The other day I walked into the barn where I board; and in order for me to get my horse out of her stall I had to climb over or clean up a large pile of manure left in the aisle. Then there were three halters scattered all over laying on the ground, one halter hanging from the cross ties, and two horse blankets tossed in the middle of the isle. I thought to myself.. ”Nice!!! Real Nice.”
A group jump lesson was in session, I could hear the trainer bellowing instructions all through the barn. The mothers of the riders were either sitting in their cars or in the viewing room.
Having boarded at barns across the country for the vast majority of my life, I really have never come across a group of more inconsiderate self-centered people as this group that moved into the barn for the winter.
Since this group arrived back in October, I’ve had to clean up some else’s pile of manure, picked up someone else’s belongings, shut off lights and close doors countless times. I pray none of them ever witness a horse getting tangled in a misplaced halter or blanket and injuring itself. But sadly, that is most likely the only way these people would learn, BECAUSE they sure are not learning proper barn etiquette from their parents or trainer.
I’ve heard in passing so many times “That’s typical of the hunters”; “Rudeness is a natural trait of the jumpers”; “All those reiners ever think about is themselves.” THAT’S crap!!! Poor manners do not come standard with the type of riding discipline. They are taught by example and through the lack of expectations set.
When I began riding, the first several lessons were on barn etiquette, respecting others, rules and proper behavior around horses. We lost riding and possible total barn privileges if we did not treat the stables, equipment, animals and all the people with total respect.
As trainer and a parent, I teach and enforce proper barn etiquette. My students’ and children’s behavior is a reflection on me. I would be so embarrassed if any of them left crap all over, pushed and shoved other riders, decide to stop and have a cell phone conversation in the middle of another person’s lesson, or opened the arena door without announcing to a rider. It’s called RESPECT! I give it, teach it, and I expect it.
A barn is a great place to raise a child, the lessons learned last a life time and truly help form them into the great adults they could be. I don’t see where this valuable virtue is being taught to any of these students. Respect isn’t just a “Barnism”. Respect is a life lesson and common courtesy that is applicable to every facet of life from toddler to elder. What kind of person are you helping raise?