catcharide

Why Do We Have Barn Drama ?

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I hate barn drama why is it that we always seem to have it at a boarding /training facility? I do not have child care drama ? Why is it when horses are involved things change ? I'm just trying to figure things out.

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I think that many horse people are stubborn, people, it is like this gene in us. Passionate. Stubborn. Brave. Ready for a challenge.

There has to be something crazy in us to make us want to force a 1000 lb animal do what we wish. When something is not to our liking..... we will discuss, it and plan and it and train as if our lives depended on it. CRAZY!

And being that there is 100 solutions for the same thing, and WE have to be the right one. Yep, we are a bunch. Never a dull moment in our lives that is for sure.

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I think a lot of it is, spoiled kids with parents who are spoiling them. Kids don't get their own way, and whine to mommy and daddy, and then all **** breaks loose. Let's face it. To board and own a horse costs money, so many kids who have horses are on the "spoiled" side.

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Scapose, that is bold statement many are spoiled. I've known many that have had to work their board off or lessons off. Also, I know ones that had mommy and daddy paying, but didn't act spoiled. I don't think has to with that at all. with horses you get a variety of people and think that is why you have the drama. You can see some drama in work environment to.

Plus it is human nature to one up the other person. Therefore, you are always going to have drama because someone is going to have the edge one up another person.

Edited by marie02

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I said many, I didn't say ALL :tongue9:

The main 3 trouble makers in the barn at work at are the spoiled rotten girls who get everything handed to them. They are ALWAYS trying to start something. And at the other barn I worked at in CT, same thing. So it may be just my limited experience, but seems to be a good theory to me!!

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Maybe it's the fumes rising from the manure? Dust from the shavings? lol

I've noticed that it's the 13-17 year old girls, and PARENTS...oh goodness some parents are absolutely terrible.

There was a big stink at the barn because the BM told a girl's parents that she needed to eat and drink something before she came to ride...this was after she refused to eat school lunches, came to the barn, and passed out. Dangerous, huh?

I also had a mother call me a horse abuser because my horse nipped me and I smacked him in the neck. She even went so far as to call 2 other trainers at the barn to tell them I "beat" the horse. Aren't parents wonderful? lol

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I love being at the barn. I love the atmosphere. Sometimes you see things that you wish you weren't there to see.

But, all in all I love the barn. Love all the diff horses.

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Yes!! It's usually the parents of the snotty ones. Snotty ones will go whine because something didn't go their way, and their totally non horsey parents will not understand it and totally blow it all up. We have like 3 of those messes brewing right now! It's really sad when the innocent kids get drug into it though. They are just there to have fun and learn.

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There is barn drama at most barns because *everyone* thinks they know *everything,* and try to force their "knowledge" (if you can call it that) on other people.

I also think a big part of the drama is jealousy, just like anything else in life. *SO* many issues (not just in the horse industry) are created by jealousy.

It is funny to stand back and watch the drama unravel, lol. Its fun to board my horses now that I'm preggo because everytime I go to check on them, someone is getting in an arguement, yelling, lol, etc. But it will be nice to bring them home in a few months. I'm glad to be out of the h/j circuit.

Also, Scapoose I think your statement in your first post about board and horses costing money and associating it with being spoiled is a bit stereotypical.

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The only barn drama i have is.

the animals all think they should be fed first before the other one..

Yep those geese can get pretty snickity....

Edited by Ann Wheeler

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We got no barn drama at mine. Everyone is pretty respectful and independant and doesn't judge each other or use each others things.

But then we don't have shared events or classes, or any things that make for a "group" either.

It always seems to me that you get drama once there is a "we" feeling- any club, association, class, work office.....you get struggles for power, hierarchy, same stuff you get when you put horses together in a herd, or dogs in a pack. Every time you add a new member, all the places get shuffled around and the dramas start up again for a while.

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Hi there...We dont have much drama in my barn except for the horses screaming about whos gets fed first lol we have a small group of boarders the smallest group we've had in along while at 10. and our prices are as low as I can go. Everyone gets along pretty well as they are all 'adults' the youngest being 18 the oldest being an adorable 65 year old man who boards 5 of his TBs. Him and my grandpa sit around on sundays and talk about thier time training race horses lol The only really fights are between my very anal mother and I (we butt heads almost every day about something having to do with the barn..but outside horses we get along pretty well lol she is very openionted and isnt afriad to voice her objections in privet of course NEVER infront of clients thank goodness!)

The barn is use to ride at had bunch of politic drama...basicly hunters vs show jumpers :rolleye0014: i tryed to stay out of it as i just trailered for lessons but i had couple friends who were right in the middle of it made for very tense lessons or just hanging around the barn..sorry for all the typos its 3 am lol

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As crazy as this might sound I think that many times barn drama is actually flowered from a good place, but sometimes a person's passion on the issue can turn it into something ugly. Most of the barn drama I have witnessed or shamefully got involved with surrounded the core of nothing more than people having different POV's. I have found there to be little influence on the drama factor when the barn is full of tweens or grown ups, 'cause lets face it - adults can be just as bad.

