Pet Peeves at the Barn

Pet Peeves at the Barn

It’s raining so much. So. much.

I’m doing my best not to complain about the rain, but shit happens. What’s not happening is any time at the barn or riding Simon. I was lucky to sneak in a really nice hack on Sunday, but that’s the last time I’ve touched my beloved beasty.


Besides coloring, I’m trying to think of things to blog about. Therefore let this post today stand in the “something to write about” category instead of the “wow Lauren is trying to bitch about people on her blog.” These posts are not directed at anyone, and I’ve seen this stuff at every barn I’ve ever been at! With that in mind, I present “Barn Pet Peeves”.

(I realize this is the most disorganized post ever. Forgive me, the rain has wet my brain.)

As far as barn pet peeves though, there are the little things. Like, it really drives me crazy when someone leaves a halter snapped to a single cross tie and leaves the attached halter dangling on the ground. Is that unsafe or harmful? No, just obnoxious.

Doobie gives you the side eye when you drop your halter on the ground
Doobie gives you the side eye when you drop your halter on the cross tie

What could be considered unsafe by some is not scraping the excess water off your horse after hosing. I’ve boarded somewhere where tons of kids would hose their horse off on a hot summer day, and then leave them standing in the cross ties dripping for 30 minutes+ to “dry off”. That extra layer of water actually holds heat in, so if you don’t scrap it off the horse is physically hotter than it would be without any hosing at all. Don’t believe me? Next time you spray your hot horse off, feel its shoulder after that water sits on their for 30 seconds or more.


Really, my biggest barn pet peeve and what makes me visibly grumpy is when my stuff gets touched/moved/disappeared without my knowing. I will let pretty much anyone borrow anything, but no touchy my things without asking! This includes innocent items from lead ropes or curry combs to smancy items like my saddle. Ask and I share. Not bothering to check to see if X items belongs to someone… and I grumble!

Oh, and the last thing is rain. Rain at the barn is also my pet peeve… especially when there is a week solid of it. 🙁


What are your pet peeves?

42 thoughts on “Pet Peeves at the Barn

  1. POOP. It really irks me when people don’t clean up after their horse. It is such a huge problem at my barn I want to claw my eyeballs out. I don’t care if it is in the arena, aisle, driveway, washrack, etc. etc. If your horse poops outside of his stall or paddock…clean it up!

    1. This has been something at my barn recently that has been driving me nuts- specifically in the wash bay. When the hose/bucket/sponge/anything falls into someone else’s poop they just shoved off to one side, I want to just about murder that person!

      1. I’m going to third this, we just started a rule that if you leave yours horses poop then you will get called out/asked to do 50 sit ups. Is it extreme? Maybe? Does it make all the younger kids who sneak off leaving poo scared? I SURE HOPE SO.

    2. I recently heard about an apartment complex that has every dog owner DNA test their dog. Then if a mystery pile of poop isn’t picked up, it is sent off and the DNA is matched up. If it was your dog, you pay for the test and a fine. I am trying to bring that to boarding barns ;).

  2. I hate when people don’t sweep up after themselves. In every barn I’ve ever ridden in, it’s common courtesy to leave the space neat and tidy (cross-ties, wash stall, aisle)… but it always surprises me when people just leave a trail of detritus!

  3. The halter hanging bothers me a lot too, but because it IS unsafe. I’ve seen a horse get a foot stuck in one that was hanging that way. I always unclip them and hang them up when I see that.

    1. Yeah, I don’t know if it’s just from having a squirrelly horse or what, but I cannot stand when anyone leaves a halter hanging from a tie. More often than not, it’s basically on the ground, and right in a place where someone could stick a foot through it! To be honest though, it’s worse when I see someone put their horse in the same spot without picking up the halter or even moving it! Are you ASKING for your horse to step in the halter and scare themselves?

      Helmets on the ground also — one day I rescued three COs and a OneK from the ground right next to a tie where one of the baby ottbs was standing. He was a total squirrel at the time too, so I feel like I deserved at least a portion of the $1000 in helmets I saved.

      The last thing that really bothers me is when people forget their common barn sense. Running, clapping, screaming in the aisles etc. I get that you are joyful and delighted and that, for the most part, we have wonderful horses that can handle this. But as a training barn we Do have babies coming through, and more often than not someone running and clapping is enough to make them at least a little upset.

