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View Full Version : Barn policies - what would your response be?



SaturdayNightLive
Apr. 26, 2009, 01:52 PM
So hypothetically, lets say that you came across a barn that had very strict policies regarding what was and was not allowed, right down to a very strict dress code. Specifically, all tack and clothing had to meet certain requirements (not brand wise, but color and cleanliness) to be used on the property, even when hacking or schooling. Would this be acceptable to you if the barn was nice enough?

Like, in addition to the nazi-esque dress code, the care was also impeccable. You horse was groomed twice a day, all diets were designed by an equine nutritionist and a vet, all of your vet appointments and farrier appointments were arranged for you, etc...Basically the most extreme of full care facilities.

Would this be a place you would be interested in boarding at? Or would the dress code be too much?

Chall
Apr. 26, 2009, 02:07 PM
Well, think about George Morris' standards. He's good enough that everyone complies.
That would not be the barn for me though; I sweat too much in the summer to wear "nice" shirts.

woodhillsmanhattan
Apr. 26, 2009, 02:10 PM
It is all about what you want in a barn. Some people thrive off of this type of environment and it works for some. If you aren't one who loves extravagently colored polos with matching saddle pads, then a barn like this shouldn't be hard to deal with. I personally love matching and feeling like part of a team, but thats my opinion. But I also keep myself to pretty strict rules. The most outrageous color I ever put on my horse is navy blue, and that is part of my barn's colors. However, I like to do the horse care part myself. I like to groom my own horse and help around the barn. But I have also been a working student and currently work the afternoon feeding, turnout, etc. at my barn. The only thing with this tight nit barn policy barns is they tend not to be as much of a "family". You see people come and go at the barn (some people you rarely see at all), rather than hanging out and watching everyone ride, having margaritas by the ring :).

If your horse is getting impeccable care and you are happy with the training (and costs), then I am sure you will learn to live without being able to bling out your gpa or wearing a tank top when you ride (not saying you do, just examples). If after a month or two it isn't for you, leave. Perhaps during your first few months there continue to investigate other barns. Either on the down low or be open with the manager or trainer of the current barn, depending on how your relationship is with them. There are tons of facilities out there that provide just as equal quality of horse care but don't have the matching, put together look that draws people in (that can sometimes be decieving in certain cases). Its all about making you and your horse happy.

Justice
Apr. 26, 2009, 02:31 PM
I LOVE barns like this... and my best friend thinks they are psychotic. Different strokes for different folks.

supershorty628
Apr. 26, 2009, 02:41 PM
I'd go for it if the care is that good.

LookinSouth
Apr. 26, 2009, 02:48 PM
Boarding at a full care barn as described will likely never be in my budget. But if it was I wouldn't be opposed to it all. Especially if the dress code was simply to keep everyone neat, clean, and tidy which sounds like the case. Bright colors, kiddy pastels and poorly matched anything hurts my eyes. :lol:

Now if the barn required everyone to wear GPA's and ride in a CWD? Well then no thanks.

Ghazzu
Apr. 26, 2009, 02:51 PM
Would this be a place you would be interested in boarding at? Or would the dress code be too much?


Not me--I ride and hang with my horses to relax. I wouldn't want to have to worry about being underdressed, or not having the right saddle pad.

I don't mind dressing properly for lessons/clinics, etc.

But my horses mostly at home any road--so I can walk into the barn in pajamas...

BeastieSlave
Apr. 26, 2009, 03:02 PM
I'm very hands-on, I tend to be a bit of a slob (in terms of my dress), and I like what I like - not what I'm told to like, so it probably wouldn't work for me. Maybe if I had just one horse and everything else suited me perfectly....

Flash44
Apr. 26, 2009, 03:10 PM
It would cause me to spend too much time cleaning and not enough time riding.

kookicat
Apr. 26, 2009, 03:18 PM
No! That would be my idea of hell! ;)

I want to decide when my horses have vet visits, when they have farrier visits etc. I'm a very hands on person.

Plus, I had enough of wearing a uniform when I was at school. ;)

Kementari
Apr. 26, 2009, 03:38 PM
My reaction is that if someone wants a strict dress code, adherence to specific tack standards, and control over every aspect of each horse's care, then they need to run their own private barn with their own private horses.

Of course, there are sure to be people who are sure it's better if it looks prettier, so I'm sure there would be clients for such a place.

Me, I actually own horses because I LIKE having a say in their lives (not to mentio my own), so I'd run away really, really fast. No, faster than that...

sunnycher
Apr. 26, 2009, 04:13 PM
Just the control issue is enough for me to run screaming!!!! I like to care for my ponies, and feed in my jammys and wear tank tops in the summer. To each their own, though.

ReSomething
Apr. 26, 2009, 04:16 PM
The dress code might be too much. I'm busy enough and lazy enough that having routine care scheduled for me would be acceptable, but if I weren't welcome to come hang out at the barn in my grungy work clothes then it just wouldn't work. All this is assuming I could afford the rates, of course.

skint
Apr. 26, 2009, 04:36 PM
I think I'd have a nervous breakdown within a week, I'd be worried about forgetting to clean something!

Blondie22
Apr. 26, 2009, 04:38 PM
I do ride at a barn like this. We don't have a specific "dress code" persay but no one shows up looking like a bum and NO ONE uses brightly coloured polos/saddle pads etc. Personally I despise the pink polos with the baby blue saddle pad and unnecessary purple fly bonnet. I only see black, navy or white polos and white saddle pads and it's great!

perfecta11
Apr. 26, 2009, 04:39 PM
Sounds like paradise.

katie16
Apr. 26, 2009, 04:40 PM
I would not mind a dress code within reason. I would not have problem with requiring a shirt to have sleeves of some sort (ie: no tank tops). However, mandating that they be a specific color might be a bit much for schooling at home. If it were for hacking at a show, where you are representing your barn, that would be a requirement I could live with. But not so sure about a COLOR requirement at home. "Conservative" colors maybe. Only Navy (for example) might be going a bit overboard.

