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Barn Manners: Got Questions?

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  • Barn Manners: Got Questions?

    Hi gang,
    I'd like to do some more "barn manners" q & a's on my COTH blog, She Rides, I Pay. The first one I did was last week, on the topic of borrowing tack.

    Please let me know if you have any barn manners questions that I can help with. Either post them here or send me an email or PM,

    She Rides, I Pay

  • #2
    Picking up after yourself - ie, sweeping the aisle after you've groomed if you cross tie, removing manure from the indoor (if that is something your barn does), not leaving your stuff around - I remember seeing threads on these!

    But the biggie: Unattended children and dogs!!! A friend was telling me recently about a past barn where a woman left her evil spawn (in this case, apparently, they WERE evil spawn!) and they were climbing on fences where they should not have been. One fell, and hit her head on some concrete (Mom was too busy with her horse) - and the mom reprimanded my friend, who was working with her being-rehabilitated horse some distance away, for not watching this woman's children!
    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


    • #3
      I have big issues with dogs. I don't keep my horse at the dog park, I keep her at a horse stable. If your dog doesn't run amok, it doesn't bother me. If they lay in the tack room door way, try to eat the hoof pickings as I'm trimming, lay (in 1 spot) IN the arena, carry away brushes, chase the barn cats, bark at the horses, etc...LEAVE THEM HOME.
      Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!


      • #4
        I'm going to second cleaning up after yourself. I can't stand going into the wash stall and finding piles of manure and wet sponges and other bathing paraphrernalia laying around. Same thing in the cross ties, pick up the manure and sweep up after you pick the feet. Drives me nuts!


        • #5
          Arena etiquette! OMFG, I nearly killed a pony clubber yesterday. I was riding my friend the trainer's reiner and called out that I was going to do a roll back/rundown/stop down the long side, then just as I got halfway down this kid just...pulled out in front of me and stopped by the gate to chat. Good thing Van knows what "WHOA" means. And its not like there are no other reiners at the barn, there are probably 10 cow horses and of those 7 or 8 do wc/reining also.
          Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
          Sam: A job? Does it pay?
          Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
          Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.


          • #6
            Originally posted by DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho" View Post
            Picking up after yourself - ie, sweeping the aisle after you've groomed if you cross tie, removing manure from the indoor (if that is something your barn does), not leaving your stuff around - I remember seeing threads on these!
            I'd say this is a fundamental.

            Originally posted by thatsnotme View Post
            I have big issues with dogs. I don't keep my horse at the dog park, I keep her at a horse stable. If your dog doesn't run amok, it doesn't bother me. If they lay in the tack room door way, try to eat the hoof pickings as I'm trimming, lay (in 1 spot) IN the arena, carry away brushes, chase the barn cats, bark at the horses, etc...LEAVE THEM HOME.
            This is huge ... and it seems that no one with a rambunctious dog thinks their dog's behavior is unwanted by others. And they don't want to take the time to discipline the dog ... especially when it becomes apparent that dog training is not a small task. It's hard to chat with everyone, watch the horses (or ride) and productively train a high-energy dog, all at the same time.


            • #7
              No loose horses, please!

              Even if you are under the impression that your horse "ground-ties" faultlessly, or will follow you sans lead rope no matter what. Guess what? Nothing in life is 100%.

              The rest of us know this. Which is why having a half-ton of flight animal wandering around loose drives your fellow-boarders batsh!t crazy, even if they are too polite to mention it to you.

              OK, right. Your horse is the exception who never ever makes a mistake. But since there are so many of the other kind around, it's still polite to humor the rest of us and put some kind of restraint on the beast when there are other people and horses present.

              I mean, really, if you're that perfect, what do you have to prove to us lesser mortals?
              I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


              • #8
                Ranting about your fellow boarders to fellow boarders, ranting about your trainer's spouse, etc. when you clearly don't have all the facts and have not been around the block enough to appreciate what you've got here.

                Your job as boarder/client is to pay your bills, clean up after yourself, be a responsible owner and subscribe to the trainer's program.

                Now if the current situation goes to hell-in-a-handbasket, then you are most entitled to your opinions.


                • #9
                  only give advice if asked....

                  One of my pet peeves is "advice" or being "critiqued" on riding/training.

                  One barn rules where I boarded a million years ago had the rule that you couldn't give advice unless asked. I thought that was a great Idea.