  4. The halter thing happens at my barn and it drives me nuts.

    I get touchy about treats. I once brought in a big jar of treats for my horses, only to find it completely empty three days later. The barn kids had assumed it was communal treats and fed them to every horse in the place! Since then, I’ve started putting my initials on the jar lid. I go through them fast enough as is, I don’t need any help!

  5. Maybe i’m just OCD but I cant stand a blanket not properly folded on a blanket rack. Fold it and then hang it up properly! I can’t stand people just shoving blankets!!!

    1. This drives me insane too and I regularly go around and re-fold people’s blankets. I have issues. 🙂

  6. Leaving your tacked up horse standing in the grooming rack while you go who knows where, while other people are waiting for the rack. Same with the wash rack – when you are finished, get your horse out of the way!

  7. Yes to all of those. I’d also like to add not sweeping up after yourself.
    I’m a lot like you in that I don’t mind lending something as long as I’m asked. BUT when you are asked everyday for things such as fly spray that gets to me. Just buy your own!!!

  8. This could just be an issue at the therapy barn I work at but it grinds my gears when people hang halters on the stall hooks by any part other than the crownpiece. When you have to get five horses quickly tacked and ready for lessons, it’s not my favorite to start out untangling halters.

  9. Basically a halter anywhere that isn’t a hook drives me crazy. Also people who leave the barn without cleaning up their cross ties. I also hate when people let their horse paw in the cross ties but I realize that sometimes there’s only so much you can do. Now that there aren’t many kids at the barn I don’t see it as much but people who are pouty after a bad lesson and blame it all on their horse frustrate me. I understand having a bummer of a ride but your horse doesn’t necessarily see it the same way you do and it’s not fair to punish them for something they’ve probably already forgotten. Even after a bad lesson my horse gets pats and cookies and I usually learn more from those lessons anyway.

  10. oh man… i have so many pet peeves haha, but then again i am 100% positive that some of my habits drive other ppl crazy too so… yea haha. anyways hope it dries up soon for you!

  11. ALL TRUE! Thankfully I keep my horses at home, so I don’t encounter this anymore. Not much anyway. My biggest pet peeve is when my helper gets a little lazy and i have to clean up after HIM. Ugh. If I had time for that, I’d do it all myself! But honestly, he’s a great guy and hard worker, so I can’t really complain about a lazy day. But I grumble to myself anyway.

  12. My barn is full of adults and the owner is pretty anal about cleanliness, so everyone makes sure to clean up after themselves. The only pet peeves I have come from when I worked at another barn. People would tack up their horses in the middle aisle of the barn that connected the two halves and getting around them was impossible. Oh, and they would leave their mess for me to clean up because it was my ‘job’. No. My job was to feed, clean stalls, and walk horses in and out – not clean up after you.

    Oh, one more thing comes to mind – parents who let their children get away without grooming the lesson horse after riding. I’ve seen this a couple times now where I board. If you rode the horse, you groom/take care of the horse after!

  13. All true… I have my horse at home now, so I only have myself to blame… Myself doesn’t always sweep up bits of hay or a stray shaving, but poop is always cleaned up !
    I don’t miss boarding – one stable didn’t want you to use your own halter. You had to use one of theirs. On lesson horses, boarders, etc. And the halters were all hanging from a tack cleaning hook in the tack room. About 50 tangled different old crappy ones. It drove me nuts!

    And one barn I was at, there was a lady that refused to sweep – she would just open the door wider and let the “wind take care of it” lol

  14. I have like a million. I’m a mess at home and my truck looks like a disaster area, but at the barn I like things “just so.” Lately though, my pet peeve is people giving me the stink eye and/or not moving their horse all the way over when I have to get by them in the aisle. Common courtesy folks!

  15. Fortunately, I keep all my pet peeves at home with me. Unfortunately, I am probably now the world’s worst boarder because a) I do what I want and b) if it’s not done my way it’s annoying. Probably best for me to stay home lol!

  16. My stuff constantly disappears and then reappears at a later date. There’s not even that many people at our barn so you’d think this wouldn’t happen. I’ve started labelling everything.

