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View Full Version : Smoking in the barn: Dealbreaker?



Come Shine
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:34 PM
My coach is looking for a place to keep all her horses under one roof until she gets her place built. She has found the ideal spot. Huge stalls. Trails. Great indoor. Beautiful outdoor. You name it, the place is PERFECT. Except...

A couple of people who board there now smoke. IN the barn.

The NEW owners have said they are hopeful the old boarders will quit smoking in the barn.

WWYD?

OneGrayPony
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:35 PM
Absolute dealbreaker for me. Not because I can't abide smoking, but smoking in a barn is just insanity.

AmandaandTuff
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:36 PM
Fire hazard. I smoke, but never in the barn. I walk quite a distance away to have my dirty habit fulfilled.

mroades
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:38 PM
I am sure the insurance provider could come up with a reason not to smoke in the barn. YIKES

War Admiral
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:39 PM
I smoke, but not in the barn... Just ask if they are amenable to creating a designated smoking area, and put in a big bucket of sand. No biggie.

lovemyoldguy
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:41 PM
I smoke, but never EVER in the barn.

Meredith Clark
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:43 PM
It seems like it's setting a bad precedent as far as owner/boarder relations.

If the owners don't have the you-know-whats to tell the boarders not to SMOKE IN THE BARN what else are they going to let them get away with???

RegentLion
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:51 PM
Deal breaker. Absolutely.

Idiocy to smoke in a barn. People who smoke in the barn are being very inconsiderate of the lungs of other people and horses, not to mention being inconsiderate of the lives of the horses and the property of the barn owner.

I'm a fire-phobic as well so this is a no brainer for me.

Chall
Dec. 7, 2009, 09:55 PM
The NEW owners have said they are hopeful the old boarders will quit smoking in the barn.
WWYD?
Hmm, here is what I see. The owners are hopeful...
No, the owners are the OWNERS who get to set the rules (I smoke by the way). I'd worry that they will have problems enforcing other safety issues. So, it's not about the smoking, its about clear rules, the will to enforce them and priorities regarding safety and the procedure for complaints and resolving complaints and communications.
Have you personally met the owners? What do you think of the barn and the owners?

dghunter
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:23 PM
Our BOs smoke at the front of the barn. Irritates me but for a long time it was my only flaw with the place so I dealt with it. When I move (when I student teach) I will look for places with no smoking.

Jaegermonster
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:30 PM
Dealbreaker? Yes.

lizajane09
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:35 PM
Dealbreaker for me, certainly. I've had enough nightmares about barn fires to prefer NOT to experience one in real life, thank you...

Renn/aissance
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:44 PM
The owners need to lay down the law. No smoking in the barn. Period end stop I don't care about your whining.

Lone
Dec. 7, 2009, 10:52 PM
That would be an absolute deal breaker for me. I have nothing against people who smoke, but it should be done WELL away from the barn.

YankeeLawyer
Dec. 7, 2009, 11:02 PM
This would be an absolute dealbreaker for me. Smoking in a barn is stupid and a fire hazard and shows a complete disregard for the safety of all the horses in the barn - not just those belonging to the smokers - as well as the people who work there.

I used to smoke and there is no way I ever would have smoked in or near a barn - not even my own. My ex-farrier smokes in the barn. Note EX farrier.

YankeeLawyer
Dec. 7, 2009, 11:04 PM
Hmm, here is what I see. The owners are hopeful...
No, the owners are the OWNERS who get to set the rules (I smoke by the way). I'd worry that they will have problems enforcing other safety issues. So, it's not about the smoking, its about clear rules, the will to enforce them and priorities regarding safety and the procedure for complaints and resolving complaints and communications.

I agree. If they are not sufficiently assertive to enforce the most basic and obvious of safety rules, it is hard to imagine how they would manage enforcing any other rules.

lostinAusten
Dec. 7, 2009, 11:13 PM
I've always found it hard to believe the number of people in the horse world who do smoke, got to be pretty inconvenient. At our barn smoking is only allowed in the parking area and smokers are asked to dispose of their butts elsewhere. In other words, take them with you! Truly can't believe anyone would allow itin the barn. Tops my list of reasons not to move in!

Dressage.For.Life.
Dec. 7, 2009, 11:22 PM
Absolutely a deal breaker.

Mini_Me
Dec. 8, 2009, 12:28 AM
ABSOLUTELY! I'm a (fairly recent) ex-smoker and I didn't even smoke on the property of the barn. And we have a reeeeeally long driveway! Just not worth the risk to the ponies!

