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View Full Version : Teenagers addressing adult horsepeople...Ms. Mrs. Mr. Firstname? Ms. first name?



Beau Cheval
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:26 PM
Hi guys,

this is something that occasionally comes up: How do you think teenagers should address adult horse people?

Obviously, it's Mr. George Morris to you. But other than that?

Trainer you are paying?
Barn owner
Adult boarders

WS employer?
Potential employer?

I always feel that the horse world is a very first-name basis type of place, and I usually start right in with a first name, something I never do in other facets of life.

For me, trainers have always been first name basis.

One barn mom is Ms. First name

Other barn moms are Mrs.

Adult boarders are First Name

What would you call a WS employer? Start off with Mr./Ms. or go for the first name? I just really don't feel that the Mr./Ms. is desired by most horse professionals.


ETA: clinicians?
thanks

Peggy
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:33 PM
Kids and everyone else call me by my first name. I am a client. I think that's true for all of the adults at the barn. I think some of the parents who don't ride get the Mr/Mrs titles.

make x it x so
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:40 PM
I call my trainer, BO, and pretty much all adult horsepeople by their first names. I am 18 now, but I have been doing this since I was young. It creates a nice informal and comfortable atmosphere.

dghunter
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:46 PM
I'm 20 now but have been at my current barn since I was 16 and always called the BO, other boarders, trainers, etc... by their first name. I call my farrier by his first name but the vets I use Dr and their last names.

ETA: It's funny because I'm so comfortable calling horse people by their first names yet when my professors want me to call them by their first names it makes me feel weird lol.

Grataan
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:50 PM
I'm Dr Grataan.

To the pony club kids, they may call me Dr Firstname. Sometimes they slip and call me Ms Firstname (I don't mind)

They call everyone Mr/Ms/Mrs Trainer, Mr Farrier, Ms/Mrs Barnmom/Mr Barndad etc.

By the same token, we call them Miss and Mr lastname.

heartinrye
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:51 PM
Same as DGHunter, everyone by their first name except vets.

Moved to the 'south' when I was 13, all the kids at the barn called trainers by "Ms. Kathy, Ms. Marissa", yankee that I am they went by "Kathy and Marissa", no one ever minded, and believe me, they would have mentioned it if they did.

BeauCheval- seeing from your exorbitant amount of threads, you'll be in New England, no need for "Ms."

pinkme
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:51 PM
I use Mr/Mrs (lastname) untill I am corrected or asked to call them something else.. always, away from the barn as well.

Ajierene
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:54 PM
I was always taught to call people by their last name unless otherwise told.

My riding instructor and barn owners where I rode in high school I was introduced to with their first name.

EqTrainer
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:57 PM
You are in NY so it doesn't really apply but in the south, kids call adults Miss and Mister (first name). So I am Miss EqT to my kids friends (well, not really, you get the idea tho'). Some kids are expected to answer Sir and Ma'am although that is not as common, and more likely to happen when they are in trouble :lol:

As they grow up they drop the Miss and Mister and there you are.

RugBug
Jan. 4, 2010, 08:59 PM
I use Mr/Mrs (lastname) untill I am corrected or asked to call them something else.. always, away from the barn as well.

:yes: for children.

As an adult, I call people whatever they introduce themselves by. For example, I call my vet by firstname, because that's how she introduced herself to me. If I'm introducing her I try for Dr. First and last name and let her decide to change it if she wants. My vet at the big clinic goes by first name, but mostly because I think his last name is a woman's first name and it's funny to call this very tall man Dr. woman's name.

Beau Cheval
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:03 PM
Thanks everyone. It seems in my experience that there is always that one mother that makes their kid call the trainer Ms. Trainer. They always stick out like a sore thumb.




BeauCheval- seeing from your exorbitant amount of threads, you'll be in New England, no need for "Ms."

Synonyms for exorbitant: excessive, outrageous, unreasonable

I'd rather ask now than learn the hard way later...or never learn at all. Forums are for posting, and it seems that my posts have been moderately well received discussion topics since they have all had 5+ responses, one has gone to 3 pages...chock it up to misuse?

alteringwego
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:11 PM
First names around here

Go Fish
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:26 PM
For children/teens, Mr./Mrs./Ms. unless the person in question asks to be called by their first name.