                  I hate it when you're working on something..or even just riding your horse for the sake of riding and not perfecting, when someone offers up how you look, how to train something, etc without even being solicited. Many people have different training techniques..leave it up to that persons trainer for the tips.

                  not to say when one asks for ideas, remedies etc, that's different. but that also doesn't give the person who answered the question then to continue to offere up "advice" at every meeting as though they are now the sage because they were asked advice.

                  so, that's my peeve, free will advice.....
                  I love my OTTB! I get my dressage test done faster!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                    Even if you are under the impression that your horse "ground-ties" faultlessly, or will follow you sans lead rope no matter what. Guess what? Nothing in life is 100%.

                    The rest of us know this. Which is why having a half-ton of flight animal wandering around loose drives your fellow-boarders batsh!t crazy, even if they are too polite to mention it to you.

                    OK, right. Your horse is the exception who never ever makes a mistake. But since there are so many of the other kind around, it's still polite to humor the rest of us and put some kind of restraint on the beast when there are other people and horses present.

                    I mean, really, if you're that perfect, what do you have to prove to us lesser mortals?
                    I'm SO glad I'm not the only one who this drives batsh!t crazy. I know you (kid) think it's funny when your horse "follows you around" loose, but then when he goes running for the open gate don't ask the rest of us to help catch him
                    I'm sorry, but I think it's just plain lazy - if you want your horse to have some grass - hold on to him. Don't just drop his lead & go talk to your friends
                    Life is hard. Buy a freaking helmet.
                    Originally posted by meupatdoes
                    Whatever, go gallop.


                    • #11
                      - No feeding treats to horses that aren't yours (unless you know it is ok)

                      - Keeping dogs leashed/attended

                      - Gossiping. If someone comes to you with negative chatter, turn the conversation to something positive. It's no fun when everyone is out to get each other.

                      - Learning arena etiquette and actually sticking to it

                      - Personal pet peeve, is when people just sit on their horses in the ring, talking or doing nothing, you can do that outside the ring and not be in the way

                      - at a hunter barn (unless you're the trainer/owner) asking the other riders if its okay to move fences around/etc. Can't tell you how many times we have set up full courses to work on, only to go tack up, come back 20 minutes later and it's all taken down
                      Originally posted by barka.lounger
                      u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

                      we see u in gp ring in no time.


                      • #12
                        Pay your bills.

                        Don't borrow tack.

                        Don't offer your wisdom unbidden.

                        Feral Children are not cute/welcome or anyone else's responsibility.

                        Feral Dogs...see "Feral Children".

                        Music...wear headphones.

               aren't special, use the lot.

                        Clean up after yourself, you're not 13 anymore and we're not "MOM"!

                        Clothing...wear some, we don't want to see your thong or bra-straps.

                        Feminine Hygiene Products (used) where you leave them...nuf' said.

               know the words, so do we...use a filter.

                        Manners...say "Hello", "Thank-You"...leave the attitude at home and act adult.

                        Yell "DOOR" when entering the indoor ring.

                        Lungeing...don't hog a ring lungeing your horse.

                        Lessons...nobody owns the ring, but some manners are appreciated.

                        Snarkiness...if you don't like my horse, too bad. If you make a comment, I'll hand you your head on a stick.

                        Snarkiness...we don't care what you think of someone else's riding style/ability.

               have no opinion people care to hear, none of us want to sleep with you so we don't have to pretend your wisdom is worth hearing.

                        Littering...throw away your water bottles, wrappers and cigarette butts.

                        Gossip...don't care who's doing what to whom (actually we do, but it sounds better to say don't do it)
                        "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


                        • #13
                          This topic could easily cover several weeks worth of blogging!

                          - Clean up your **** or it will be thrown away.

                          - Dogs running amok will be shot, kids running amok will be sold into slavery.

                          - Ring etiquette.

                          - Gossip: We don't want to hear it.


                          • #14
                            If something is left on the top of my tack trunk for more than a day or two, I just cheerfully tell people, "Isn't that great! Someone left me stuff to send to one of my Special Horses Groups!!!"

                            So...if they don't put it helps horses in need.
                            a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


                            • #15
                              Put it back where you found it. I don't care what 'it' is- put it back.

                              Ask before you touch a horse that isn't yours. You wouldn't march up to someone walking their dog and pat them, would you? Same principal.

                              It's nice to offer to help out if you see things that need doing, but offer first- don't just do it. Again, I don't care what 'it' is- offer first. Politely. "Would you like me to grab that horse for you/ clean that stall/ help you water?" That isn't so hard, is it?

                              And not sure if this qualifies as barn manners, general common sense or plain good etiquette- but if you are an adult and riding in a barn with a substantial kiddie population- set a good example in all things you do. Watch your language, say please and thank you, follow all the basic safety guidelines we learned when we were wee so that the next generation gets them ingrained. Drives me batty to see one of the lesson kids get hollered at for doing something stupid, only to have them come back with "But I saw so-and-so do it yesterday!"

