on a sign at the property entrance?

Plenty of times, I've just driven around looking for boarding barns. If the info is out there, I'll give the number on the sign a call. If not, I'll just stop in.

So many barns aren't listed in the phone book but do board, and so many times I've heard from others that "barn on xyz street" boards, but they may not be able to remember the name of it.

I don't expect people to drop what they're doing to show me around, but I do expect to be told if they're accepting new boarders and for what rates. Nobody has ever said "no" when I ask if I could just take a look around.

If you really don't want people to drop in, put a gate on your drive, with a sign that has your number and "visitors by appointment only."

exactly

didgery
Jan. 23, 2009, 02:35 PM
I've dropped in at a couple of barns recently, after having trouble reaching them by phone or because I was in the neighborhood and I knew from personal references that the place might be a possible boarding opportunity for me. I poke my head in and see if I can spot an owner or employee (never walk down the aisles, look at the horses, or do ANYTHING before finding a person in charge!). I open with "I'm sorry to drop in like this - would it be an inconvenience if I were to ask you a couple of questions about your barn?" I've been greeted warmly everywhere, so far, and I would not be at all offended if I were respectfully asked to go home and call at another time.

Trixie
Jan. 23, 2009, 02:55 PM
I'd say it definitely depends on the farm. If I had to open a gate or there wasn't a sign posted, I'd likely assume it's someone's private house.


lots of private barns around here require people already boarding their horses at the farm to call before they come out. yes, every single time. Maybe that is an Oregon thing? I'd never heard of that before I moved here....

That would be a huge red flag to me.

coloredhorse
Jan. 23, 2009, 02:55 PM
I was always leery of barns that only wanted people to come at set times and such. What don't they want me to see?

As I and others have said, it is probably not that they "don't want you to see" anything at all. More likely they have legitimate concerns about unvetted strangers wandering around. Woodland put it well:


... I just want to be here to check you out before I allow you all over my place.

When I had a boarding business, the same went for brand-new customers at their first appointment if they showed up early. I had them sit quietly in their cars until I was free. I would try to finish what I was doing early. If they arrived before I did and were wandering freely around, they were told they were not suitable clients. As the person with ultimate responsibility for the safety and well-being of the horses on the property, and not wishing to be subjected to theft of tack and other property either, I simply wanted to have an opportunity to check out people -- as they were checking out me and my operation -- before deciding whether to allow them free rein. This was made clear immediately upon first contact and emphasized at the end of that first contact. Once they'd had the tour under my supervision -- which would include anything they wanted to see -- and our "mutual interview" had shown that there could be a good match, they were invited to come back at any time, as long as I had a signed waiver and they abided by posted barn rules.

Don't be quick to assume that someone with strict "first contact" procedures is hiding something. This may well be the person who truly takes the safety of her/his clients, their horses and their possessions to heart and has the best SOPs for protecting them.

LSM1212
Jan. 23, 2009, 03:25 PM
We have a security gate at the barn I board at so you have to know the code to get in!!! Helps alot, I think. But we have one of those containers that people put out with their for sale sign for their house that has the barn's flyer/pamphlet in it. So you can pick one up and then call to make an appointment.

The area where my barn is doesn't allow signage. But it's fully fenced and has the security gate. Yes, someone could park and hop over the fence. But I think, in general, it keeps the people off the streets away. :D

I agree, that I think when looking at a place to board you should make an appt first, get all the info you need and then be allowed to come back to check things out w/o an appt. That's how it was at my current place. I made the appt, met w/ the BM, etc. and then wanted to bring my hubby to take a look and she said, stop by anytime. And we did !!!!

Guilherme
Jan. 23, 2009, 03:45 PM
BOs/BMs, do you think it's rude for someone to show up at your farm without calling and want you to talk with them about boarding at your farm? Would you be willing to overlook it if the person seemed to be a good fit in your barn, or would such behavior automatically rule this person out if you had an opening?

