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Buyer's Etiquette: Bringing kids to a barn.

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  • Buyer's Etiquette: Bringing kids to a barn.

    On Friday, I went over to help a friend do some grooming, etc. on a horse that she sold (friend was in an accident and can't lift her arms all the way, etc.). She told me about the couple that bought her horse, they lived around the corner, had great references, etc. She said, "the wife is working so the husband is coming, trailer in tow, to pick up the horse." We get done grooming Bee, and (after the truck/trailer passing the drive for the farm - which is not hard to see - six times, me getting in my vehicle and meeting them 4 miles down the road because they were lost) here comes the truck/trailer.

    As soon as the truck stops, doors fly open, and six......SIX small children dart out of the barn (boarding barn) and start running in all directions. Now, I have nothing against [well-behaved] children, but I was a little astonished to see six kids running helter skelter over to pastures, into the barn, after the cats, over to the round pen (where someone was working a horse), down the aisle....and the dad just slowly gets out of the truck, introduces himself to me and begins talking to my friend.

    We happened to be standing in the barn aisle, and I can see [most of] the kids out of the corner of my eye when I see two of them head down to the stallion barn.

    I speak up and say, "I *think* that barn down in that area is off-limits to people. It's the barn owners' stallion barn, isn't it, Laura?" Laura looks over, the father looks over, and she says, "actually, yes it is off-limits since it's the stallion barn." The father calls the two kids that went down there....and calls them again......and calls them again (adding a little emphasis and adjectives in with it as he's calling them)....and finally the two [arms crossed, pouting, and stomping] come walking up, get over it, and take off running down the barn aisle, past two horses whose owners were bathing them in the wash stalls, out the other end of the barn, and decide that they're going to start climbing up the stock trailer. There are some kids running past and playing in front when Laura pipes up and says, "it's so neat that the kids are excited about getting another horse, but since this isn't my barn (and for safety's sake), maybe they could come over here and look through ALL of this COOL stuff that Bee comes with?" That went unanswered.

    The one kid has three kittens in his arms (newborns) asking his dad if he can take them home with them. The dad replies with, "we have too many already," and the kid just puts them down in the middle of the driveway by the horse trailer. I bend down and pick them up, telling the dad and son that the "kitties are just babies. They were born the other day, so we need to put them back so mommy can find them." The kid takes off running.

    Friend's horse gets loaded, paperwork exchanged, dad rounds up kids (including the three chasing each other around the barn, lunge whip in hand, trying to hit each other), and off they go. Laura said something to the effect of, "I didn't know the kids were coming. The last time I knew, the mother-in-law was watching them."

    The next day, the Barn Owner sent out a mass e-mail to all of the boarders stating a "friendly reminder" due to "some events" about "visitors" to the barn and "being respectful of others" as well as the "barn not being a safe playground."

    Any other buyer/pick-up etiquette when getting a horse?

  • #2
    That would have left me twitching.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte

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    • #3
      I would have been looking for a way to void the sale.
      Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
      Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.

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      • #4
        Just think how child proof those horses will be when the kids get done with them.
        The View from Here

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        • #5
          Sounds like your friend's horse will learn to be solid as a rock!!!!! That is a wild story and I can see that it may have caused trauma to the boarders in the barn. Some people seem to just let kids run wild....esp fathers.

          My own small barn is very peaceful until the grand children visit....my horses are becoming very solid citizens as a result but there have been moments of kids popping up inside the flat bed trailer near the ring and causing horse to leap and "Omi" to grab leather while dandling off the side of a 17 hh beast. Happens less now since the horses have become mostly "kid broke".

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          • #6
            I'd have shoved a waiver in the father's hand so fast! I would have been a nervous wreck waiting for just one of those kids to get kicked, get a splinter, get scratched by a cat or whatever else. Thank goodness they all left in one piece. Must have been a lovely sight that trailer going down the road!

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            • #7
              Glad you rescued the newborn kittens (!!!) from the feral children. Would have also been thinking about voiding the sale. Yikes.
              I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
              I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

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              • #8
                Presumably, this barn has rules covering behavior and access to animals and facilities. Faced with such a situation, I've never had any trouble employing the "instructor's bellow" to corral the erring kids (or non-kids ... the way some grown people can act is even more appalling ...) and make sure the erring parent properly supervises and controls her/his own children. When I've taken children places, I strive to make sure they are on their best behavior and take pains to head off any potential disaster I may spot. I personally think all parents/guardians/caregivers/whatever should take this approach. Many do. Unfortunately, an equal number do not.
                Equinox Equine Massage

                In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                -Albert Camus

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                • #9
                  We are talking 6 small kids and a frazzled Dad, right? I can't imagine trying to manage 6 small kids -- IF Jr, and there was only 1 of him, almost did me in. Sorry, but I don't think it is reasonable to expect small children to be necessarily well mannered and obedient, particularly if they are used to running all over the place at their own barn. I'm not saying that their behavior was good, just that it shouldn't be a surprise. I teach leadline lessons and will get siblings accompanying the riders. I've had a few that remind me of "Thing One and Thing Two" from the Cat in the Hat. Still, they are kids and they are acting like kids.
                  Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
                  http://www.ironwood-farm.com

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                  • #10
                    Man Up!

                    Look, it was one PITA day. Think of it this way: You have to do things to get paperwork and checks to change hands, but you only have to do that once.

