Barn Drama, is it rare or a common occurrence? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 60 Old 02-10-2013, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
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Barn Drama, is it rare or a common occurrence?

I have never boarded at a barn but from reading the various threads on here, there seems to quite a bit of strife between fellow boarders and in some cases, with BO''s. The longest I have had my horses in a showbarn was 5 days for a show, no drama, everyone was busy showing & super helpful and friendly. In fact there was a gal keeping her horse in a stall near mine that offered to share her tackstall with me because she saw me lugging my gear back & forth from my trailer.
So my question is, boarding at a barn, lots of drama or lots of harmony?
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post #2 of 60 Old 02-10-2013, 01:09 AM
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From just my personal experience, the show/lesson/training barns have drama and the more pleasure barns have facepalm moments. The drama tends to affect a wide area, just sucking people in. People were also more likely to offer unsolicited advice and be more vocal about disagreeing with what you do. At the places where everyone is a little more on their own in terms of showing and training, there's a lot of O.O moments but people are more likely to mind their own.

Again, just from my experience.
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post #3 of 60 Old 02-10-2013, 01:14 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Good Ol' USA
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There's quite a bit of drama at my teenager infested barn, however if you choose to stay out of the drama, things are alot better. Usually the ones who secretly enjoy drama are the ones starting and continuing all of it, so I try to remove myself from any of it and let them have their pitty parties and gossip together while I'm with my drama free horse :)
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post #4 of 60 Old 02-10-2013, 01:19 AM
Join Date: May 2011
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Depends a lot on the BO and the boarders themselves. My old barn had A LOT of drama and the BO was quite the instigator sometimes. At my new barn, the BO doesn't tolerate drama and the boarders are more mature.
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post #5 of 60 Old 02-10-2013, 01:29 AM
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Every 'barn' I've ever encountered (3) has had drama in one way or another. Of course, I'm pretty oblivious to that sort of thing so there was probably even more under the surface that I wasn't catching.

Each had drama in different ways:
The first (where I took lessons for years, pre-Lacey) seemed to believe in a limited food per horse policy (I had no idea what a horse without ribs showing looked like, even after 7 years of lessons at this place. Up until I was about 16, I just thought that was the way "normal" horses looked!! ). There was also zero turnout for 30 horses so, as you can imagine, the arena was a crazy place.
I'm sure there was boarder drama - I mean, there were more than a few "oops babies" from a cremello stud that would sometimes "get loose" from his owner, but I wasn't a "real" boarder and I was a kid at the time so no one mentioned things to me.

The next barn, basically pasture-boarding, (with Lacey, this time) was different but not really much better. Similar food policies to the previous barn but the horses were fatter than the first barn - I thought I had found heaven! haha
Pastures got crazy muddy, the BO did nothing. The BO's old toothless gelding (35 years old, at the time) nearly starved to death one winter because "no one could take the time to soak his food" and then also lied to the BO, who was laid up with a broken back, about soaking his food or not. Farrier visits weren't scheduled during the winter because "horses do better with longer hooves in the mud".
I 'lost' so many halters/lead ropes/etc at this place... They were really good to me while I was there (in terms of not charging me more than I could afford for board and sharing the little that they had with me) but thank the Lord I am out now!!

Next place, I just went there for a few lessons (as part of a class for school) a few years ago. That place also had zero turnout, lots of stable-vices in the horses, and basically every owner there was some kind of know-it-all. It was ridiculous. I saw more than one petty cat-fight break out because one know-it-all had stepped on the toes of another.
The BO there was also super pervy. He was always telling me that I had legs any equestrian would kill for and that I would make a "good wife" because I could "sweep the barn so well while looking so good." He was probably in his mid-seventies. It was just not ok.

Then there were the training practices at allll these barns. I won't even go there but it was bad all the way around.

I thank my lucky stars on a daily basis that I 'board' alone now, that the only drama I have to deal with is animal-related drama, and that I don't have to see another human during my entire time at "the barn" unless I invite someone to come with me.

