Boarder Ettiquette - The No-Nonsense Guide to being a Responsible Horse Owner - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 156 Old 12-26-2012, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Palmyra, Wisconsin
Posts: 6,101
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Originally Posted by Delfina View Post
Hmm... well lets see... a couple months ago I brought my horse to my place and 2 weeks later found him with his foot sliced open. Called the Vet and texted pictures to my old BO for her opinion. As the Vet was stitching him closed, I looked up to see her pulling up with her horse trailer. She knew from the pictures that doofus would need stall rest, her trailer would be much easier to load an injured horse in and my place only has pastures w/run-in sheds.

Obviously she can't dislike me too much to drop what she was doing, call her husband to come home, watch the baby and prepare a stall for me while she drove over to get my guy.

Oh and I work off my board even though technically nobody at the barn is allowed to. My BO gave birth to a child who became ill and I took over the care of everyone (because there is no way a mother with a sick infant should leave it's side to go feed/clean stalls) and when her child recovered, she laughingly told me that since the barn was cleaner than when she was doing it all, I was no longer allowed to pay board!

Prior to my working there, I requested anything I wanted and she said yes or no because of XXX. I never cleaned stalls, filled water buckets, trimmed trees, dragged arenas or anything of the sort because I was PAYING her to do it!

And YES it most certainly is rude to ask how board is calculated! I've had boarders at my place (yes, I board horses here while mine is elsewhere... ) and I would tell them it's absolutely none of their business if they asked. Board fee is X Services provided are Y, take it or go elsewhere! Besides, it's irrelevant if you make $2 an hour or $200 if my contract says that you will sing my horse a beddy-bye song every night, then you darn well better be in his stall and singing if I show up to check on him.
Or what? Yes, BO's offer a service but they are not your servants.

Like Dreamcatcher Arabians I also have empty stalls that I am not looking to fill for the same reasons. If & when I do I will look for someone appreciative & respectful for what I do as I am appreciative & respectful of them. Prima donnas can go somewhere else.
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post #22 of 156 Old 12-26-2012, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Brandon, Manitoba Canada
Posts: 1,045
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Originally Posted by Delfina View Post
Where to start, where to start.....


The tackroom is for storage. Part of what you PAY in board is for the use of said space. I currently have 1 horse, 3 saddles, at least 5 blankets, 3 tack trunks, 5 helmets and go only knows whatelse... As a boarder my space is marked off in the tackroom and I can store whatever I would like. I could tricycles, chain saws or Christmas decorations for all my BO would care. As long as I pay my board and keep my things in my provided storage area....

What you do with your life or why your day is busy is NOT my problem! I PAY to have my horse boarded and cared for. It is irrelevant to me if you are a student or have 50 part-time jobs. If my horse decides to jump out of it's stall, that IS your problem and yes, YOU get to catch and put him back. I have a stall jumper, he jumped out exactly once. My BO called and said doofus jumped out so he's going into "jail" AKA a stall with walls that nobody can jump out of. Ok, problem solved!

Trashing the BO no, but if a board in my stall is broken, a tree limb needs to be removed as it smacks me in the head while using the arena or I feel any other maintenance is required NO I will not be finding a hammer, an axe, a chainsaw and whatever.... once again, I PAY to have the facilities maintained!! How many BO's are going to be livid if I hate the tree next to the arena so I just chop it down one day?

Once again, I am PAYING to have my horse cared for and if my horse is too fat, I shouldn't HAVE TO ASK. The BO should be saying hey your tubbykins over there is going to be moved to a non-roundbale pasture before he founders.

If I want my horse to be pastured with his BFF, there's is absolutely nothing wrong with making that request. The BO can then say sure we can accommodate that, or we can do that if you'd like to pay $xxx extra for a a private turnout or no, we can't because of XXX.

I PAY to have my horse cleaned up after. I am sorry you don't feel like doing it but it's YOUR JOB. Don't like cleaning up after horses? Don't take the job!

If the work provided doesn't equal the board charge, the BO needs to raise the rate charged, not whine, moan and groan on a MB about needing help.

A **** good deal for no work? Excuse me!!?? I am PAYING to not have to work. If I want to work, I can haul my horse home (yes, I have property and shelter at my house). Don't want to haul butt around in a blizzard.... FIND A DIFFERENT JOB!

If you don't like the pay, FIND A DIFFERENT JOB. I do not set the rate I pay for boarding, the BO does. The BO knows d*mn well when they open a boarding facility that horse need to be fed/watered/cleaned up after on Christmas and every other holiday. I am under no obligation to inquire as to how much $$$ someone makes and it's really d*amn rude to do so! Unless my boarding contract states that I am required to provide gifts, I am under absolutely no obligation to do so.

And before you think I am clueless.... I not only board horses at my place, I also do 90% of the work where I board (to work off my board). Rain, sleet, snow, sunshine, whatever... I am there feeding and cleaning stalls. Horses escape? I sigh, catch them and attempt to ensure that they are unable to do so again. Wrecked gates and everyone milling around in the barn while a ginormous blizzard is brewing outside? Catch everyone, repair gates, clean barn and take pictures of the guilty parties for the owners to giggle at. Horse decides to mangle itself? Groan to myself, call kids and tell them Mom won't be home any time soon and call the Vet. It's my JOB! You name the catastrophe, I've been there and cleaned up the mess. I know each and every horse and how best to handle them. I know who is fine having a blanket flung over them and who needs to have their blanket slowly introduced and gently put on them. My JOB is to ensure each and every horse is properly cared for irregardless of if their owner ever even sets foot in the barn or even has a clue that I personally exist and care for their horse.
All I can say is I'm glad you don't board at my place!

My horses are the joy in my life.....
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post #23 of 156 Old 12-26-2012, 07:50 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: michigan
Posts: 361
• Horses: 1
Maybe it depends on the barn you board at. If you are at a fancy show barn with grooms and you pay huge bucks, you can feel entitled to have your horse's every whim accommodated. Personally, I would not last 5 minutes in that setting. I board my boys at a very family friendly barn, and think nothing of sweeping the tack area, picking up sticks, cleaning the water troughs if I think they need it. It is part of what we all do. Yes, I always give my BO a christmas gift. Sure they get paid... so do the teachers, but I gave them a gift when my kids were little too. I work in an outpatient therapy clinic and love the food that patients and their families bring by at the holidays. Once in a while I get a nice gift from a patient I have been particularly close to. Yup I get paid... but the thought that someone would go out of their way to say 'I appreciate all you do' means more than the gift. I know if i give my BO a gift card to TSC it will be used to keep things up and running so my boys can stay safe and sound and taken care of.
Oh.. and Delfina... we are all impressed...
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post #24 of 156 Old 12-26-2012, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 278
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
I don't think a Barn Owner has a right to expect a thing except a board check each month. Presents? Help cleaning stalls? Clients fixing maintenance issues? WHAT? That's what they're paying the barn for, to NOT have to do any of that kind of thing themselves.
Of course we don't expect presents, what I'm saying it that boarders should be appreciative and express that appreciation. I said to "consider" it... lots of things going into "considering" something... your own budget, time, etc... whatever - I said "consider it". My boarders, as far as I know, aren't on this forum, and I would never dream of saying "Hey, where's my annual present?" This is general advice to people boarding your horses. It is the ones that no-one wants around that ARE NOT. If they don't feel they have anything they should be grateful for at the barn they are at, and they don't have any intention of expressing gratitude, then they should consider moving.

As far as help cleaning stalls, it depends on the board contract. The contract might not specifically state "help clean", but it also might not say that the stalls will be gutted/refilled everyday, either, and if that's what the client expects (without expressly being told that is what will be done), then the client should not have a problem picking up a pitch fork and gettin' 'er done! They SHOULD NOT complain.

There IS a difference between discussing a perceived (or actual) issue, and COMPLAINING.

Fixing maintenance issues? I'm not sure I said that? Maybe someone else did... at our barn, we'd ask someone fixing a maintenance issue to please let it be and speak to us if something concerns them. Topping off a water tank because it is low? Go for it! It depends on the barn - as has been said TIME AND AGAIN. Learn the ropes, ask questions (intelligent ones - review barn rules and contracts first, if necessary), get to know the way things are done around your facility!