However, if the care and training were the best I could find in the area, I would probably live with it fine. For me, the care and training would take priority over my clothing. It would not be off putting to me. Just a bit of a pain to make sure I had enough of "the" color to not be doing laundry every day!

dghunter
Apr. 26, 2009, 04:44 PM
I love my froggy saddle pad too much to give it up! My city has a frog jump contest and when we found the saddle pad it was just too perfect :lol: In all seriousness if I can't wear my jeans, t-shirt or tank top, and half chaps with my purple polos and froggy saddle pad, I'm out of there. I don't mind dressing nicely for a clinic or lesson depending on who it's with. My trainer doesn't really care what my horse and I look like but I do try to make it all one color :lol:

Cita
Apr. 26, 2009, 05:31 PM
I can see how it would appeal to some people, and more power to them for being upfront with their expectations, but a barn like that would not be the place for me. I don't want to feel like Big Brother is watching and/or caring about what I wear. Even though I'm not one for gaudy colors, revealing summer barn wear, etc... just the fact that there was a dress code would turn me away.

But it would probably be out of my price range anyway! :lol:

Cindyg
Apr. 26, 2009, 05:40 PM
I cannot imagine!

BeastieSlave
Apr. 26, 2009, 05:45 PM
It's not what the horses wear for me so much as what I'd have to wear that would be the problem. When I'm just schooling I like to ride in my DH's old shirts - untucked XL polos or button downs.

Twisting
Apr. 26, 2009, 05:50 PM
I have never understood what is so evil and unprofessional about pink polos or a baby blue saddle pad. I'd never keep my horse at a place that required more of a dress code than simple common sense would dictate. (IE Undies go under your clothes)

Skeezix
Apr. 26, 2009, 06:09 PM
Different strokes for different folks . . . but not for me :)

CallMeGrace
Apr. 26, 2009, 06:16 PM
My son (H/J) would love it, my daughter (eventer) would hate it! :winkgrin:

oldenburger with fries and a cold beer
Apr. 26, 2009, 06:23 PM
I wouldn't have a problem with the dress code.....but, I would have serious issues if they wouldn't let me have a shot of tequila with an ice cold brew after I rode. Sometmes, you have to draw the line.:)

amastrike
Apr. 26, 2009, 06:35 PM
"Bye."

No way, no how. I do everything for my horse except feed him (and even then I dish out his grain). I dress him up in lime green and I wear whatever I feel like when I'm at the barn. I can't imagine a place so horrible that you have absolutely NO freedom to do what you want!

Tollriffic
Apr. 26, 2009, 06:47 PM
No problem at all. I ride in conservative colors and polo shirts all the time anyways. Many top show barns have some sort of dress code and if the horse care is impeccable I don't see an issue with it.

SEPowell
Apr. 26, 2009, 06:58 PM
I would love to have someone run my house like that so that all I ever had to do was to come in and put on whatever I want and go to my barn and do whatever I want ;)

kellyb
Apr. 26, 2009, 07:24 PM
If the place was nice and the price was right, it wouldn't bother me. Not a big deal to spend an extra 2 minutes picking out something coordinated to wear. My horse's care is the most important thing to me, whether or not there is a dress code is significantly farther down on that list.

mvp
Apr. 26, 2009, 08:20 PM
NO! Turns out the horse might not be first in this "pretty situation."

What happens when the campaigner gets sick of being spit shined twice a day and starts putting his ears back when you come to his stall?

What happens when his back gets sore (from the saddle du jour you were encouraged to buy) and what he really needs is to roll?

What happens when you have a reason to ride in sweats... because you are riding in a new demo saddle that you have to buy PDQ to replace the pretty but ill-fitting one that's killing your horse?

What happens when T/O doesn't get done because it would F-up the grass?

There's nothing wrong with taking pride in appearances. It can just get a little backward at times.

Edited to add: I'm not an idiot, so I don't need to be told how to keep my tack or dress myself. Because I'm not an idiot the BO might like me. But because I'm not an idiot, I'm not sure I'd like them!

Seven-up
Apr. 26, 2009, 08:59 PM
I thought the OP stated there were no brand name tack requirements, just that things had to be clean. I know of more than a few places that would be wise to implement such a thing. Kids who don't know how to clean tack ("you mean you're supposed to clean a saddle?") and bridles dry-rotting right off the horse.

I think 'no orange saddles' might sound a little crazy at first, but I'm guessing the idea behind it is to properly care for tack...a cleaned and well oiled saddle shouldn't be orange.


I'm not sure a place like this would be ok for me, but it could be right up other peoples' alley.

Beau Cheval
Apr. 26, 2009, 09:19 PM
Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

mjmvet
Apr. 26, 2009, 09:29 PM
Absolutely NOT. My time with my horse is MY time. I would never ever pay someone else to tell me what to do. Sounds TOTALLY psychotic to me.

MES
Apr. 26, 2009, 09:38 PM
If the dress code were just to wear breeches and tall boots (or chaps) and a polo shirt, plus a helmet when riding, I would not have a problem with that at all. I actually like that look for riding. If it went to a rat catcher and jacket just for schooling or hacking, probably not such a good thing for me.

I mostly get dirty at the barn from cleaning. Cleaning the stalls and cleaning the horses. If I didn't have to do that because the impeccable barn did that, I could get away with wearing nice clothes to ride in. I actually would like that because I find breeches very comfortable to ride in and prefer them to jeans and a baggy shirt.

I have no imagination when it comes to colored saddle pads, so white or black work just fine for me.

I like a say in my horses' care now because I'm not rich enough to have them at a barn like the OP describes. If I were filthy rich, you bet I could live with just the fun riding and cuddling parts.

I do a lot of hard work to keep my horses. I know more than I ever wanted to about water pumps and installing a fence. I guess I'm at an age where having someone groom my horse and muck my stalls would be nice. I don't need to do the harder parts of horse care to enjoy my horses.

Jaideux
Apr. 26, 2009, 09:44 PM
I hack in half-chaps, TS breeches, and polos. I would love it there, so long as there is husbandry substance beneath the aesthetic surface. I'll admit I'm HORRIBLE about cleaning my stuff, but being somewhere that required it wouldn't be a bad thing. I just forget to do it. Actually, having my (grey) horse groomed 2x/day sounds like a wonderful thing :)

I just love the conservative look. Though I had fun as a kid using zebra patterened polo-wraps, now that I'm a young adult I'm way past that, and really think that a neat, tidy appearance is never a bad thing. I don't begrudge the kids who get all decked out in tye-die stuff, but... it's not for me. And I think children dressed up look nice, too!