As an adult, if I'm introduced to someone as Mr./Mrs./Ms. then I will address them with that until they tell me otherwise.

Just good manners...which of course, there's very little of around these days. Don't get me started on table manners. :lol:

indygirl2560
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:44 PM
Every barn I've been at goes off of a first name basis(BO, BM, trainer, adult boarders, etc).

Beethoven
Jan. 4, 2010, 09:53 PM
I'm 20 now but have been at my current barn since I was 16 and always called the BO, other boarders, trainers, etc... by their first name. I call my farrier by his first name but the vets I use Dr and their last names.

ETA: It's funny because I'm so comfortable calling horse people by their first names yet when my professors want me to call them by their first names it makes me feel weird lol.

Same growing up. I did grow up in the South but I was a bad southern child as I always forgot to say ms/mr first name as a kid. I usually called my barn friend parents by Mr. Mrs. last name though. Now that I am 25 its hard to break the habit even though they tell me to call them by their first name.

I know also call my vets by their first name.

Edited: I am a barn manager and do not mind the kids just calling me by my first name. I sometimes gets Ms. first name, but really just my first name is fine.

SkipChange
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:12 PM
Raised in the South. I was brought up calling all adults Mr. & Mrs. last name. Yes, sir & yes, ma'am and all that jazz. It's like reflex, deeply ingrained in me. I'm 20 now and still hesitate before addressing adults by first name unless we're very well acquainted.

The kids (15ish and under) at the barn call trainer Ms. first name. Call most adults Ms. first name.

We call the barn workers that clean stalls by their first names. They are the best, love them.

broughton_sporthorses
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:25 PM
Anyone that I see quite often and am "friendly" with I call by their first name. That is, trainer, farrier, vet. My friends parents I usually say Mr/Mrs Last name, unless they ask me to call them by their first name. I'm 21, and I've always done this.

If I don't know the person, I'll call them whatever they introduce themselves as.

I'm training to be a coach, and people that I practice on call me by my first name, they are usually young (10-17 year olds).

loshad
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:37 PM
I prefer children to call me Miss Loshad or Mrs. Lastname because it is polite and respectful. I cannot stand when children call me by my first name (unless I have invited them to do so) and find it very ill-mannered. People who are significantly older than myself are addressed as Miss Firstname or Mrs. Lastname until I am told to do otherwise.

This thread is making me feel old and crotchety. If you'll excuse me, I need to go tell some kids to get off my lawn.

Vindicated
Jan. 4, 2010, 10:47 PM
Even now (at 3 decades+), if I run into a parent of a friend, or someone that I have a "formal" relationship with-it is Mr/Mrs Last Name.

The farm that I grew up at, riders parents were refered to as Mr/Mrs Kids First Name, by all.

I personally find it disrespectful to assume that you may call an elder by their first name until given permission. I have been a trainer, and while I did find it odd to have people call me Ms. Vindicated, the children that did were usually the most respectful all the way around.

Also, I always addressed students parents as either Mr/Mrs. Last Name until told otherwise. It is a business relationship after all.

shea'smom
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:06 PM
I am Miss Kathi, kinda like Miss Scarlet....
Also Ma'am.
One of the parents who teaches pre-school actually started the Miss thing. I don't mind it, even some of the college kids still call me that. I also used to tell them they didn't have to say Ma'am, but I figured it was undermining the parents, so I quit that.

superpony123
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:34 PM
i am 17, almost 18

i call trainers by first names

i call BO by first name

i call adult boarders by first name (all of whom i am very friendly with, and we all have good conversations, i might as well be a young adult)

i call farrier by first name

i call vet by Dr. first name unless they prefer otherwise (fake names, but example as Dr. Betty or Dr. Smith)

i call some parents by their first names. but when i think about it, i dont usually have to address them with their name, i might already be talking to them you know? with a few moms that i am not so sure about i usually go by mrs last name but half the time i dont even know their last name :lol: (well, thats lesson kids parents i am referring to)

I am a WS but my trainer and BO are my employers i guess you could say. technically BO is employer because that is who pays me, but trainer is in charge of me, and basically my manager, you could say.

a lot of the younger kids call trainer "Miss firstname" but not all of them do. i never did it when i was young (granted, i started riding when i was 10 or so, so thats not all that young in comparison with some of these girls)

redkat
Jan. 4, 2010, 11:51 PM
Hi guys,
Trainer you are paying?
Barn owner
Adult boarders

WS employer?
Potential employer?


