I’m not big on etiquette in everyday life; elbows on tables, speaking out of turn and worrying about hostess gifts are just not things that get my gears grinding. I do appreciate common courtesies though, such as saying “please” and “thank you” or washing your hands after you use the restroom [and before you shake my hand]. I subscribe to these same philosophies of using common courtesy at the barn.
Many of us are boarders, meaning we share our facilities with other people… the key word there being share. In my opinion, there are a few things that all boarders should do in order to respect the fellow equestrians who you board and ride with. Everyone has their own pet peeves, but basic boarder etiquette is important to keeping the barn safe and efficient. So here are my top five boarder etiquette tips! Follow these and you might even avoid some unnecessary barn drama!
Boarder Etiquette Tip #1: Clean up after yourself
If you groom and tack up in crossties or a designated area, please clean up after yourself. I’m not worried about scooping poop within 30 seconds, but don’t leave for the night without picking it up eventually. Same goes for the mud you picked out of your horse’s feet and all the hair you just brushed off him. Try to keep all of your “stuff” contained.. whether it’s in the aisle or stall because you just finished grooming, or whether it’s all of Hershey’s blankets in the tack room. Condense what you can so others have some room for their stuff too.
Boarder Etiquette Tip #2: Ask before you borrow [and return it clean]
Boarder Etiquette Tip #3: Know who has priority
Boarder Etiquette Tip #4: Be friendly
Boarder Etiquette Tip #5: Help out when you can
We’ve all been in a situation where just one more pair of hands would be so damn helpful. So when you see it happening to a fellow boarder, take 5 minutes to do just that and lend a hand. Whether it’s grabbing a forgotten whip from the tack room, holding a horse while a rider mounts up… or helping catch a loose horse your fellow equestrians will really, really appreciate it. And then when you need help, they’ll be there for you.