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How important is a social life at your barn?

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  • #41
    Originally posted by bits619 View Post
    The size of the facility and riding areas dictates my response. I rode during high school at a very busy lesson barn with about 60 horses (more than half were school horses) and over 120 riders. There was always someone there, but there were also about 16 spots to groom/tack up. There was also a generously sized arena, 2 medium sized unfenced areas (one grass, one sand) with jumps, a smaller dressage arena, and a small gymnastics area also on property. If you wanted to ride without people, you could (except maybe Saturday midday!).
    In contrast, my current barn has about 10 horses in work. It's only the barn owner who teaches lessons, and they are mostly private lessons, except for her high schoolers who are her boarders/show kids. Even then, max riders at a time might be 5. So it's small and not hugely social. However, if there is a lesson going on, while I'm welcomed to ride in the ring, i get self conscious so I'd rather ride on my own, which only leaves one field to ride in, and it isn't ideal (hilly, not big). I think if this barn got any busier, it'd be too much for me. I'd like more options to spread out.
    Thankfully, all of her boarders and students are kids, so i can go in on my week days off work while they're all at school. I can also ask to ride in a group lesson with her show kids every once in a while if I want a bit more interaction.
    Good point re: the facility. I've been in huge barns that I did not mind at all, so long as the facility was adequate to support the number of people. Honestly, I only really have issues with too many people in winter. If I could be at a place with two indoors (HEAVEN!), that would probably solve all of my issues!

    Many, many years ago, I did board at a big h/j show facility that had two large indoor arenas, three outdoor arenas (the largest of which could be split into two full sized hunter show rings and a warm up ring for shows, and the mid-sized one was split into a GP jumper ring and a schooling area for shows), a gigantic grass polo/GP field, and tons of trails. I do not ever recall feeling crowded there, except for when there were shows going on (and I never minded because I was usually showing...ah, the benefits of boarding at an AA show facility!). The problem there, though, was that they didn't have even close to enough paddocks to support the number of horses on the property.


    • #42
      Originally posted by TequilaMockingbird View Post
      As I'm more of an introvert, I always thought I'd prefer a smaller barn. But having now experienced a small barn and a large one, I really prefer the large barn.

      The small barn is always way too quiet. It's just way too lonely most of the time. Most days I go out there around 4:30pm and never see a single other boarder the entire time I'm there.

      Everyone at the large barn is friendly. And the people I don't care for are easily ignored while still maintaining polite relations. I have several people that I love to ride with and we are always out around the same times. It makes the days that you can't do much of anything enjoyable.
      You are at least the third of us to say this same thing. What is going on here? Why do we like big barns when we're big introverts?

      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


      • #43
        Introverts feel uncomfortable talking to strangers. It does not mean they don't want to be around people. Besides, when two strangers have the same interest, they cease to be strangers.


        • #44
          Introverts get their energy from solitude. It has less to do with their ability to talk to people. So how does an introvert find a busy barn to be the go-to place for fun and relaxation? That's what extroverts do. That's why I keep coming back to flooding.

          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


          • #45
            Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
            You are at least the third of us to say this same thing. What is going on here? Why do we like big barns when we're big introverts?

            For me, I think it's because I am an introvert. I like being around other people, but I don't really go out of my way to be with them. I'd rather spend a night at home with a movie than at a bar. Because of that, I don't build new relationships quickly. Instead, most of my relationships come from situations where I'm with the same people over a period of time so we grow to know each other. For me, that tends to be work, volunteer activities, and the barn!

            At the barn I get to be with people that I instantly share something in common with. After some chit chatting we slowly grow into being friends. Yet at the end of the day I can still retreat to my nice quiet house. I like people, so I got my people interaction for the day which I enjoy, but I recharge by being on my own and I got that too.

            Introvert often gets confused for "doesn't like other people" or "socially inept." That's not what it means at all.
            Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


            • #46
              It's not ability I am talking about. It is whether they are comfortable talking to strangers I'm talking about. Extroverts thrive in talking to strangers; introverts are stressed by it. That still does not mean they(introverts) want to lead a solitary life though. They feel happy at a busy barn because they all have the same topic to talk about, horses, and it ceases to be stressing. They don't need to rack their brains trying to find a topic, which an extrovert find rather natural at.


              • #47
                I guess I prefer a good balance. About me: I'm in my early-30's and I ride dressage. I would consider myself a very serious AA. I'm not a pro but I strive to ride like one I just made my PSG schooling show debut, will be showing PSG at recognized shows this summer and I have GP ambitions. I ride 5 - 6 days per week and lesson weekly.