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I think it is because there is something about horses that brings up all the mental and emotional hangups people have...right to the surface. That's why horses seem to be something that can bring out the best in people....or the worst!!!!

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I didn't read the other replies yet so as not to skew my own thoughts. (I will in a minute)

Here are the components that are relevant.

1) Rule number one: Horse people are crazy. Rule number two: If you don't know any crazy horse people, it's you.

2) Power dynamic. BO's and Trainers are automatically in a position above the horse owners. Owners may not agree with how things are going, but because there's a horse involved as well, they fear having candid discussions with BO's and Trainers for fear that their HORSE will be affected. And by the time they're fed up, there's a lot of stuff under the surface. Tends to result in explosion or passive aggressive triangulation. There's also this general assumption that a BO or Trainer MUST know more than an owner about care, nutrition, veterinary stuff, farrier stuff....and as long as everyone defers to BO or Trainer, there's no drama. The MINUTE you want to diverge from that line of thought, it's a CHALLENGE of "authority."

3) Kids/Parents--kids and parents + horses is almost always drama. It's a lot easier just dealing with an adult only in most cases.

When I was getting ready to move my horses to Phurgus', lots of people cautioned us that we'd ruin our friendship if we did it.

We have not. Why? I honestly think it's because of two key things:

1) We have very similar ideas about what constitutes good care. I never have to worry about my horses getting too much or too little food, water, or shelter. I never have to worry about sick horses being brought in and infecting my horses. I never have to worry about watching some "boarder" horse get thin and sickly and not be seen by a vet. I never have to worry about watching my BO beat the snot out of a horse or ride roughly. I don't have to worry because we're on the same page.

2) Communication: If I do something that ticks Phurgus off, I know about. ASAP. I can apologize or tell her to stick it ASAP. But it doesn't sit there and fester. We agree to disagree on some things, but for the most part, if we just TALK about something, it's resolved and done. If she thinks my horse needs something or is sick or has any kind of problem, I know about it.

Most places I've boarded, the drama comes from differences in what constitutes quality care or poor communication/gossip.

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Wow, I love all of these ideas, I am almost ready to move back to my girlfriends ranch, where I am always alone. I enjoyed moving back to the boarding barn but I really need the barn to be "my happy place". Drama at the barn is really difficult for me.

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I've been in five different barns since I got back into horses in 2003. Three had major barn drama and two didn't. One the kids weren't part of the drama at all, it was boyfriend and girlfriend issue, she was the barn owner and even the police got involved. [shocked] The second one was an all women barn drama with with one woman working on trying to get control of the barn as in have it run her way. Didn't last long when she started kicking out anyone that wasn't jumping their horses out of the indoor arena. So the barn owner kicked her out of the barn forever. And the third was a combo mentioned the most, parents and teenage girls and competition at shows. The trainers wouldn't do anything about it and it escalated so some of us left and this wasn't the first time it has happened it that barn I just didn't know about it at the time. Current barn no drama at all. The trainer would never allow it. And now I don't have the stress I used to have at the old barn. Just love it.

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There is barn drama at most barns because *everyone* thinks they know *everything,* and try to force their "knowledge" (if you can call it that) on other people.

I also think a big part of the drama is jealousy, just like anything else in life. *SO* many issues (not just in the horse industry) are created by jealousy.

It is funny to stand back and watch the drama unravel, lol. Its fun to board my horses now that I'm preggo because everytime I go to check on them, someone is getting in an arguement, yelling, lol, etc. But it will be nice to bring them home in a few months. I'm glad to be out of the h/j circuit.

Also, Scapoose I think your statement in your first post about board and horses costing money and associating it with being spoiled is a bit stereotypical.

Yup, it is...and stereotypes exist because they are oftentimes true! If they weren't, there wouldn't be any stereotype!

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I belong to a forum that involves all kinds of animal husbandry. Most of the boards are nice and peaceful (especially the sheep), but step into the equine world and pow! Can we say high strung? It's actually been pretty mellow around there the past couple of months which means someone is about to blow, lol. Horse folks are passionate and high strung, and we do tend to get our undies in a knot when folks appear to slight us or our sport or our pony of choice.

As for in the barn itself, well, my drams is as dressagelady; who's getting fed first, and why didn't you throw that apple a bit further to the left because so and so has longer legs and can run to it faster than I can!

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This is a question I used to ask all the time when I first started boarding almost 5yrs ago,and I can tell you the main reason people start drama,and talk behind others backs is jealousy.I have found alot of horse people,mainly people who show horses always feel the need too talk BS about someone elses horse,or the riding ability of the rider is picked apart,and I used to wonder "this person bashing this horse,boards at the same barn,and seemed like they were friends with the person they are bashing,why are they saying this?"And Ive found a large % of people who start barn drama typically are kissing the BO's butt,and as low self esteem so bashing others makes them feel bigger.

