Having your horse at a horse boarding farm can be tough. You can have a rough time if you’re not able to find the time and space you need to get things done the way you’d like. Having been involved in the horse and horse boarding worlds for over 20 years, I’ve come up with a list of a few simple things that you can do to make your horse boarding experience as smooth as possible.
Look After You Things
Whether you’re in a large commercial barn or you have just a few people in your boarding barn you need to make sure that all the equipment for your horse is safe at all times. Find a space that you can make yours and organize it. Also make sure that your stuff is labeled with your name so that you can find you stuff when it does missing. You’ll also find other boarders who have the same items of you so labeling makes it easy to distinguish yours from theirs.
Clean up after yourself.
This goes not only for equipment but also for anything else that gets messy while you have your horse out. Help others by sweeping away any excess hair after grooming and any hay dropped while carrying it down the aisle. Make sure that you clean up any jumps in the arena when you are finished using them. At the very least, you should be moved them to the side so other people can use the arena without having to clean it first.
While these things actually create a little extra work for you, you’ll find that other boarders will respond by showing you the same courteousness. If everyone makes sure to clean up after themselves then things are easy to find and the boarding stable is a nice place to be. If people constantly leave things a mess then the boarding farm gets unpleasant very quickly.
If you’re polite and helpful to other boarders then they’ll do the same thing back. Everyone is there because they have a mutual love of horses so show it and have fun! Other people’s activities are just as important as what you are doing and in a small environment like a barn it is essential that you respect that otherwise it will do nothing except annoy the other boarder and create tension. If you are polite and patient then your experience will be easier and less stressful. Every barn has someone everybody else bitches about, don’t let it be you!
Don’t Borrow Without Permission
As a horse rider I find that there is nothing more annoying than going to get something and discovering it is not where you left it because someone has “borrowed” it. I’ve never refused any permission to borrow anything unless I’m in the middle of using it myself, so please ask permission before you take things. At least that way we know where it is and where to find it if we need it. If someone isn’t around then don’t use their stuff. Whether they catch you or not it is still bad practice and will eventually get you into trouble. Once you get the reputation as someone who borrows without asking you’ll find whatever you have been borrowing is locked up tight whenever you’re around.
Don’t Play With People’s Horses Either
Don’t meddle with other people’s horses as well. Whatever your opinion of the level of care they’re giving it’s not your responsibility to change things. If you feel an animal is being neglected then report it to the manager of the boarding facility, don’t take matters into your own hands. There is often a good reason for something out of the ordinary and by “helping” you may end up doing more harm than good. Think of how upset you’d be if someone messed with your carefully laid plans for your horse!
That all 5 tips and we hope you can make these simple changes to make your horse boarding experience a little easier on both you and the people around you. Do you have any other ideas for keeping your horse boarding experience smooth? Leave us a comment or tweet them to @poloponydesign.