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  1. #1
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    Default When barn people gossip with you about...

    other people it ocurred to me that they probably do the same about you to other people.

    By barn people I mean from owners to other boarders. Makes me not very comfortable but is this pretty much human nature?
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


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  2. #2
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    May. 13, 2007
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    Yup. I've always thought that. Same goes for online bbs and such. If they are emailing or private messaging me about someone else on line, Im not naive enough to think that they arent doing the same with someone else about me. Easy fix? dont listen or participate in gossip or hearsay.

    Barnowners "should" be more professional about talking about boarders to other boarders. Sadly, not all are.



  3. #3
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    Nov. 23, 2005
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    Yep, I think it's pretty common. I just try not to do anything that would cause anyone to talk about me, but accept that they probably will anyway and try not to think about it. We're all sinners.
    Jennifer Walker
    Proud owner of Capt Han Solo+, Arabian stallion http://www.capthansolo.com
    Author, freelance writer http://www.authorjennwalker.com



  4. #4
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    Sep. 1, 2003
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    Oh yeah. Never, ever think you are immune from the gossips. It's when you think so that you get whacked upside the head with something vicious and generally untrue.

    Worst offenders are usually the ones that ask you to "keep this between us"... One of my biggest goals in life has been to NOT be one of those people and stay away from them as much as possible.
    "Socrates was a very wise man who went around giving good advice. They poisoned him." Anonymous...



  5. #5
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    Jul. 17, 2002
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    Redlands, CA
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    Yep.

    Gossips are gossips.

    I spent about 35 years in various levels of management.

    I know that pattern well and will not empower it.



  6. #6
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    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    This is where you learn the fine art of changing the subject to some broader topic, which can be tough.
    I've been guilty of discussing other people's business, especially n'er do well family members. It is cathartic but in the long run accomplishes very little that is positive.
    Nope, you have to learn to ignore what you are told, change the subject or not engage in chat with someone who persists in "sharing".
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  7. #7
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    May. 17, 2003
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    Default

    Would that I were so interesting that people would want to talk about me...

    And yes, gossip is human nature, thank goodness



  8. #8
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    Aug. 22, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by atr View Post
    Would that I were so interesting that people would want to talk about me...

    And yes, gossip is human nature, thank goodness
    Oh, you don't have to be "interesting" -- they'll be happy to make something up.

    I think there's a difference between malicious gossip (including stuff stupidly passed along without knowing if it's true) that damages a reputation and "shooting the breeze" that catches you up on what's been going on in people's lives (some of which may be too reserved, too proud, or just too scatterbrained to share with everyone who wants to know because they care).

    The tricky stuff is the stuff that's true, but is none of your business or kinda is your business, but not really -- like the married BO having an affair with the married vet/farrier/trainer. Not really your business, but does affect you in a roundabout way.
    Last edited by greysandbays; Nov. 29, 2009 at 11:37 AM. Reason: incomplete proofread


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  9. #9
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    Nov. 6, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by greysandbays View Post

    I think there's a difference between malicious gossip (including stuff stupidly passed along without knowing if it's true) that damages a reputation and "shooting the breeze" that catches you up on what's been going on in people's lives (some of which may be too reserved, too proud, or just too scatterbrained to share with everyone who wants to know because they care).
    A barn can be a small community and as a BO it would be hard for me to pretend I'm not involved in my boarders lives. I think the tone of what is said is really important. I'm human, I admit that sometimes I've talked about one boarder to another. And if someone breaks the rules or does something inappropriate, I sometimes mention it to other boarders so that they know that is not okay and that I am dealing with it. Still, I think a BO should try to hold themselves to a higher standard and not be so naive as to think that their boarders are just a group of friends who happen to keep their horses at their barn.



  10. #10
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    Jan. 6, 2001
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    Washington State
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    I agree...if they are talking to me about someone else; they are talking to someone else about me. I can't control their behavior. I can control what I tell them and what I do around them. And they'll still find something to talk about. I've decided to control what I can and then not care about the rest.



  11. #11
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    Oct. 12, 2009
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    east Tennessee
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    The author Charles Baxter once said to me that gossip is the original form of social control. I couldn't agree more. The fear of having one's bad behavior examined under the lens of the community microscope is powerful.

    That said, there is good gossip and bad gossip. For example, I just moved into a new boarding barn for the winter. The barn has had some upheavals in management and care over the past year (at one point, the then-barn manager was cycling stolen horses through the facility). My local feed dealer let me know there might be openings at the barn, but she also passed along the gossip about the barn management and problems. We have since discussed some of the issues, and she's given me some advice on what to look for in terms of problematic care. I decided to give the new management a chance, but per my feed dealer's advice, I'm being cautious. I let the barn owner know that I know about the bad gossip and that I'm giving her a chance. She's trying to make my transition to the facility pain-free. To me, that's good gossip. It serves a useful social function.