It does irritate me that some of the teens who are aides around the barn for bringing in horses/helping little kids tack up wear sweats. I feel like they should at least wear jeans... ::sigh::

Punkie
Apr. 26, 2009, 10:28 PM
That sounds like the world's most perfect place to me!!! But then again, I dress like I'm going to clinic with George every day, my horses and tack are spit polished before every ride, everything I have for them matches, is highly conservative, monogrammed/name plated, as clean as possible, and kept organized. All of my trunks match and are kept polished and clean, my stall fronts are immaculate with all of the blankets folded the same way in the same order, and I make sure that my grooming stall is clean and organized when I go out to ride so someone else can use it. If there were a barn full of people as obsessively neat and organized as I am, I think I would be the happiest woman alive :D

Show_hunters
Apr. 26, 2009, 10:35 PM
If it bothers you that much about a dress code then leave the barn. Period end of story. At the end of the day it's either the trainer's or owners barn and they have the right to state what is allowed and what is not. One may not like it, but rember one is also not forced to stay.

mysandi
Apr. 26, 2009, 10:38 PM
No way. I spend time with my horse for fun and relaxation. At a barn like this, I'd be too stressed out worrying if I was up to code.

horsegirl888
Apr. 26, 2009, 11:48 PM
I would be just fine with it if the care was that good. I always ride in breeches, tall boots and a polo shirt with gloves and a helmet with my hair up, though. If it's worth it to you to have that level of care, it sounds like a good idea. If you decide that somewhere with a more laid-back feel would fit you better, then keep looking.

tikihorse2
Apr. 27, 2009, 12:08 AM
NO!!!

I was at a barn like this. Blankets had to be folded in a certain way. OK, no problem, I could see it makes it easier for staff, BUT--

A woman who definitely had mental issues of some sort took it upon herself to give me a "lesson" in folding my blanket the correct way, in a VERY LOUD, hectoring voice and demeaning words--"If you're going to be on THIS SIDE of the barn, you have to fold your blanket LIKE THIS!"

She also told me I wasn't crosstying my horse correctly. Huh? I had the snaps on his halter the right way, the way all my trainers had taught me for a quick release, attached to the side rings.

I see that rules have a place. For safety, to facilitate horsecare, to make things easy for staff. But when it gets nitpicky, I start to wonder where it's gonna stop.

Riding is a form of relaxation for me as well as a sport. I dress neatly (polo shirt, riding tights/breeches, paddock boots/half chaps, helmet). I keep my horse and his tack clean. I try to be as safe as I can, because I don't want myself or my horse to be hurt. I don't want to feel I HAVE to obey a lot of arbitrary rules when I come to the barn to enjoy myself!

Kim

Renn/aissance
Apr. 27, 2009, 12:22 AM
I wouldn't cross it off of my list because of the dress code; I would be more concerned about a seeming lack of owner input into the horse's diet and vet and farrier appointments--not to mention that I groom my own horse, thank you.

dogchushu
Apr. 27, 2009, 12:57 AM
90% of the time I'd probably conform to the dress code just because that's what I choose to wear, but I'd still say no. I get micromanaged all day at work. I don't need that in my recreation time.:lol:

Safety rules, I can understand. But I couldn't care less which color polo wraps someone else uses provided they're put on the horse correctly!

JollyBadger
Apr. 27, 2009, 01:27 AM
So hypothetically, lets say that you came across a barn that had very strict policies regarding what was and was not allowed, right down to a very strict dress code. Specifically, all tack and clothing had to meet certain requirements (not brand wise, but color and cleanliness) to be used on the property, even when hacking or schooling. Would this be acceptable to you if the barn was nice enough?

Like, in addition to the nazi-esque dress code, the care was also impeccable. You horse was groomed twice a day, all diets were designed by an equine nutritionist and a vet, all of your vet appointments and farrier appointments were arranged for you, etc...Basically the most extreme of full care facilities.

Would this be a place you would be interested in boarding at? Or would the dress code be too much?

Maybe I'm over-sensitive, but I'd be a little suspicious of a barn that took that much control over my horse's diet, shoeing schedule, deworming, vaccinations, and general care. I'm at the barn enough that I really don't want someone else grooming my horse for me. For me, part of owning a horse is just spending time with him, and grooming time = unwinding time.

As far as dress code, I'm not sure how well that would go over. I could certainly understand it from a safety standpoint (correct footwear, comfortable/appropriate clothing) but not down to colors, styles or brands. It DOES give a very professional appearance for barn employees to have some sort of "uniform" look such as a polo shirt with the farm logo/name on it, and I know of some barns that do not allow staff to wear jeans with tears/holes. Staff t-shirts/polos may not be feasible if the barn has high turnover for stall cleaners and general help.

billiebob
Apr. 27, 2009, 01:31 AM
No, I would not be interested in a place like this. I could probably deal with the dress code as long as I wasn't working there. It's the full care part of it I don't like. I HATE it when people groom for me unless it's something like wiping my boots off before I go in the show ring (I don't think I could manage that myself :)). Actually I prefer to do everything for my horse.

I can understand those who would like a facility like this, where everything matches and the horses all look like they came out of a magazine. For me, though, it would be a nice place to visit but not to live.

bumknees
Apr. 27, 2009, 06:41 AM
I guess it would depend. If for example the rules state that I had to wear tall boots with ts britches then I would not board there. If I already was there and a new owner/ manager appeared with these rules I would say 'you buying?"

I dont mind horses being on a schedule the same for all as it keeps record keeping eaiser for everyone including owner of horses you know that the horses will be wormed at the same time recieved vacc at the same time shod etc...

I would have problems wth a 'strict' no input from me diet of my horse.

But if the rules basically say tack should be safe riders approatly dressed I wouldnt have problems with that.

mswillie
Apr. 27, 2009, 08:36 AM
Not in this lifetime. Since it's just a hypothetical question, hypothetically, if I had enough money to afford a place like this I would have enough money to afford a decent place that wasn't so over the top restrictive.

Beyond basic safety (helmet, and proper footwear) I don't care what anyone else chooses to wear.

It just occurred to me that we are all assuming that the colors and dress code would be conservative. I wonder if people would feel differently if the barn colors were hot pink and neon orange? That's why I couldn't stand it. I don't want to be told I have to wear tan and white anymore than I want to be told I have to wear pink and orange.

