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"Less important" riders have to give arena right of way to MORE important riders??

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  • "Less important" riders have to give arena right of way to MORE important riders??

    I board at a higher end facility, with a lovely indoor arena, most of the boarders are hunter/jumper people doing schooling shows and A's. Personally, I am a pleasure rider, retraining a rescued draft horse to be a pleasure/trail horse.

    I pay the same board rate that everyone else does, however, I do not take lessons, my horse is not at that point yet.

    Yesterday morning, I went to ride my horse. Often I ride in the outdoor ring, but the weather was absolutely foul, so I decided to wimp out and ride indoors.

    My horse is very well behaved in the arena with other horses, doesnt do typical "green horse" things, she IS 15 afterall

    Lately our rides are about walking forward, refining her steering and occasionally a few walk/trot transitions just because the mare loves to trot. It makes her happy.

    So yesterday, I mount and start warming up at a walk when another horse and rider enter the arena without warning. No problem, my horse stops dead, gets very tall and looks, without another worry, she walks on.

    The other rider gets on and immediately starts trotting and cantering around, jumps off and sets up 8 jumps and starts doing courses, not calling out her intentions.

    At one point, I was down at one end of the arena while she was at the other and she came thundering down over 3 jumps and almost ran into us.

    I didnt say a word, but she trotted over in front of us, stopped, forcing us to stop and said "You need to get your plow horse out of the way, cant you see Im schooling in here?" I replied, "I can see that, but I think there's plenty of room for both of us, if you see Im going to be in your way, call your jumps and I'll move. I'll work around you."

    Apparently, she didnt like this idea. She stomped out of the arena, got the barn manager and came back. The barn manager, to my horror, came and talked to me, "you know this rider has a show on the weekend and needs to practise, she really needs the whole arena, you're not practising for any shows or doing anything important, you need to leave, maybe ride in the outdoor ring".

    I was stunned. #1, I was in there FIRST. #2, since when does one person become more important than another. #3, I was trying to be reasonable and share (Ive shown h/j before, I can manage to stay out of their way!) #4, how can anyone have the nerve to decide whether what Im doing is important or not??

    I told her, "I'll be done in about 10 minutes, she's welcome to share with me during that time, or if she'd rather have it to herself I'll only be 10 minutes." Maybe this was rude?

    The end... I found an "eviction" notice on my stall door this morning, mostly saying that since Im not willing to "be a team player", Im no longer welcome here. Team player, what the heck?!

    I tried talking to the barn manager and she said her hands are tied in this matter and agrees the other rider had the "Right of way".

    Has anyone ever heard of anything like this before?? Am I missing something?? (I never once raised my voice or said anything nasty, outside my head, that is!)

    I guess I'll find a new facility... I dont want to stay where there is this insanity... but I dont really "get" the situation either.

    HELP?
  • Original Poster

    #2
    I board at a higher end facility, with a lovely indoor arena, most of the boarders are hunter/jumper people doing schooling shows and A's. Personally, I am a pleasure rider, retraining a rescued draft horse to be a pleasure/trail horse.

    I pay the same board rate that everyone else does, however, I do not take lessons, my horse is not at that point yet.

    Yesterday morning, I went to ride my horse. Often I ride in the outdoor ring, but the weather was absolutely foul, so I decided to wimp out and ride indoors.

    My horse is very well behaved in the arena with other horses, doesnt do typical "green horse" things, she IS 15 afterall

    Lately our rides are about walking forward, refining her steering and occasionally a few walk/trot transitions just because the mare loves to trot. It makes her happy.

    So yesterday, I mount and start warming up at a walk when another horse and rider enter the arena without warning. No problem, my horse stops dead, gets very tall and looks, without another worry, she walks on.

    The other rider gets on and immediately starts trotting and cantering around, jumps off and sets up 8 jumps and starts doing courses, not calling out her intentions.

    At one point, I was down at one end of the arena while she was at the other and she came thundering down over 3 jumps and almost ran into us.

    I didnt say a word, but she trotted over in front of us, stopped, forcing us to stop and said "You need to get your plow horse out of the way, cant you see Im schooling in here?" I replied, "I can see that, but I think there's plenty of room for both of us, if you see Im going to be in your way, call your jumps and I'll move. I'll work around you."

    Apparently, she didnt like this idea. She stomped out of the arena, got the barn manager and came back. The barn manager, to my horror, came and talked to me, "you know this rider has a show on the weekend and needs to practise, she really needs the whole arena, you're not practising for any shows or doing anything important, you need to leave, maybe ride in the outdoor ring".

