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How important is Socializing at your barn?

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  • #41
    Originally posted by KateWooten View Post
    We have a full show season - and there are always people to go with, people to share rides with, people to help with show nerves and show food and it's fabulous.

    I would love something like this - and the other posters who said they get together with other local riders, etc. I am jealous!

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    • #42
      For a while I rode at a big public barn, which was awful. Too many people, crowded arenas, people riding 3 across in the arenas so they could talk to their friends, lots of cattiness, etc. I'm now half-leasing at a small barn, and I love it. After my lesson on Tuesdays (I'm the 2nd last lesson that night) there are people tacking up to ride, so there are people to warm up/cool down with. There are riders from age 5 to 75, and everyone is nice and gets along. There are 2 schooling shows at the barn every year, and we all get ready together and set jumps and give out prizes to classes we're not riding in. There's also a "jumper day" in February which includes ridiculous games and such, which really gave me a chance to get to know everyone.

      I often get the arena to myself, but rarely am I at the barn alone, and I love it that way.

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      • #43
        Originally posted by MillysGirl View Post
        For a while I rode at a big public barn, which was awful. Too many people, crowded arenas, people riding 3 across in the arenas so they could talk to their friends, lots of cattiness, etc. I'm now half-leasing at a small barn, and I love it. After my lesson on Tuesdays (I'm the 2nd last lesson that night) there are people tacking up to ride, so there are people to warm up/cool down with. There are riders from age 5 to 75, and everyone is nice and gets along. There are 2 schooling shows at the barn every year, and we all get ready together and set jumps and give out prizes to classes we're not riding in. There's also a "jumper day" in February which includes ridiculous games and such, which really gave me a chance to get to know everyone.

        I often get the arena to myself, but rarely am I at the barn alone, and I love it that way.
        I couldn't agree more! This is similar to my boarding situation. And I love it! I try to ride when other people will be around, so that if something happens their is another set of eyes.

        And while I do like to ride by myself, I like the social aspect when I am not in the saddle. I work at home so really the barn is the only socialization I get during the week.

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        • #44
          I've always boarded at several different barns in several different states and areas of the country. I feel the OP's pain. It is very difficult to get the facilities, quality care, good trainer and the "atmosphere" all rolled into one barn and at the right price.

          I've got it pretty good at my current barn. There are some things to be desired, but I really enjoy the social aspect at my barn. We are in a slightly isolated area, so the 27 stall facility has about a half and half mix of show and pleasure riders. The show riders are a mix of hunter/jumper, eventer and dressage riders. There is no resident trainer but several teach at the facility regularly. I take regular lessons and show, so I am somewhat serious and structured about my riding, but just socializing casually with this drama free, eclectic group of horse people really adds to my fun. I love going to the barn, even if I'm not riding that day. Riding and being with the other horse people is definitely my favorite part of boarding.

          I would eventually like to have horses at home, and I would take a few select boarders just for the social benefits!
          http://www.hunterjumperconnection.com/hjc-blog.html

          A blog featuring the musings of a semi-neurotic adult amateur rider on riding, training, showing, life.

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          • #45
            I've always boarded at several different barns in several different states and areas of the country. I feel the OP's pain. It is very difficult to get the facilities, quality care, good trainer and the "atmosphere" all rolled into one barn and at the right price.

            I've got it pretty good at my current barn. There are some things to be desired, but I really enjoy the social aspect at my barn. We are in a slightly isolated area, so the 27 stall facility has about a half and half mix of show and pleasure riders. The show riders are a mix of hunter/jumper, eventer and dressage riders. There is no resident trainer but several teach at the facility regularly. I take regular lessons and show, so I am somewhat serious and structured about my riding, but just socializing casually with this drama free, eclectic group of horse people really adds to my fun. I love going to the barn, even if I'm not riding that day. Riding and being with the other horse people is definitely my favorite part of boarding.

            I would eventually like to have horses at home, and I would take a few select boarders just for the social benefits!
            http://www.hunterjumperconnection.com/hjc-blog.html

            A blog featuring the musings of a semi-neurotic adult amateur rider on riding, training, showing, life.