                I feel like my current barn is the absolute perfect balance. There are 19 stalls and we are usually close to full. I'd say at any given time 15 horses belong to boarders, the other 4 are usually horses in for training but that varies a little. It is an adults only barn so no kids running around, which I prefer. Most of the women that board there either don't work or own their own businesses so they tend to ride in the mid-morning and early afternoons. Our coach teaches and trains from 7AM to about 2:30PM. Myself and 3 other boarders work full time so we generally ride in the evenings, but I lesson early before work once per week.

                I love my morning lessons because it's usually just me in the arena, an sometimes my trainer's assistant. Toward the end of my lesson people start filtering in so I get a good half hour or so of social time while I'm untacking but still have the arena to myself. In the evenings I usually get to ride alone or with one other horse at most. It's nice to have the whole thing to myself to focus on our work. On the weekends it tends to be busy in the mornings from about 8 - 11AM. There is a Saturday morning crew that rides together, gives each other pointers, and works on things together. This is another great time for me to be social so I try to take advantage when I'm not totally exhausted from the work week!

                My favorite thing about my barn - little to no drama, we have a group of wonderful horsewomen of all experience levels, and everyone is serious about their riding and about learning. We have a great group and wonderful camaraderie at shows. It's really nice to have a big group to show with, we have a fantastic time and it's nice to have a cheering section I do wish that I was able to ride and hang out more in the mornings so I could soak up more good info. I find it invaluable to watch and listen to lessons being given regardless of the level of horse and rider. I also love to watch my coach's training rides, that is always eye opening.


                • #48
                  [QUOTE=GoForAGallop;6793176]... But I have never had issues with barn drama (takes two to tango ) so I don't have any particular issues with groups of people.


                  Unfortunately, not always. One place where I boarded, I always went to ride after work, and it was mostly a kids' barn, so most riding took place in the afternoon. By the time I got there, most/all other boarders would be gone or on their way out. But I would find out that I had been implicated or assumed to have some (negative) opinion on things I actually knew nothing about. Zero. I think after a while, including one time showing up in the morning for a fun show that had been postponed to the afternoon, and I was the only one who didn't know about the change, for the BM to finally realize that I really had almost NO contact with anyone and therefore truly wasn't a part of any of the many dramas that played out. But I doubt I was ever seen as being as completely uninvolved as I actually was.

                  Always preferred a smaller place. Best places I boarded were where I was one of only a few boarders. I can enjoy the social events at a bigger place, like Halloween and Christmas parties, but I don't have to have them. But like someone else said, the biggest concern is horse care.

                  But don't count my vote -- I don't board anymore, thank God, and hope I never have to again.
                  If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great


                  • #49
                    I completely understand what you mean now, Gloria, and I have to agree that's part of it. I think sometimes also introverts can be susceptible to head-up-a$$ disease, and small barns might be a risk factor For example, I am less likely to worry that a new distraction might spook Fella, and more likely to say, "Meh; he'll get over it".

                    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                    • #50
                      An introvert looks within to see if he/she is OK. An extrovert is more likely to seek validation from others. At least, that's how a psychologist friend explained the Myers-Briggs aspect of it to me. I am a huge *I* according to M-B, and I am perfectly capable of schmoozing it up with just about anyone, but it is normally not my first choice.

                      I board two horses at a kind of horsey country club that has 120+ horses on site. I like it because with that many people around, I can choose with whom I want to interact or fade into background. My choice.

                      My only issue is people who don't know how to share an arena. This time of year, people ride four abreast along the rail in the indoor, ambling along and chatting. Very nice, but why not just stop and chat in the middle.

                      Others cowboy up and do rollbacks -- right in front of someone on the rail. I've taken to calling out where I am -- on your inside! -- or what I'm about to do -- 20m circle here, loop down the long side, leg yield -- and just doing it. Only problem is when they don't know what a loop or a leg yield is.
                      "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                      the best day in ten years,
                      you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."


                      • #51
                        I prefer a medium place, with enough activity that I can socialize and enjoy the presence of other horse people without feeling crowded out. The place I'm at now is a bit quieter than I usually prefer, but it's actually working out well. I know the times when people will usually be out, and I can choose to head out then, or I can head out at a quieter time and spend 3 or 4 hours to myself riding/working the horses I'm responsible for. The BO/trainer lives on the property, and there's a separate group of western riders who use one of the arenas, so there's almost always someone around if something were to go haywire.

                        I don't like barns where I'm the only one who is ever out, and huge barns can be a bit overwhelming for me, but if I had to pick one I would go for a bigger barn over a smaller barn.


                        • #52
                          My barn (where I keep my horse and do chores on the weekends to pay off board) is small and I am the only there 9 times out of 10 lately. I like it that way. However, I very much enjoy the few who I would and do see on occasion, so its a win/win for me.