    I was stunned. #1, I was in there FIRST. #2, since when does one person become more important than another. #3, I was trying to be reasonable and share (Ive shown h/j before, I can manage to stay out of their way!) #4, how can anyone have the nerve to decide whether what Im doing is important or not??

    I told her, "I'll be done in about 10 minutes, she's welcome to share with me during that time, or if she'd rather have it to herself I'll only be 10 minutes." Maybe this was rude?

    The end... I found an "eviction" notice on my stall door this morning, mostly saying that since Im not willing to "be a team player", Im no longer welcome here. Team player, what the heck?!

    I tried talking to the barn manager and she said her hands are tied in this matter and agrees the other rider had the "Right of way".

    Has anyone ever heard of anything like this before?? Am I missing something?? (I never once raised my voice or said anything nasty, outside my head, that is!)

    I guess I'll find a new facility... I dont want to stay where there is this insanity... but I dont really "get" the situation either.

    HELP?

    Comment


    • #3
      It's certainly not fair.
      It's a money issue: riders who take lessons and go to shows end up paying a lot more money to the barn, so sadly barns tend to cater to such riders. They'd rather you left than irritate their main sources of income into leaving.

      Comment


      • #4
        Clearing the ring for one person to school over jumps--unless the ring is TEENY, in which case she shouldn't be jumping a course in it anyway--is ridiculous. What is she going to do when she gets to a show and has to WARM UP?? Have her trainer ride no doubt.... My arena is 75x150 and we've had up to four horses in there, with two doing flatwork and two jumping, with no problems as long as some intelligence is applied.

        That issue aside, there IS 'right of way' when multiple riders are in the ring, and riders working over jumps take precedence over just about everything else. So IF you know someone is going over a jump or line or course you need to get out of the way even if it means stopping what you are doing and standing in one spot. But if they don't CALL it that is impossible.

        JenniferS
        Third Charm Event Team

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow. That is so unfair. I am so sorry. That is absurd though!

          *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
          Karina
          Proud owner of Loughnatousa Alex
          http://community.webshots.com/user/loughnatousa
          *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
          Karina
          Proud owner of Loughnatousa Alex
          http://community.webshots.com/user/loughnatousa

          Comment


          • #6
            It's ridiculous, but I agree with wendy that "it's business".

            At my trainers, we routinely have four or five horses being schooled in adition to one or two in a lesson and jumping courses, and it works. Yes, everyone has to be on their toes, but it works.

            But it's not about what works, or is fair, it's about $$$. The other rider isn't more important, she's just putting more $$ in the coffers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sorry about your situation! Where are you located? If near me, I might be able to suggest a few places. Or others from other areas could help out. Have fun with your horsie! Unfortunately, there are people like that. Sure, someone who is not paying attention to where I am (not you, though!), whether on the ground or over fences, gets me mad, but I don't ever expect the arena to be cleared for when I ride. I can't stand when people want that. Afterall, what happens when your horse goes for warmup at different show, everyone trying to jump the same fences and warming up in the area at the same time? Get used to it! (I agree, this is different from schooling, but I sure wouldn't want to spoil myself and my horse that we can't warm up at shows.)

              This is one of the few reasons I like the co- op system in our barn. No one owns the barn, and the membership as a group makes rules. We do have a rule that if you are jumping with other people in the arena, you must call it out, and have your ground person/ instructor tell people where to stand for that line if need be. Also, there is a 4 other rider limit, and if there are other people waiting to use the arena, jumping is allowed for only 30 min. We also, out of courtesy, write on a board when we are planning on jumping and having lessons, and generally other people try to not ride during that time.

              Standardbred lover- owner of Studs Hooligan, aka Strider, ex- pacer, retrained for eventing
              Proud member of the Riders of Rohan!
              Strider's web site! http://home.woh.rr.com/thepetroskys/StriderWebPage.htm
              Standardbred Lover- owner of Studs Hooligan, aka Strider, ex- pacer, retrained for eventing and endurance
              Strider-OTSTB-, Gus-OTTB-, and Rio-rescued QH!
              Founder of the High Maintenance Horses Clique

              Comment


              • #8
                Thats ridiculous. There was a recent thread on the H/J forum about this kind of stuff.

                Why is is that if you're not showing, there is a large contingent of people out there that think you aren't a serious horseperson?

                This stuff really burns me.