When dealing with adults or your employer, a "Mr./Mrs./Ms. <lastname>" or just "sir" or "ma'am" is always considered to be professional and polite until you are on more familiar terms. If you will be client-facing as a working student, a polite "yes sir" or "yes ma'am" can go a long way with making people feel respected and valued.

The horse world is mostly informal, but it's better to start out formally and let people correct you, regardless of your geographical location. The outcome may be different depending on geographics, but few people will be insulted if you start out on more respectful grounds and let them tell you what they want to be called.

Arall
Jan. 5, 2010, 12:19 AM
I call everyone at my barn by their first name. I always have. It's a really friendly barn where everyone is close, so we are not very formal.

However, I teach the beginner lessons at my barn at the head trainer always introduces me as Miss Arall even though she only goes by her first name. I always introduce myself as just Arall. I don't particularly like the Miss. It's too formal for me. Most of the older lesson kids (the ones past age 10) just call me by my first name and most of the parents drop the Miss too, but those little kids, no matter how many times I tell them, still call me Miss. Ugh.

Pirateer
Jan. 5, 2010, 02:22 AM
It kind of depends.

I started riding at age 14- calling my trainer "Mr. Blankety-Blank" would have been overly formal and just plain weird. I referred to him by his First Name- as I have all my instructors since. (There have been clinicians I referred to as "Sir".)

The kids at my current barn (mostly all homeschoolers, age 6-15 or so) mostly refer to trainer as "Mrs First Name". Same with the boarders. Yes, it creeps me out a little bit to be called "Miss Rebecca" but these kids are adorable and so sweet!

Vets- however, are different. My small animal vets have always been "Dr Last Name". Large animal we refer to in coversation as "Dr Last Name" but call by First Name since many of them ride with us also.

I don't think there is an exact science, but as long as the kids are being polite about it I think anything is fine.

Horsepower
Jan. 5, 2010, 08:42 AM
I am a grandmother. I am only called by my first name by everyone at the barn. I'd hate to be called by any other name. I ride to feel young!

Meshach
Jan. 5, 2010, 08:56 AM
Growing up on Long Island (granted, a while ago) I called the barn owner Mr or Mrs Last Name, most of my trainers over the years by their first name and the other boarders by their first names.

But I NEVER called my friends' parents by their first names, it was always Mr. or Mrs Last Name. As an adult, I still can't call them by their first names even when they've asked me to. I call my MIL Mrs. Last Name too!

I hadn't heard of the Miss First Name thing until I moved to the south.

JumpWithPanache
Jan. 5, 2010, 09:28 AM
My area of Virginia tends to go by the Southern tradition of Ms/Mr First Name. I grew up calling all adults by Mrs/Ms/Mr Last Name and still refer to my parents friends and that age group with that formality unless specifically requested to use informal terms. I do prefer that minors address me and other adults by Ms/Mr First Name out of respect and manners.

<flame suit zipped> I personally feel that children who drop those terms have been brought up to see adults as equals. I don't believe that adults should treat children (minors) as inferiors but children do owe a certain respect to their elders. Call me old-fashioned, but I'm 25 and a grew up military, manners were instilled at birth and I appreciate my ability to show proper respect. The ingrained Mr/Ms and Sir/Ma'am has served me very well in the professional world (outside of horses).

Trixie
Jan. 5, 2010, 09:32 AM
I was always taught Mr./Mrs. LastName until corrected, then it's however they corrected you.

Indy
Jan. 5, 2010, 10:11 AM
Where I ride, all the kids call the adults Ms. Firstname unless they've been repeatedly told otherwise. I think it's polite and I like that they do it automatically. I'd never heard this growing up in the midwest (it was either Mr/Mrs Lastname or just a first name) but I like it because it's respectful but also not as formal. Most of the older kids call me by my first name now but that's only because I've told them that it's okay (it makes me feel old to be Ms. Indy).

I was raised to call adults Ms/Mr/Mrs/Dr Lastname until told otherwise. I still do it. At work, it's always Dr. X unless they tell me to call them by their first name. I don't want to offend by calling someone by a first name so I always err on the side of politeness and head the Dr. Lastname route.