I can't stand hot pink on a bright chestnut horse. I think it looks hideous but it doesn't hurt the horse and it doesn't endanger the rider. As much as I hate it, I wouldn't want to be at a place that would not allow someone to make that their color scheme.

katie16
Apr. 27, 2009, 10:32 AM
Just wondering how one would go about following through with mandating adherance to dress code policies?

Obviously, if someone did not obey the rules you could ask them to leave (boarder, lesson student, whatever). But in reality, other than dismissing a customer, what can you do? If you were the cream of the crop with a waiting list, the "move on please" method would work for you. But probably not so much for everyone else . . .

findeight
Apr. 27, 2009, 11:02 AM
This would clearly be a show barn and not cheap. Admit I did not wade thru the other responses. Rules like this are usually prompted by somebody who always looks like crap or is bouncing around half exposed when they are trying to teach or sell horses...or show the place to prospective clients.

Imagine some would mind and some would be first in line, we have had alot of similar discussion on these things-usually the tank tops, exposed bras, shorts and flip flops in the summer brings them out.

Barns are places of business and whoever is running it has the right to do as they please, long as it is all disclosed up front.

Admit I never heard of having to wear certain colors but, otherwise, no problem. I work so cannot supervise my horse's diet...but I know exactly what and how much and I found a barn that managed to my tastes, not picked one and expected them to change. And, yeah, it is one that does not allow holey jeans and no bras under tanks in the summer, go figure.

There is no entitlement to make a business owner change the rules and anybody is entitled to look elsewhere if you don't like a barns rules.

GettingBack
Apr. 27, 2009, 11:08 AM
I think it depends on what kind of barn it was.

I can see mandating that tack be kept clean and in good repair as it does increase the potential liability (or hassle) for the BO/Trainer if it isn't.

I think a facility with a strong focus on teaching should have very strict policies that relate to functionality of horse care and neatness.

Regular boarding barns? Well, not so much - but still policies related to functionality of horse care.

For instance, if I were to run a regular boarding barn, the policies would be:

-Clean tack
-Horses taken care of on a barn schedule - owners welcome to participate/choose, but any deviations from barn schedule must be discussed and approved (for instance, if your horse can go 8 weeks between farrier visits and your farrier approves - because your horse doesn't grow much hoof etc. - then that's fine, but if you're just lazy about scheduling appointments then no)
-Safety equipment mandated
-Only leather halters permitted
-Horses groomed on a regular basis - I think having in-barn grooms is a good idea, but that doesn't preclude the owner from grooming as well - with the goal being the health of the horse rather than "a perfectly groomed horse"
-Trunks must have wheels and rounded edges (for safety and cleanability)

If I ran a teaching facility:
-Clean and properly maintained tack
-Horses taken care of on barn schedule (see above for owner deviations)
-Safety equipment mandated
-Leather halters
-Horses groomed (see above)
-Trunks (see above)
-Mandated care (blankets/sheets/etc.) for the horse (owner deviations apply)
-Coordinated wraps (Not necessarily for color, but because if you're going to teach someone how to wrap properly, it's best for them to have the appropriate wraps for the job)
-Jeans on staff and polo shirts/clean t-shirts
-Appropriate riding attire (polo shirts/clean t-shirts, breeches & either tall boots or chaps/half chaps and paddock boots)
-Hairnets (again, safety)
-Acceptable saddle pads/fittings and bits (more to do with comfort/fit than color)

The difference between the two scenarios is that in the bottom scenario you are really trying to teach people what is appropriate in the horseworld, and appearances matter. They just do.

It would stop the cringeworthy things that I see in my boarding barn, such as the nasty scary long shanked twisted wire bit that I just saw in one of the horses mouths. Setting good policies ahead of time is important.

Enforcement? Set up a strategy. Fines work well, or asking someone to leave the program. Asking people to leave the program will *make* it exclusive, by nature.

moonpie
Apr. 27, 2009, 11:08 AM
I would actually expect this at a well respected show barn.

SweetTalk
Apr. 27, 2009, 11:11 AM
If it was affordable, sure. If not...eh, probably not. I'm a poor college student.

SaturdayNightLive
Apr. 27, 2009, 11:16 AM
Thanks for the responses so far guys!

Just to be clear - the place I describe does not actually exist, at least so far as I know. I'm working on a final project for a class, and this plays into it.

lonewolf
Apr. 27, 2009, 11:30 AM
I would be ok with it, depending on the specific rules, IF the scenario was as you described.

My problem with barns like this is that they usually DO try to make people buy specific (and expensive) brands, and do not tend to be flexible in regards to doing what is best for each horse, if that does not conform to the 'program.'

If the rules are clean, well-fitting tack in conservative colors (no lime green or pink polos), then I would be fine with it. Asking the rider to wear a tucked-in shirt with sleeves, a helmet, breeches and clean boots would be ok.

As long as it is ok that the helmet is a Troxel, the bridle can be any style, the breeches can be tuff riders, saddle could be a Wintec and the blankets of any make and brand that suits the horse.

I am all about neat, functional and conservative. I have no room whatsoever for snobbery, brand or otherwise, and I hate places that treat owners as if their opinions regarding their own horses don't matter.

tangledweb
Apr. 27, 2009, 11:35 AM
It would not be the dress code that would be turning me away, it would be that that fact that only a completely psychotic, anal retentive, OCD BO would have that dress code.

I could live with the dress code, but next month, you'll be getting notes saying that "somebody" left manure in the car park, and "somebody" figure-eighted a bridle anticlockwise.

The symptom would not bother me overly, but the underlying cause would.

katie16
Apr. 27, 2009, 11:45 AM
For instance, if I were to run a regular boarding barn, the policies would be:

-Trunks must have wheels and rounded edges (for safety and cleanability)




In theory this sounds like a great idea. However, I might be in the dark here, but I don't know of any nationally known trunk makers (Phoenix West, Oakcroft, McGuinn) that make trunks with round corners. They all have pointy (90 degree) corners.

I think just keeping trunks out of the aisle would be an easier safety related request.

Rosie
Apr. 27, 2009, 11:58 AM
Sounds like many professionally run show barns. If the rules are there to contribute to the well - being of the horses (grooming, turn out, vet visits, farrier visits, etc) and to make the riders realize that they should take their sport seriously (dress appropriately for said sport) then I see nothing wrong with them and would have no problem with the program.

