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Small (or underrated) things that impress you....

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  • Small (or underrated) things that impress you....

    I am "barn shopping". I used to have a running theory that horse people do not check their emails. I called a place last week and spoke to the owner. She was super friendly and suggested I email to set up a time to visit the place.

    Not only was my email responded to in the same day, I learned that the barn allows for online payments.

    On top of happy staff and horses, this place blew me away with their communication and organization.

    What are some small things that impress you about your trainer or your barn?

  • #2
    Being invited and included. I keep my horses at home and trailer out for lessons. What makes a difference to me is the openness and welcome attitude of the boarders at a barn. It makes a difference in a trainer I want to work with and a trainer I don't want to work with as I feel like how fellow barnmates treat each other is a reflection of the values of the trainer.
    My Mustang Adventures - Mac, my mustang | Annwylid D'Lite - my Cob filly

    "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran

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    • #3
      Great friendly group of people who pull for each other and are always willing to lend a helping hand. As Pocket Pony wrote, this doesn't happen by accident, but is a reflection of the trainers. Great organization and communication by the trainers and others. Someone always at home to give lessons and ride horses. Old fashioned, in a good way.
      The Evil Chem Prof

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      • #4
        I moved to a new barn three months ago, and have discovered a lot of "little things" to like about my new place:

        - community atmosphere: yesterday the entire barn came out to help move the jumps from the indoor to the outdoor, for example
        - "modern" communication: email, text and a closed FB group, all used prolifically and responded to promptly
        - "modern" payment methods: e-transfer is preferred!
        - halters off during turnout: truly a little thing, but with a young gelding who loves to play with his pal, it's saved me a ton of $$$ in repairs!
        - happiness: the trainers, the staff, the clients, the horses, the barn cats, the dogs -- everyone is just HAPPY and smiling 99% of the time

        And, of course, the big things are all in place, too.

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        • #5
          I'm just two months in at a new barn and the trainers are incredibly dedicated to the horses. They personally feed the grain & supplements in the evening and add carrots to all the buckets. They come out and do this on Mondays when the barn is closed! There's a firm structure for the horses with flexibility for the owners, which is ideal for my work schedule.

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          • #6
            Just started riding at a new barn and on my first visit, the owner/trainer gave me a tour and introduced me to each horse/pony. As in "This is Dobbin and he's a really brave soul..." Tickled me because they ARE the occupants of the house so why wouldn't we personally greet them?

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by DarkBayUnicorn View Post
              I moved to a new barn three months ago, and have discovered a lot of "little things" to like about my new place:

              - community atmosphere: yesterday the entire barn came out to help move the jumps from the indoor to the outdoor, for example
              - "modern" communication: email, text and a closed FB group, all used prolifically and responded to promptly
              - "modern" payment methods: e-transfer is preferred!
              - halters off during turnout: truly a little thing, but with a young gelding who loves to play with his pal, it's saved me a ton of $$$ in repairs!
              - happiness: the trainers, the staff, the clients, the horses, the barn cats, the dogs -- everyone is just HAPPY and smiling 99% of the time

              And, of course, the big things are all in place, too.
              Definitely agree with all these points! Especially the last one..

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by RileysMom View Post
                Just started riding at a new barn and on my first visit, the owner/trainer gave me a tour and introduced me to each horse/pony. As in "This is Dobbin and he's a really brave soul..." Tickled me because they ARE the occupants of the house so why wouldn't we personally greet them?
                So funny, the same happened to me when I visited this place! Every horse had a story about how amazing they were, how they came to the barn, who loved them... etc. Just gives you a sense to how important they are to the people who care for them...

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                • #9
                  Kind boarders who help look out for each other's horses. I had to leave on a trip out to he country soon after I got my horse and was paranoid. My fellow boarders would text me pics of him in the paddock or getting scratches to assure me he was doing great. Everyone keeps an out eye out and especially at night, will do a barn walk to look in on everyone to make sure all doors are latched, and everyone looks happy and well.

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                  • #10
                    As I told my farrier when I visited a new boarding facility and she asked if I liked it:

                    "Well, all the t-posts have caps."

                    I do board there because it's a small place (five horses), nice owner, had an arena, but none of that would have mattered if the t posts were not capped.

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                    • #11
                      For me the people make all the difference. Is this a place I enjoy being even when I'm not riding? Of course this is the horse world so some people are going to have more means than others, but are trainers/other boarders as friendly to the weekly beginner lesson student as they are to the wealthy amateur lady with 5 horses? To me that makes a huge difference. I'm very lucky that my barn now has a fun group of amateurs and older juniors that all have a great time supporting each other at whatever level we are at.