                Good luck finding a new facility where this kind if insanity doesn't reign!
                Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

                Comment


                • #9
                  you need to learn to ride with other people, that's all. it has nothing to do with one person being more important than another. it has to do with ring etiquette and rules for sharing a ring. the adjectives you use to make what these people were doing sound SO BAD, don't change that.

                  no one is required to call out each and every little thing. you can see what they are doing, and you can get out of their way. they don't have to call out each and every jump. you can see there is a line of jumps and where the person is going, and get out of the line of travel. if you cannot, stop, watch what path they are following, and then adapt to it.

                  you're walking, so you get out of the way of the person that is jumping. it has nothing to do with being important, it has to do with ordinary rules of sharing a ring. the fact that you are in the ring doesn't give you full command of what everyone else does there. you have to ride with other people. and yes, if you do not, of course you will be asked to ride in another spot, and eventually to leave the barn. i suspect you aren't as rude and selfish as this post makes you seem, and that you are just ignorant of how to ride with others.

                  if the rider was rude, doesn't change that fact. you need to learn to ride with others. you can keep your horse walking when others enter the ring, they aren't required to stand in the aisle and scream, ''OKAAAYY....i'm COMING INTO THE REEEEENG...is everyone REDEEEEEE'' you and they just work together, pay attention, and follow the rules that are customary at that barn.

                  the horse that is walking yields to horses that are jumping, trotting and cantering, usually by walking in off the rail, but also by walking away from the path of the jumper.

                  the horse that is jumping usually does a canter circle at one end of the ring, then jumps a series of jumps in a line on the long side and stops. it really isn't hard to stay out of their way when you are working at a walk. walk on the other long side, and make two small circles at each end of the ring, and let them work. when you are more advanced and have more control of your horse you can work more alongside them and in unison with them.

                  riders pass ''left to left'' in most rings, so when you are going left, you stay on the track, and the other rider comes to the inside and passes you, so your left shoulder is nearest their left shoulder. when you are going right, you come in off the track. if you keep your eyes up and keep your horse moving, you can use the presence of other riders to school your horse, making circles, turns and figures that fit in with what the other riders are doing.

                  horses at the walk, whether cooling out or schooling the walk, work to the inside off the track, and yield to all other horses.

                  circles and diagonal lines and any changes of direction figures finish to the INSIDE of riders riding on the track. there is NO halting on the track, ride into the middle off the track, check behind you and halt there. horses performing lateral work and horses that are green and out of control get whatever right of way they need to assist their riders in regaining control of them.

                  if a rider is erratic or doesn't follow a path you can anticipate, work at the other end of the ring and maintain a half ring between the two of you at all times. in other words if they are in the middle of the long side you are on the opposite long side, if they are on the short side of the arena you are on the far short side of the arena.

                  the above are common rules often used in arenas. watch the experienced riders and learn what the rules are for sharing the ring at your facility.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If they are truely like that then you are lucky to be out of there.

                    **Courtney**

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wow, I would be real ticked if I were in your shoes!

                      As if she can't make room for you when there are only two horses in the whole arena! Man have you ever been to a reining show?! The warm up rings are nuts, 20-30 rides all loping, and running madly about, and they can make it work (most of the time! )

                      "You could say I'm a few flakes short of a bale"
                      *Member of the Short Stubby Leg Clique* *Teen Clique* & The Riders of Rohan Clique*
                      * JEWELS *

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Congratulations giantpony on your rescued draft horse. I have done a number of these retraining projects on "plow horses". Isn't it fun when your big horse gets even bigger?

                        I think that your barn owner/manager was out of line for siding with the other rider. You got into the arena first and were willing to share, so by rights you had the right of way. But the BO/BM has the last word and obviously they don't want your business. Can you find a barn more draft horse friendly?

                        I was at a barn full of quarter horses and wannabe hunter princesses and they didn't like my big "ponies" (all six of them, mind you). The barn owner's husband would terrorize my belgian draft gelding with any motorized equipment he could find. Moved the gang to a more draft friendly environment and everyone is a whole lot happier. Including me.

                        I don't know where you live but I get a lot of subtle prejudice against riding and showing draft horses. Everyone likes the idea of a big horse but not many people like the reality.

                        YMMV.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This is the number one reason why I don't board at a "barn." I found a private home (fortunately the owner is a very dear friend and co-worker of mine). I worked in show barns when I was younger and saw the snobs and spoiled brats everywhere.

                          They had the money and the fancy show horses so, naturally, they got the best of everything...including the indoor arena whenever they wanted, no matter who was in there already.

                          I was treated like dirt because I was just the "stable hand." I was the one who shoveled their precious horse's manure, made sure their buckets were prestine and full and never complained. I loved the work--heck, I'd have done it for free just to be with horses. The people I could have chucked in the dump trailer with the manure.

