Do you board your horses? If so, you know that there are many qualities that go into becoming a thoughtful boarder!
This week we’ll offer our top-10 list of suggestions that will be appreciated by stable owners and fellow horse-owners alike;
1. Pay on time! (or early)
Not only does this help you avoid exorbitant late fees (and possible eviction), if also helps barn owners plan for feeding payments, watering and electrical bills, and it means all the facility’s horses are assured the care they need.
2. Respect on-site management.
If caretakers live on the premises, that’s especially good reason not to show up after 10 p.m. or before 6 a.m. Unless there is an urgent matter, try not to pester them when they’re in their home.
3. Remember what arenas and round pens are for.
Riding arenas are meant for riding. They are not turn out pens. Don’t leave your horse out in the arena and wander off. If you want to let your horse run and no one is riding, stand nearby and then promptly put your horse elsewhere. Round pens too are not turn out pens. You know the difference. Don’t put others in the uncomfortable position of having to remind you.
4. Put it back where you found it.
If your barn is nice enough to provide jumps, obstacles, ropes, toys, etc., be sure to put them back neatly, and in good condition, if you do use it. If you break or damage something, replace it!
5. Clean your stall. (if you’re at a self-clean facility)
It’s a health hazard not only to your own animals but to others if you let waste build up. If you don’t have the time or energy to clean the stall - at the very least once a week - pay someone else to do it.
6. Turn off the lights.
When you use an arena or turn on lights in the barn or tack rooms, be sure to turn them off when you leave. It’s a waste of electricity and money to leave them burning when no one’s there. It’s also an inconsiderate inconvenience to make someone else turn them off for you.
7. Remember that horses are prey animals.
Don’t act like a predator. Refrain from unnecessarily startling movements or noise that could panic someone’s horse. Using a leaf blower near the arena when someone’s riding, rolling a rattling wheelbarrow near a horse’s hind feet, letting your dog run loose through the round pen, or any number of thoughtless antics could lead to a dangerous wreck. Try to be considerate.
8. Don’t share horse treats without human permission.
See our recent article on this risky topic! Unless you obtain permission directly from a horse’s owner, it’s never a good idea to offer someone else’s horse a snack (especially items that are high in sugar).
9. Be safety-minded.
Wear your helmet when you ride or do ground work. Put on gloves if lunging a fresh horse. Keep your distance from the hind hooves, front feet and teeth of horses you don’t know (and usually from those you do know). Remind anyone who may have their head up their own hind-end not to ride up on that area of your horse’s anatomy. Respect the space of others – horse and human alike.
10. Don’t gossip or act like a drama queen.
People have horses for fun, relaxation and exercise. The stable is no place for nasty stories, lies, or your laundry list of personal woes. If you have a problem with someone, discuss it either directly with them or, if necessary, with the barn owners. If you have a penchant for drama, join a theatre group. Better yet, grow up, shut up and get over it.
Follow our top-10 ideas to be the best barn boarder you can be!