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Thoughts on your riders..... Do's and Don'ts...

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  • #21
    While I agree with having a clean horse free of shavings and mud...I'm not going to bathe my grey's stains off every time before a lesson. Sorry! He is impeccable at shows but not at 6 am if you know what I mean! (aka he has to have a bath EVERY day, at least twice a day to stay perfect)


    • #22
      Originally posted by Bella'sMom View Post
      Amen, Snowfox. I'm kind of a leg-freak. As in, I wash and dry my horses' legs every time I ride. Every time. I can't understand how you can put a horse away without washing the legs. Around here, scratches and fungus is rampant in the summer so if you just make it a habit to wash with dandruff shampoo every single time, your horse doesn't get the funk. I
      Frequent bathing is not good for the hooves. I wonder what your farrier thinks of this habit.


      • #23
        Originally posted by BumbleBee View Post
        Frequent bathing is not good for the hooves. I wonder what your farrier thinks of this habit.
        Unnecessarily snarky. I hose my mare off at least once a day May-September. I've never had her farrier complain about her rock-hard gravel crunching hooves. Water is not inherently the archenemies of hooves.


        • #24
          Originally posted by BumbleBee View Post
          Frequent bathing is not good for the hooves. I wonder what your farrier thinks of this habit.
          I agree. I wash legs as needed. Yes. They get washed A LOT in the warm months (which, for my horse means March through November and a few times the other three months!). But, I have to say, all the farriers that come to my barn appreciate that I don't hose all the horses legs if they've been in the mud. We have a lot fewer missing shoes and a lot nicer feet in the barn since I've taken over...multiple reasons, but one they all say is because their legs and feet aren't constantly getting hosed off!

          My pet peeves are clients that lead their horses around the barn by the halter, not the lead. A lot can happen in those few feet from the stall to the grooming area....and a lead rope can make or break that moment!

          I also get tired of clients that allow their horses to have bad ground manners, particularly leading. I HATE horses who pull out the boat anchor routine, and I think they ALL do it if I'm not leading them.

          Clueless people who don't keep their eyes up and ears open when sharing the ring, especially with a lesson going on.

          Clients who hand out treats to EVERY. SINGLE. HORSE. without asking. I have a few in the barn that I don't treat (and I actually treat a lot) because of pushy, bad manners. Ask first, please!


          • #25
            I think horses should be well groomed before AND after a ride. I grew up with a trainer that would not allow us to put a horse away that looked like it had been ridden. It takes a lot of extra work/time and in the cold, hairy winter months the rules get a little less strict, but you can bet they don't get put away with bridle marks or sweaty, crusty saddle marks. Grrrr!

            Originally posted by Canaqua View Post
            but the occasional tail full of shavings out in the ring bugs me...though I keep my mouth shut as I'm not BO ,BM or an instructor.
            And despite what I just said, I do will ride with shavings in my horse's tail. I do this because I was taught to never, ever BRUSH a horse's tail. Only use a comb and only when the tail is freshly clean. Since his tail isn't freshly clean on a daily basis, I hand pick the shavings I can get...and leave the rest.

            This has served me well...with Mr. Joe Fargis stopping the beginning of a recent clinic to compliment my horse's tail and ask how I care for it. It was especially meaningful for me, as when I bought my horse, his tail was at his hocks due to a braiding accident.
            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


            • #26
              Sorry if this has been said I skimmed a few posts.
              If you turn on the lights when you enter wash rack tack room ext you need to turn them off when you are done in that space. I hate following behind boarders turning off lights. Especially when there are signs by all the switches.
              Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.


              • #27
                If it would annoy you if someone else did it, don't do it. If you don't know something, ask. Don't gossip. Leave the gates how you found them. If you break it, fix it, or find someone who can. Be willing to help out. Offer advice only when you are asked for it, or to prevent a wreck. Share the facilities.


                • #28
                  Just for the record: the Pony Club manual (which I had about memorized when I was a kid back in the 60s and 70s) states that when one is in a hurry, grooming the saddle and girth area and picking the feet are perfectly sufficient before riding. The manual emphasizes that thorough grooming after one rides is more important.