Having those things provided doesn't necessarily mean that owners have no say in their horses care or that they aren't "allowed" to groom as much as they want to.

Not sure how some posters made the leap to sore horses from bad saddle fitting, lack of turnout, etc.? from the "rules" as they were stated - but most "bad horsemanship/horse care" that I've seen has not been at show barns.

ExJumper
Apr. 27, 2009, 12:08 PM
-Trunks must have wheels and rounded edges (for safety and cleanability)



In theory this sounds like a great idea. However, I might be in the dark here, but I don't know of any nationally known trunk makers (Phoenix West, Oakcroft, McGuinn) that make trunks with round corners. They all have pointy (90 degree) corners.

I think just keeping trunks out of the aisle would be an easier safety related request.

If you send your trunk with a pro shipper, most of them won't allow wheeled trunks for safety reasons :)



As for the OP, I'd kill for a place like that! As much as I love my horses, my old mare was never happier than the few months we spent on full care with a very BNT. My relationship never suffered nor did it do anything to our "bond." If I could afford a place with top notch care and training, I'd certainly hope that they had some sort of dress code. I wear breeches already, and I already wear polos. So what if I have to wear blue ones? Go buy a dozen $10 navy polos and you're set for the rest of your life! Pads and polos? Who cares! At places like that you often use the barns pads anyway, especially if tacking up is included in the full service.

findeight
Apr. 27, 2009, 12:10 PM
In a show barn it is MARKETING. They want anybody seeing one of theirs to know it is one of theirs.

At home, they want everybody turned out close to show standards because they turn out horses and riders for...shows. That is their job.

Since they go to...shows...all the horse are exposed to whatever is at the shows, plus there are sale horses in and out, some right from Europe. So the health care needs to be on the same schedual and that actually works better when the barn manages and scheduals it and they make required routine vet work pretty clear in the boarding contract.

Since this is a hypothetical, I can tell you the top level show barns are managed like this however never seen the required colors as long as it is conservative. Most do allow paddocks and half chaps and even jeans as a conveneince to their clients who can't afford to wear out a pair of tall boots and 4 pairs of breeches every 2 years.

For a hypothetical top level show barn, this is reasonable. For the average local show level barn, you'd need to loosen it up a bit and for the average boarding barn it is not going to work outside of safety related.

Depends on who you are marketing towards. Who is your client and what they would prefer...and the client means the one signing the checks, not a 13 year old.

Penthilisea
Apr. 27, 2009, 12:33 PM
Been there, done that. It's really good for teaching young folks the most stringent rules and methods, which later they can unlearn, break and flaunt. :D

It really wouldn't bother me unless there was a brand name requirement that I couldn't or wouldn't afford.

I know at my last farm, the BO gritted her teeth a bit about my purple Rubbermaid tack trunk :lol: in her immaculate tack room filled with rich finished woods and framed photos of shows. But I did finally finish building my own tack trunk and my BO bought me a name plate to put on it. :)

I guess it depends on the person. Having such a stringent routine does guarantee no horse is ever neglected, or off schedule for feet/vaccinations/worming etc which I appreciate.

twobays
Apr. 27, 2009, 12:36 PM
The dress-code thing is what's really putting me off. I always look clean/professional when I come to the barn, but I prefer to hack (not lesson) in jeans/polo/half-chaps. I don't think I'd appreciate a barn that didn't allow me to hack/trail ride in jeans.

The other thing is, I'm not entirely sure you can divorce the "looking good/professional/workmanlike" with brand names. I doubt most trainers who force you to wear a barn polo are going to let you show up in a troxel and a wintec, regardless of how safe or how well they fit you/your horse.

ClassyRide
Apr. 27, 2009, 12:42 PM
The most important thing to me in the world when looking at a barn is whether or not my horse would be happy. When I first got my boy, we boarded for a couple of months at a show barn (not quite as strict as the hypothetical barn, but close to it). As someone mentioned, the horses didn't get turned out when the ground was even damp because they didn't want to ruin their beautiful green pastures. Even when they did get turned out, it wasn't for more than 6 or 7 hours. Unfortunately, my horse did NOT like that environment, and so he couldn't gain any weight (was underweight when I got him, so he needed some groceries) and became increasingly high-strung.

We moved to a regular boarding barn that is completely relaxed and where the horses get turned out (weather permitting) 24/7 in the Spring and Fall (they come in to get fed, then go straight back out), all day in the Winter and all night in the Summer. My horse couldn't be happier there, and that's the only real "requirement" I have.

My horse's tastes aside, if it were simply up to my happiness or not, I would tend not to go to a barn that was that highly managed. Although it's a good thing for people whose schedules simply don't allow them to be as hands-on with their horses, I am in the "hands-on" club. One of the reasons I got into horses in the first place was to get my enjoyment from taking care of him just as much as from riding him. :yes:

**Edited to Add**: I forgot to mention that the dress code wouldn't bother me. I agree that if I could afford a barn with that much care, I'm sure I could afford to buy comfortable clothing that is within the dress code.

Also, I would need to speak a lot with the BO or Manager to determine how flexible they are with things. So, like Wonders 12 says, can I alter my horse's feed? And I am also very anal about what farrier touches my horse after I had a bad experience. There are only 2 farriers that I personally know who I will let touch my horse. Would they be willing to let me bring in my own? etc., etc. I would have to get a really good feel for how willing they are with those aspects, and my decision would be heavily weighted one way or the other from that.

Wonders12
Apr. 27, 2009, 12:53 PM
First of all, I would never be able to afford this! :lol:

Second, I would need to know more before signing up.
I don't mind a dress code, but what exactly did you have in mind for a "nazi-like" dress code?

Also, can I show up in jeans if I'm not riding one day?

Can I alter my horses feed from what the chosen nutritionist determined?

What are your tack regulations?

I would be afraid I wouldn't be able to afford the dress code and rules, but I guess if I could afford a facility like this I could afford some more breeches and polos. ;)

findeight
Apr. 27, 2009, 01:00 PM
The dress-code thing is what's really putting me off. I always look clean/professional when I come to the barn, but I prefer to hack (not lesson) in jeans/polo/half-chaps. I don't think I'd appreciate a barn that didn't allow me to hack/trail ride in jeans.

