Many of us do not have the luxury of keeping our horses at home and often times are left to house them at a boarding facility. The same is true for horses that we put in training, most trainers require you to board at their facility. Anyone who has had their horses in a boarding or training situation can relate to the struggles of trying to make every horse owner happy. I’ve compiled a list of ways to ensure you are doing your part to be a team player while getting what you and your horse need from a facility.
Pick the right facility for you and your horse-Make sure the facility has the amenities that you need. For example if you have a show horse, you want to ensure a facility where there will be lights, and areas for you to bathe, and good arena footing. If you are more the weekend warrior type, and mainly ride your horse off the property then, turnout and plenty of access to trail heads will be more important than an impressively groomed arena.
Communication is key- Be open and upfront about your expectations from the facility. Likewise, if there are issues in the care or issues with another boarder do your best to communicate with the management how to resolve these issues.
Be respectful- of the facilities, of other horses, of the management.
Clean up after yourself and your horse- Whether this means cleaning up manure in the aisle ways and arenas, sweeping up after cleaning out hooves or even cleaning up those pesky hairs that linger after clipping your horses. If no one cleaned up after themselves, the barn becomes a very dirty and disorganized place very rapidly.
Pitch in! Most boarding barns are managed by those with a “day job”, if you notice small jobs that you have time for, don’t be afraid to pitch in. Those little gestures can mean the world to other boarders and management.
Bringing company/dogs to the barn- If you bring friends, family or pets to the barn, ensure everyone is on their best behavior.
Financials- Life happens, but remember that the barn carries its own bills and maintenance costs. Paying invoices in a timely manner is important.
Handling barn drama- Do your best to turn the other cheek and walk away when the barn gossip train leaves the station. The best way to not perpetuate barn drama is to not be apart of it.
Essentially, treat others how you want to be treated. Being a team player and being open with your needs and expectations can make a big impact on how your relationship unfolds with barn management. Keep in mind your horses happiness, Risky (pictured above), shows off how a happy horse leads to a happy life.
March 22, 2016