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oh vey! I can't believe this happened at the farm today.

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  • #21
    OP, do you believe the BO will do something about this problem? If not then I would talk directly to the HO and try to get an idea if this problem was likely to continue. Then I would decide whether it were possible to rearrange my riding time to avoid the problem or if I needed to find another barn.
    My blog: Crackerdog Farm


    • #22
      Did they intentionally make the situation unsafe? Horses can be unpredictable. Just last night Willow decided not to wait for Mom to actually get ON before she took off bucking, then she tucked her chin to her chest and could not be stopped. I thank God that nobody else was in the arena, or it could have caused serious problems. Obviously, that wasn't my intent when getting on. However, I choose my ride times carefully for that reason. I ride a big (17.1h horse) in a small (30x40) arena.

      Could it perhaps be that they didn't know the situation was going to go south? Or where they already doing something against the rules (ie riding bareback when the rules state you are not allowed, horse pulls a Willow, rider falls off, horse now tearing around the arena).


      • #23
        If I was the BO or BM, I would want to know. IF another adult had approached the offender once, and the dangerous behavior had continued, then I would definitely want to know immediately.

        And that's for a whole range of dangerous behavior, from hard tying a horse in the barn aisle, to riding without a helmet, to jumping fences backwards of the way they're set, to lunging over fences with other horses in the ring, or not being able to control a horse while in the ring with others.

        I do have some concerns about the rules not being enforced or enforced for some and not for others, I believe that the BM has created this situation. However, she still does need to know exactly what her policies hath wrought.
        The plural of anecdote is not data.


        • #24
          Agree with talking to the BO in this case, given the OP has already tried the direct route. But also agree with McGurk that selective enforcement is unfair and creates the perception (reality?) of favorites. "Some pigs are more equal than other pigs" kind of deal.
          When there's lots of ppl ignoring safety rules, the thought process tends to be that the rule was meant for beginners / less experienced people. Those rules don't apply to me because I'm experienced enough that I can do it the quicker way, or because my horse is really well trained. Problem with this thinking is that failure to anticipate problems, and failure to understand all the risks, and overestimating one's skill is exactly what beginners do. They don't know what they don't know.
          I disagree with the thought that people not following the rules is the BM's doing. I'm assuming these boarders are not 12y/o. I would only blame the BM if rule-breaking were consistently reported to him/her and they didn't do anything. In this case, it's the boarders who ignore 90% of the rules, but now that want this particular one enforced against this particular boarder (but we don't plan to start following the rest of the rules). Safety culture needs to be instilled within everyone, not solely imposed/enforced from above. When everyone does the little stuff right, and feels not only open to, but obligated to saying something to each other when you see unsafe behavior, then the big stuff usually doesn't happen.


          • #25
            I don't think this is about one boarder.

            The BO needs to enforce the rules for everyone, or the rules might as well not exist.

            This particular incident could be a good opportunity for everyone to stop and think about why the rules (ought to be) there in the first place, and to enact a barn culture shift to actually follow the rules.

            Otherwise this will just happen again. Maybe with the same boarder, maybe with some other boarder/horse. But it will happen.

            If you focus too much on the one boarder, you're missing the forest for the trees.

            The problem is not that this boarder did something that nearly caused an accident.

            It's that the barn culture does not take safety seriously and, consequently, sets it up for this sort of thing to happen.


            • #26
              Absolutely talk to your BO straightaway. The last thing any reasonable BO wants is an accident. I would not assume that your BO knows exactly what is going on. A BO can't be there every second to supervise each and every boarder and some boarders do things only when the BO isn't there to correct them, so sometimes a BO might only know about issue if other people let them know. So please, make sure your BO is aware.

              FYI, "tattling" is a concept that pertains to grade school children looking to get their peers in trouble for minor infractions, it DOES NOT APPLY to adult situations where there are safety issues at stake. How would you feel if you didn't say anything, and then another person sustained a terrible injury a week later from the same issue?

              I think it is fine to say something directly to someone who does something unsafe in a environment like a boarding stable where other patrons and their horses are put at risk, but ultimately it is your BO's job to definitively deal with the behavior. If your BO knows that something unsafe is going on, but doesn't do anything about it, then that is another problem entirely. Some BOs are indeed reluctant to enforce rules because it is an unpleasant duty or because they might not want to risk losing the client.