  17. Agree with the halter thing… but in defense of the people (especially kids) who don’t wipe off the excess water when they hose off. I think a lot of people just do not know! I used to do that as a kid and I never scrapped off because I knew the water was keeping my horse hot, I only scrapped off so that my horse started to dry. I really thought nothing of leaving the water on except for my own convenience. So, I think that one needs to be explained to people and I would’t be afraid to stop someone and say something if I saw it now.

  18. Dangling halters from crosstie clips are pretty much unsafe. I agree with all of these pet peeves. I get weird and mad, too, when people borrow my stuff eithout asking. Another few pet peeves are smoking and baby strollers. Just DON’T.

  19. I highly agree that the dangling halter is unsafe. I was once tearing down an isle to a horse that was stuck in a fence, only to catch my foot in the halter. Broke my ankle and my face. Then I was also no help to the horse who was stuck.

  20. Everyone is really good about cleaning up at my barn. If you leave poop in the wash stall it gets noticed and the rules show up on the white board as a reminder.

    Occasionally, my horse’ s halter or lead disappear. This drives me nuts because I don’t have a lot of time at the barn and I don’t want to spend it searching the paddocks looking for my stuff.

  21. I have enough pet peeves that I bought my own damn property so I can stop being annoyed with other people and do it all my way XD

  22. Reading the above comments I would SO get a slapped wrist. Used to be number one culprit of leaving my halter clipped up, but my racehorse trainer friend growled me one day and I think I’ve banished that bad habit.

    But I so agree with the others, and the leaving poop behind drives me nuts.

    Another one at the place where my horse lives is leaving your poop in the wheelbarrow/trailer. The wheelbarrow doubles up to shift poop to the muck pile and transport hay around the place. Having to go and empty someones crap before feeding out drives me nuts and it means the wheelbarrow might have wet poop in which I DON’T WANT ON MY HAY.

    One day I’ll just do what Andrea did!

  23. So the hanging halter used to drive me nuts, then I eventually started occasionally doing it too. It’s pretty rude frankly because we share the two wash racks to tack, wash, vet etc with a bunch of folks, but when I think there’s not other folks needing it, I’m totally lazy too.

    My trainer has us all drilled (as in everyone at the barn) to not leave the wash racks dirty because it is gross amd they clog easy.

    The loud kid complaints would probably be about my kid, so I can only complain about the people who bring unruly kids who dont TRY to keep them inline or who bring their dogs from home who aren’t friendly or who bark the whole time.

  24. So far I have no real pet peeves. I do get a little annoyed when folks pile their stuff on my tack trunk, when I’m in a bit of a hurry and have to get to it. But I try to understand because there’s little space to put down a helmet or crop, and my trunk sits right in the middle of the cross-tie action!

  25. While I am easy to live with at the barn, I do get annoyed.
    I hate when people leave a mess, when people don’t control their horses, or when people aren’t respectful and leave their stuff all over my trunk. But while all that annoys me, I will really be livid if someone uses my stuff without asking. Like you, I will almost always let people borrow my stuff. But if someone doesn’t ask me, they shouldn’t expect me to be happy when I find out. And if you ARE going to use something, I expect it to be put back in the same condition or better. I don’t even know how many times I’ve lent things out only to have them back dirty, broken, or used up.

  26. What doesn’t irritate me is the better question. :0)

    Halter left on the cross tie – totally annoying.
    Using/moving my stuff – don’t even think about it.
    Arena gate left hanging open – AHHHHHHH!
    Stall door left open INTO the barn aisle – totally dangerous and how am I supposed to get by?!?!?!
    Parking in my spot – just, no.
    There’s more, but I am trying to be a bit zen about them. :0)

  27. YES to all of those things – especially the tack taking. My buckets also seem to grow legs and walk about, never to be seen or heard from again. AND other riders cutting me off in the arena – other than being dangerous, it’s extremely annoying and distracting. Our arena is a decent size – for the love of god, go around…. Haha!

  28. Rain… just rain… ugh!! We had a week, three dry days and back to another week of rain. It sucks! Yes, I’m complaining lol. I can’t really add to barn pet peeves since I keep mine at home. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.