Friday, February 1, 2013

Barn rules of thumb

Recently I was talking with one of my blog friends -- some friends I have met through my blog, who talk on the phone with often, but have never met in person.  She moved her horses to a new, more "managed" barn because of new constraints on her time.  It's a barn that has a lot of rules.  I've been at barns that have run the gamut, from a do-your-own-thing co-op barn to a hunter jumper show barn. We talked about the relative advantages and disadvantages of each, and I liked a comment that my friend made, reflecting on rules:

"In my experience, the number of rules in a barn seems to be directly [directly] proportional to the quality of the care."

She was being facetious and funny, and we both laughed. But I think there is probably some truth to it. What do you guys think?


  1. Totally -- comes down to ye old "rules are meant to be broken."

  2. Do you mean directly or inversely proportional?

    The one boarding situation I had with a barn which had a two page sheet of rules and was the overall fanciest-seeming place had, in my mind, the worst care. It also had the most boarders who violated the rules regularly.

    My horse is getting some work on fundamentals from a trainer right now and getting great care; the only rules have to deal with safety regarding the stallion on the property and no micromanaging or annoying rules which exist just for the sake of rules.

  3. I'm guilty of having a LOT of rules. However, insurance companies like rules, and the more rules, the lower the premiums. The lower the premiums, the lower the board.

  4. Safety rules are just plain smart. I boarded at a barn where young kids rode down the barn aisle on their horses. Decidedly not-smart.

  5. I have a rather limited expierence with boarding, however, the first barn had no written rules and not very good care, second barn where I have my horse now, 2 pages of rules and the care is incredible! She even accommodated my somewhat chunky horse by making a new "dry lot " under the pine trees, who now is at a great weight! Same board fee, and at this place they overseed the pastures for winter grazing and pick up the poop in the fields every other day. The difference is the owner lives on the property and has a limited number of boarders, about 10 horses. She keeps the place immaculate, she even put in heat lamps in the indoor wash stall. I am so glad I found her!

  6. Riding,, down the aisle. Oh my lord !

  7. OMG I boarded at a place that had 99 rules! Some were just common sense, and others were a bit off the wall. Ironically, she was the biggest cheap ass and I found out she was buying the cheapest hay around. I moved as soon as I could.

    I now have my guy with a friend who dotes on him like he is hers.. works GREAT.

  8. Let's see...I've been boarding a horse for 20 years now, in two states and have been in many, many barns. The barn I'm at now has a few simple, common sense rules, but we are treated like adults. We're trusted to use the facility responsibly, and we do. Barns with pages of rules are sometimes run by controlling, fussy people with short tempers. The barn atmosphere that creates doesn't lend itself to great care, since that attitude discourages communication and feedback from boarders.

    My barn now is carefully curated with a great group of responsible, respectful people. There's no need for 320984230948234 rules if you screen boarders first.

  9. The best barns I've been at has a few rules that were aimed at preserving a safe environment. I've hated the barns where I felt that every part of your riding experience was controlled! Some places go way overboard demanding matching tack trunks and blankets; some places are very restrictive about your riding, for example not letting you jump outside of lessons; others dictate how many lessons you must have per month.

    Where you feel comfortable is in a place that best matches your expectations.


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