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

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

    Kind of a spin off from the thread that asked about how important is socialization at your barn....

    Just pondering and would love to read what others think and feel about clients (if your a trainer) or about other boarders... (if your a fellow boarder too) Or even grooms. Those guys are sooo nice and work so hard....

    What do you love about them, what bugs you about things they may do etc.? At shows and at the barn.

    Basically the DO's and DONT's of horses!

    I have been in my own yard for so long and now in a full time boarding situation and I want to be a good client and fellow boarder.
    Live in the sunshine.
    Swim in the sea.
    Drink the wild air.

  • #2
    DON'T ride a filthy horse!!!

    I have mine at home, as well. But, when I had boarders, I could not stand it when one kid would ride her horse dirty. I mean- without knocking mud off. If I was in the ring- I'd send her back to the barn (I didn't teach). It's my pet peeve.
    Come to the dark side, we have cookies

    Comment


    • #3
      The level of cleanliness is something to keep in mind when you're looking at barns. I'm somewhat of a slob and don't care if my saddle is crooked (on the rack, not my horse) or my grooming stuff is in a pile. BUT when I boarded, I was aware the BO kept everything orderly and made a conscious effort to keep everything organized for her. I know she appreciated it!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
        I have mine at home, as well. But, when I had boarders, I could not stand it when one kid would ride her horse dirty. I mean- without knocking mud off. If I was in the ring- I'd send her back to the barn (I didn't teach). It's my pet peeve.
        Really?? Sometimes if I'm in a hurry, I would just groom where the saddle and bridle go. Why does it matter if your horse is immaculate when you're riding?! If a BO told me to leave the ring to groom my horse better, I'd be pissed.
        Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
        White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

        Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
          Really?? Sometimes if I'm in a hurry, I would just groom where the saddle and bridle go. Why does it matter if your horse is immaculate when you're riding?! If a BO told me to leave the ring to groom my horse better, I'd be pissed.
          How I was trained, you groomed your horse. Mud and clumps can hide scratches and cuts. It's a courtesy to your trainer to come to the ring on a clean horse. When she would get a lesson on my property, with a trainer I let them bring in st no charge, I expect her to be clean and appropriately turned out.

          I ride a but dusty, but I get the clumps off my personal horses or those who ride at my farm. If potential clients came in, I want my clients well turned out and they know the expectation. It's part of presentation and shows general good horsemanship. The mother never had an issue with it, as she knew it coming in. The rest if my boarders were clean and presentable.

          Glad your barn accommodates how you chose to groom your horse and that's fine. Every barn does it their own way.

          Carry on.
          Come to the dark side, we have cookies

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd understand if I was at a fancy show barn, and would be appropriately turned out. I do also groom well if I'm having a lesson. But riding on my own? Eh I'm not so worried about it. (FTR I have my horses at home, but boarded for over 10 years and never had anyone mind my muddy horses!) To each his own, I suppose.
            Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
            White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

            Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have mine at home now, too. As in private. If I wasn't there , the kid could ride however she wanted (and did). If she was bringing a trainer in to my farm, I wanted her to look clean. I get what you are saying, I'm looking at the mud balls in the field right now anticipating my next asthma attack knocking the mud off.
              Come to the dark side, we have cookies

              Comment


              • #8
                If you kept your horse at my farm and didn't brush your horse you would be asked to leave the ring, and if you did it again you would be asked to leave my farm. There is no room for laziness and poor horsemanship in horse ownership. If you don't have the time to take proper care of your horse you don't have time to ride.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I grew up riding at a smallish show barn in the 1970s...I was expected to have a clean horse any time I rode. I can't get over it still, those early habits die hard . I always have a clean horse when I ride, even when I'm riding alone and no one will see us. Just can't do it otherwise. I'm at smallish show barn now and most people do ride clean horses, 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.

