Stable Management – Stable Etiquette

Stable Etiquette – Things You Should Know

Miss Manners Says...Have you ever wondered what was the correct thing to do? Are you getting the feeling that people are looking at you funny because you have forgotten to do something that you should have done?

Well here are some fundamental etiquette rules you should follow to help get things on the right track.

 It is proper etiquette to:

  1.  Treat others as you would want to be treated.  Be courteous.  Use please and thank-you even for the most benign thing.  If you have noticed that something has been done nicely make sure that it gets noted and that the person who did it gets the recognition that they deserve.  Something as simple as, “I see that you have Queenie listed for the farrier on Wednesday.  Thank you for listing her.  It will help me remember to get a check to you,” will go a long way. 
  2. Don’t ‘borrow’ other people’s things without their permission. If you do borrow it, with their permission, leave it in good order, cleaner and put back in the same condition as you borrowed it.  E.g. If using a saddle then put the stirrups back in the holes you found them in.  After, of course, you have cleaned the saddle.
  3. Never make a negative comment about other people’s horses.  Even if they ask you your opinion.  The do not want to hear that Queenie should be pulling a plow in the back forty.  They want to hear that Queenie is a very strong looking animal with LOTS of substance (i.e. she should be pulling a plow in the back forty).  And remember if you don’t have anything nice to say just say, ‘she’s got a beautiful tail.’
  4. Replace things your horse has broken.  If you or your horse breaks something that belongs to another boarder, acknowledge that your horse broke it and replace it no questions asked.  If it is something owned by the stable, like a clip or bucket, then let the stable manager know and ask if you can replace it.  It might be that it was very old and due to be replaced anyway.  If you do want to replace it with something you want especially for your horse, you could ask if the cost could be applied to your board.  This way you get exactly what you wanted for your horse and the stable owner gets a new (insert here whatever your horse broke). Then it becomes the property of the stable. So if you leave the thing you bought stays at the stable.
  5. Pick up and put away your ‘stuff’ when you are done.  Don’t leave your stuff hanging around the stable expecting someone to clean up after you (see Number 1 above!).  Things like gloves, boots, coats, helmet and other personal items should be taken home or put neatly in a locker if one is supplied.
  6. Leave things as you find them.  If you find a gate closed and locked, leave it closed and locked. Or close it and lock it after you have gone through it. 
  7. Not feed other peoples horses without their permission.  This means treats, peppermints or carrots.  Some people do NOT want their horses to be fed and treats so please respect their wishes.
  8. Announce yourself when you enter the stable.  This is a simple ‘door’, or ‘hello’ just so the horses don’t jump out of their skin as the door opens up.

By following these simple rules it will help make sure that everyone gets along and that the stable continues to be an enjoyable place to visit.

About Laura

Laura Kelland-May is the founder of Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Development Program. She more than trains horses, she trains people to train their horses. In addition she is a Sr. Judge and can offer insight into What the Judge Is Looking For. Follow her here and get more tips.
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