Rubyfree
Dec. 8, 2009, 12:48 AM
Complete deal breaker.

A mindless, thoughtless disregard for such a basic safety guideline would make me wonder what other easily-avoidable disasters they were laughing in the face of.

I took lessons from someone who occasionally smoked while teaching, sometimes in the (attached) indoor. I really liked lessoning there but that knocked my respect for him back several notches.

stoicfish
Dec. 8, 2009, 01:27 AM
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iCdZsAzl_Y3M26cEJCQ4l9LIBFKwD9CDCK280

jetsmom
Dec. 8, 2009, 01:35 AM
I smoke, but wouldn't board where people smoked in the barn.

grandprixjump
Dec. 8, 2009, 01:51 AM
Many, Many years ago, I was working at a farm where the son smoked in the barn area, he was also blind as a bat (I mean legally), was apparently smoking walking across the arena, dropped some ashes or a cig. And the next morning about 50 sq feet of the arena was smoldering and burning. We got lucky it didn't actually catch total fire, but it could have, if the arena had been dryer.

denovo
Dec. 8, 2009, 02:05 AM
It seems like it's setting a bad precedent as far as owner/boarder relations.

If the owners don't have the you-know-whats to tell the boarders not to SMOKE IN THE BARN what else are they going to let them get away with???

Exactly this. If the new owners are just going to 'hope' that boarders will realize there are new rules, not actually enforce them, they dont' sound like terribley effective BO's, and that's just asking for problems.

tBHj
Dec. 8, 2009, 02:31 AM
This would be a deal breaker for me.

PlantersPunch
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:28 AM
I'm going to go against the current and say that it wouldn't be an immediate deal breaker for me. What I would do (assuming the barn owners want your coach to move in) is say that I would move in only with the condition that the smoking stopped immediately.

I totally see what everyone's saying about the BOs potentially not enforcing other things, but its a temporary situation, it seems like everything else is perfect, and there are plenty of excuses (insurance, etc) the BOs can use to stop the smoking if they don't feel comfortable setting a new rule on their own.

SarahandSam
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:29 AM
Dealbreaker for me. I've had trainers who smoked (and one who chain-smoked), and a barn manager who smoked, but they all did it outside, never ever ever in the barn. The fire risk would be way too scary for me... I'd have nightmares.

copper1
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:46 AM
Deal breaker, way too easy for a flying ash or one not put out properly. I see people at shows smoking in the barn often and I always ask them to go outside. (they may not care if their horse burns but I don't want mine to!)
Had some visitors to our barn a few years ago and one was smoking as she approached the barn and I told her no smoking. Her response was "oh, is that bad for the horses?" !!!!!! I said it was when the barn burns!
I prefer not to hire smokers as they have a tendancy to disappear to have a smoke which would be ok if I knew where they were or they didn't pick a bad time for the break!

copper1
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:46 AM
Dealbreaker for me. I've had trainers who smoked (and one who chain-smoked), and a barn manager who smoked, but they all did it outside, never ever ever in the barn. The fire risk would be way too scary for me... I'd have nightmares.

Check your pm

M. O'Connor
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:50 AM
People I rented stalls to smoked a couple years ago. They didn't smoke in the barn...but I am still picking up butts 2-1/2 to 3 years later.

Why smokers seem to think "butts" are not out of place on walkways, driveways, etc. Is beyond me.

Never again. EVER.

Woodland
Dec. 8, 2009, 06:54 AM
My coach is looking for a place to keep all her horses under one roof until she gets her place built. She has found the ideal spot. Huge stalls. Trails. Great indoor. Beautiful outdoor. You name it, the place is PERFECT. Except...

A couple of people who board there now smoke. IN the barn.

The NEW owners have said they are hopeful the old boarders will quit smoking in the barn.

WWYD?

I would never ever ever ever put my horses in a barn with such lax standards!

twofatponies
Dec. 8, 2009, 07:13 AM
Weird the poll, no? 87% say it's NOT a dealbreaker?? But 99% of commenters say it is. (ETA: Never mind, It has a different question than the thread title. Makes sense now!!!!)

Anyway, I would never tolerate it. I don't care either way about people smoking, but in a barn? That's insanity. You can't imagine how quickly hay and shavings can catch fire, and it is very challenging to evacuate horses from a barn in an emergency. Arena footing sometimes has waxes and oils on it, or wood chips in it, or rubber chips in it, all of which are flammable in the right conditions.