                  I'm pretty disorganized and messy in the rest of my life...pretty much the only things that are always cleaned and organized are the horse and her things . Someone should have trained me was well as that first trainer did for keeping a house and a desk at work!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Snowfox View Post
                    If you kept your horse at my farm and didn't brush your horse you would be asked to leave the ring, and if you did it again you would be asked to leave my farm. There is no room for laziness and poor horsemanship in horse ownership. If you don't have the time to take proper care of your horse you don't have time to ride.
                    Oh good gracious. That's a bit dramatic. Just because I don't fully groom my horse before every ride means I'm not taking proper care of him? He gets plenty of turn out, quality hay, fresh water and treats. He doesn't give a damn if he's groomed at all!
                    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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 grew up in the Pony Club world and the horse came first.....that training has served me well.
                      But back to your question of "dos and don'ts"

                      -do pick up your poop in the cross tie as soon as it happens
                      -do sweep and hose out the cross tie when you are done
                      -my BO likes the shovel to be rinsed off after you pickup poop
                      -if you are hacking in the ring during a lesson, stay out of the way of the lesson

                      I know there are so many other "common courtesy" things that are common sense.....just be considerate and always put the horse first.
                      friend of bar.ka

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was once sent back to the barn for having shavings in my horses tail. Very embarrassed, but I brushed them out and went back for my lesson.

                        In my opinion (which has obviously changed since then!) you groom your mount not only as a sign of respect to them and to others, but also for health and safety reasons. I've gone to the barn on days I would have ridden by myself for an hour, and just rode for 20 minutes because my horse was dirty and I took extra time grooming him. I know a girl who never brushed her horse's legs... well the horse got mud fever, and ended up perma-lame.

                        I would never ride a dirty horse, no matter how short on time I was. It takes 15 minutes- would that really kill you?

                        As for other do's and dont's:
                        DO be friendly to everyone. There's often enough drama in boarding situations- don't make any more unless it's worth it
                        DO be considerate to the grooms, especially if they tack up for you. Nothing worse than tacking up someone's horse just to get yelled at for making a minor mistake. That being said, always check your tack before you get on if someone does it for you!
                        DO clean up your horse's poo (depends on the barn, but I always pick it up if it's anywhere but the stall or the arena)
                        DO keep whatever areas you inhabite tidy. That means the grooming/tacking up areas, while you use them, and wherever you store your stuff, if it isn't in a locker. If you can close a door and hide the mess, be as messy as you like. The only exception if your stall if your on full board- that's their issue.
                        DO be respectful in the ring! Nothing worse than an arena hog cutting you off every 5 seconds, or a railbird telling you how you should/shouldn't ride your horse, etc
                        DO enjoy yourself. Horse back riding and especially boarding is just too expensive to not have fun while doing it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Although in other areas of my life I'm a bit helter-skelter at times, I'm absolutely compulsive about barn stuff. I know this, though, and I try SO hard not to bother anyone else with it, although some times I will just *do* something for someone simply because I can't stand living knowing their blankets aren't folded and are heaped in front of their horse's stall or something. I never say anything about it, and everyone at my barn knows I do this, so it's become normal, lol. Actually, many people have come to appreciate it, haha. I'm like a magical barn fairy, when I pull blankets in the AM (we have a blanket co-op) everyone's blankets are neatly and uniformly folded, halters hanging on stalls are straightened, etc. When boarders come out, the barn looks tidy. I have also been known to wipe down people's tack when they leave it in a sweaty tangle on a hook before they put it away and they walk away to go hose down their horse or something. It just drives me a little batty. I do other stuff too, but this means that when someone wants a horse groomed before inspection/hauling out to a show/presenting to a potential leaser or they want their tack done before a show, they come to me. Today I did a saddle that needed to get through customs for someone heading to Europe to try horses. They needed it to be spotless (can't bring dirt into the country) and yup, haha, I'm the one who can do that. I just let my inner clean freak have a field day.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not an barn owner or trainer but just speculating...