                              Yell "DOOR" when entering the indoor ring.
                              PLEASE. This should be such a no brainer.

                              Story- my dear Mother, bless her hilariously semi-addled self, takes weekly mosey-along trail lessons at the barn I ride at. She's been coming to this barn on and off for 20+ years and should have this very fundamental rule down, but a couple of weeks ago she marched up to the door of the indoor to say hello to me without announcing herself. Mare and I were in the midst of a 'discussion' and her sudden appearance didn't help. Last week, she came in from her ride while I was finishing tacking up; I gently reminded her to please announce herself before she came up if she was going to come chat. Fast forward 20 minutes; Mare is high and hot from a couple of days without turn out, and we are both sweating and focused on burning some of her energy. Mom appears at the gate, and as she walks IN, with Maresy already spooking down the long side, she shouts her name at the top of her lungs. It's hard to stop a freight train spooking Mare when you are laughing so hard you're about to topple off.
                              Last edited by Rubyfree; Jan. 19, 2010, 04:10 PM.
                              bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
                              free bar.ka and tidy rabbit


                              • #16
                                I don't even know how to summarize this, but ... take some responsibility for your horse if it's loose in the arena, and horses are in crossties along the arena wall. I can't tell you how many times I've been under my mare while she's in crossties, and I sense her weight shifting. I stand up to see another horse reaching over the wall toward my mare, mouth open and teeth bared. The owner is 15-20 feet away, or worse, has walked off. I've tossed brushes at the horse's head, waved my arms and one particularly nasty boy I whacked on the neck with my dressage whip.

                                It is NOT okay for your horsie to sniff my mare's butt while she's restrained in this way. I don't think this is cute or funny. Ever.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Trakehner View Post
                                  Feminine Hygiene Products (used) where you leave them...nuf' said.
                                  Thank god I've never run into that problem. *shiver*

                                  Don't let your kid run around and scream when they are near horses. If they can't behave and you don't want to leave them home by themselves, then it's time to call a babysitter. Same goes for dogs.

                                  Don't give out treats to horses other than your own, unless you know you have the owner's permission.

                                  Clean up after yourself. This includes when the farrier comes, you still have to clean up the hoof remains.
                                  Horsey Stick Art clique
                                  Crayolaposse~ SparklyLime
                                  PPP Grand-Poobah


                                  • #18
                                    DOGS DOGS DOGS. Do not get me wrong, I love dogs, I can't wait to have one of my own, but make sure it is either well-trained to heel or LEASHED. Just this past week a dog bolted into the indoor looking for a playmate and ran straight in front of my horse! We were cantering through a corner and my mare, who was as startled as I was, jumped over the dog and ran sideways to avoid trampling it. The other mare in the ring was not so calm about it and lost her rider, thankfully the only casualty was her reins.

                                    I know the barn is a great place for your dog to run off some steam, but if you cannot be sure the dog will stay away from the horses and riders, perhaps the dog park is a more appropriate place for your dog to get its free-running time.

                                    "You keep one leg on one side, the other leg on the other side, and your mind in the middle." -- Henry Taylor, "Riding Lesson"


                                    • #19
                                      Arena etiquette

                                      Clean up after self right away

                                      dogs - leashed/unleashed/unsupervised

                                      children - leashed/unleashed/unsupervised

                                      touching/using other's property including horse

                                      unsolicited critiques
                                      Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


                                      • #20
                                        Treat feeding is a big no-no for me, but a bigger pet peeve is not following the rules, especially once warned. As a boarder, it's not your place, you don't make the rules and if you don't like them, you can always go elsewhere.

                                        My barn had a very well meaning older lady who started taking lessons in her 50s and bought her first horse when she was pushing 60. She still had the same kind of mentality as a horse-crazy 8 year old, and would arrive bearing a big bag of carrots and go down the barn aisle treating every horse. Of course there would be an ensuing racket, as every horse went into "Meeeee!!!! Pick meeeeee!!!! Treat for meeeee!!!" mode.

                                        Luckily the trainer and the BO had a nice talk with her, explaining that between the 30 year with Cushings, the nippy 2 year olds in training and the lesson ponies, there just can't be indiscriminant treat feeding. Problem solved, and none too soon IMO (my mare is the type that gets pushy around food).

                                        I didn't really mind this particular boarder, as she was a novice, meant no harm and stopped once she knew why the rule was in place. I'm less charitable with people that keep on violating barn etiquette time and time again.
                                        Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares
                                        Crayola Posse: sea green
                                        Mighty Rehabbers Clique