              • #27
                BeeHoney, tattling applies to adults too. Happens in workplaces all the time when people would rather have a manager fix issues than just confront the person themselves. It sucks, it's childish, and it's stupid. And it destroys an organization's culture.

                However, in THIS case, where the OP apparently HAS spoken with the outlaw already, then it is appropriate. She had not stated that initially.

                Additionally, with the details shared by PM it's likely that the BO now knows about it anyhow. This is not your run of the mill minor issue, but a major one.

                Still worth talking to the BO, but not by hints.


                • #28
                  I agree with BeeHoney. This is something you should go to the BO about. I would calmly sit down with them and state everything as you have here. When safety is at stake, you can not be wrong with bringing it up. If the boarder who is breaking the rules gets mad, so be it, because if you were in the hospital it would be her fault.

                  "Tattling" is not a good term in this situation. It is not tatting. It is keeping everyone safe, which is commendable.


                  • #29
                    I agree with BeeHoney. This is something you should go to the BO about. I would calmly sit down with them and state everything as you have here. When safety is at stake, you can not be wrong with bringing it up. If the boarder who is breaking the rules gets mad, so be it, because if you were in the hospital it would be her fault.

                    "Tattling" is not a good term in this situation. It is not tatting. It is keeping everyone safe, which is commendable.


                    • #30
                      This is so fascinating to me.

                      Let me put a scenario (not the OPs) that could very well be read out of the OP's post.

                      "Outlaw" leaves her horse in the wash stall when going to the bathroom. This is against the rules. Another boarder sees this and doesn't say anything to Outlaw.

                      You are really going to have her go straight to the BO? Without talking to Outlaw?

                      No? That would be ridiculous right? But it happens in almost every barn across this country and it's childish.

                      Since we didn't know the nature of the previous safety incident, it's good to know the severity of the incident. It's also irresponsible to have someone going straight to the BO if outlaw has zero idea of what's going on.

                      Yes, it's tattling. Yes, it's childish.

                      And no, it actually doesn't apply to the situation as the OP has PMed because the incident was severe enough that BO likely already knows.


                      • #31
                        If this was a barn full of men I have to imagine how it would go down.

                        Hey dummazz you're going to get us all killed, knock it off.

                        the end.

                        possible sequel: Hey, BO, tell Mr Dummazz to knock off the stupid stuff before he gets us all killed.
                        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                        • #32
                          Let's say the scenario is one of the barn's rules are that horses are NOT to be lunged in the arena when X amount of horses (or any horses) are being ridden in said arena. Main reason being a horse gets away from owner, and tears around the ring with lunge line flying about, endangering all.

                          Poster has spoken to offender once, "Hey Fellow Boarder, One of the rules is horses are not to be lunged while others are riding, yadda, yadda, yadda". If the response was "Go pound sand", you bet your behind I would go straight to the BO. I would also call her out on the rule right then and there, esp. if I had a vibe from the others present that they aren't too keen on the rule being broken either....But I'm pretty direct and to the point...

                          I've been a boarder, worker, and now barn owner. IMO, I have always gotten the best results being matter of fact, direct, and timely on any issues. That way people know you are no pushover-and people stay safer when all are on the same page.


                          • #33
                            It's way too late to mouth off at somebody when they've killed you..
                            ... _. ._ .._. .._


                            • #34
                              If I were the BO, I would be very unhappy if I were not told of the incident. If an accident HAD occurred, BO could have been held liable for not enforcing the rules. Even if nobody sued BO directly, insurance companies would go after her, most likely.

                              There's a difference between tattling to get someone in trouble and reporting an incident that endangered people. Telling on Tommy because he didn't do his homework is not the same as telling that Tommy was playing with matches and set the rug on fire but put it out. In the adult world, if he situation is one that could end with a person or animal being harmed and you have let the person know that their behavior is dangerous and asked them to stop and they keep right on doing it, it's time to involve BO before BO finds out because someone had to call 911 or the vet for an emergency that could have been prevented.


                              • #35
                                Interestingly, I don't feel like the OP should have to address the situation directly at all. Sure, if it works out to do so, go for it.