Anne
Jan. 5, 2010, 04:10 PM
I am Dr. Anne. I'm pushing 30, and I still call some of my friends' parents Mr. and Mrs. Last Name, because I've never been corrected. But then it gets my goat when they introduce me to people as just plain old Anne! ;)

kateh
Jan. 5, 2010, 04:41 PM
Trainers and barn managers have always been first name to me, adult boarders however I was introduced (some were Jane, some were Mrs. Smith). For potential employers, clinicians and anyone you haven't been introduced to, it's polite to assume Mr/Mrs Lastname. Then they have the option to say "please call me John!"

hellerkm
Jan. 5, 2010, 05:10 PM
Thanks everyone. It seems in my experience that there is always that one mother that makes their kid call the trainer Ms. Trainer. They always stick out like a sore thumb.




Synonyms for exorbitant: excessive, outrageous, unreasonable

I'd rather ask now than learn the hard way later...or never learn at all. Forums are for posting, and it seems that my posts have been moderately well received discussion topics since they have all had 5+ responses, one has gone to 3 pages...chock it up to misuse?

You will do well as a working student, yours posts are well written and well received and you just did a GREAT job of standing up for yourself in a very adult manner, some of us could learn from your confidence!!! Way to go!

vacation1
Jan. 5, 2010, 05:25 PM
This drives me nuts:lol:. All the kids/teens/people at my barn call the big kahuna trainer by first name. EXCEPT my instructor, who is super respectful to the Big K, so I always feel caught out if I use her first name and hey, there's my instructor rounding the corner. It's not like my instructor ever says anything, but if she, the experienced and teacherly one, calls Big K Ms. Big K, who am I, lowly worm and much younger, to be perkily calling Big K by Christian name?

And yes, I may be overthinking. In my defense, the rider/trainer relationship is unique in my life by virtue of the other person regularly being armed with a whip;) I don't like to offend her, you know?

JinxyFish313
Jan. 5, 2010, 07:02 PM
I dont like when my students call me Ms Firstname. I like to be informal. Growing up, the only Ms/r/rs in the barn were parents of my friends, and even some of those preferred we use their first name. Some vets are Dr firstname, some Dr lastname, and I'm on a first name basis with some of them too.

Aerial
Jan. 5, 2010, 07:13 PM
I'm 16, and basically everyone is on a first-name basis. At first I did call the BO/boss by Mrs xxxx but eventually progressed to being relatively informal.

SpringOakFarm
Jan. 5, 2010, 07:25 PM
My kids (12 & 17) have always been expected to call any adult by Mr/Mrs/Miss "Last Name" until they are requested not to...I also expect "ma'am" and "sir" in their replies.

That said, our trainer is on a first name basis - by her request.

All of the kids that ride with my daughter call the parents, Mr. and Mrs. "Last Name." Even when the kids grow up and head off to college still call us Mr. and Mrs. "last name" when they visit.

Sunnyhorse
Jan. 5, 2010, 09:04 PM
I (client/help around the barn) prefer to be called by my first name, but when it's apparent that a very young lesson kid's parents are bringing the kid up to use honorifics I don't mind it when the child calls me "Miss Firstname." (I've never been called "Mrs. Lastname," thank God.) Once those kids get a little older (or, more important, are spending increasing amounts of time around the barn), I let them know that it's fine to call me by my first name. Virtually everyone at our barn -- BO, parents, clients, farrier, even vets -- is addressed by his/her first name, because it's a fairly small group and we all know each other pretty well.

blackcat95
Jan. 5, 2010, 09:42 PM
as a teenager i think this is a good thread because i have absolutely no idea what to say when meeting new people... at both my barns the trainers are first name, boarders/ BO/ barn staff are all first name. Barn moms and dads- it's their preference. Farrier and vet- first name for farriers and some vets... it depends on which one is out that day.

hj0519
Jan. 5, 2010, 09:45 PM
Where I am all the trainers I know go by their first name only, even if you're a little kid. Barn parents go by their preference - some by first name, some by Mr./Mrs. Last Name. The barn help is first name. The farrier is first name, though the vet is Dr. Last Name.