                            DO:
                            - Always wear a helmet
                            - Pay on time
                            - Follow the rules
                            - Read (thoroughly!) the boarding/training contract
                            - Organization; leave things as clean or cleaner than you left them (sweep up grooming area, pick up poop, don't leave stuff lying around barn or bridles un-cleaned on the bridle rack for days, etc.)
                            - Respect others space. Lessons have priority in the ring, don't hog the wash rack, etc.
                            - Any issues/questions in regards to your horses care should be directly discussed with the barn manager/trainer.
                            - If you break it, tell someone.
                            - If you open a gate close it
                            - Question your trainer and barn manager. Ultimately, it is your horse and you should never feel you are being TOLD you HAVE to do something a certain way. But ALWAYS be respectful about it. Ask questions, provide your own experience and insight, and be open to the reasoning and knowledge of those professionals you have decided to trust your horse with. You are paying your trainer/manager for a reason, you think they are good horseman and value their opinion and knowledge. But don't be a doormat.
                            - You and your horse should be presentable at all times. I find this very important, especially at a larger boarding/training facility for multiple reasons. For one, attention to detail in you and your horses presentation on a daily basis is a good habit. Attention to detail in your turnout will transcend to attention to detail in your riding and your overall horsemanship. It takes 10 minutes to adequately groom and tack (and thoroughly check for any cuts, swelling, heat, etc) a horse if it is done on a daily basis (I got this number from my own experience. If I am in a rush I can get to the ring in 10 minutes but I typically take 30-45 minutes before and after I ride). Another reason being, potential clients may come to visit the barn at any time. You want to be a good representation of the quality of care the barn provides and the expectations of the trainer.

                            DON'T:
                            -Steal others stuff. Even if it's just a carrot.
                            - Gossip
                            - Ride on the trails alone or without a cell phone
                            - Ride in field with other horses
                            - Be the messy one at horse shows. We all know there is always that one person that seems to take up the whole tack room!
                            - Be a bad sport. Often I find my greatest competition at shows are my friends in my own barn. We all have good days and bad days, be supportive of each other.
                            - Criticize another boarder's/student's horse or riding ability.
                            - take extra feed/hay without asking the barn manager/trainer/owner

                            I am sure there is more. But this is what I can think of at the moment!
                            There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
                            inside of a man.

                            -Sir Winston Churchill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
                              Oh good gracious. That's a bit dramatic. Just because I don't fully groom my horse before every ride means I'm not taking proper care of him? He gets plenty of turn out, quality hay, fresh water and treats. He doesn't give a damn if he's groomed at all!
                              I bet he would if you were riding, and he had dried mud, dirt, sand between his back legs, in his arm pits and behind his pasterns.

                              Like I always told my students, oh you don't think grooming everywhere before riding is important? OK, come here, I'm going to put arena sand in your socks and down your bra...now go job me some laps and tell me it's no big deal. They never took me up on it.
                              COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                              "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                For Dos and Don'ts:

                                I'm currently a boarder, have been a BM of 70 horse facility and a BO of a much smaller one. I think these rules apply to anyone in any situation in anything other than your own private barn.

                                DO follow the rules.
                                DON'T talk smack about problems, real or otherwise, you're having with anyone to anyone other than the other involved party.
                                DO be cheerful as much as possible.
                                DON'T think yourself above anyone or anything.
                                DO offer to help others (from bringing in horses to coiling hose to setting jumps )

                                It's really nothing more than the Golden Rule.
                                Last edited by TheJenners; Mar. 24, 2013, 08:18 PM. Reason: typo
                                COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by TheJenners View Post
                                  I bet he would if you were riding, and he had dried mud, dirt, sand between his back legs, in his arm pits and behind his pasterns.