                                But for Pete's sake, you are paying someone to manage the barn as part of your board. That includes establishing rules and making sure they are followed. It's not each boarder's job to police the other boarders and have "talks" about the rules and how it affects their safety, or their enjoyment of their horse, or whatever. Someone already has that job - it's the BO/BM.

                                I'm not talking about stupid things like leaving a hoof pick on the ledge or a ball of manure that didn't make it into the muck tub. As adults I would expect people to work this sort of thing out and/or ignore it. But if there are people that are affecting the safety of other riders/horse owners, or even if they are just making the riding environment unpleasant, then yes, you should go to the BO/BM.

                                Obviously how you phrase things matters, and if you do this every week you are going to be labeled the barn PITA and be ignored anyway. But if you are a considerate boarder and pay your bills - take this issue to the BO/BM and if the other rider is pissed off...who cares? I am too old to pay for stuff and not get what I want.


                                • #36
                                  You need to tell the barn owner, because it comes down to the legal liability that they will have if the other boarder gets animals or people injured. It's not your place, but the barn owners to either stop it or ignore it. I also endorse the idea of barn shopping, because if nothing is done, then you need to move to a safer environment.
                                  You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                                  • Original Poster


                                    I spoke with the BO today and related the situation in its entirety. The BO thanked me profusely for bringing the situation to their attention. This was apparently not the only problem they've had with this person, but has been the most severe. The BO told me that my account of the situation has convinced them to move forward with a swift and strong penalty for the offender. I'm very satisfied with the BO's plans. I won't relate them here to maintain confidentiality, but suffice it to say, the BO is not going to put up with any crap, particularly when it creates a safety problem.


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                                      If this was a barn full of men I have to imagine how it would go down.

                                      Hey dummazz you're going to get us all killed, knock it off.

                                      the end.

                                      possible sequel: Hey, BO, tell Mr Dummazz to knock off the stupid stuff before he gets us all killed.
                                      This. I wish more women could just say something. I don't know why it is so scary to do it. It doesn't have to be escalated, it doesn't have to turn into a knock down dragout fight, it doesn't have to be all passive aggressive.

                                      Do you know how much barn drama would go away if people could just say, hey, please stop doing that. OP, not saying you are being a drama llama, just can't understand why women can't speak up easily.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        @Lady Counselor: Some women do speak up easily. I and one other did on a couple of occasions and what ensued was a lot of trashtalking about us behind our backs, rude treatment at the barn, etc.. I could care less about that as long as I can ride in peace, but some people don't want to deal with that headache.

                                        In my opinion guys are very different. They will say, as another person pointed out, "hey stop it @$$hat before you get us all killed !". An hour later the same guys will be out having a beer or two. Women who disagree with each other often hold grudges for long periods of time, take it out on the person who brought it up, trash that person, make life difficult in other ways. I don't think guys do that kidn of stuff.


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by AlterMe123 View Post
                                          There are some excellent comments and suggestions, so thanks everyone so far!

                                          @mvp: you have a very valid point regarding "have I vetoed speaking directly with this person". In the previous case, I didn't say anything until it became clear there was a potential problem at which point I started talking to the person directly. Since then it hasn't been a problem with that individual. They got the message.

                                          In the current situation, I first ignored it, then I said something yesterday in an effort to find a mutually acceptable solution to the problem. Person said something that led me to believe the situation would be ok, but it went downhill quickly. So if I spoke to the barn owner, I don't think I would be tattling necessarily since I tried to speak with the person in question. I could speak with them again to say hey, after what happened, Im concerned about safety, yada yada, but I'll likely run into the BO before I run into that person.

                                          You're doing good. If you are "in negotiations" with Outlaw, don't go to the BO yet. What I mean is Outlaw said "Sure, I'll fix it," and then doesn't, your job is to see if Outlaw *was* making an effort but failed. Or, did Outlaw seem to blow you off? Even if this happened, you still aren't done "negotiating"-- handling this problem in-house with Outlaw. Now you need to say, "Yo! Outlaw! I thought you were going to fix it and it's not happening. What do you want to do?"

                                          If Outlaw gives you crap, *then* you go to the BO. Outlaw shouldn't be surprised.

                                          The point is that you handle things directly until you get to an unequivocal dead-end with that person before going "up" a level. Just like at work!
                                          The armchair saddler
                                          Politically Pro-Cat