It's not just a fire hazard because someone might be dumb and throws a lit cigarette into a stall. I was once chatting with a friend at work outside our building, while she had a smoke break. It was gusty windy. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my back, between my shoulder blades. I leaned back against the wall to rub it. The pain stopped. When I got in to my office and took off my jacket, it had a HOLE burned in it - a wayward ember from her cigarette had somehow dropped down the back of my jacket and set me on fire!!!!

(Friend was mortified and bought me a new jacket.)

TheOrangeOne
Dec. 8, 2009, 07:41 AM
You know, I moved into a barn and found out that the BO and another boarder smoke in the barn regularly. The BO smokes while doing stalls and either puts them out in the water bucket :dead:or tosses them in the shavings and steps on them :eek: I had a major freak out when I first saw this, but she's been running her barn that way for 20 years and hasn't lit it on fire. Is it a good thing? Absolutely not. However, if the facility is perfect in other ways and the other boarders are mindful of putting their cigarettes out, I would not totally cross it off the list. Bad, old wiring is much more of a concern to me. I think an old box fan with dust in the motor is also a major fire hazard, but I probably would not refuse to board somewhere because of it.

Come Shine
Dec. 8, 2009, 09:24 AM
Thanks for the responses. My coach seemed to be questioning whether the smoking outweighed all the positives. I certainly thought it did! However, as a rabid former smoker, I am not really the most unbiased source.

I totally agree with the above posters who said that if the managment lets a very basic safety rule slide, how serious are they going to be about other aspects of horse care? As well, 'hoping' for change seems be a very poor business model. To me, that may also mean they are hoping once my coach moves in that the smoking won't bother her.

As well, one thing I didn't think about, but will now mention to my coach, is the way her business will be 'seen' when clients come to a barn and someone is smoking inside.

Sigh. It's a shame really. The place sounds so perfect otherwise.

Ozone
Dec. 8, 2009, 09:36 AM
We have two people who smoke at the barn - but NEVER in the barn. We all are aware of safety and respect others and their horses. We have a designated smoke area - outside the barn, butts are in the pockets of the smokers.

I just don't like non-smokers that knock smokers up and down and lose "respect" for them because they smoke. The air WE ALL breathe is just as toxic as smoking and everyone has a vice of their own even it is not so previalent.

Smoking and how your horse is cared for are two different things....

BAC
Dec. 8, 2009, 09:51 AM
My coach seemed to be questioning whether the smoking outweighed all the positives. I certainly thought it did!

I wuold be questioning your coach's judgement too if she had any doubt at all as to the "smoking outweighing the positives." Your horse's life is at risk, just for a nice facility?

Its an absolute dealbreaker to me, and just as serious is the owner's wishy washy attitude about "hoping" the smokers will stop? The owner needs to grow a spine.

Lostboy
Dec. 8, 2009, 09:56 AM
eems like their Insurance company would have some rule AGAINST smoking in the barn area...in fact it could negate any insurance claim.. kinda like when you get in an accident and didnt have your seat belt on. You might want to point that out to the owners.. also if you are moving in with a number of horses I would think they would take some requests.. like maybe posting or allowing you guys to post no smaoking signs.. they sound spineless on the issue but maybe they are afraid of losing business from consistant clients in favor of temporary ones.

either way.. if that was the best place with my horses I would just have a sit down with them and tell them my concern

Schune
Dec. 8, 2009, 10:39 AM
Absolute 100% dealbreaker for me.

I find smoking to be a filthy, disgusting habit; I have horrific allergies to smoke and can't tolerate it (thank god I live in Ohio with the smoking ban in place), but to smoke INSIDE a barn where hay is literally the best sort of tinder... it blows my mind.

However, the biggest 'no' flashing in my head right now is the new BO's lacksidaisical attitude toward the whole thing. They hope? I put stock in hope as far as I can throw it. If the BO isn't willing to grow a set and say there is no smoking in the barn as it is a HAZARD, why would I want to risk my horse's life and my health there?

No thanks.

findeight
Dec. 8, 2009, 10:46 AM
Hey, send your coach to me if she is having trouble deciding on this one.

I'll take her just ONE MILE up the street from my barn. She can watch the excavation equipment and bulldozers trying to pick out the bone fragments and whatever else still left of those 43 horses that burned up with the barn.