The other thing is, I'm not entirely sure you can divorce the "looking good/professional/workmanlike" with brand names. I doubt most trainers who force you to wear a barn polo are going to let you show up in a troxel and a wintec, regardless of how safe or how well they fit you/your horse.


Most of the show barns don't really ban jeans, especially for trail rides. Most of them do make a barn logo polo available but do not require it so you can wear your own preferred brand or whatever was on sale at Wally World. Long as it fits.

Most show barns are not going to have too many kids who want to stand out on a Troxel and there wouldn't be that many Wintecs in there. But a beginner would not be turned away with them in barns with beginner programs.

Again, this hypothetical barn would be a show barn where clients want to go horse show, not your average muti interest boarding barn.

Vixenish
Apr. 27, 2009, 01:05 PM
I think it was GM who has said that clean, neat turnout shows respect for the horse and the sport. Rules with a rationale behind them are generally good rules. Arbitrary rules walk a finer line for me. Agree completely with PP's comment re turnout and marketing for show barns.

Many of the posters who have said "Ugh, no way! I like to be hands on!" are not the people to whom these rules are directed -- it's the ones that can't be bothered to pull their horse's mane/keep his muzzle clipped/schedule timely farrier appointments, etc.

My barn doesn't mandate that we wear a certain color, but suggests we do by providing a stack of white baby pads and bins of black or white polos in the groom stalls for our use (w/ the barn laundering daily). You are 'allowed' to deviate, but it's just so easy to use what's provided that pretty much everyone does.

GettingBack
Apr. 27, 2009, 01:07 PM
You're right on the trunks - it's just what I would prefer :) Keep in mind that I was talking about a boarding barn (with the rounded edges and wheels) not a show barn - the two are very different to me.

twobays
Apr. 27, 2009, 01:10 PM
Most of the show barns don't really ban jeans, especially for trail rides. Most of them do make a barn logo polo available but do not require it so you can wear your own preferred brand or whatever was on sale at Wally World. Long as it fits.

Most show barns are not going to have too many kids who want to stand out on a Troxel and there wouldn't be that many Wintecs in there. But a beginner would not be turned away with them in barns with beginner programs.

Again, this hypothetical barn would be a show barn where clients want to go horse show, not your average muti interest boarding barn.

I understand all that...I've never ridden in a place (BNT show barns included) that totally banned jeans, but if they did, I'd cope if the training/care was worth it.

I just think its kind of funny when people post things like this with the caveat that no brand names are specified/demanded. I understand that the trainer doesn't absolutely demand certain brands, but for the most part, everyone is going to be "encouraged" to wear/use TS, CO/GPA, Beval/Butet/CWD, T-boots/Eskadrons, Baker, etc. Might as well just come out and give people a choice of a few brands rather than saying people can use whatever they want and then subtly "encouraging" people to buy whatever the trainer likes. I have no problem with having a dress code that includes certain brands as long as the barn is upfront about it.

veebug22
Apr. 27, 2009, 01:10 PM
I've ridden at barns that had dress codes (lessons in breeches and boots, no tank tops, etc.), although they were more relaxed than what you've described. Certain colors weren't required, although you would get teased and looks of mock disgust from the trainer if you showed up in hot pink. If you actually went off the property with said hot pink saddle pad, well that was another story. Let's just say it was more appropriate even when on the property to always be in neutral or classic colors. I actually really liked the discipline and attention to detail it brought out in people, and it was for a good reason (like now, I ride in jeans constantly and riding in breeches and boots feels odd unless I'm showing a lot!). It made me think of it as a sport, not just a hobby. But as an adult with a stressful job, I don't think I would want the kind of rigidity you've described at the place I go to relax.

Spirit_Rider16
Apr. 27, 2009, 01:17 PM
I can certainly see the appeal in a barn like that, though it might be a bit too structured for me personally. I like to be able to get my own horse ready and spend as much time with him on the ground as possible. And I'm not sure my boy would appreciate being groomed more often than I force him to put up with, anyways. ;)

However, I don't think it sounds unreasonable. I don't mind having a dress code too much (as long as it's along the lines of polo shirt, britches, and tall boots/half chaps). I tend to get very dirty at the barn, though, so for me keeping myself presentable could be an issue. Being forced to keep my tack clean could only be a good thing, too. The personalized diet is great, and I don't mind having someone else schedule vet and farrier visits, as long as I have some say in what's being done.

So yeah, it basically boils down to different strokes for different folks, as a bunch of other people have said. As long as the quality of care is good and you like the place, it's fine!

Equilibrium
Apr. 27, 2009, 01:26 PM
The care for the horse sounds awesome and when I was galloping horses I use to have my own enforced dress code. White t-shirts or turtlenecks only with black helmet cover, black chaps, black safety vest and black or white gloves only - fresh gloves every day sometimes every horse as in summer. If I knew it was going to be muddy then black shirts were in order. It was very easy as I wasn't taking care of horses, I was just riding.

Move on a few years and I'm my own groom, mucker, farm hand, and rider so things aren't so neat and pristine. White just doesn't work anymore and I live in rainy muddy central - Ireland. My winter gear is oh so pretty! I also do late night checks in my robe and boots. I still ride in chaps and try and be as neat as I can, but some mornings with the weather I'm not all that prim and proper.

As for my horses I only use dark and white polos and boots. But I use saddle towels under my saddle pads and these are ones I got while working at the track so I have a rainbow collection of those. As in bright pink from the Oaks and yellow from the Derby to the purple of the Breeders Cup. I use square pads so only a little is visible. But it saves me from washing pads every day and keeps most of the yucky off of everything. So I guess that wouldn't be suitable.

I think the place sounds wonderful but it's all about your own personal taste and if you want to deal with what can be a hassel.

Terri

gottagrey
Apr. 27, 2009, 01:43 PM
I can only see a dress code for 1) publicly run/owned or large riding stables which cater to a large population 2) can agree w/ more appropriate dress for lessons. Otherwise - telling someone type/color of tack etc is crazy unless they are helping foot the bill for their preferred tack. I do understand some show barns reguire matching trunks, colors, wraps etc and I'm fine w/ that as it adds uniformity when on the road - and helps in case things are misplaced or lost.