                    Everyone involved, including the BO needs to know that 1) No one intended for this to happen; and 2) It was so obviously bad or out of character for the barn that it's not likely to happen again.

                    By the way, it sounds like the busy horse owner and OP were good at being tactful but vigilant about keeping the buyers' kids safe. Nice job... and thank God you don't have to do this on a daily basis.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
                      We are talking 6 small kids and a frazzled Dad, right? I can't imagine trying to manage 6 small kids -- IF Jr, and there was only 1 of him, almost did me in. Sorry, but I don't think it is reasonable to expect small children to be necessarily well mannered and obedient, particularly if they are used to running all over the place at their own barn. I'm not saying that their behavior was good, just that it shouldn't be a surprise. I teach leadline lessons and will get siblings accompanying the riders. I've had a few that remind me of "Thing One and Thing Two" from the Cat in the Hat. Still, they are kids and they are acting like kids.
                      While I agree, I also think arrangements should have been made to pick up the horse when someone was available to watch the kids.
                      Auventera Two:Some women would eat their own offspring if they had some dipping sauce.
                      Serious Leigh: it sounds like her drama llama should be an old schoolmaster by now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've seen many similar situations as a riding instructor. There's just not that much you can do about it, except employ "the instructor's bellow", as coloredhorse calls it. That, and to stop all activities with the person one is dealing with, until hellspawn are rounded up and contained. I've found that enabling ineffective parent by continuing with business only prolongs one's dealings with parent and spawn.

                        Personally, I've had far more trouble with people who insist on bringing their "perfectly trained" ( ) dogs to the barn.
                        In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                        A life lived by example, done too soon.
                        www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

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                        • #13
                          I think I would have suggested they, the kids, wait in the truck so that we could finish faster, and it would follow the barn rules.

                          Good job keep your heads, I don't know if I could have.

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                          • #14
                            Feral children are so charming ...
                            Delicious strawberry flavored death!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Actually RedTahoe, I have to thank you for todays laugh. You write very well, and a wonderful story..... can we submit it to COTH mag? Keep writing.
                              I've learned, long ago, and additionally from friends' experiences..... and I go over all the details BEFORE the appt.

                              Although I must confess some folks disregard the agenda, and I have to bring out my *bellow*, and do... to bring everyone back in order.

                              I did, once, nix a sale, returned deposit, and asked if they remembered their way home...... but, that one was obvious.
                              (hint: driver/cowboy was drunk/still drinking)
                              IN GOD WE TRUST
                              OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.
                              http://www.horseville.com/php/search...=1&ssid=057680

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                              • #16
                                I probably would have wet my pants laughing--it must have looked like a clown car in the circus. Poor horsie will certainly be bomb proof very quickly. Let's hope that the buyer doesn't drop back to tell you how the horse is doing and brings the kids back with him.
                                You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Well, this is more of a "boarder's etiquette" tip, but...

                                  When you board your horse somewhere, from an etiquette standpoint, you are responsible for the actions of your guests. That includes anyone that you "invite" on the property, including prospective buyers, actual buyers, etc. So, your friend was responsible for making sure that her "guest" (the buyer and their family) behaved in a safe and appropriate manner. She should have stepped up to the plate quickly and firmly, "I'm sorry, this isn't my farm and the owner has very strict rules about children around the horses, I'm so sorry but the kids will have to wait in the car."
                                  www.plainfieldfarmky.com

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by brightskyfarm View Post
                                    Actually RedTahoe, I have to thank you for todays laugh. You write very well, and a wonderful story..... can we submit it to COTH mag? Keep writing.
                                    I can tell you about the psycho cow nicknamed "Wild Mama" at a cattle ranch where I worked who could clear a 5 foot barbed wire fence without moving it an inch, too Or the time I mistakenly ate possum, chicken heart/liver, backwoods gumbo

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
                                      We are talking 6 small kids and a frazzled Dad, right? I can't imagine trying to manage 6 small kids -- IF Jr, and there was only 1 of him, almost did me in. Sorry, but I don't think it is reasonable to expect small children to be necessarily well mannered and obedient, particularly if they are used to running all over the place at their own barn. I'm not saying that their behavior was good, just that it shouldn't be a surprise. I teach leadline lessons and will get siblings accompanying the riders. I've had a few that remind me of "Thing One and Thing Two" from the Cat in the Hat. Still, they are kids and they are acting like kids.
                                      Oh hell no!

                                      Sorry, there is NO excuse for how these little feral monsters acted! If I had acted like one of those kids at ANY age, I'd be lucky to ever set FOOT out in public for months...
                                      Eternal Earth-Bound Pets Independent Contractor.


                                      All I want is to know WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHICKEN???

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        They'll figure out how to get their kids to behave around horses around the time the 3rd one gets stepped on and has to go to the emergency room.

                                        Personally, I just go after other people's kids. I'm always at the barn... "sweety, don't stand so close, the horse can't see you down there!" "Honey, stay by mommy, the horses are walking through this way." I never get mean, but I think I look concerned enough that the parents usually step up... or maybe I look a bit too friendly and the parents are afriad I'm the danger, I don't know

                                        The lady who boards across from me has a shetland pony and basically has made herself the barn teacher, people foist kids off on her all the time (my favorite was the parent who told his kid to go with her, WITHOUT ASKING HER FIRST, and then when he didn't see where they went, ran to the office and flipped out.)

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