Sunday, May. 26, 2024

Barn Manners: Let Me In!

Question: I board at a large barn with more than 60 stalls, 10 turn-out spaces and only five grooming bays. My horses are pasture boarded, and often I have to stand outside and wait to get into the barn where the grooming bays are located because all five bays are being used—often by boarders who could be tacking up in their stalls. I get annoyed by this, especially when it’s cold, rainy or snowing. Is it rude to ask a boarder to tack up in a stall so I can have one of the grooming bays?

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Question: I board at a large barn with more than 60 stalls, 10 turn-out spaces and only five grooming bays. My horses are pasture boarded, and often I have to stand outside and wait to get into the barn where the grooming bays are located because all five bays are being used—often by boarders who could be tacking up in their stalls. I get annoyed by this, especially when it’s cold, rainy or snowing. Is it rude to ask a boarder to tack up in a stall so I can have one of the grooming bays?

Answer: You can always ask. It may work to your advantage to ask before you go out and collect your horse. Approach one of the boarders in the grooming area and say, “Hi, my horse is on pasture board, and I’m getting ready to bring him in to tack him up. Would you be willing to let me take this grooming bay and tack up your horse in his stall, so I don’t have to wait outside in the rain for a spot to open up?”

Many of the “stall” boarders may just be clueless that there are others waiting. Our lack of awareness to those around us is often the source of unintentional rudeness. If the boarder agrees, be sure to say “Thank you.”

Of course, there may also be boarders who couldn’t care less if you’re waiting outside in a blizzard while they take their sweet time grooming and tacking up. In that case, you’re better off approaching the barn owner or manager and asking about setting some ground rules that can help with this problem. You can’t be the only one experiencing this. Would he or she be willing to post a sign that one of the grooming bays is reserved for pasture boarders? Or, ask the BO/BM to post a sign that reminds everyone that others may be waiting for a grooming bay, so please move things along.

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I wonder what the stall boarder would say if you asked if you could use her stall to tack up your horse?

If you’ve got a barn manners question, send me an email (Elizabeth@sheridesIpay.com ) or post it here on the COTH forum.

Elizabeth Howell grew up riding on the hunter/jumper circuit in Massachusetts. Now she is a horse show mom. She holds a day job at The Emily Post Institute and slings horse manure on the weekends.  Her web site is www.sheridesIpay.com.

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