Every cowgirl should be aware of standard rules to follow at the barn, as they ensure safety when working with horses and guarantee a pleasant atmosphere for everyone. These rules are not always written down, but many are common sense. Here’s your chance to familiarize yourself with some barn etiquette.
- Ask before you borrow tack or grooming equipment. Actually, it’s good practice to ask before you use anything that isn’t yours.
- Clean up the grooming area. If you pick your horse’s hooves in the crossties, make sure to sweep it up. Everyone likes a tidy barn.
- If your horse poops, clean it up. Whether in the arena or barn, no one should have to pick up after your horse.
- Hang a lead rope and halter on your horse’s stall. You never know when emergency strikes and someone needs to get him out of there.
- Don’t answer your phone during lessons. Put it on silent and stay distraction-free for an hour.
- Wrap the hose when you’re done using it. It doesn’t matter if you’re filling a water bucket or giving your horse a bath, make sure it gets coiled up afterwards.
- Clean your horse’s hooves before entering the wash stall. Dirt and small stones from hooves can really clog a drain.
- End the gossip! Sometimes it can be hard to keep loose lips shut, but it’s not worth the hurt feelings.
- Give other riders space. Sometimes the arena can be tight if it’s a popular night. Be respectful and give fellow riders plenty of space when going around and next to their horse.
- Voice concerns to the barn manager, but please don’t whine to other boarders. Don’t let your frustration fester to the point of anger. If you have a worry or problem, let the manager or owner know right away.
Most horse barns are filled with horse-crazy cowgirls. While it would be nice if everyone was easy to get along with, that isn’t always the case. It’s essential to follow these simple unwritten rules. They’ll help the barn become a more respectful and considerate place.