Mukluk
Apr. 27, 2009, 02:00 PM
So hypothetically, lets say that you came across a barn that had very strict policies regarding what was and was not allowed, right down to a very strict dress code. Specifically, all tack and clothing had to meet certain requirements (not brand wise, but color and cleanliness) to be used on the property, even when hacking or schooling. Would this be acceptable to you if the barn was nice enough?

If the dress code were: Dress comfortably and sensibly and this includes tank tops in hot weather.
If they clean my tack when I don't have time for free. Of course tack needs to be maintained but I think a place like this could go overboard.

Like, in addition to the nazi-esque dress code, the care was also impeccable. You horse was groomed twice a day, all diets were designed by an equine nutritionist and a vet, all of your vet appointments and farrier appointments were arranged for you, etc...Basically the most extreme of full care facilities.

No thanks, I groom my horse. It is how we bond. I don't want anyone else grooming her. And she gets to roll after every ride! If she can't roll I won't keep her there. I would be OK with the nutritionist, vet, and farrier so long as I thought that each was the right one for my horse and I had the final say with regard to any intervention.

Would this be a place you would be interested in boarding at? Or would the dress code be too much?
__________________

ExJumper
Apr. 27, 2009, 02:05 PM
For crying out loud, people, even fancy-schmancy show horses in fancy-schmancy show barns rubbed on by fancy-schmancy hired grooms get to roll and get turned out and in general act like horses.

Sleepy
Apr. 27, 2009, 03:12 PM
Like, in addition to the nazi-esque dress code, the care was also impeccable. You horse was groomed twice a day, all diets were designed by an equine nutritionist and a vet, all of your vet appointments and farrier appointments were arranged for you, etc...Basically the most extreme of full care facilities.



Oh, really? I want to see your degree. As it happens, I was in pre-vet and I really have taken nutrition courses. Not to mention having spent a lifetime with horses. We can discuss things, but you DON'T get to call the shots regarding my horses' supplements. Of course, if I disapprove of the kind of hay or grain you're feeding, I'm probably not going to be a client anyway. Nor do you get to determine when they need the vet without conferring with me, except, of course, in an emergency.

Since I am also a contol freak, I wouldn't fit in here at all. I will relinquish control, but only to someone I trust to come up to my standards, but not stick me with unnecessary stuff, just to make money.

The dress code thing would annoy the heck out of me, too. Because while I always ride in breeches, it's with paddocks and half-chaps. Used to be jeans and chaps. I don't do polos, just boots. And you certainly get no say in the color of said breeches or polo shirts. OTOH, I would like a rule declaring no tank tops, shorts, etc. And I think people should be taught to clean tack after every ride. But sometimes, there just isn't time.

PS- The person that said that a well cared for saddle won't be orange after a short while. WRONG! My nearly 40 yo Pariani is still orange and it WAS cleaned after every ride and conditioned as needed. :lol:

Pirateer
Apr. 27, 2009, 03:34 PM
I would BE that trainer, but I wouldn't ride there myself.

I want to be the one controlling everything. :)

(And I'm pretty sure SNL is not implying that she is starting this barn...)

SaturdayNightLive
Apr. 27, 2009, 03:37 PM
(And I'm pretty sure SNL is not implying that she is starting this barn...)

:lol: That is correct. As a poli sci major that will soon be attending law school, I have no intention of starting a boarding barn. I don't like eating ramen nearly enough to attempt any sort of equine related business. ;)

Blinky
Apr. 27, 2009, 05:53 PM
It appeals to me but I like structure.
I want all the blankets to be hanging the same. The bridles to be wrapped the same. All probably because that is like the place I learned to ride at. You cleaned your tack before you left and you came to lessons in a polo shirt.

It drives me crazy seeing folks in tank tops, flip flops and wearing their ipods. It drives me crazy with folks that leave their sh%t out all over the place.

I think you are assuming that structure equals dictatorship and that isn't always the case.

ryansgirl
Apr. 28, 2009, 08:00 AM
So hypothetically, lets say that you came across a barn that had very strict policies regarding what was and was not allowed, right down to a very strict dress code. Specifically, all tack and clothing had to meet certain requirements (not brand wise, but color and cleanliness) to be used on the property, even when hacking or schooling. Would this be acceptable to you if the barn was nice enough?

Like, in addition to the nazi-esque dress code, the care was also impeccable. You horse was groomed twice a day, all diets were designed by an equine nutritionist and a vet, all of your vet appointments and farrier appointments were arranged for you, etc...Basically the most extreme of full care facilities.

Would this be a place you would be interested in boarding at? Or would the dress code be too much?

Nope - not a place for me. I rough board and prefer to have 100% total control/care of my own horses. I will not leave all the decisions up to someone else to make. There are lots of people who prefer to have everything done for them and that's fine but it's not for me - never will be. :)

NanO
May. 18, 2009, 12:44 PM
I boarded at a barn with a control freak like this. Everytime anybody did anything there was a rule about it on the board the next day! Drove me nuts!. I never felt welcome at that barn and felt like they were just using all the boarders to pay for their horses.

Nes
May. 18, 2009, 04:03 PM
I dream of places like that *sigh*

Where everyone sweeps up after themselves. Tack is cleaned and properly hung. Personal items are store away. No one comes out in sports bra to ride (specifically people I wouldn't want to see in a full-bathing suite let alone just a bra...). The horses are cleaned and well presented. Stalls are well lite and always tidy. The feed room looks like a feed room not like someone barfed up some trash cans and medical supplies...

Can I come live at your new barn? :yes:

Dress-codes are just fine as long as you aren't going to kill people for running in from work in jeans & sneakers (although there is nothing wrong with demanding breaches and field boots for lessons).

I would love it if I could afford to board at a place that would groom my horse twice a day for me! She'd be so clean! However, you're going to need some extra staff to do more then a hoof pick out and a quick run over with a dandy brush. A twice daily GOOD grooming takes allot of time, which means more people, which means ALLOT more money.

I have to agree with Sleepy on the, I get to pick my horses own feed. Nothing drives me crazier then people trying to over feed my grossly fat horse because they feel bad for her because everyone else gets something. Tuff tabooties - she's not being worked she doesn't need a coffee can full of fat 'n fibre!!