                          These are the ones who think that owning a horse is their right--not a privilege. They have no clue what us "under class" people have done, and do, to have our horses. Heck, I waited 30 years to get my mare...even then I could only afford her because she was a dumped rescue!

                          I don't have the money for a trainer. Don't need one either. I, like Giantpony, ride for pure pleasure. Don't need ribbons. Don't need shows. Don't need the hassle.

                          I love horses and riding is one of the greatest joys in life. I have had great training in the past from your average hunter-seat equitation folks. I earned my seat the hard way--got chucked umpteen times, etc.

                          While I think that the eviction notice was quite cold, maybe it's a blessing in disguse. Find a private farm and do what pleases you most. Heck, it might even be cheaper. And you won't have to deal with the snobs of the world.

                          P.S. No, I'm not generalizing. Not everyone in a show barn is a snob. I've just seen enough of them to want to avoid 'em.
                          <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No, it's not fair, HOWEVER, when you board you are agreeing to go along with the rules set at THAT barn. There will always be comprimises to be made and sometimes there are certain things worth trying to change. But the bottom line is that you are staying at someone else's private property. If the owner/manager wants all the horses painted purple and ridden without tack and she won't budge, that's her perogative because she owns/manages the place.

                            And some owners/mangagers are more influenced by money than others. If she perceives the other rider as possibly bring in more money then you, and that is what she is concern about, then unfortunately that's the way it is.

                            I DO NOT AGREE WITH IT! I wouldn't run my own barn that way, but them's the apples when you board. I do think that leaving an eviction notice on your door is VERY inappropriate. The manager should have either talked to you in person or at least on the phone.

                            One of the places I used to board several years ago had a boarder there who really thought she was hot stuff (it was a TERRIBLE dressage area). One day we were both schooling, her on her 3rd/4th level creature and me on my green 17 hand, 1500 lb, Trakehner MARE (just the two of us in there) and she kept pinning us against the wall despite the many warnings my mare gave (pinning ears, turning head towards the other mare, etc). I had to move up next to the wall to the point that my outside leg hit a couple of times. I was riding with my inside leg back to help keep her haunches from swinging in. I even tried the old, stick the dressage whip out to the side trick, no luck. Eventually after about half a dozen times of this lady coming up from behind us or off a circle and putting us into the wall, my mare gave a serious warning kick. She didn't go near us again. I did apologize for my horse's behavior, but in my mind I thanking my mare. That was the first time I rode with her and she never tried the same nonsense on subsequent rides. If she had done the same thing again, I would have spoken to her about it. Turns out my mare took care of that for me.

                            Things happen for a reason, though. Maybe you'll find an even better barn now.
                            -Karen

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Wow, that stinks- I am so sorry you had to go through that experience. About the limit of right of way stuff is when jumping, you *call your jumps* and can and should expect people hacking to give you the room you need. When hacking a nervous greenie, or really hot horse, mention this fact and ask for them to be aware, although you have the primary duty to watch where you and your baby are going. In special circumstances- for example, if someone is preparing for a big show, they might talk to you and say- I'm really nervous and I'd like to practice some things in an empty ring- how soon will you be done. I'd even consider that sort of rude, but at least it would be an attempt to communicate like a mature adult.

                              We've all been in the ring when someone else looks like they are just putzing around, but if they are a paying rider, they have as much right as anyone does to ride there! I sometimes ride on the eventing grounds next door. The owners let the trainer I ride for and her people take horses over there to hack around in the fields, but we don't use their jumps or go through their pond. They (obviously) hold events there, and also sometimes other people pay to use the grounds for clinics. If I see other people over there, I'm certainly not going to take up the space they are paying for while I'm just trail riding. But if I paid the owners to use their fences to school over, I'd have the same rights as the clinic people. It's just commonsense!

                              The sort of situation you are talking about seems really insane- I hope you can find a barn where you and your horse are valued- and good luck with her rehab!

                              You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that wont change its shape. Jets to Brazil
                              You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                In these situations, I think it's really important for everyone to try very hard to get along. That's not to say that the other rider was in the right (she sounds like she was very rude, as well as naive if she thinks that she's always going to be able to warm up in splendid isolation).

                                When I've been at a barn that had an indoor, anyone entering the indoor did indeed have to call out and say they were entering. I don't think this is uncommon. That said, once she started setting up jumps, it would have been the gracious thing to do to walk over to her and say, "i'll only be in here another 15 minutes or so, and I'll try to stay out of your way," while smiling broadly. You might add something about how beautiful her horse is.

                                Then, insofar as it's possible, you do try to keep out of her way. You might have prevented the "plow horse" remark this way.