Jersey Fresh
Jan. 6, 2010, 07:10 AM
I'm a young ammie (20s). I was raised calling adults Mr/Mrs. At the farm, I call all of the boarders, parents, farriers, vets as they were introduced to me as I assume this is what they prefer to be addressed as. If every parent wants to be called by their first name except one, thats fine by me, I'll call that person Mr/Mrs

As far as I go, I introduce myself/go by my first name. If someone is rude or I feel I need to pull out "the card", I will introduce myself as Dr. Jersey Fresh haha =) But that's yet to happen at our barn.

caradino
Jan. 6, 2010, 09:26 AM
this is such a good thread! i always get stressed out worrying about ettiquite stuff like this.

i started riding when i was 10, and always called instructors/bo's/etc by their first name. this is probably because this is how they were introduced to me/what i heard other people call them.

in college almost all our instructors were called by their first name, but it was a small program and everyone was pretty tight. one adjuct preferred to be called "dr. lastname" (pretentious!) and one lovely older lady was always "ms. last initial." (wise and wonderful and commanded a bit of extra veneration) the barn manager was "mr. last initial."

at the barn i'm at now, everyone (even adults!) call instructors "miss firstname" which is weird to me. i just call them by their first name. no one seems to take offense.

Jersey Fresh
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:41 AM
this is such a good thread! i always get stressed out worrying about ettiquite stuff like this.

i started riding when i was 10, and always called instructors/bo's/etc by their first name. this is probably because this is how they were introduced to me/what i heard other people call them.

in college almost all our instructors were called by their first name, but it was a small program and everyone was pretty tight. one adjuct preferred to be called "dr. lastname" (pretentious!) and one lovely older lady was always "ms. last initial." (wise and wonderful and commanded a bit of extra veneration) the barn manager was "mr. last initial."

at the barn i'm at now, everyone (even adults!) call instructors "miss firstname" which is weird to me. i just call them by their first name. no one seems to take offense.

Why is it pretenious to be asked to be called doctor when that is in fact your title? chances are if you were taught by instructors, they only had a BS or MS and therefore were not called doctor or even professor. In a university setting, it is not at all inappropriate to require students to call you doctor or professor.

I have no problem calling someone, or asking someone to call me doctor, especially in a professional and/or academic setting. To me there is no difference between that and being asked to be called Miss/Ms/Mr/Mrs.

caradino
Jan. 6, 2010, 10:59 AM
Why is it pretenious to be asked to be called doctor when that is in fact your title? chances are if you were taught by instructors, they only had a BS or MS and therefore were not called doctor or even professor. In a university setting, it is not at all inappropriate to require students to call you doctor or professor.

I have no problem calling someone, or asking someone to call me doctor, especially in a professional and/or academic setting. To me there is no difference between that and being asked to be called Miss/Ms/Mr/Mrs.

we actually did have one other instructor with her doctorate, who we called by her first name. he was just a bit out-of-place in general, and asking to be called "doctor" just added to his overly-formal attitude

Haalter
Jan. 6, 2010, 11:27 AM
In a situation where a everyone else of the same age/position is called by their first names, it does seem strange/formal/pretentious to me for one individual to request being addressed as Dr. Lastname.

When I was young, my mom *hated* being called Mrs. Lastname, and corrected anyone who did. She said it made her feel like her mother-in-law, who she didn't get along with. Still, there were people who insisted on their kids calling her Mrs. Lastname despite her protests. I think this is just as rude as the other way around!

I go by first name (I am trainer/barn owner) as do the other adults in my barn. I started off calling my vet Dr. Lastname, but whenever he calls me he says, "This is firstname" so I switched over at his implied request. The children and the boarders still call him Dr. Lastname, and so I refer to him as Dr. Lastname when speaking of him with them. However, I don't even think most of the kids at the barn know the last names of the adult boarders because everyone prefers to be called by their first names.

I will say, however, that I am not a Southerner, nor are we in the South. I can't imagine anyone anywhere would ever be offended by being called Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr. Lastname initially, until they correct you, and then it's best to stick with their request. I may be alone here, but to me, Mr./Miss Firstname just seems plain weird!

LD1129
Jan. 6, 2010, 03:06 PM
We usually did first names growing up for trainers. Barn owners when I was young was Mr/Ms/Mrs.

Now that I am in my late 20's its first name for almost everyone unless they are introduced to me as something different..

Exceptions......
Vets always get Dr-Last name.

Judges always get sir or mam. I could not picture myself in the ring calling Ann Gribbons by her first name.:eek: I stuck with Mam. :cool: