Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: A small town in NY
• Horses: 0
The biggest problem I see (not even as a BO - as a volunteer at a barn that does hippotherapy, riding lessons, and camps and also a student at a lesson barn) is basically just being unable to look past themselves.
It's common courtesy. Did you pull your Gypsy Vanner's mane and tail in the middle of the aisle? Sweep it up. Did you move all the jumps in the arena so you could practice dressage? Put them back. Is a group lesson going on in the same arena you're working in? Make room for them or move to another arena. You should make it look like you were never at the barn, minus your clean horse. :)
Many people will argue that as boarders, they are allowed (more like entitled to) leaving things around because they are paying for board.
Unfortunately for them, this thread is titled The No-Nonsense Guide to being a RESPONSIBLE Horse Owner. Responsible people can pick up after themselves, and don't throw a fit when everything isn't exactly how they want. Yes, your horse shouldn't be put in a dirty stall with low quality hay and scummy water buckets. However, most BOs try extremely hard to keep your horse comfortable and clean, but you have to remember - they aren't the only horse in the barn.
Another pet peeve I have is another common courtesy matter. If you can't make it to your lesson or will be late, call in! I can't tell you how many times I have groomed and tacked a horse for a hippotherapy session or even a lesson and the person hasn't showed without any notice. It wastes my time, the instructor's time, and the other volunteer's time. Not to mention the horse's time! :)
It really all boils down to what your mother taught you. If you made a mess, clean it up. If you took something out, put it back. If it doesn't belong to you, don't use it.
Above all, don't be narcissistic. The whole world doesn't revolve around you and your horse, as much as you'd like it to. We do our best, and if it's not enough for perfectionist you then please, by all means, go to another barn.
A horse is a mirror to your soul. And sometimes you may not like what you see. - Buck Brannaman