I would love it if the barn made all my farrier and vet appointments, but not if they didn't allow me to bring in my own farrier/vet. Some people just have personality or professional conflicts, no one vet or farrier can do everything. Usually we just have the farrier or vets come out on certain days, tell everyone then they can contact the vet/farrier themselves and be added to thats days list - that worked well.

huntergirl007
May. 18, 2009, 06:47 PM
Sounds to me like it would be a marvelous rehabilitation centre for my pony! You see, he's this lovely gray TB, but he just suffers from chronic-dirty-gray-pony syndrome. There is no known cure so far, symptoms are treatable but not cured. :no: It's just horrible. But this sounds like a lovely place to help him with this problem! ;)

As for me? Might make me go nutso. Actually it is GUARANTEED to cause some sort of mental breakdown. I have a busy life and sometimes making it out to the barn is a chore in itself, and I love the idea of having care like that for when I'm not around. However, I'm already naturally stressed out - I don't need the added pressure of ironing my shirts before I make my trip to the barn! :eek:

superpony123
May. 18, 2009, 07:29 PM
It's all about preference! Personally, I'd be more neurotic about the grooming: did you mean if the barns grooms were required to groom the horse for me, or that i do it myself? Personally, I'd rather groom my horse myself: I HATE it when other people groom my pony, because I feel like I still have to groom him after they do. I already groom him 2x a day. But even a good groom? heck no, I can take care of my own pony.

As for the dress code, I don't care too much as long as it does not require a stiff and stuffy shirt. I can't stand any tight or clingy fabric in the summer, I'll sweat too much. I'll be wearing my oversized old T shirts from Mexico and Canada and random shirts of that sort: the shirts that I don't care if I get quicsilver stains on and what not. Not the nice ralph lauren polo.

However, if I had the money required to board at such a nice facility, I'm sure I'd have the money for plenty of new "riding only" RL polos for barn use. :lol:

meupatdoes
May. 18, 2009, 07:40 PM
OK, honestly the expense/effort/comfort thing about the clothes...

Come on guys:


Picture yourself at Target.
Picture two $7 shirts.

One of them has "My Other Ride is Yo Mama" written on it, tattoo style.
The other one of them is a black polo shirt.

Is it really that difficult to spend the same $7 on the black polo?
Does it really require that much more thought to pull that one out of the closet?
Is the black polo really that much less comfortable?

I'm wearing a $7 polo from Target right now and I am at work in a NYC law firm with a Brooks Brothers suit on over it.
On its second wearing before the next laundry cycle it will go to the barn.
It looks equally at home in both environments.

Not. That. Difficult.

iridehorses
May. 18, 2009, 08:35 PM
yes! id love to go there. but make ssure its good for you, whats good for me may not be for you...

cyberbay
May. 18, 2009, 08:53 PM
Just because the horse is groomed twice a day, and an equine nutritionist does the feed, etc....well, don' equate that with appropriate care.

Really, the best of care is really for a horse to be living out 24/7, mostly in a social herd. Access to a good stall each day is great, too, in case he really wants to take a nap. Educated riding, good, not excessive vet care, not too much grain, and good blacksmith care. The OP's thing sounds like it's all about what the barn owner wants to have going on around him, and he's making the boarders -- and the horses -- pay for his little dream. I don't hear horsemanship, I hear a maniac in charge.

Just 'cause a horse gets groomed twice a day doesn't mean the groom is paying one stitch of attention or grooming him the way he likes; the horse may not like to be groomed; and maybe should go for a handwalk.

And I'd rather have people who are interested enough in their horses to take on the responsibility of their horse, rather than talk about it.

But, I do like people neatly dressed for riding, with shirts (of any sort) tucked in, and hair at least in a ponytail.

findeight
May. 19, 2009, 10:02 AM
Just because the horse is groomed twice a day, and an equine nutritionist does the feed, etc....well, don' equate that with appropriate care.

Really, the best of care is really for a horse to be living out 24/7, mostly in a social herd. Access to a good stall each day is great, too, in case he really wants to take a nap. Educated riding, good, not excessive vet care, not too much grain, and good blacksmith care. The OP's thing sounds like it's all about what the barn owner wants to have going on around him, and he's making the boarders -- and the horses -- pay for his little dream. I don't hear horsemanship, I hear a maniac in charge.

Just 'cause a horse gets groomed twice a day doesn't mean the groom is paying one stitch of attention or grooming him the way he likes; the horse may not like to be groomed; and maybe should go for a handwalk.

And I'd rather have people who are interested enough in their horses to take on the responsibility of their horse, rather than talk about it.



And one more time...there are many caring, knowledgeable owners who live in areas with little or no turn out, who do not care to turn them out with a large group even if they do because they are competition horses and who cannot get to the barn everyday, so if the barn does not groom, the horse does not get groomed.

There are also all kinds of barn environments ranging from very basic with no services unless the owner does it themslves to fully staffed professional training and sales barns with active lesson programs. Many top level barns are centered on national level competitions and handle expensive sales horses in the kind of environment that makes clients comfortable.

Pick the one that suits you and what you can do with your horse within your budget. Do not assumptions or judgements about either BO/BM/trainer or client who makes a different selection from the one you choose.

There really is no right and wrong, only what is suitable for each horse and their owner.

Jumpers4Life80
May. 19, 2009, 10:54 AM
If I could afford to be at or have a place like that I would (except I like grooming, bathing, grazing and tacking up on my own so I get to spend more time with my horse). Hunter/Jumper riders should up hold a certian standard when participating in their sport. I see way, way to much sloppiness with riders, barns and horse care.
All my riders are required to adhear to a certain dress code at certain levels, shirts must be tucked in, no excessive jewlery, gloves worn, hair restrained, no obnoxiously colored saddle pads, boots, polo's ect. Hunter/Jumper is a more conservative disciple if you want to wear bright colors and let your hair go join 4-h or do eventing.
At the same time I require my riders to be hands on and often have to walk into pastures with some mud, goom shedding horses etc. so getting to formal wouldn't be appropriate. Personaly I like the clean and polished workman like apperance. Horses that have shiny coats, good weight and healthy joints who gets good hay and plenty of turnout on grass plus regular exercise. Along with regular vet and farrier care. Barns that are clean, organized, prepared for safety and offer at least the basics are mandatory.
None of my clients have huge bank accounts to be at a FULL care facility and at the beginning levels of riding I believe riding should be SAFE and fun, disciplined fun. Formality comes with the next step up after riders have learned the basics.:D