You count on your boarding stable’s staff and barn manager to be good to your horse, but what about being good to them in return? Here are seven tips to help you to be the kind of boarder any barn owner or manager is glad to have in their barn!
1) Know and follow the rules.
When was the last time that you reviewed your boarding contract or the barn rules? These rules and regulations are in place for a reason, and it’s important to know and follow them. If your barn has set hours, adhere to them. Perhaps your barn does not allow dogs; maybe there are certain areas of lawn that horses aren’t to be walked or grazed on, and no one is to be mounted on a horse without a helmet. Whatever the rules may be, if barn management has to reprimand you for not abiding to them, you’re likely not on your way to being fast friends.
Not able to make it out to the barn at all this week due to a hectic work schedule? Notice a small cut on your horse’s leg? Have a question about the way something is being done? Communicate with your barn manager!
3) Pay your bills on time.
Keeping horses is expensive, and your boarding stable depends on your on-time payment to order hay, shavings, grain, and other necessities, as well as to keep the barn running smoothly and in good repair.
4) Trust your barn manager.
Good barn managers are often extremely knowledgeable horsemen and women with your horse’s best interest at heart. If you see a problem or really don’t like the way something is being done, revisit point number two and consider properly communicating that to them; otherwise, trust that they are doing their job well. Coming to your barn manager with 10 different ways of doing things or an idea that you read online that you think may be better than how they do something likely isn’t going to sit very well and isn’t going to help your friendship.
5) Don’t use anything without permission.
Just because you forgot something or wanted to try out a different bridle, doesn’t mean it’s alright to simply borrow someone else’s without permission. Always ask, and if someone is willing to share, make sure you put the equipment back where you found it and in the same or better shape than it was.
6) Clean up after yourself.
When you’re done at the barn, ensure that all of your tack and equipment is put away. Depending on your barn rules and the division of responsibilities, it may also be important to sweep your aisle area after grooming or to clean up any manure left in the ring by your horse. Being neat and organized can go a long way in earning respect in your barn manager’s eyes. And the same applies if you’re headed to a horse show. Make a list, check it twice, and ensure that everything that you need for both you and your horse is packed so that you or your barn manager aren’t left scrambling.
7) Be kind.
If only this one could go without saying, but in any barn boarding situation, it’s important to remember to be kind and polite, not only to your barn manager but also to your fellow barn mates and the entire barn staff.
A smile, a hello, and a thank you can go a long way in making you the kind of boarder or client that everyone loves to have around!