People - you are at a BARN, you are not ROYALTY at the TAJ MAHAL. Just because you pay for a service somewhere, doesn't mean you don't have responsibilities, as an individual horse owner, and as part of a larger equine community. Of course, as has been said, there are the really high HIGH dollar barns where the floors are mopped/swept everyday, but I guarantee no one in this thread so far is at that type of facility, nor could they afford it.
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Last edited by sillyhorses; 12-26-2012 at 08:18 PM.
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post #25 of 156 Old 12-26-2012, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 278
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Chapter 6: Differences

Between barns, you will find so many differences, it could make your head spin. It is YOUR JOB to know what you want, what you expect and what you can afford and balance that with what is available to you.

I want a barn with an elaborate cafe style observation room (double-shot peppermint mocha, please!), dreamy skylights, chandeleirs, built in surround sound system with microphone kits), paver stone aisle ways with mats, 20x20 stalls, PLUS everything I offer... oh, and acres and acres of pasture with views of rolling hills, mountains AND the ocean for each horse. The list goes on. I'm not a millionaire, and I'm sure if I were, I'd probably find other things more important to spend my money on... just sayin' ;)

You'll find differences in:
  • the way stalls are cleaned and even in barn's "definitions" of clean
  • the crowd and overall environment at the barn (discipline specific, age, family environment, party environment, etc)
  • whether or not pets from home are allowed on the premises
  • where you should park your car
  • whether or not you can store your trailer, and whether or not it's free
  • the level of tolerance for poor horse behavior and vices
  • the level of tolerance for rude people, bratty kids, know-it-alls and thieves
  • the amount of storage space afforded to you in the tack room
  • whether or not there even IS a tack room
  • the level of expectation that client's clean up after themselves (it could be that you just pick up your own belongings - could be that you need to also sweep the floor and smooth out the arena where you disturbed it)
  • whether or not feed is included, or whether you provide it
  • the type of feed included, if it is
  • whether or not you feed your own horse, or not
  • whether or not you are welcome to clean your horses stall or not (some places can be so picky they don't want to have to undo someone's poor cleaning)
  • where you should dispose of your horse manure
  • the type of watering system (or lack there-of)
  • whether or not blanketing is included
... the list goes on...

Please, do add on!
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post #26 of 156 Old 12-26-2012, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Brandon, Manitoba Canada
Posts: 1,045
• Horses: 4
sillyhorses I am really enjoying this thread. At the moment I only have one boarder and he's been with me for 6 1/2yrs. now......we get along great and have had no problems. When he first came here with his other horse he had no problems with me doing groundwork with him, he was a very pushy/disrespectful/hard to catch horse at the time. For my own safety I worked with him so he knew I was alpha when I came out in the pasture! The guy had a hard time catching him, when he was at the other place he would spend at least a 1/2 hour to catch him, then he would get bucked off before they even left the yard LOL After I worked with him he was a totally different horse! The owner could walk out there and catch him right away and he stopped his bucking. After 1 1/2 yrs. he sold that one and we had a QH paint who had been here since he was 6 months old, he is going to be 5 in March. The people who owned him when he first came here knew nothing about horses and paid me to do all the ground work with him. He's still at our place but now the other man has owned him for over 3 yrs. and he's happy that I did all the ground work with him (Starbuck is his name) because he's a very respectful/laid back horse. Two years ago this Jan. Starbuck had been getting into the round bale feeder and I would haul his butt out I don't know how many times! The owner knew that he was doing that. One morning I went down and Starbuck had degloved his hind leg! It looked like he had hopped out of the feeder, his foot had slipped under the metal bar and degloved it to the bone! I called the owner and I loaded him up to meet him at the vet.......the owner was going away for 2 weeks soon and I took his horse in once a week to have the vet check it and I cleaned it every day twice a day in -30C=-22F and colder. I love that horse as if it were my own! I cleaned it daily for months for the owner instead of him driving out here daily and I never asked for nothing in return for caring and taking him to the vets. The owner and I ride together alot, we trailer the horses all over for day rides. A couple weeks ago I found Starbuck in the feeder! I tried to lead him out but I think he remembered the last time he hopped out it hurt him, so I had to get my hubby to come down and flip the feeder over him so he could walk out.....good thing he's so laid back and trusting with me!
I do not expect gifts and I do what I do because I love horses and love all of the ones here! I do not expect anyone that is boarding at my place to do any chores but yes it is nice when they offer to help out once in awhile. I go out daily and halter/tie the horses for their supper, we don't have a barn, they don't get blanketed but they are healthy and happy horses.......
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My horses are the joy in my life.....
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post #27 of 156 Old 12-26-2012, 10:12 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Alabama,USA
Posts: 3,909
• Horses: 1
I'm one of those underpaid barn workers, as well as a boarder, so I have plenty of gripes.