Cause unknown but arson has been ruled out.

Have to agree with those questioning her judgement. Smoking is a dirty habit and my biggest beef is with those that chuck the butts at their feet wherever they happen to be-most don't even think about it.

What no brainer of a barn owner allows boarders to smoke in the barn? And if one boarder can, why can't they all-including the kids sneaking a puff when nobody is looking? Perhaps they would like to come over for a tour of Barn16 at the fairgrounds?

gallupgirl
Dec. 8, 2009, 10:47 AM
Absolute dealbreaker. And from experience I will tell you that people that will smoke in a barn will not stop, rules or not. For some reason they are like closet eaters.

S1969
Dec. 8, 2009, 10:52 AM
I took lessons at a barn where so many people smoked, you'd sometimes find them ON a horse while smoking. (At the beginning of a lesson once). I was terrified that the poor horses would all die some night because one of the many teens or young adults would have left a butt smoldering somewhere. I would NEVER board my horse at a place like that.

Summit Springs Farm
Dec. 8, 2009, 10:53 AM
Deal breaker!!!! And everyone who smokes that comes to my farm seems to think its fine to leave their cig butts on my property, now I have a NO SMOKING POLICY ANYWHERE!

findeight
Dec. 8, 2009, 11:03 AM
People can do whatever they want in their own barn.

But, after 40+ years in boarding barns? I can promise you there is no way to allow some to smoke and others not to. Either nobody smokes or anybody can smoke. Problematic if you have kids around.

Claim to be as careful as you want...there will be somebody that is not so careful, especially if there are any kids around who might think it cool.

Grataan
Dec. 8, 2009, 11:07 AM
Absolute dealbreaker for me. Not because I can't abide smoking, but smoking in a barn is just insanity.

Your poll is broken. There is no "F*** NO!" option.

headsupheelsdown
Dec. 8, 2009, 11:12 AM
Yes, dealbreaker. And I totally agree with those that don't even allow it on the property. I used to allow it as long as it was outside. Not anymore. No one picks up their butts. Not worth it at all.

onelanerode
Dec. 8, 2009, 11:20 AM
Your poll is broken. There is no "F*** NO!" option.

This. I crossed an otherwise-OK barn off my list because it had an outdoor smoking area with a covered veranda attached to the barn (wood construction, with hay stored in empty stalls). They had a nice bucket of sand for the butts, but sorry ... no way. NO EFFING WAY. My horse can find enough ways to maim herself without human stupidity helping her out. :eek:

Drive NJ
Dec. 8, 2009, 11:47 AM
Having been through a barn fire and losing a horse and the other badly injured, I would no longer chance boarding at a barn where smoking was allowed. Fire was not caused by smoking. Just can't handle those kinds of risks any more.That said the pics of the barn at the fairgrounds brings up another dealbreaker for me - The barn is too big with too few exits. In a fire you're horse's chances are much better if he's in the first 3-4 stalls from a main doorway. With the prefab under roof construction, a lot of firemen aren't going into an involved building from the middle either - just too dangerousSo we would need a smaller barn, near the door or with rear doors to be really comfortable anymore and we know even that is no promise of safety - just a better shot. We've been in horses a long time... but always thought barn fires only happen to the other guy - guess not.The up side is that our survivor is still able to drive AND spends some of his time helping teach fire safety and working with burn survivors.

AdultAmmy
Dec. 8, 2009, 12:29 PM
I'd say deal breaker. I smoke, but I never smoke in or around the barn. Generally I don't smoke while Im at the barn, not until Im in my car and driving up the driveway.

Horsepower
Dec. 8, 2009, 12:32 PM
No WAY. Total dealbreaker. Which reminds me, I want to buy a fire extinguisher to keep in my car so if I can't get to the one in the barn in an emergency I at least can use mine. I once saw a neighbors house on fire. It is a very frightening sight.

dghunter
Dec. 8, 2009, 01:06 PM
No WAY. Total dealbreaker. Which reminds me, I want to buy a fire extinguisher to keep in my car so if I can't get to the one in the barn in an emergency I at least can use mine. I once saw a neighbors house on fire. It is a very frightening sight.