                                  Like I always told my students, oh you don't think grooming everywhere before riding is important? OK, come here, I'm going to put arena sand in your socks and down your bra...now go job me some laps and tell me it's no big deal. They never took me up on it.
                                  I'm sure all of the times he's cantering around in the field, muddy as crap, he's in tons of pain because of a little dried mud. Also, the next time your horse wears a bra or socks, please send me pictures because I've never seen that before! (I've already stated that I DO ALWAYS groom under the saddle and bridle). I think some people forget that horses are animals, with hair. That choose to dirty themselves on a daily basis.

                                  Yes, I generally groom my horses before riding. Perfectly every time? No. Do I groom my retired horse regularly? Yes. Does he freakin hate it? Yes. (As a side note, his scratches were the worst when I was shampooing, clipping, applying gunk. The easiest thing I've done to make scratches disappear? Do nothing to them).
                                  Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                                  White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                                  Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by AliCat518 View Post
                                    I'm sure all of the times he's cantering around in the field, muddy as crap, he's in tons of pain because of a little dried mud. Also, the next time your horse wears a bra or socks, please send me pictures because I've never seen that before! (I've already stated that I DO ALWAYS groom under the saddle and bridle). I think some people forget that horses are animals, with hair. That choose to dirty themselves on a daily basis.

                                    Yes, I generally groom my horses before riding. Perfectly every time? No. Do I groom my retired horse regularly? Yes. Does he freakin hate it? Yes. (As a side note, his scratches were the worst when I was shampooing, clipping, applying gunk. The easiest thing I've done to make scratches disappear? Do nothing to them).
                                    I think this is getting a bit off topic of what the OP originally intended the thread to be about.

                                    However, a few things stuck out to me that you said.
                                    1. "I'm sure all of the times he's cantering around in the field, muddy as crap, he's in tons of pain because of a little dried mud.". I agree with you, but if this mud isn't removed then it will eventually irritate him. Also, your horse does not move the same way when he is running in the field as he does when you are on his back. This could cause dried mud to irritate him or rub him differently than when he is playing in the field.
                                    2. "...horses are animals, with hair. That choose to dirty themselves on a daily basis.". While this is true, horses do not choose for us to ride them on a daily basis. Riding is not a natural phenomena for them, be it western, English, bareback, what have you. It is our responsibility, if we are to ask them to willingly work for us on a daily basis that we should return the favor and have a certain work ethic and routine. Grooming adds to their comfort while being ridden and there are areas that can be irritated other than where the tack goes. You are also able to check for any injuries, abnormal swelling, or heat. If you are checking for these abnormalities then you have time to run a brush over them, even if you don't go through the whole grooming routine (curry, stiff brush, hard brush, towel, hoof pick, pick out tail). Grooming presents your horse with a routine. Not everyone will agree with me, but I believe the mental aspect of riding is just as essential as the physical aspect (in both horse and rider). Grooming mentally prepares your horse to be ridden and allows you to bond with him/her.
                                    3. "his scratches were the worst when I was shampooing, clipping,...". I am on your side here. I think people over wash horses legs which often just irritates them more.
                                    4. You obviously groom your horses regularly so I really think any arguing over it is irrelevant. My comments were more directly referring to particular statements you made. Plus I just kind of butted in lol.
                                    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
                                    inside of a man.

                                    -Sir Winston Churchill

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      And of course people are already intentionally derailing the thread....

                                      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.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Woodhills really nailed it, despite not being a BO or a trainer
                                        OP, just that you've asked this question makes me think you are going to have no problem whatsoever fitting in at your new barn.

                                        Personally I'm very appreciative of clients who use good horsemanship and are tidy around the barn, and also who are courteous and pleasant. Little things that bother me: doors to heated/air conditioned areas left open, belongings left out, and people trying to take up extra storage space. I also don't like it when clients get in the way of staff trying to do their jobs. By all means be pleasant, but don't try to strike up extended conversations or tell staff how to do their jobs or act friendly in a way that could make them feel uncomfortable. The phrase "thank you" goes a long way in this business--no one is getting rich quick working as a BO or groom.

                                        Comment

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