                  Now I do understand that those of you with boarding/lesson barns may be concerned about appearances. That is important for your business, and I do understand. But there is no reason to cast aspersions on the horsemanship of people who leave a dirty spot on the rump or a few shavings in the tail now and then.
                  I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


                  • #29
                    I agree with a lot of what's been posted about boarding barns. Do not leave gates open, don't feed treats to others' horses without permission, don't borrow other people's equipment (including fly spray!) without permission, pick up after yourself, clean up when your horse drops manure in the barn aisle, turn off lights after yourself, help little kids tack up when you happen to be around, and most important, do not gossip. The last one is a rule for life, not just a rule for the barn.
                    I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


                    • #30
                      Do not use other people's stuff.

                      Clean up behind yourself.

                      Mind your own business. (!!!)

                      I was at a barn once where other boarders loved to text the trainer and give reports of other people's rides. So juvenile. Both from the adults who did it and the trainer who encouraged it.
                      "Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?" Sun Tzu, The Art of War


                      • #31
                        I've boarded and ridden at several farms throughout my life. Most farms require a clean horse for riding, legs most importantly. Cleaning legs helped me discover a wicked case of mud fever on my horse recently. I'm a firm believer in that. While I have slacked about grooming the tail every ride, I can see why it is important.

                        As for socialization. I personally believe that no matter how much money a person has or how many horses they own, they are not better than anyone at that farm. Whether it be BO, BM, grooms or stablehands, we are all equal individuals. I talk to the stable hands, have conversations with them everytime I am at the farm. I ask about my horse, how is he doing, how are their horses at their homes, etc.... I was told that all communications with stablehand needs to go through BM versus talking directly to them. I have a problem with that and it makes me feel uncomfortable. I did not know that prior to moving to farm.

                        I think being tidy, having a clean horse, keeping your tack clean and just being courteous of others should be enough.


                        • #32
                          I have many barn pet peeves. As a boarder who has been to numerous farms trying to settle in, I have come across a broad spectrum of people.

                          - Give your horse enough food!
                          - Clean up after yourself
                          - Respect the people around you
                          - Be presentable every time you ride. You never know who will be watching. (Yes, this means fully grooming your horse and dressing in a tucked in polo shirt and clean(ish) breeches)
                          - Smile sometimes? Or at least pretend like you're having fun.

                          - Gossip about ANYBODY. I don't want to hear it.
                          - TOUCH OTHER PEOPLES STUFF (without permission) I had somebody use my brand new Devoucoux saddle once and left a huge scratch in the butter soft leather. I was livid.

                          My coach would force me to buy him a beer for every shaving he found in my horse's tail. As a broke student paying for a horse on top of it all, I quickly learnt to make sure my horse was presentable for every ride.


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
                            Back on topic.

                            - Approach the BO about concerns before complaining to other boarders. They can't fix it if they don't know about it.
                            - Understand that good people can make mistakes
                            - Don't let a language barrier stop you from reaching out to staff. Hand motions, pointing, and a good sense of humor can go a long way towards developing a relationship with a hard working person who keeps your horse happy
                            - If you have time clean up beyond the basics (straighten up the wash rack, sweep up, etc.)
                            - Use the barn as your testing ground for baked goodies
                            - keep your horse clean and tidy within reason
                            - dress respectfully and appropriately
                            - refrain from foul language unless you are 100% sure that those within earshot don't mind

                            I think those apply at every barn from the smallest backyard barn to a big show barn.
                            When can you move in?
                            "Aye God, Woodrow..."


                            • #34
                              DO clean up that manure in the aisle. I absolutely hate it when my horses and I are stepping in your poop!!
                              Do NOT hog the ring!! Especially riding side-by-side blocking the rail when I'm doing a lesson! I can yell pretty loudly when I'm riding, and you're still blocking? Do NOT play dumb and deaf!! Grrrrr!!!

                              I personally think horse, rider, and tack should be reasonably well presented, whenever possible. This is more an issue for the kids who are still learning to care for their horses, check legs, etc. As adults sometimes folks need to cut reasonable corners to fit a ride in.

                              Do NOT put a horse away wet!!
                              Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                              • #35
                                Always be nice and respectful towards the grooms - no matter what language they speak. A rider's attitude towards the groom(s) always clues me in as to the person they are.

                                If you see someone doing something wrong/dangerous, approach it in a respectful and helpful tone. I was always taught safety first, and I gag at some of the stuff people do in cross ties and barns. Leading by halter, letting leads dangle while in the cross ties (I've seen a SERIOUS accident happen because of this), getting lax with the lead while grazing, dangerous standing wraps... If you approach the situation nicely, the person will probably be very grateful for some good advice

                                Always clean up after yourself.