That's actually not a bad idea. This may seem like a stupid question but is there a temperature that it's supposed to be stored at (like not below x and not above y)? Because it gets pretty cold here in Ohio ;)

Wizard of Oz's
Dec. 8, 2009, 01:09 PM
Definately a deal breaker. The barn I'm at now (and have been at for 11 years) allows everyone and anyone to smoke whereever they like. Other rules they are very strict about but the two main trainers smoke in the barns, around the barns, and in the rings while teaching. I started riding there when I was 7 and my parents are not horse people but I really can't believe how I didn't realize what a hazard it is! It is one of the many reasons my horse will be moving from that barn in a week or so.

FineAlready
Dec. 8, 2009, 01:41 PM
No way would I move my horses in. I don't need to add "horses burning to death in their stalls as they shriek in horror" to my list of things to worry about. Horses are fragile enough without adding something so utterly preventable to the list of ways they could be injured or killed.

My goodness. No. Just...NO.

Heineken
Dec. 8, 2009, 02:51 PM
I boarded at a barn for several years where BM and trainers chain smoked. Now, over a year later, I can't believe I tolerated it...for my lungs, my horses' and the safety issue. I love walking into the barn now and smelling horses, not smog!

starrysky
Dec. 8, 2009, 03:50 PM
Dealbreaker for me. I just don't trust other people enough - and justifiably so. I used to ride at a barn where the instructor smoked in the indoor. That was the only place in the barn that they smoked, but still - in the barn.

superpony123
Dec. 8, 2009, 04:29 PM
HUGE fire hazard. not only that, but it's extremely inconsiderate--and obviously as we an see here: it drives business away. It's a shame that the owners of the barn aren't enforcing a rule. Every barn ive been to has a strict no smoking in the barn rule.

As far as being inconsiderate goes, what about the kid who has asthma? asthma is pretty darn common, and i don't have asthma per se, but i have breathing issues, and I can't handle being in a school bathroom after someone's been smoking. I choke up. It really aggravates me when i'm at a horse show and i'm on deck, and another trainer nearby is puffing away and I can hardly breathe! But smoking in the barn is an ABSOLUTE NO

and, i can't imagine keeping my horse in a barn where i feel there is an elevated risk of fire, and, god forbid my horse gets caught in that fire.

RubyLink
Dec. 8, 2009, 04:37 PM
There was a girl on my equestrian team who gave lessons to other teammates and she would smoke before, after, and during lessons. I refused to take lessons with her or even be in the barn when she smoked. It just boggled my mind that she was allowed to do that.

sdfarm
Dec. 8, 2009, 04:45 PM
And yet... I have never personally known of a barn fire started by ashes from a cigarette. Did she check out the electric? Try the outlets to see how snug they are? Look for moisture on the insulation around the conduit? Is there hay stored above the horses? Is it salted before it's stacked?

Note that 85% say no, not a deal breaker.

stfatpony
Dec. 8, 2009, 04:55 PM
My coach is looking for a place to keep all her horses under one roof until she gets her place built. She has found the ideal spot. Huge stalls. Trails. Great indoor. Beautiful outdoor. You name it, the place is PERFECT. Except...

A couple of people who board there now smoke. IN the barn.

The NEW owners have said they are hopeful the old boarders will quit smoking in the barn.

WWYD?

The NEW owners need to put on their big boy pants and tell the boarders that they must stop smoking in the barn immediately or they will have to leave. Fire hazard, insurance won't cover if God forbid something happens.

tabula rashah
Dec. 8, 2009, 07:00 PM
And yet... I have never personally known of a barn fire started by ashes from a cigarette. Did she check out the electric? Try the outlets to see how snug they are? Look for moisture on the insulation around the conduit? Is there hay stored above the horses? Is it salted before it's stacked?

Note that 85% say no, not a deal breaker.


No 85% said no, they would not move in. Read the question in the poll.

Deal breaker for me as well- Actually I'd much prefer a no smoking anywhere on property rule.

Falconfree
Dec. 8, 2009, 08:13 PM
No way, never, uh uh. I would not board somewhere that allowed people to smoke in the barn. To be honest, I didn't even know this was any issue for anybody. The second barn I boarded at had a /lot/ of smokers, and they hung out by the road to smoke, well away from the barn. I can't believe any horseperson would smoke in a barn, knowing what a danger it is.
And personally, once we have our own property we won't allow smoking anywhere on it.

Mardi
Dec. 8, 2009, 09:17 PM
This would be an absolute dealbreaker for me. Smoking in a barn is stupid and a fire hazard and shows a complete disregard for the safety of all the horses in the barn - not just those belonging to the smokers - as well as the people who work there.


So interesting, all of us saying "No" to smoking at the barn. I thought maybe I was the only one who thought it was a no-no.