A boarding barn is a business, like a barber shop or 7/11 or real estate office or whatever. If the owner's business model is "appointment only" then they may say so. If they don't it's reasonable to assume that visitation during normal "work hours" (say, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) is neither rude nor unreasonable.

If the owner is occupied, they can politely inform the visitor and set a time to come back. Or put aside whatever they were doing and cater to the visitor (as the parties wish).

G.

Woodland
Jan. 23, 2009, 03:47 PM
Thinking over what you all have written I think I need to remain firm in my call first policy.

I have a mid size stables and indoor right across the driveway from my home. At this time of year we are in "stasis" The boarders rarely come out in winter. We are not heated and it has been bitter cold in my area so lessons have all but come to a halt until mid Feb. Because it is so quiet I am working away from home right now. Even though I have a BIG pretty sign it does not mean "Visitors Welcome!"

I have been at this business going on 3 decades. I never use to run the farm this way. But too many times coming home from a show, an outing, or even the grocery store to find STRANGERS climbing all over my place and my animals - I have gotten where I prefer a bit of notice.

Allow ME to decide if I want YOU here and when. If you and I click, you can drop over any time UNANNOUNCED. If you board here the doors are open 8 AM- 10PM or longer every day. But the first time CALL ME FIRST !

This is my place. These are my animals or animals good people are paying me to protect and care for. I would be neglecting my duties to say it's OK to drop in w/o appointment.

This spring I am having a new gate and fencing installed that will cross my driveway. Not only to keep the horses in, but to keep STRANGERS out. In the meantime I am going to post a "Visitors by Appointment only" sign on my fence.

coloredhorse
Jan. 23, 2009, 07:51 PM
Thinking over what you all have written I think I need to remain firm in my call first policy.

And you are exactly the sort of person I would want to do business with -- if I were ever to have to board my beasties again -- because you have policies in place that are designed to prevent random folk from gaining access to my valuable and beloved horses and "horse-related stuff."

sid
Jan. 23, 2009, 08:43 PM
That's right. When you board horses your first obligation is to protect the horses and other property of your boarders. Of course, there is also the obligation to protect yourself and your farm lawsuit if someone wanders in -- and some freak thing happens -- without a risk-and-release having been signed.

At the crux of this debate is this, IMO. Horses are a hobby for most people, so some will simply "show up" and expect information or a tour (or help themselves to a tour) with no regard that it is a very, very time intensive business for the proprietor.

Oddly, some of the people who think this is OK, would not think of arriving, unannounced, to peruse the premises of or strike up a business relationship with a CPA, a doctor, a lawyer or even a prospective school for their kids without a pre-arranged appointment. Horse business just don't get the same kind of respect, because most of the clientele think in terms of "their hobby", not "business establishment"...and all that goes with it.

Most, if not all, prorietors of horse operations that I know are very, very proud of their farms and services and have nothing to hide -- in fact, welcome visitors. But being open to "shoppers" as if their farm was a horsey "mall" is aggravating and comes with huge liabilities.

Courtesy never goes out of style. Especially when one is requesting that on a posted farm sign outside.

mkevent
Jan. 24, 2009, 08:55 AM
Wow-everyone makes some really good points!
Woodland-I would be totally freaked out if what has happened to you had happened to me!! I've never found anyone wandering around my property and it would be a HUGE red flag if they did!! My barn is perimeter fenced, but me house is not. I guess I don't mind people coming to the house because I don't have a sign with a # or a gate at the driveway. If someone actually come through the gate to the barnyard, I would kick them out ASAP!!
I guess I don't mind people coming to the door because I was a sales rep for many years and I've found people to be generally friendly and understanding if you are polite and respect their boundaries. If someone comes to my house and apologizes for the inconvenience, etc. I have no issue and I'm glad to help. If I have a sign and # out front that says appointment only, I wouldn't show up without calling ahead-because it is then obvious what the owner's wishes are.

LuvMyTB
Jan. 27, 2009, 04:01 PM
A little OT, but curious.....

Has anyone ever left a note with name/number/boarding inquiry in a mailbox?