    On the other hand, bad gossip could be characterized as the kind of information sharing that serves no purpose other than to tear someone else down. So telling me that so-and-so just got a new horse and omg-would-you-believe-it, the horse is craaaaaazy and she got taken for the price she paid seems to me to be far less useful. What purpose does telling me that serve?

    So, I don't dismiss all gossip. I just consider the source, the intent behind disseminating it, and the ultimate effect it might have on the larger community. And if someone starts in on repugnant gossip, I just say "Oh really? So-and-so always speaks so highly of you..." It generally stops the malicious gossip in its tracks.



  12. #12
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    Aug. 13, 2003
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    Dear "Getting better",
    That is good thinking and quick wittedness. A good reply. Unfortunately there are some who can make mean and totally ficticious rumors and people do believe them. I have had things said about me that never happened and things I supposedly said that i never said. It did do damage to my reputation and that was the intent.
    How to undo that damage? I doubt there is a way. I remain the way I have always been and hope the folks can see the rumors for what they are.
    Yes I did sell a cheap saddle to a lady and she was unhappy with it. But she neglected to say I had bought it back from her. I still have it here in my shop.
    But she put it out on a nationwide board. Others who read it may not have gotten the whole story. But the intent was there to launch a false story.
    If you listen to gossip then you are just as guilty as the gossiper. Most of the gossip stories are embelished to make them juicier. Such persons usually do not stop until something they have said comes back on them or someone tells them, they do not want to hear it.
    But it has been going on for centuries, so I doubt it will stop very soon.

    Just refuse to listen.
    Sadlmakr



  13. #13
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    I remember a saying about gossip:

    I promised never to say anything about someone unless its good. Oh boy is this one ever good!

    I agree about the "gossip" vs "sharing info" gettinbetter.

    So n so is gettina a new horse? Info.
    So N So has hleath problems? Info.
    So n So cant ride that horse worth a darn? Well thats probably gossip... unless you are wondering why that cute hunter never places in the HP classes then its good to know.
    So n Sos horse is not a good match for them? Good to know if your buying the horse, otherwise not real useful.
    So N So is mad at the BO/trainer/farrier/vet/stallcleaner? Pretty much not useful.
    So n So isnt getting the trainers attention in lessons? Gossip.

    Im sure there are others.

    Good point to about knowing what goes on that might affect you. I ask around about other BO/BMs in case I need to change for some reason. It doesnt matter now but it might in the future.
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker



  14. #14
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    Antidotes to gossip:

    I really like "But they speak so highly of you!" or "Bless yer heart!"

    But the best antidote is to make people think you're a nice guy, or to acknowledge your own shortcomings. It's no fun to gossip about someone who has nothing to hide or doesn't care.

    I was once in a barn where people would gather 'round for vet appointments or yell down the barn aisle later, "Hey, what's wrong with CrippledOldMan? I saw the vets here the other day."

    I was stunned. I had no plans to sell my horse, but I realized that I didn't want anyone speculating about my horse's soundness. I now take steps to prevent that kind of gossip since I can't say "Hey, cease and desist!" without looking like I do, in fact, have something to hide

    I do my vet appointments in private or at their clinic. Conversely, I don't ask other people about their horses' health or soundness issues and give peeps some space while their with their DVM.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  15. #15
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    May. 28, 2008
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    I always try to think "If the person we are talking about were right here with me, would their feelings be hurt if I said this?" Usually, having something nice to say about everybody and keeping your less-than-positive thoughts to yourself is the best way to stay out of the barn gossip mill.
    http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/Ashley26

    "You keep one leg on one side, the other leg on the other side, and your mind in the middle." -- Henry Taylor, "Riding Lesson"



  16. #16
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    Jun. 14, 2006
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    VA
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    I feel blessed that I am in a drama free barn.

    It's simply not tolerated.

    I feel so blessed in my life right now though that if anyone had something negative to say, I'd probably just have to laugh and say, "Well bless your heart...in the Southern way!"

    (PS: That is different than the Northern way...the Northern way is like "oh, you're so sweet!" The Southern Way is, "Oh, eff off!")
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  17. #17
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    Jul. 1, 2007
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    Gossip by Owners? - A perfect way to keep the toxins floating in your place of business. I'd prefer owners do what they should do - "own" and take care of the place and "trainers" do what they should do "train" and bring horses & clients along.

    Gossip by other boarders? It's juvenile. Let your eyes glaze over in conversation or just avoid these people.

    However, as little social experiment - you can lay a complete untruth about yourself to a well-placed gossip, and get out your stopwatch. See how long until it boomerangs back and then peg them on it.



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