I used to board at a well known h/j barn in San Diego. One of the trainer's
grooms smoked like a chimney. Cigarette butts all over the walkways, to and from the turn outs, and in the barn aisle. I picked up a few one day and handed them to the trainer. She said "oh thanks". Nothng changed - the groom still smokes all over the place.

The barn owners knew about it, but it just wasn't a priority.

Grataan
Dec. 9, 2009, 12:01 AM
And yet... I have never personally known of a barn fire started by ashes from a cigarette. Did she check out the electric? Try the outlets to see how snug they are? Look for moisture on the insulation around the conduit? Is there hay stored above the horses? Is it salted before it's stacked?

.

I personally know of several. One of the worst I was first responder DVM. I received an hysterical, incoherent, SCREAMING phone call ala " THEY'RE ALL DYING HELP HELP HELP" from a client on my home phone (only time I've ever been glad I forgot to block my caller ID before calling someone back from my home address-client kept it written down and called me because they couldn't remember the clinic number but "Dr G home 555-5555" was there on the pad next to the phone) I arrived in time to see several horses escape while ON FIRE. I was able to stabilize a few, and euthanize a few, and never able to get the sounds and smells out of my mind of the rest dying, the clients moaning, the firefighters sobbing, etc. The client had dropped a lit cigarette while in the hayloft.


Note that 85% say no, not a deal breaker
And note that 85% said "No they would not move in" not "85% said not a deal breaker".

ESG
Dec. 9, 2009, 12:13 AM
My coach is looking for a place to keep all her horses under one roof until she gets her place built. She has found the ideal spot. Huge stalls. Trails. Great indoor. Beautiful outdoor. You name it, the place is PERFECT. Except...

A couple of people who board there now smoke. IN the barn.

The NEW owners have said they are hopeful the old boarders will quit smoking in the barn.

WWYD?

Seriously? :eek:

And I'm amazed you'd ride with someone who thinks the "perfect place" to keep her horses (and presumably, yours), is okay with the possibility of having Kentucky Fried Equine on her hands.

Seriously? :eek:

And in case that's too subtle for you, the answer is no.

Come Shine
Dec. 9, 2009, 10:04 AM
Very interesting. To re-cap:

The poll question was whether smoking in barn would be a dealbreaker if you were considering moving your horse. At this point, 188 people have responded, with 85% saying YES, it would be a dealbreaker. They would not move their horses somewhere that people smoked in the barn. The other 15% said NO, smoking would not be a dealbreaker.

When you look at the individual written responses.

Roughly: There were four main lines along which the responses seemed to cluster.

1) NO WAY!!! 56% said they would not move their horses to a barn people smoked in. There were no if, ands or butts (pun intended) about this being a total dealbreaker.

2) POOR MANAGEMENT. About 10% said they would not consider the barn because the smoking would reflect poor safety practices in general.

3) NEGATIVE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. About 10% wrote about a negative personal experience (such as responding to a barn fire) which I am interpreting as saying they would not consider a facility with smoking issues.

4) OUTSIDE ONLY. Another 20% said they would consider a facility that allowed smoking OUTSIDE the barn. Cigarette butts and general litter were seen as problematic, even if smoking was limited to outside only.

Overall, 96% of people would not move their horse to a facility that allowed smoking in the barn.

The last 4% (2 responses) said that smoking in the barn "would not be an immediate dealbreaker" and "I would probably not refuse...".

NO ONE said "Hey, I love smoking in the barn, that is my kind of facility!"

My coach is very safety oriented and the well-being of her horses is paramount. The place is perfect, EXCEPT for the smoking.

Lucassb
Dec. 9, 2009, 10:41 AM
Having seen first hand the devastation caused by a barn fire - caused by a kid sneaking a smoke out behind the barn in question - I can tell you that it would absolutely be a deal breaker for me. I will never, ever, get those awful images out of my mind.

Spirit_Rider16
Dec. 9, 2009, 04:20 PM
Absolutely a deal breaker for me! Smoking outside the barn is fine, but inside is just crazy. Hopefully someone can convince them to stop, because it sounds like a lovely place, otherwise.

RoyalTRider
Dec. 9, 2009, 05:11 PM
I was able to stabilize a few, and euthanize a few, and never able to get the sounds and smells out of my mind of the rest dying, the clients moaning, the firefighters sobbing, etc.