Chapter "Requests from tired barn workers."

-SWEEP UP THE MESS FROM YOUR HORSE'S FEET!!!! I can't say that one enough. I blow out the barn with a leaf blower after I work; hoof-shaped dirt and poop clods don't blow well!

-If you are there when workers are trying to feed or do other barn work, be courteous and considerate. You pay to be there, so be there, but if you can do small things to make our jobs easier, please do! Like, don't tie your horse in front of a stall that I have to put a horse in. I have to retie your horse if you do that, which is not my job. There are plenty of places to tie your horse that are not in my way.

-Clean out the wash rack after you use it! Common courtesy.

-And my number one boarder complaint: Don't stick stuff in front of my stall! The hanger on front of it, yeah, that's for my stuff, not yours.

Okay, enough for now.

"There's nothing more humbling on the planet than horses." --Sean Crocker

Last edited by Sunny; 12-26-2012 at 10:16 PM.
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post #28 of 156 Old 12-26-2012, 10:34 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 224
• Horses: 10
My small peeve--I like quiet. I've been at barns where people just turn on the PA system and blast music/talk radio without bothering to ask if it will bother anyone. If you need noise for a background, perhaps a personal listening device would be good?
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post #29 of 156 Old 12-26-2012, 11:17 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: WV
Posts: 47
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wow some of these posts really make me LOVE my barn lol

I had a very hard time finding a barn with open stalls. It just turned out that the cheapest place was the first one with an open stall. It does take me about 20+ min to get there but it's all good. My horse gets fed at least 3 times a day (most of the time more since she needs to gain weight). My barn owners are both amazing people with big hearts! Stalls get cleaned daily with the exception of Christmas which I don't mind at all! My horse gets turned out on the days I work and they know I wont be there (I text on of the barn owners a good bit and he knows when i'm at work and wont be at the barn for a bit). Turnouts are NOT included in the board but they do it for me anyways.

The tack room, everyone shares anything and everything. Granted it's mostly tack and not things that need replacing.. but it's still very nice! I've gotten to try all kinds of bridles on Emira and haven't had to buy a lunge whip! She's currently wearing someone elses blanket since she's skinny and they are fat and furry. (I love that woman who let me borrow it until FedEx finds ours!!)

If someones horse poops outside of their stall.. the horse owner cleans it up. (unless it's in the pasture) For one it doesn't need to sit there until the stalls get clean.. secondly it's just nice to keep the isle way/arena/wash rack clean.

I'm in a barn with all older people and it's so insanely nice. They sometimes have their kids or grandkids come out to ride but that's about it. I was told today there are fun little shows they hold there starting in Jan (indoor arena) and i'm more than welcome to join. It's $2 a class and it's only fun classes no judging. pretty cool considering my mare is still green and it would be a GREAT learning tool for her!!

It's not strict there and everyone pitches in. It really creates a close bond at the barn. I love it!!
Although I do tell the one barn owner he owes me a car wash.. Only because he randomly tells me he's got gravel on the way for the driveway and that he hates seeing my car covered in mud lol
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post #30 of 156 Old 12-26-2012, 11:47 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: OK
Posts: 10,651
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Originally Posted by sillyhorses View Post

People - you are at a BARN, you are not ROYALTY at the TAJ MAHAL. Just because you pay for a service somewhere, doesn't mean you don't have responsibilities, as an individual horse owner, and as part of a larger equine community. Of course, as has been said, there are the really high HIGH dollar barns where the floors are mopped/swept everyday, but I guarantee no one in this thread so far is at that type of facility, nor could they afford it.
I guess that's the difference in our perceptions. I do not run a Taj Mahal, nor do I cater to royalty, but I do try to ACT toward my clients as if I do. I do not expect nor want them to fill waterers, pick out their own stalls, sweep barn aisles or anything else. I want them to come here to relax and enjoy their horses, groom them, ride them, feed them treats, play games with them and so on. I don't want them to even THINK that they might need to do something more than that while they are here. As far as I'm concerned their only responsibilities are to pay their board and enjoy their horses, the rest of it is up to me on my place.

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