                                Be friendly.

                                DON'T be a ring hog! If it's a boarding barn, this is not your private facility. I know I get really annoyed by ring hogs.


                                • #36
                                  Good point about being polite to the grooms and other workers. They often work hard, long hours for very little pay. Even if you can't speak their language, it's pretty easy to show your appreciation. I've never met a barn worker yet who doesn't know what a "Thank you" and a smile means.

                                  My horses love the guys at the barn. And I love it when I catch them cuddling with my horses!
                                  Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                                  • #37
                                    Please leave yourself enough time to ride so you can not only groom and tack up with focus, but WARM HIM UP and COOL HIM DOWN like you would do at your gym, not just get on and "revv the engine" like he's a 4-wheeler. Especially if it's the first time you've ridden in 3 months!

                                    In addition to the cool-down, please make sure you BRUSH OFF SADDLE MARK and girth mark before reblanketing so there's no nasty little rain-rot surprise brewing under there between now and your next ride.

                                    Also--don't tie to a rail, always to a post. You can't believe the folks who don't know this one!


                                    • #38
                                      It's important to match your barn's style. Try to fit your behavior to what everyone else does, horse-care-wise, and you will likely be a good fit. Are trail riders the norm? Your polo and breeches style is not necessary, and knocking off the mud is likely sufficient. Top show barn? Horse better be spotless every ride, with you dressed to the nines as well.

                                      Clean up after yourself and don't leave the aisle covered in your stuff while you ride. Keep your space at least as neat as the other boarders do. Don't leave saddle pads everywhere. Don't borrow other people's stuff without permission. Don't run out of fly spray (repeat offenders, you know who you are! and so do the rest of us!) Do be friendly but don't gossip. do give warning if you plan to do something that could spook or bother an animal. Do unclip crossties to let horses past, don't just walk under them.

                                      Some also differs place to place. I understand those of you who wash legs daily but that is unnecessary in many places. It's too cold for half the year and I don't have heated water in the barn. We don't have the leg gunks that are so prevalent in some places. I have good mud control and have never had a case of scratches or rain rot on this farm (at least not after the new horses settle in -- I've had a few I've had to get rid of on arrival). Now when I boarded in MA for a couple of years -- totally different story.

                                      I check legs twice daily on every horse but I don't need to necessarily clean them to do it. A reasonably experienced BO can tell the difference between dried mud and a problem. If it is so muddy I can't tell, it's probably time to spend a few minutes with the dandy brush chipping the horse out of its mud-plaster cast.

                                      One tip for regular hosers -- in the summer, before I hose the horses off (which gets done after every ride, and many days when it's just hot) I paint their hooves with pine tar or rainmaker. It seals out the excess moisture, as much as sealing in the good stuff.


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by fourmares View Post
                                        If you break it, fix it, or find someone who can.
                                        Oh god, this. I work P/T at a barn, and I will not be mad if something is broken! If your horse busted through a fence, that's fine! We have extra boards and the tools to fix it. Gate off hinges? No worries, I can get it back on! Busted crossties? We have more snaps than you could imagine! But if you don't tell me, I can't fix it. I would rather know right away than wait until another horse gets hurt/loose/etc.

                                        Breaking things is normal and expected. Don't be ashamed or feel guilty! I break stuff all the time


                                        • #40
                                          When I was at a boarding barn, I was always really particular about crosstie ettiquette.

                                          As in: If someone needed to come by my horse, I always dropped a crosstie and physically moved him over. I expected the same. I HATED when someone would tell me to just go under or when they'd just sneak under my crosstie. UGH.

                                          If the horse pooped in the aisle, I'd clean it up before putting him home, and I'd sweep up any dirt/debris in our spot after grooming.

                                          Riding a dirty horse....ehh. I mean, I can see it and I've probably ridden a less than spotless horse before. But I would always at least brush off the saddle area and knock the big chunks off the legs (mostly because I'd have to put boots on the beast). And really if you've done the saddle area and the legs, it's not that much more effort to do the rest of it. KnowwhatI'msayin'? And my trainer once threatened me with bodily harm for having a couple shavings in my horse's tail for a lesson.

                                          Something else I'm a big fan of: Vocalizing your intentions. Like if you're walking your horse into a ring full of people who are riding, giving a quick "Coming in!" Or if you're coming up behind someone and need to pass them, just saying "Passing inside." A little communication goes a long way to avoid accidents.
                                          Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.