Nor will anyone ever get the out of his or her head the phone call when it's your horses gone. I can literally still hear those words. I still shake just hearing them in my head.

There's also the images you make up in your own mind. Wondering if my boy smelled anything strange. Wondering if he went first. Being told my farrier of four years had skipped the day of work to stand in the local tack shop crying and shaking head to foot. :no:

ESG
Dec. 10, 2009, 11:57 AM
My coach is very safety oriented and the well-being of her horses is paramount. The place is perfect, EXCEPT for the smoking.

Then it's not perfect, is it? :winkgrin:

CosMonster
Dec. 10, 2009, 12:15 PM
For me smoking in a designated spot a safe distance outside the barn would not be a problem, but smoking in the barn itself definitely would be. That just strikes me as a stupid risk.

In this case I think the trainer should speak to the new owners and tell them that is the only reason she would not move there. Show them that there is a financial reason to put their foot down about this. "Hoping" won't get clients to change their behavior, nor will gentle suggestions in most cases.

kerlin
Dec. 10, 2009, 12:47 PM
I was a first responder at a barn fire once. It remains one of the worst things I have ever seen in my life, and I still get nightmares about it.

No. Not ever. I wouldn't even allow smoking on barn property.

For those that have asked - yes, I would look at the wiring and circuit box before I moved in, ESPECIALLY if I were boarding clients' horses. It's one of the things I look at when I'm searching for a boarding barn, same as I look at the fencing and the feed room to make sure they're clean, neat, and well-repaired.

Long Spot
Dec. 10, 2009, 01:41 PM
A deal breaker for me. And I smoke.

My guess, however, is that the BO understands that your trainer is only looking for a temporary place. They may not want to risk losing long term boarders for the short term paycheck. I certainly don't think the BO being ok with people smoking IN the barn is at all a smart decision. It would make me worry about their stance and feelings on other issues that might crop up, perfect as the facility may seem.

As others have said, smoking in a barn is insanity. I believe the numbers I heard once were that hay and straw burned at THREE times the rate of gasoline. I don't think a lot of people understand that.

Mozart
Dec. 10, 2009, 02:23 PM
It seems like it's setting a bad precedent as far as owner/boarder relations.

If the owners don't have the you-know-whats to tell the boarders not to SMOKE IN THE BARN what else are they going to let them get away with???

Exactly what I was thinking. I am really surprised anyone still smokes in barns.

Hauwse
Dec. 10, 2009, 09:02 PM
Very interesting. To re-cap:

The poll question was whether smoking in barn would be a dealbreaker if you were considering moving your horse. At this point, 188 people have responded, with 85% saying YES, it would be a dealbreaker. They would not move their horses somewhere that people smoked in the barn. The other 15% said NO, smoking would not be a dealbreaker.

When you look at the individual written responses.

Roughly: There were four main lines along which the responses seemed to cluster.

1) NO WAY!!! 56% said they would not move their horses to a barn people smoked in. There were no if, ands or butts (pun intended) about this being a total dealbreaker.

2) POOR MANAGEMENT. About 10% said they would not consider the barn because the smoking would reflect poor safety practices in general.

3) NEGATIVE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. About 10% wrote about a negative personal experience (such as responding to a barn fire) which I am interpreting as saying they would not consider a facility with smoking issues.

4) OUTSIDE ONLY. Another 20% said they would consider a facility that allowed smoking OUTSIDE the barn. Cigarette butts and general litter were seen as problematic, even if smoking was limited to outside only.

Overall, 96% of people would not move their horse to a facility that allowed smoking in the barn.

The last 4% (2 responses) said that smoking in the barn "would not be an immediate dealbreaker" and "I would probably not refuse...".

NO ONE said "Hey, I love smoking in the barn, that is my kind of facility!"

My coach is very safety oriented and the well-being of her horses is paramount. The place is perfect, EXCEPT for the smoking.

Interesting!!

I hate to have to play devils advocate, but "not" smoking in barns is a modern industry thing, just like people not smoking in their homes. When I grew up everyone smoked, and yes they smoked in the barn, in the stalls, in the observation room, pretty much everywhere.

Apparently the smokers I was exposed to were extremely safety conscious as I never experienced any smoking related barn fires. I have experienced barn fires caused by spontaneous combustion, hay and straw building up on a tractor smoke stack etc. but never one directly related to smoking. I know it happens, but so did the aforementioned fires, and all of them preventable with a little bit of thought and care.

