Not My Horses, Not My Barn

Saddle Seat Wednesday

What is the proper etiquette as a guest at a barn?

While in the barn was happening in Louisville [2016], I went by Stepping Stone to turn out and brush. I made sure to go when someone else would be there. Partly safety, but mostly social paranoia. I do not want to overstep any bounds.

I have made that mistake in the past.

In high school, I did not own a horse, but I was fortunately to lease & board several in sequence. I was at that barn almost daily. I knew everyone. I had multiple offers of horses to ride. It was my ‘hood.

When I discovered that my college had a barn (my pre-college research was sketchy), I hied myself out there immediately. I bounded around the barn, secure in the knowledge that all of these new people were delighted to meet me. I overdid it. The head of the riding program found me so pushy, so annoying that she considered banning me from the barn. The horror!

Now when I deal with other people’s horses, I err on the side of circumspection.

Any guest barn experiences – good, bad, or ugly – that you care to share?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Update I: To clarify, barn was closed while Coach Courtney was at Louisville.

Spotted hunting Pokémon with Sagira Kori. Photos by Michelle Duplichien.



More Sagira

Spotted with a Friend
Boot Camp 2015, Progress Report 1

Michelle on Rodney’s Saga
Mardi Gras Parades
Driftwood Disaster Statue

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Update II: Wrong cat. Now that I look, the difference is obvious. In my defense, that’s a whole lotta black cat.

7 thoughts on “Not My Horses, Not My Barn

  1. I dunno. You have a long-term relationship with the barn owner/trainer. You ride there and have an ongoing relationship with the owners of the horses you regularly ride. You show as part of the barn family. In my opinion, I don’t think you would be considered a “guest” there anymore. But then, I’m pushy. 😉

  2. Definitely ugly: at every barn where I ever boarded, I was either resident instructor or a person who helped out. Most barns, everyone helped each other between lessons – you had a problem, there was someone around who could help you fix it.
    Not at one particular barn: it was early on a Sunday morning, and the only other person riding was a kid whose pony was being a toad. I could see exactly where the problem was, and when she asked me for help, we fixed the problem in about five minutes.
    The next day, I was bawled out by the owner – in public yet – for threatening her livelihood and I should keep my opinions to myself. At which point, I packed up and moved the horse.

  3. Barns can be emotionally intense places, for good or for ill. I would assume the same could be true of martial arts dojos, gymnastic centers, or anywhere that people are training hard.

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