Here’s a list of common irritates to me that I’ve found at a variety of barns. I’ll be skipping the outright incompetence issues (i.e. feeding a horse moldy hay) and just detail things people can fix. BTW this isn’t particularly aimed at my current barn – it’s just a composite of all the barns I’ve been at (I post that because my BO does know about this blog).
Small problems that become big ones:
Feeding time changes – this means I’ll end up coming to the barn during feeding time, which puts back my riding time. If I knew when feeding was, I would work my schedule around it.
Barn Manager’s lies about feeding and watering. This can be anywhere from changing the times (see above), about how much feed, about how often, about checking water, about keeping water unfrozen, etc… Lying to me is a big tip off that the BO/BM simply is lazy and incompetent. They will lie to cover up their misdeeds and not accept full responsiblity.
I was red hot when I discovered that my horses had about two inches of muddy water in the bottom of their trough on a 110 degree day – I wish I had video of this because it was crazy!! The horse next to mine must have been just as badly off as he drank 6 gallons of water from when I was filling my own tank. It was criminal behavior and the owner then got nasty when I exposed her lazy neglect.
Gates – getting out of my car at the main gate irritates me. I loved that at 3HF the main gate had a solar powered opener (but it should have been backed up with a car battery for non-sunny days).
Gates again – gates I have to open with both hands really tick me off; it’s why I prefer this type of latch when entering a horse area. I can keep one hand free to hold a horse, bucket or hay.
More about Gates – ones that don’t close properly – they drag the ground or the latch is difficult to close.
Wash areas that don’t drain properly. Standing in a puddle of water for myself and horse is just plain irritating.
Lack of arenas due to never ending lessons – if you are going to hold lessons, then do it during certain time blocks and post those times! That way boarders can work around those times. It’s not fair for me to be paying for boarding fees (implied use of facilities) and every Saturday/Sunday the grounds are packed with visting students (who generally don’t own horses at the facility).
Not caring for arena surfaces – At 3HF I was the one picking out the glass and metal debris left behind from the area being a former home. No owner cleaned out that arena or kept it plowed and free of weeds (you can see the neglect quite clearly in some of my older videos – I’m in a pink shirt).
My horses’ legs are valuable. It would behoove you to get off your lazy ass and take care of where I’ll be riding.
Piles of manure in stalls when I’m paying for full care. Generally, this has not been a problem for me but I mention it because I’ve observed this with someone else that was boarding and if it was me? I would be Red Hot!
Not enough grooming areas. If a barn wants to pack in the boarders, then at least have the courtesy to put in some hitching posts or something.
Too small tack room. Badly organized tackrooms piss me off. People borrowing my stuff inflames me. People throwing their junk into my basket, using my fly spray, even riding in my saddle (yes I know, can you believe it?), or taking up a lot of the little room in the tack room with their crap (i.e. right now a huge tack trunk is taking up the middle of the floor) really pisses me off. It’s probably my number one “piss me off” situation.
Fawning over the Barn Queen – yeah, I get the point that SnootyPants has a lot of money or horses or diva behavior, but does that mean every time I show up, the barn owner/manager spends much of her time hanging on this person’s every word? I get the point that I am your least favorite child, but can we at least pretend to be fair?
Using my stuff. See the tack room reference but this can also apply to hay (at a self-care board, 6 hay bales in the midst of winter that I bought at the inflationary price of $10 a bale, were stolen) and feed. My experience is that someone who takes without asking is about as selfish and self-centered as you can get.
Using my horses for your lessons without permission? Lawsuit. This includes anyone messing with my horses without my permission. Thanks to a hired hand who thought he would play with my pony (read TORTURE MY PONY) she will not lift her feet for trim work unless bribed with carrots.
As I write this, I am totally amazed at how unprofessional barns have been. But then they whine about the boarders? Treat it like a business and things will go smoother for all concerned.