There are a couple of private barns (no signs/numbers) around me that have, in the past, had "horse boarding availble" signs up (but they do not now). I am way too shy to drive up to someone's house and knock on the door......would leaving a note asking if they are still boarding/have any openings be rude/weird?

equusvilla
Jan. 27, 2009, 04:16 PM
I have a good one for you. I live above my barn. If you want to see a pic of it go to the equusvilla blog listed below. I am not a public boarding facility and do not offer anything to anyone. This is my home.

When we built the barn/house, we hardwired security cameras in - THANK GOD! About 2 years ago, I was at home alone and heard something strange - looked at the screen and saw 2 strange people in my barn. I immediately went downstairs. When I went into my barn - one woman was discussing my stalls to the other and just smiled at me like I was the HELP... I had to interrupt her to ask her who she was. She acted like it was nothing ...until I kind of scrunched up my face, told her this was my home and asked her if she would be alarmed if a stranger just walked into her garage without invitation...

They did not even bother to try and knock on my door to ask if they could look at the barn...they just barged in. I think my chin was dragging on the floor for about 3 days..

Chall
Jan. 27, 2009, 10:07 PM
lots of private barns around here require people already boarding their horses at the farm to call before they come out. yes, every single time. Maybe that is an Oregon thing? I'd never heard of that before I moved here....
I had that situation for many years ( I was a boarder). Barn advertised and had a web site and actively sought boarders. I'm don't think it's it's a wise policy in the long run.

veebug22
Jan. 28, 2009, 09:40 AM
I've been on both sides of this -- the BM and the potential boarder. While I can understand why people see it as rude, I never minded as a BM. If I was really busy, I just gave them a brief rundown of the place, possibly a short tour, contact info, and suggested we set up another time when I could show them around and chat more thoroughly. If I thought they weren't total yahoos, I encouraged them to walk around and check the place out for themselves (by yahoos I mean there were some people who obviously didn't know much about horses and I wasn't comfortable letting them walk around, mostly for their own safety and liability issues). Particularly if there's a sign out front announcing boarding and lessons, I think it's totally fine to pop in. I've done it as a potential boarder, and I just apologized for stopping by, and made it clear that I didn't want to use up their time, just was hoping for contact info to set up an appt. People have always been very obliging. A lot of times it's hard to find contact info since it's not always posted on signs or in the phone book, even though you can see the place probably does boarding/training. When operating a business, I think it pays not to turn people away just because they pop in. You never know who they could be or what kind of business they could bring you, so I think in the long run it always pays to be gracious, especially if it's no skin off your back. I also think people possibly coming to board at a barn like to know that it has a warm, welcoming atmosphere. How you treat people in unexpected situations says a lot about that.

veebug22
Jan. 28, 2009, 09:43 AM
I have a good one for you. I live above my barn. If you want to see a pic of it go to the equusvilla blog listed below. I am not a public boarding facility and do not offer anything to anyone. This is my home.

When we built the barn/house, we hardwired security cameras in - THANK GOD! About 2 years ago, I was at home alone and heard something strange - looked at the screen and saw 2 strange people in my barn. I immediately went downstairs. When I went into my barn - one woman was discussing my stalls to the other and just smiled at me like I was the HELP... I had to interrupt her to ask her who she was. She acted like it was nothing ...until I kind of scrunched up my face, told her this was my home and asked her if she would be alarmed if a stranger just walked into her garage without invitation...

They did not even bother to try and knock on my door to ask if they could look at the barn...they just barged in. I think my chin was dragging on the floor for about 3 days..


Yeah, I agree this would be upsetting, and certainly I've had random people come into barns I managed and boarded at and be rude about it. But it depends on the situation. I think if someone's polite about it and asks if they can set up an appt, look around, it's a different situation.

VCT
Jan. 28, 2009, 10:56 AM
I don't mind people stopping by. Mostly They just sort of shuffle up the driveway and kinda look around, confused where to go until I come out and greet them. But then my farm has a number of buildings and people can't seem to figure out where to go first. I'm also in a rural area where horses aren't such a novelty and for the most part people seem to be very normal.