                                However, once the plow horse remark is made, frankly, I'd go on the offensive. I'd say, "Excuse me, I don't think I heard you correctly." and make her either repeat it or else back down. If she repeats it, then you go over to her to have a serious talk about manners.

                                Or there is always the false charm approach: "Yes, she/he did use to be a plow horse. Isn't she lovely? Thank you so much for noticing." False charm sometimes makes people feel foolish.

                                But at this point, of course, this is all staircase wit. Find another place, and if it has an indoor, just make sure you understand both the written rules as well as the unwritten ethos.

                                Good luck.
                                "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  good luck giant pony!! I hope you find a great barn that you can move to!!

                                  I guess that's the one thing that I'm glad about my barn for.... no one complains about not wanting to share the ring. I don't own but I've had lessons where there's been FOURTEEN horses in the indoor....YES... FOURTEEN!!! Granted it was at the end of a set of lessons and the beginning of others, but it was chaos. But no one complained, we all knew the situation would fix itself. So after it quieted down, there were four horses in the indoor...one doing serious full courses but they were CALLING their jumps. I don't see how hard it is to CALL jumps. And one of the poor girls in there was a serious beginner and figured out how to stay away. It's NOT HARD TO DO GUYS!!!

                                  I can't tell if slc is flaming you or just stating rules of arena etiquitte for everyone to read, but I think that what you did is right. I would have done the same thing. And I'd be pissed if I was asked to leave the arena, let alone get EVICTED!!!! You're a paying boarder!!! I guess this just goes to show you that this isn't the barn for you, especially considering how the other people there are. There are a ton of other amazing barns out there with 'normal' thinking horse people. Good luck!

                                  ***God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses***

                                  ~~member of the Chicken Jumper Clique (AND PROUD OF IT!!) , IHSA clique & only child clique~~
                                  ***God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses***
                                  ~~member of the Chicken Jumper Clique (AND PROUD OF IT!!) , IHSA clique~~

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    While I think the situation is unfair, I wonder if there weren't some details left out.

                                    She came into the arena without a warning? Most people don't give a warning. Did she come in a cut you off and thus the problem? If that was the case...you have a point...otherwise this piece of information is of no value

                                    You said you are working on steering. Were you by any chance walking all over the place while doing that? When I work on steering with my greenie it's quite the sight...but if others enter the arena with me, all figures become much more predictable and if someone's jumping, all figures stop.

                                    You also make it sound like you usually ride outside...probably alone where you don't really have to pay attention to anyone else and never have to modify your planned program for the day. That isn't a reality when sharing an arena...everything becomes flexible when others are involved.

                                    You should've been aware enough of were she was that you knew she was jumping down a line that could lead to running into you. It may be hard to dictate what's going to happen when a rider is doing single fences (which they should call), but when they do lines it's fairly easy to tell where they are going to be. You should be aware enough of her that calling every jump isn't necessary.

                                    It was rude to leave an eviction notice but maybe there are other problems as well and this was the final straw?

                                    I've had problems with ring etiquette but usually working with the other person sorts it out. sunday I had to ask someone to not longe their horse in the indoor while I was riding and another was longing...the arena is barely big enough for two people to longe. My plans of shallow serpentines and leg yielding had to change as well...there was no straightaway long enough to do either. And yesterday, my "watch out" was misconstrued as "this is my end of the arena, don't ride in it" instead of "heads up...my horse is drifting towards you and I don't have much control at the moment." It's a give and take situation...

                                    This may be a blessing in disguise for you. If the people at this barn really are so biased against your horse and elitist enough to say that your not important enough to use the ring then good riddance. If on the other hand, you ride in a bubble, unaware of others, maybe you need to evaluate your ring etiquette.

                                    My Pictures: http://community.webshots.com/user/slorugbug
                                    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                                    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

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                                    • #19
                                      I don't know, but I seem to be out of the loop. At one time, if you wanted to jump in an arena where someone was already riding, you asked permission. Sharing the arena means everyone has to be considerate.

                                      Tosca

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                                      • #20
                                        I know how you feel giantpony. At my previous barn not only did people attending shows have priority, but if you didn't buy one of "their" fancy warmbloods, you couldn't enter the arena during lesson times. Since they also didn't allow any of the boarders to ride until after 2:00 pm (the rest of the morning/afternoon was the time allotted for the trainers to ride the horses), there wasn't much time to ride before the lessons started again at 4:30 pm.

                                        You can run with the big dogs or sit on the porch and bark.
                                        Beware the hobby that eats.
                                        Benjamin Franklin

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