How to be a good "new boarder" - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-19-2020, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Red face How to be a good "new boarder"

Hello, I am moving to a new boarding barn first of next month...

I am moving from my current barn because of lack of cleanliness, poor management and absence of slow feeders (I have a chubby easy keeper who lives outside on round bale).

The paddocks had old electric wires hanging from the wooden fences and she or her husband or staff would not remove them. I had to cut them all off myself, because I told her they were hanging on the ground and she did nothing. When I visited, I knew the paddocks weren't cleaned regularly (I do it myself) but I had not seen the wires. This and other safety issues came up and I *always* have to take care of it, even though I *always* spoke to her about them.

She has also allowed a few teenagers (who also work there on week-ends and holidays) to be unpleasant, judgemental, and sometimes downright rude and even nasty, making up rules (including posters in the barn and in the facebook group), making comments to boarders, screaming and running in the barn (think rowdy teenager!), hogging the few crossties on week-ends, I could go on and on... They basically run the place half of the time. One week-end they did not give water. I told the owner my horse had no water, she said the girls were "tired" of pulling and untangling the water hose!

I have tried to discuss things with the owner to no avail. I have been there almost a year and a half.

So this new place has 3 slow feeders (instead of one huge round bale in the corner of the paddock), the sand paddock is well drained and it is cleaned regularly. In summer they are out on grass pasture. It doesn't have an indoor arena but I'd rather have fewer amenities and better care. I have great hope I can feel relaxed and enjoy my time there, and that my horse will be happier and healthier.

I just want your ideas on how to be a good new boarder, aside from the picking up after oneself and being friendly but keeping my opinions to myself. And how to react/respond to rude people. For example the ones who give you "looks" full of judgement, free unasked-for advice, or who are always in your space looking to chat or make a new friend. I am friendly but not looking for new friends, especially not the desperate kind. I like to chat about horses but I do not like to impose my opinions, and I hate when people do it to me. I am already an "odd" horse person to most people because I clicker train and we know there is a lot of judgement in boarding barns.

From both the BO's and boarder's perspectives please!
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-19-2020, 12:52 PM
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Just don't be like any of the same obnoxious people you are leaving. That's how you be a good boarder. : ) But honestly it doesn't sound like this will be an issue!
I don't understand how that place has any borders at all. Sounds awful!

I would suggest getting a product to remove sand from the gut. Feeding bales out on a sand paddock would worry me.

Wishing you a happy experience at the new place.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-19-2020, 02:36 PM
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I would think common sense would tell you how to be a good boarder. Pay your board bill on time, clean up after yourself, mind your own business, don't complain over piddly little stuff, don't get caught up in barn drama, and don't touch stuff that doesn't belong to you, that you're not allowed to have access to. If I was a barn owner, I'd be happy with that.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-19-2020, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy

Thanks to both of you. Yes I pay my board, always on time, I sweep, pick up after my horse, I am very respectful and think about other people. I am more worried about non friendly, ill tempered, judgemental people, who make it hard to fit in or have peace. I don't know how to respond to them.

This has been a problem at my current boarding barn: I tend to not set my limits with problematic people because I am afraid it will make things worse, but I end up being very unhappy. They seem to take liberties at making uncalled-for, none-of-their-business comments at me and at invading my space. I guess they sense that they can.

As for the barn owner, she is nice and non judgmental overall, so I had no problem speaking to her about issues, but she will never fix things, address issues, and is just generally lazy and unbothered by safety issues for example. So once I realised and accepted that she truly would not do anything about whatever issue I brought up, I became disillusioned and resentful and just ended up giving my 30 days notice.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-19-2020, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asdf View Post
I am more worried about non friendly, ill tempered, judgemental people, who make it hard to fit in or have peace. I don't know how to respond to them.
My great aunt had the perfect saying for this: don't borrow trouble.

Just because the people at your current barn are an issue does not mean people at the new place will be. Don't go there looking for problems!


There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-19-2020, 06:14 PM
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Can you prepare in advance responses for people who are doing this? Like, "Thank you, but this is how I work with my horses," for those sort of people; and "I'd love to stay and chat but I need to work with my horses" for others?

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-19-2020, 07:08 PM
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You don't have to do anything for 'mean, judgy boarder'. If you get advice you don't want, smile and nod, "Thanks, I'll look into that".

Maybe I'm oblivious, or maybe I am the mean, judgy boarder, but I've never been at a barn where this is an actual problem. People just do their own thing. They might toss advice if you ask for it, but it's in a helpful manner. No one wants to see you fail. If you get rid of this mindset, you'll probably find everything a lot less stressful.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-19-2020, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
You don't have to do anything for 'mean, judgy boarder'. If you get advice you don't want, smile and nod, "Thanks, I'll look into that".

Maybe I'm oblivious, or maybe I am the mean, judgy boarder, but I've never been at a barn where this is an actual problem. People just do their own thing. They might toss advice if you ask for it, but it's in a helpful manner. No one wants to see you fail. If you get rid of this mindset, you'll probably find everything a lot less stressful.
Yes you are mostly right I suppose, I just had a bad experience with a couple of the teens (one actually a young adult) where I am now, which is one of the reasons I am leaving. I would probably leave even if I was happy with the care.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-19-2020, 07:58 PM
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I suppose you should just go about your business and do your thing and be pleasant with everyone there. If I am offered advice I would usually smile and say "that's interesting" and take what I want from it, ignore or learn according to the advice.

One thing I have found going into new situations, the person that comes right up and is overly friendly may be a nice person but they are usually the ones that will be the nuisance, busy body person and can waste a lot of your time that you want to spend with your horse so best to steer clear of them until you are better acquainted with the people there.

Just go about your work with a business like manner and be focused on what you are doing with your horse as that is your first priority and enjoy your time with him.

When boarding, my time was limited so I wanted to spend it with my horse and not be spending it with other people there. I was pleasant with folks and when riding if they wanted to ride with me that was fine then I could visit and still be with my horse.

Good luck and I hope it is a good place to board and the best people to have around.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-19-2020, 08:35 PM
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Welcome to the Forum!!

You don't strike me as a gossip so that stops the drama from finding you pretty quick.
A adult barn is usually not a barn of children and teens running round thinking they run the place.
Find out who the barn worker(s) are, the barn manager and if you have question or issue take it to them according to situation.
If you don't know something, ask those in charge not the other boarders for a factual answer.
I tended to stick to me when boarding...
I heard the conversations but rarely participated unless it was as congratulations for a earned accolade accomplished...otherwise, didn't mingle to much.

I second the sand clear if the horse will be out on sand eating from slow-feed nets daily...
Ask the barn manager if the barn has a routine day for administering the product and who supplies it.
Being spring is soon to come, you can also inquire about barn routine for vaccinations, coggins, worming and such they do or arrange for.

Same as shoe/trim schedule and if it is your farrier is there a sign board to add the name to?
Same as protocol for tack room...who has keys and access? Place to safely leave your equipment that no one else touches...if in doubt, don't leave it.
All that is needed is a halter and shank.

Ask if the barn insists on a particular type of halter if left on in t/o or are they removed?
My preference is removed, or if left on it must be leather so it will break under force exerted before injury/death occur.
...
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