                          I am around people all day; at home, at work, etc. I go to the barn to see my horse (well, and the chickens ) and feel less dorky when I carry on conversations with him - errm, one-sided, that is lol - when no one else is listening!

                          I'm 31 and have no goals expect to keep my horse healthy and happy and enjoy myself.
                          Barn rat for life


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Sansena View Post
                            Would a quiet, child free, drama free barn be attractive?
                            HECK YES! I'm at a very small facility - the owner and her daughters have 85% of the horses, there's an absentee boarder with a horse on layup, the trainer has two, and myself. It's perfect. 50/50 split between having one, maybe two other people around, and being alone. And 99% of the time, no kids!


                            • #54
                              I don't mind being LEFT ALONE at the barn (as in, QUIT BUGGING ME!) but I do like having other people around while I'm out there. For safety, sure, but also for someone to bounce things off of (i.e. "does he look off behind?" or "my horse has a weird thing on his neck, come look at it.") Don't care so much about socializing while I tack up or while I ride, but I get weird if I don't have someone at least in the same general vicinity. I have separation anxiety!
                              Adversity is the stone on which I sharpen my blade.


                              • #55
                                although we know that introversion/extraversion as measured by the Myers-Briggs(as well as anything else measured by that inventory) is pretty meaningless, right?

                                Glad I am not boarding, but having just hauled bale by bale, about 3/4 ton of hay, I think the labor factor of having my boys home is signficant!


                                • #56
                                  I am blessed to have my own barn at home and take care of my own horses. I also haul out to a barn that has about 25 boarders. I guess I have the best of both worlds. When I want to be alone with my horses I do that at home or go to the barn that I ride at when I know no one will be there. If I want to ride with others I know the times they will be there or I call them and we meet at a certain time.
                                  RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                                  May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                                  RIP San Lena Peppy
                                  May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                                    It's not ability I am talking about. It is whether they are comfortable talking to strangers I'm talking about. Extroverts thrive in talking to strangers; introverts are stressed by it. That still does not mean they(introverts) want to lead a solitary life though. They feel happy at a busy barn because they all have the same topic to talk about, horses, and it ceases to be stressing. They don't need to rack their brains trying to find a topic, which an extrovert find rather natural at.
                                    Being an introvert or extrovert has nothing to do with talking to do with how much one likes to talk to strangers, but how much one enjoys being near people.

                                    Take me, for instance - I am an introvert. I get my socialization from going to work as well as the barn. There is no effort, no plans being made, etc. I'm just there and the people that are there are there. But I go home to an empty house and quite enjoy my alone time. By the end of the week, between work and riding and everything else, I am done with people and a good Saturday night is spent watching TV, alone.

                                    My sister-in-law, on the other hand, is an extrovert. She will leave work, pick up her daughter, plan dinner with a friend, come home, talk to the renter until the wee hours. The weekend is pretty much always planned with spending time with family or friends.

                                    Neither one of us seek out strangers to talk to, nor do we care to - but we get our energy different ways. Someone who is an introvert, but likes a busy barn is someone who feels their 'obligation to socialize' is taken care of by just being around more people. Then they feel less 'societal pressure' to go out afterward. The American culture puts a big emphasis on the concept of hanging out with friends. Introverts are often seen as 'anti-social'. So, being at a big barn works as a stand in for the concept of hanging out with friends...if that makes sense to anyone.


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Ajierene View Post
                                      The American culture puts a big emphasis on the concept of hanging out with friends. Introverts are often seen as 'anti-social'. So, being at a big barn works as a stand in for the concept of hanging out with friends...if that makes sense to anyone.
                                      It makes sense to me. But as the years have gone on I have learned to embrace my lack of desire to have a huge circle of acquaintances and casual friends and enjoy being mostly alone (but not lonely) regardless of societal pressures or expectations. Which I guess is why I like it so much where I am now.


                                      • #59
                                        You know, maybe MB is not all it's supposed to be because this introvert seeks the socialization of her new barn. In fact, I can't go this month at all and I miss it terribly. I've even gone there just to hang out with no intention of riding and it's made me feel better. Maybe there's some convergence of good universe vibes there or something?

                                        He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                                        • #60
                                          I dont board, grew up on the family farm I now have. I dont know what it is to not have horses to care for, and I am used to, and quite like, being alone most of the time. My closest horsey pal is my adult DD. She also has never known, not to have a herd of horses to take care of, everyday alone. We hang out with each other the most , than we hang out with anyone. If we are doing something that is paticularlly dangerous or iffy, we have the other there. We are very private keep to ourselves peeps. So if we had to board quiet without kids would be the only acceptable solution. Egads!!

                                          That being said I really want to snow bird, so the question is, can we board? Or do we have to get more realestate?
                                          Just like our eyes, our hearts have a way of adjusting to the dark.--Adam Stanley