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #6 of 60 Old 02-10-2013, 01:32 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Zealand
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I don't board with facilities like barns etc... over here we have "grazing" ... and it can be quite catty and dramatic too. I find horse girls like to talk, and we have a couple who can talk for hours about anything. I try not to get caught regularly talking to them or I get nothing done. Though they're both absolutely lovely.
We have one drama queen, our facilities is not the most amazing, very DIY, and has been this way for years. You make of it what you put in. This particular person came from wire and rail, outdoor arena, stalls etc. We don't even have internal permanent fencing, just the boundary fence. You fence off what you want, and there hasn't been really any fights over land use yet. But this person will complain about her horse getting injured (he won't stay behind tape fencing, and she's not prepared to spend a money updating her tired fencing to keep him in), she'll complain about another grazer's young mare who escapes her paddock into the larger field and makes her horse more difficult to catch (yet, doesn't mind her horse being out harrassing other grazers when trying to ride out there etc), complains that the water system isn't fast, and is the biggest gossiper around. Her opinions are also paramount, and acts like her giving out advice is a blessing. Most of my dealings with her are limited, and she does frequently make an idiot out of herself demanding things, yet not realising she allows her horse to do whatever he wants and masks his naughty acts as "just playing". Makes for mild entertainment some times I've gotta admit.

However I like to keep to myself and best friend. We go down to do our work, and then pack up and leave after quality time with the horses. In the past because I didn't frequently join in on "group chat gatherings" in the middle of the paddock, I was seen as a bit of a cow, but it's much more relaxed now that some drama makers have left.

I don't think teens are so much of a problem to be honest. I've noticed an increasing large amount of drama being caused by competitive people recently, mainly in their mid twenties - thirties. I'm thankful none of us at the place I'm at are huge on competing... and the one that is, well it makes sense she's the one who complains, right?

Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug
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post #7 of 60 Old 02-10-2013, 01:36 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
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My barn has very little drama.
My BO is also the trainer and she will NOT put up with it, but she's also very kind and honest with everything she does and honestly wants to help. If you pitch a tempter tantrum or attitude though, you'll probably get booted. That's why there's only a few teenagers here, because she doesn't do the attitude or drama. And also because of that, she keeps very pleasant adult company.

Now on that note I did temporarily move Selena to a closer barn once. Told her not to feed her alfalfa (She's allergic), told them not to turn her out, and I come out one day and there's mud up to her belly. Obviously turned out. BO apologizes and says it's just the barn people messing up.

Come out the next week, she's covered head to toe in hives. I find alfalfa in her stall. NOT cool. I tell the BO who again blames it on her feeding crew and barn staff. I can't help but wonder why she doesn't fire her barn staff. I go home after treating Selena and call the BO, deciding I will be moving her out of that barn and back to my usual barn.

I come out the next day and she's in a muddy outside pen instead of her stall, with moldy hay.

This is in a course of two weeks, alright? We paid in advance of a month. She still owes me $200 for that, and I guarantee I won't get it.

Never switching barns again...

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #8 of 60 Old 02-10-2013, 02:23 AM
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It so depends on the barn, chiefly on the BO and how selective he is with boarders. My current barn is absolutely wonderful, partly due to the owner being selective about who boards there. He's a retired man who keeps busy in his solitude: the boarding facility. His first rule is 'no drama'. I helped a fellow boarder today by trailering her new horse back to the facility, and everyone seems so nice and helpful. Everyone chips in to keep the place looking good, picks up manure in the arena and round pen, etc. it's all self care because the owner wants boarders who are actively involved with their horses, not a place to park your horse. I love it, so I think it just depends on where you're at and who's managing it
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post #9 of 60 Old 02-10-2013, 02:51 AM
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Location: Australia
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Depends on the place I think! I had to have my gelding boarded for the first time when I was away and he did his suspensory.

They looked after him on full board for two months while I was away. I got back to a happy, healthy horse. I rode there for another two months until I brought him home. The owner was always lovely. I went there to ride my horse so didn't really have anything to do with the other boarders. Had no issues with his care.

So my experience was good! But I know it can be bad.

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post #10 of 60 Old 02-10-2013, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
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I've got all the amenities but never want to be a boarding facility because of the horror stories & drama I hear about. I do technically have one boarder and she will continue to be my only boarder. She is a long time family friend and is my doctor, my barn is her place to relax and we have zero drama. I like it that way ;)
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