Even now, even though I am really annoyed by somethings – I should state that my horse has not been in any physical danger or inhumane situations at all during his stay at my current boarding place. However, I don’t think for what I’m paying I should have to settle for just that bare minimum.
That being said, here’s my venting list after a frustrating afternoon at the barn.
How to Piss Off Your Boarders
- Saying that “You don’t like high maintenance boarders.” I have a news flash for you – horse people are high maintenance. Our horses are our babies, and they are expensive. We pay a lot for you to house them and take care of them, and we expect to be able to express our complaints.
- Changing my horse’s feed without asking me, and not telling me about the change for a week. A good owner will always know what their horse is eating, and there’s very often a good reason they’re feeding that horse that way. Changing a feeding routine because “the horse didn’t seem to like that much beet pulp” is NOT okay.
- Not having mounting blocks. Every riding area that is designated as a riding area should have a mounting block. Sure, lots of people prefer to mount their horse from the ground – and I’ll be honest that I’d like to be able to mount my horse from the ground however he’s 16.3 and I’m fat right now, so sue me. Mounting from the ground every day puts a strain on your horse’s back. For what boarders pay, it’s not hard to buy a few mounting blocks and place them in key areas.
- Allowing other boarders to misbehave or break barn rules. When I ride and visit my horse, I am clean and considerate. I clean up poop, and put my stuff back where it belongs. I expect other boarders to do the same, and get irritated when I go out to the barn and there’s manure all around the cross ties.
- Having a gate that can’t be negotiated by just 1 person with a horse in hand. Ok so that sounds weird, but what I’m trying to say is you shouldn’t have to have 2 people in order to get a horse out of the pasture. If I risk having horses running loose (or actually getting loose) when I go to get my horse you are creating a potentially really unsafe situation.
- Not having a gate that separates the property from any roads. EVERY FARM SHOULD HAVE A FENCE THAT ENCLOSES THE WHOLE PROPERTY. End of story. One of my friend’s horses was killed by a car this way. Accidents like this are 100% preventable.
- Not allowing me my own area of the tack room. Lockers are nice, but not all farms have them and that’s okay but each boarder should get their own saddle rack(s) and surrounding area. Having other boarders dig through my stuff or place huge tubberwares blocking my saddles is uncalled for and easy to fix with some organization.
- Not being respectful of people trying to ride. If someone is riding in a designated riding area, workers should avoid walking straight through the area at that time. Trash and tools shouldn’t be left out where a horse could get into them. Children should learn that they can’t jump rope or ride bicycles right next to or in the same area as someone that is trying to ride.
- Mocking an owner for being careful with their horse’s health. Ok, so my horse has sudden diarrhea. That can mean a lot of things health wise, or it could mean he just got into something. Yes, he probably just got into something – but you don’t need to act like I’m crazy for checking his temperature.
- Not taking blankets off during the day just because you don’t feel like having to put them back on again that night. See, there’s this thing called hi and low temperatures. It can be freezing at night, and my horse may need a blanket. But if he is wearing that same blanket the next afternoon when it is 60 degrees outside, I’m going to be upset.
I felt like I had more earlier, but maybe since I’m getting less and less annoyed the more I’ve been home they’re starting to fade. You don’t need to have the fanciest barn in the land to have happy boarders – it just takes organization and consideration. After all, your boarders are your customers!