Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Barn Buddies or NOT!

Are they mad at one another or is it just one single, bad moment in time? 
There's a lot to be said for the friendships that develop between boarders and even though I've posted a posturing photo of our horses, this blog post is about barn friendships of the human kind!  So, what happens when one boarder doesn't feel as if they are part of "the group" or if one boarder shuns another.  Is it the role of the barn manager and/or owners to step in and help someone "feel at home", is it their responsibility to step in if an issue exists between one or more boarders and if so, how should it be resolved?

A friend of mine recently experienced a very uncomfortable situation at his barn.  His "situation" took place when the barn manager and owners went to an "away show".  It seems as if there was a slight communication breakdown about how certain daily chores were to be done and when turnout became an issue because of bad footing, he asked for help from one of the members of the group and what he received in return was nothing!  Now, it wouldn't have been so bad if he'd been able to get to the barn to take care of his horse's issue himself but he was facing some extreme stress as a result of family health issues and it would have been nice if someone from the barn could have stepped up to do him a small favor.  It became even more unsettling when he found that several of the people he left messages for said that they never received his emails or phone messages.  At the end, I am sad to report that several days later, my friend innocently found some information (think internet footprints!) that made it very clear he was being lied to for no good reason!

My friend is a wonderful guy, very laid back, easy going, helpful, cleans up after himself and his horse and even helps to clean the barn.  He is very personable and liked by many people but for some reason, the boarders or at least a small group of them are not giving him a chance to partake in anything that even vaguely resembles group like fun or activities.  Some might argue that he shouldn't be concerned with this as his only focus should be his horse but when something like this hits you in the face and it's hard to get away from being in close proximity to people that don't really want to interact with you, it's hard to shrug it off!

I'm going to think on this for a day or two and then give you my personal answer.  However, if any of you guys want to chime in on this issue, I would love to hear your viewpoints!


TBDancer said...

A bit of background before I give my opinion. First, I don't like a lot of horse people. They can be real rear ends, often for no good reason other than they are jealous and feel the need to hide their inferiority complexes by acting like rear ends. Secondly, I've been in public boarding situations, and I will never go there again. I have my horse at home, and while it can be inconvenient at times, I know the horse is where I have total control. I have a young man clean for me three days a week and neighbors willing to toss hay when I can't be there to feed. Other than that, it's "My Barn, My Rules."

That said, I hope your friend has friends at the barn and that he feels his horse and his equipment are safe. He needs to document everything so if there is a dust-up at the barn, he can prove his case. He also needs to be looking for another place to keep his horse. When I boarded publicly, my horses were injured--clipped nostrils with a pair of garden shears, to name just one instance--and my tack and equipment were vandalized or stolen. While I had no actual proof of the culprit(s), I was morally certain I knew who did it. I had no one to "watch my back" (or my horse or tack ;o), and I could not get out of those places fast enough.

Cathy Ann Savino-Kedzierski a/k/a The Thoroughbred Hunter Lady said...

Ahhhh, how nice it would be to have our horses at home but alas, when we did finally find a beautiful farm to purchase, the deal went south; so, farm shopping is on-hold for awhile!

I like what you said, "My Barn, My Rules" and that's the beauty of having your own place!

You are right on about the "rear ends" in the horse world! If ya mix said "rear ends" with the divas and the high maintenance boarders, it's a miracle that one can even begin to focus on their horse!

As for my friend, I directed him to your comment and despite the fact that he's an intelligent guy, it never occured to him that he should be on high alert but you can bet that he will be now! Plus, he feels that it's time to find a new boarding situation and I couldn't agree more!

Thanks for your sage advice, it was much appreciated!

allhorsestuff said...

Hi there...I need to put you on my Blog roll..so I remember to come on by when you post!

Well, this subject is one that I am all too familiar with. Having had my mare for 5 years this Thanksgiving. I have boarded in about 7 barns and stables trying to get the boarding/barn mix to be right/safe/freindly/knowlegable and yes ACCOUNTABLE FOR KEEPING MY MARE!
It is a difficult task. I live in the most horse populated areas of my state of Oregon. You'd think that would make stables easier to find. There are tons of stables here yes. Qualified folks to own or run them NO!
I have had my mare mishandled,not let out to paddock, starved, abused, and neglected. It all adds up to BO's and or trainers in charge, not truely having the horse in mind.

All I can say is YOU MUST TRUST your handler(the fewer the better)You also must TRUST your owner to be honest and accountable for what happens at His or Her place of buisness... the place you have signed your life away to have your precious horse boarded in.

If there is any doubt..do not wait to start looking. I know, I hate moving and love stability but, I know now...if it looks to be not on the up and up..it isn't.

It is tough..but one does NOT board to have or make friends. One boards because they do not have the facility to have thier horses at home!
Friendships come as a bonus, I have found. But those freindships sometimes ended with the actual barn owners pressuring me to achieve something with my mare...that I never signed up for.

I rarely fit into a group of folks..and barns are very notorious for snipy, and cruel behaviours.

If you can achieve one trusted freind to watch your horse while you are not there...it can make a huge-o-difference!
But if the BO is party to someone making it rough and tough on you..GET OUT!!

Sorry this was long, but I have huge stead in this boarding process.