            Comment


            • #46
              For me there is a happy medium. I would rather be at a quiet barn than an overly busy barn. I also don't like having to deal with lots of kids/teens. I work with kids/teens all day long and the barn is my relaxation time. Our barn does not have a lesson program and I LOVE that the rings are never crowded. I have limited time to ride each day so I only have a few minutes to socialize anyway.
              The barn I am at now is nice because there are enough people around to ride with when I want to and it is mostly adults. I have 2 or 3 people that I enjoy riding with on trail or do jump schools with and we make plans to ride a couple times a week. The majority of the other boarders I just chat with while tacking up etc. which is fine. I do enjoy riding alone a couple times a week too and just focusing on my horse.
              I had my horse at home for 4 years and sometimes it did get lonely. I made a point to haul out to ride with friends on a regular basis then.
              If you feel lonely at your current barn I agree the best way to try out other barn atmosphere's is to haul out for lessons, especially group lessons. When I had my horse at home I really enjoyed taking group lessons once a week.

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              • #47
                I've run the gamut in boarding situations. I have been at heavy lesson places with a smallish group of boarders, a show barn that did non-owner lessons as well as boarder lessons. Then just straight show barn, a couple of barns where I was the only boarder and my horses were the only horses. Currently at a barn that has about 15 boarders, no resident trainer, and a variety of disciplines. All female boarders(except barn manager). Ages range from one older teen, a couple of 20's girls, and the rest ranging from 30's to one lady who is 67. I ride at weird times, so sometimes I am there when other people are there other times I am the only one, so it is a nice mix. The lady who is 67 has become my barn buddy as we like to ride in a similar fashion(occassionally in the ring, but often on trails around the farm and several area farms) and like to go the same speed. Most of the rest are too timid to ride with us so we quit asking them to ride out with us.I can socialize when I want to or not depending on whether anyone else is there.

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                • #48
                  I like the happy medium. My last barn was either too quiet or too busy--sometimes no one would be around, and it felt lonely to ride on a winter's night with the wind howling, especially since the arena was behind the barn and felt kind of isolated. There had also been a recent influx of teens who were crazy riders with crazy horses, and I didn't want to be the adult in the ring when someone got hurt. My current barn is pretty much all adults, with two well-supervised kids. I like to go in the late afternoon when the early wave of retired adults is finishing and before the evening wave of working people comes in, so I have people in and out to chat with and don't feel isolated, but I also usually get the ring to myself. On weekends it's busier in the ring, but it rarely feels overcrowded. I like having people around to chat to but still be able to just focus on my horse and spend time with him.

                  My lesson barn is much more social, and I like having that as well. We celebrate birthdays, people bring food, I end up sitting around for a couple hours after my Sunday morning lesson helping the lesson kids and just hanging out with people. I wouldn't want to board there though, because hacking with two lessons going on and a half dozen other boarders riding would be a pain. So I consider that as more of my social barn, and my boarding barn as where I can go and focus on my horse. It's nice to have both environments.
                  "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                  Graphite/Pastel Portraits

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                  • #49
                    From OPs last couple of threads dealing with other issues at her current barn? Nobody she feels comfortable socializing with is just another reason current barn situation is not working well.

                    Not all big barns are drama filled snake pits and there are a lot of mid sized barns out there with decent trainers and a friendly atmosphere. Even bigger barns have times when few are there, I used to ride around noon when the staff took lunch and the lesson kids weren't there if I wanted to be alone, rode at busier times when I wanted company.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                    • #50
                      I'm not a super social person to begin with. I prefer to ride with just my ring crew setting jumps for me. Time for socializing is at dinner or out for lunch, not on the back of a horse. :/
                      Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN

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                      • #51
                        Originally posted by 2bayboys View Post
                        We have late night riding dates in the indoor after lessons are over and share chiro and saddle fitting appointments. We are adults of a certain age and it's nice to share triumphs and tribulations without the uber competitiveness of the younger crowd and with the confidence of experience to try new things.
                        There is a huge barn in the area that has no "barn hours". A group of ladies used to go and ride at midnight. They would put classical music on the sound system and enjoy the fact that twenty other boarders were not out there and it was their "me" time away from their families. I hope they still do it.
                        Last edited by headsupheelsdown; Mar. 21, 2013, 09:26 PM. Reason: spelling

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                        • #52
                          I'm one of the weird ones that prefers to ride alone. I deal with people all day long and my barn time is about me and my horse. I picked a quiet barn for that reason.

