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How To Be The “Nightmare Boarder” At Your Barn

How To Be The “Nightmare Boarder” At Your Barn

Justine Griffin

Part of what makes horse sport so great is that the love for the animal attracts all different kinds of personalities. From age to gender to physical ability, there is a place for you with horses, no matter what. Isn’t that a nice thought?

The other side of that coin is all these “personalities” can sometimes clash. Put 20 adult amateurs in a boarding barn, maybe mix in a few juniors and their helicopter parents, and well, there’s a lot of opinions in that sh*t storm.

We came up with all the things you shouldn’t do if you don’t want to get the nerves of your fellow barnmates.

Leave a mess behind. I could write an entire piece just about this. Whether you’re guilty of leaving a manure pile behind in the wash rack, or not sweeping up the barn aisle after picking out hooves, people notice. Just sayin’.

Forget to put stuff back. Maybe you used the pitchfork to clean up that manure pile in the wash rack. Great. What’s not so great is if you left said pitchfork in a new location, and not back where people know where to find it.

Take it upon yourself to give your horse “a little extra.” I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but hay prices are going up. Finding good quality forage is frickin’ expensive. There’s a reason why you pay as much as you do for full board. So sneaking into the hay room after a good lesson to give your horse a little extra as a treat is 1.) that’s what carrots are for, and 2.) really rude to your barn owners, who are constantly balancing costs with the individual needs of all the horses in the barn.

Never rolling up the damn hose. You know who you are. There’s a special place in hell just for you.

Found the gate closed, so you left it open. So if the pasture gate was locked and closed before you took your horse out for a hack, you should leave it locked and closed behind you. Same goes for the tack room door, and the stall door, and the list goes on…

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Be an arena hog. There’s nothing better than being the first (or the last) person of the day to ride, because you know you’re going to get the arena to yourself, at least for a little while. It may suck to have to share sometimes, but that’s just life. Get over it.

Filling the muck bucket, but not emptying it. It’s great that you mucked out your horse’s stall. But it really sucks that you left a full wheel barrow behind for someone else to dump. #TheWorst

Use someone else’s tack without asking. Maybe you forgot your half chaps at home or you’re in a pinch and grabbed somebody else’s brushing boots. Rude. Never borrow a fellow boarder – or anyone’s – stuff without asking first.

Bring your ill-behaved dog to the barn. Some dogs are great in a busy barn atmosphere. Some aren’t. You can love your dog with all your might, but that’s not going to magically make him poof into a well behaved, mindful creature around horses. Save us all a scare in the arena and just leave him home, please.

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