Bottom line for me is that unfortunately I see people taking risks with their horses all the time that I consider far more likely to result in injury or death than smoking in a barn.

Consideration must be given to how responsible the individuals are regarding their habit. Smoking in a hay loft.... pretty stupid, and unacceptable, smoking outside the barn with proper receptacles for the disposal of the cigarettes, acceptable.

Consideration must also be given to how well a stable is prepared for the possibility of a fire of any kind, is the propellant stored separate from the horses, is the barn, are the stalls fire retardant, are fire extinguishers available, are water sources capable of handling a fire, is there a plan for removing the horses, and keeping them from returning to the barn if a fire starts, etc. In my opinion these are the things to truly be giving consideration to.

Come Shine
Dec. 10, 2009, 09:12 PM
Consideration must also be given to how well a stable is prepared for the possibility of a fire of any kind, is the propellant stored separate from the horses, is the barn, are the stalls fire retardant, are fire extinguishers available, are water sources capable of handling a fire, is there a plan for removing the horses, and keeping them from returning to the barn if a fire starts, etc. In my opinion these are the things to truly be giving consideration to.

Ahhh, yes. But that doesn't really answer the question: If the facility was PERFECT, would you move your horse in where they smoked IN the barn?

Hauwse
Dec. 12, 2009, 10:03 AM
Ahhh, yes. But that doesn't really answer the question: If the facility was PERFECT, would you move your horse in where they smoked IN the barn?

Let me clarify, no....smoking in the barn would NOT be a deal breaker for me.

Come Shine
Dec. 12, 2009, 11:01 AM
Let me clarify, no....smoking in the barn would NOT be a deal breaker for me.

So, overall, there's about 15% who said that smoking in the barn would not be a dealbreaker for them. Although, in the written responses, it looks like for even those people who would consider a barn with a smoking issue, it would depend on the perceived risk (ie., not in the hay loft, having a fire plan, other safety practices of the facility in general).

This thread has opened my eyes a bit as to why there would even be a question about moving into a barn that allowed smoking. If everything else lines up o-kay, smoking isn't a dealbreaker for a fair number of people.

Personally, smoking in the barn just seems like such a selfish indulgence. There are already so many risks with horses, why intentionally add one more?

Thank you to all who took the time to write and do the poll. As always, an interesting and enlightening read.

TheHorseProblem
Dec. 12, 2009, 02:33 PM
At my barn, the founding trainer is a smoker and has an office converted from two stalls, so she smokes right there in the barn. Other trainers also have their offices in converted barn stalls, and they smoke. Of the 6 trainers there, four of them smoke, regularly, in front of kids. Butts are everywhere along the rail and in the footing. There are also two boarders who are friends of the trainers who often walk up and down the barn aisles smoking. A few years ago, the trainers held Saturday afternoon barbecues, stationing their grill directly under a dead tree right next to the barn. I had a fit about that and they finally moved the grill, eventually cutting down the dead tree.

But how can you complain when God himself smokes?

My solution is to keep my horse in the pipe corrals.

gottagrey
Dec. 12, 2009, 08:15 PM
Hmm a deal breaker? A few years ago I went w/ a friend who was barn-shopping.. We went to this one place where the BM had a pretty good, if not great reputation. First thing we see as we pull up is him pony-ing horses into the barn w/a golf cart - I know this is done but still... then as we begin the tour, he stops by his office for second, lights up a cig and off we go.. love that he lights up right underneath HIS no smoking sign... needless to say it was a put-off. At my old barn, a couple of teenagers decided to start smoking while they never smoked in the barn I always loved that they felt it was OK to dump their ashtrays along the ring (where we parked our cars) and masses of butts in front of the barn. Disgusted I picked them up one day, put them in a tin can & placed them on the offenders trunk (the butts were damp/cold)..She was non too pleased.. guess it was okay for her to dump them anywhere she wanted but a whole different story when her trash was dumped back on her.

A barn is basically like a gasoline can - everything in it is combustible - hay/straw/shavings & wood... Smoking is just another added risk I would not want to take..

I love that my current barn does not store any hay, straw or shavings in the barn...

Tnavas
Dec. 13, 2009, 01:15 AM
I'd be worried all the time that someone has dropped a ciggie in the barn. If they are dumb enough to smoke in the barn now wouold banning them from smoking work anyway - they are more likely to get sneaky about it and become more of a risk.

The insurance company would probably not pay out in the event of a fire. Big risk to take