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                          • Original Poster

                            #53
                            Wow .. it took me quite awhile to read through everyone's responses. That will teach me for staying away from COTH for several days

                            Anyway, I am glad to read that wanting to socialize at the barn is not unusual or mean that I'm not a serious horse person. Thanks for all the good suggestions!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #54
                              Originally posted by findeight View Post
                              From OPs last couple of threads dealing with other issues at her current barn? Nobody she feels comfortable socializing with is just another reason current barn situation is not working well.

                              Not all big barns are drama filled snake pits and there are a lot of mid sized barns out there with decent trainers and a friendly atmosphere. Even bigger barns have times when few are there, I used to ride around noon when the staff took lunch and the lesson kids weren't there if I wanted to be alone, rode at busier times when I wanted company.
                              You are correct, findeight. I'm really looking closely to see whether the barn is a good fit or not. My health is kind of spotty at the moment, which is giving me some time to really make sure I'm certain about making a change.

                              Thanks for your continued advice - It is always spot-on!

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                I've thought about this a lot, actually. I moved recently to a barn away from my old crew of friends, and while I do miss them and the fun we had on and off the farm, I like the care and the facilities I have now so much better it was worth it. At the same time, I have two horses to ride and do enjoy having other people around because I am at the barn for several hours. The person I miss most is my best friend who moved to a smaller facility with a group of really wonderful people. No room for my two boys, so I moved six miles away. However, I'm now part of their group- we go to shows and off-farm lessons with each other, out to dinner or drinks, etc.- and that has been wonderful.

                                On the other hand, I am used to riding alone and I always have a plan for what I want to do with each horse when we step in the ring, so I don't necessarily want to be chatting a lot. I do like having riders who are at my level (or better- not hard to find!) to school over fences with, or even while flatting and doing lateral work or whatever, because we can give each other feedback. This is another reason I miss my BFF- we have always helped each other out this way. My new barn has some very good riders and as I've gotten to know them we've begun to share some of that same feedback- albeit cautiously, since we all have different trainers and that can get messy! I like everyone else who is there, and if it ever gets warm again I know I am going enjoy hanging out with them and chatting after I am done with my two boys.

                                I have been at a couple of places where I not only always rode alone but there was rarely anyone else even on the grounds and I hated it. I am an academic and very busy- horses are a serious thing for me but they are also part of my social life. Ideally I would like to be at a big show barn again, because I grew up in one and loved being part of all of that. But I have other things to spend my money on (as does my husband!), so no show barn for me at this point!
                                You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil

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                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by sammicat View Post
                                  I ride and train out of a small barn that has:
                                  • one other person significantly younger than me who owns her own horse and will show this year; and
                                  • two people (one junior and one adult with kids) who use the lesson horses and will sometimes show; and
                                  • a couple of adults who have retired horses who come out and ride once or twice every couple of weeks.


                                  The facilities are fine, though there is no indoor; the BO is also the trainer and she definitely knows her stuff. The thing is there really isn't anyone at the barn to ride with. I've been there for almost two years now and I can't help but feel that I'm missing out on some of the fun of owning/riding a horse by always doing it by myself, unless I'm in a lesson, of course. The shows will usually have a couple of people going, but no one is my age so I think I might be missing out on some of that fun as well.

                                  I've posted some of the other issues I've had recently on this board and received a lot of great advice, but I'm hesitant to change. I've heard soooooo many bad things about horse trainers and facilities that I wonder if something like socialization and an indoor arena is the price I pay for a trainer who knows what she is doing and a facility that will keep my horse safe.

                                  Any thoughts?
                                  You may want to consider organizing an annual trail ride with riders at barns in your vicinity. This could lead to other shared activities. One of my fondest memories is a full moon evening trail ride that was organized at my hunter seat/saddle seat/stock seat barn when I was about 14. This was the only time we all got together at the same time. We rode about three miles to the Howard Johnson's restaurant, had dinner, and rode back. One of my junior high school teachers (a fellow boarder) was among the group! Another option is to organize a clinic...and be sure to promote it in your area.
                                  Hate is a love furious to deny its own existence. - Sri Aurobindo

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