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                      • #12
                        I think it's nearly impossible to figure this out until you've been at a barn for awhile, because anyone can talk the talk (and most do). One thing I will say about our barn that I like is our B.O. will kick people out if they stir up trouble. She doesn't just say it--she really does it. Just the knowledge that they could be kicked out helps everyone mind their manners a bit more! And I agree about being friendly to those just doing lessons...you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat EVERYONE in the barn.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'll play along.

                          - They do what they promise: if they said they do blanket changes and put boots on for t/o, they do it... all the time! I have struggled with this at some facilities where the lack of help/different help all of the time causes sloppiness. Fly masks/turnout boots/bell boots are NOT left in the pastures when they fall off (huge pet peeve of mine when I see tons of them in the field or I have to go searching for my horses's stuff)!

                          - A friendly and encouraging atmosphere: I believe people around you make or break your experience. 1 sour person can truly sour a whole barn. Barn mates get along and although might be competitors in the show ring, they are encouraging. I believe this starts with the trainer and they set the standard of this.

                          - I'll second about being truly dedicated to the horses: you can tell people who don't have the best interest of the horses's at heart. I am a very involved owner and rider - I expect the workers to be the same way. I expect my trainer to be the same way.

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                          • #14
                            I agree with you about the email thing - I've had about 50% response rate on email or FB (this is ~15 barns at this point). Which would be fine, but if you're not going to answer either method, why do you put the option on your website? I'm a scientist wearing gloves that I do not want touching my phone, please email me back so we don't play 9 rounds of telephone tag.

                            Communication and organization are a big thing for me, because you can tell how that's going to go right away. As other have said, some things are going to take time to figure out, like are people actually friendly or are they secretly all gossiping about each other, are the horses actually on a schedule or do they play fast and loose with supplements, etc. At least if the trainer/BM/BO/general person in charge is on top of things and easy to get in touch with, I figure I'll be able to at least address any issues that might arise, and they should have their barn in order.

                            Current barn was very welcoming, almost every boarder I ran into the first day introduced themselves and included me into their conversations as much as possible.

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                            • #15
                              First rate care of the horses and a communicative trainer and barn staff are my biggies.

                              I like to be in constant communication concerning any vet/first aid issues and when it comes to training as well. For example, when my horse had a LH distal wound they trainer and or barn worker changed his bandage every 3 days, and would text me pictures of the progress. I also enjoy getting text updates after training rides about how Dobbin did that day, and what I should focus on during my next ride.
                              http://hunkyhanoverian.com

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                              • #16
                                I like to be alone and have quiet when I go to ride after work. So my favorite thing about my barn is that I am really the only person there during the week that rides, and there is only one other lady that comes and rides and hangs out with me on the weekend. I worked on the circuit for years so I am very particular about the way I take care of my horse and I like the fact that no one criticizes me for the amount of time and effort I put in. Yes, there use to be someone there that was always nagging about how I kept my horse clipped up, bathed, and blanketed! He was later released to find a new barn.

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                                • #17
                                  I'll ditto what's been said above about modern and easy to communicate with, especially via email and text. Also friendly and welcoming boarders. Obviously it takes a little while to get to know folks but you can generally tell off the bat whether the boarders are open and welcoming to new comers. Granted this is not something a trainer or barn manager can necessarily control but I think organizing adult group lessons or potlucks after lessons helps foster a collegial atmosphere.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by OldLadyYoungOTTB View Post
                                    I think it's nearly impossible to figure this out until you've been at a barn for awhile, because anyone can talk the talk (and most do). One thing I will say about our barn that I like is our B.O. will kick people out if they stir up trouble. She doesn't just say it--she really does it. Just the knowledge that they could be kicked out helps everyone mind their manners a bit more! And I agree about being friendly to those just doing lessons...you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat EVERYONE in the barn.
                                    I've ridden at so many barns where the BOs walk on eggshells to try to prevent any kind of exodus. I think it usually does not end up favorable for the health of the barn community. In my experience, it can create a real festering environment.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by raisethebar View Post
                                      I'll play along.

                                      - They do what they promise: if they said they do blanket changes and put boots on for t/o, they do it... all the time! I have struggled with this at some facilities where the lack of help/different help all of the time causes sloppiness. Fly masks/turnout boots/bell boots are NOT left in the pastures when they fall off (huge pet peeve of mine when I see tons of them in the field or I have to go searching for my horses's stuff)!

                                      This is HUGE. ESPECIALLY if the barn charges extra for these services.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Turnout.
                                        Horses actually turned out, not empty fields with pristine grass.
                                        "The best of any breed is the thoroughbred horse..." - GHM

                                        www.mmeqcenter.com

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