Another reason Ive found for barn drama is started by the BO.I am 100% hands on with our horses,I worm them,make sure Im there to hold them for the vet/ferrier,and pretty much go see our horses every day,and Ive noticed that when a boarded comes out pretty much daily the BO gets pissy,and will start drama hoping it will keep them from coming out daily.When boarders go out daily they see everything like dry water buckets in the summer,horses being stalled 24/7,and other daily care not being done.Ive boarded where this has happened to me,and I never said anything at first I figured the BO is either sick,something has kept her from her daily horse care,me and my daughter would just simply clean out our horses stalls,turn them out,water them,and forget it.Life happens and sometimes we all need short cuts,it was only after this went on for months I said something,after I asked the BO is something wrong like illness or something,because Ive been doing all our chores and paying you money for doing it for the past 2months,and if something is physically wrong we are more than happy too help out,but she said she hates winter(so do i),and walking from the house tot he barn wasnt something she wanted to do.After this discussion things never improved,so we moved.

Everyone thinks their horse is the greatest,and the best ever,but some people go over the line when they pretty much tell you your horse is worthless for ignorant reasons.I think every horse Ive ever spent time with is wonderful,and I would never tell anyone their horse is worthless even if I thought it,Id never tell someone this,its hurtful to me and my daughter so I wouldnt want to hurt someone like this.

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Some of the drama that I am used to in barns stems from the fact that no one can keep thier noses out of every one esles business.

Take for instance the last barn my mare was at. I try to just get along with everyone. That is not to say that I won't speak up if I see some one abusing a horse...but it has to be abuse, not a slap on tyhe neck for biting:) There was a guy who had a mare that he bred, he rode her hard almost every day right up to the day she foaled. I did not agree with this but this was his culture, his horse. Many people came up to me and voiced thier concerns, like I was going to be the one to say something to this guy! All I ever said to him was that he had a nice mare, which he did. He fed her properly. She di have some trouble foaling as the umbilical cord did not break. Other than that she was fine, foal was fine. I kid you not that at least 5 boarders jumped in when this mare foaled, people that had never been around a mare foaling before, which probubaly caused this mare to freak and not take care of her foal like may have if all these people hadn't jumped in to help her! She was a maiden BTW. When I arrived at the barn I was apalled! All I could do is walk up to the BO house, knock on his door and tell him what was going on and to call the horse owner!

Barns = Drama. There is just no pat answer as to why. I have never been in a barn that doesn't have the "trouble maker", the "drama queen" or the "know it all". I know there are some out there that do not have these problems, but even when I boardered some horse, I got the drama. Of course the drama person was asked to leave and then everything settled back down!

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Being single, I have to say, I think god did put me in the boarding situation so I would not sit home and be depressed. There is alot of good in boarding.

People around that know and love horses. Sometimes they even trail ride with you. It helps you grow as a person as well as a rider. I have been challenged being around other riders. I am learning to keep my mouth shut.

If I come in and see something needs doing, i do it and dont complain. I am sure my horses would be better cared for if I was in my own home. But when something goes wrong, someone mentions it and helps you come up with a care plan. I also diont have to be there everyday. The BO feeds, waters and cleans the stalls.

The Barn owner is pretty good about avoiding drama crap.

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At ours it's mostly people that don't come out to feed their horse, then the horse crowds the gate, then hurts someone elses horse, etc. Not to many spoiled kids, though there are more now than before the (college) semester started.

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It's not just horse people that are crazy, it's people in general.

1 out of every 4 people is crazy. Look around at your 3 best friends. If one of them isn't crazy, it's you. (I'm lucky, all 3 of my best friends are crazy).

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There could be drama at our stable but I refuse to get involved. I try very hard not to be around when the liveries show up. It's easy as they usually come in the late afternoon and I stay away. It's very obvious to me that both of them (first time owners) have the potential to start a drama and have tried but no one is taking the bait. Kind of "their horse, their way" attitude as far as I am concerned. Luckily the BO and I are on the same sheet of music.

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You know, that's a curious question. I actually just had to leave my barn because of the drama. The BO felt peculiarly threatened by my presence, it was apparent to me in her body language, critical comments, angry outbursts and general demeanor towards other owners if they engaged me at any level.

The funny thing was... I'm no threat... I'm not competitive, just want to mess with my horse, laugh a lot, get silly with the kids, and in general have sufferred tremendous personal loss to the point that my time with my horse is strictly a time to relax, enjoy and sometimes cry if noone else is around.

I've grown up with horses, showed western riding/pleasure, gaming, then received training in english equitation and jumping at the college level. I've had an enormous opportunity to work with many trainers/breeds throughout the unitied states. I currently have a 3 yr old that I've trained myself with excellent results. He does great on the trail and in shows and is safe and trustworthy. I will teach my granddaughter to ride on him when she is old enouth. However, I totally understand that there are many styles of training a horse, much to be gained from all disciplines, and I happily incorporate many methods to find what works best for me. I've helped a few of the kids at the barn overcome a few issues with their ponies, and these kids have endeared themselves to me with their success and graciousness (as have their parents).

I can only surmise that the BO was incredibly insecure. I still don't quite get it but, hey, I didn't break it... don't have the energy to try and fix it. I need peace in my heart, so... i finally left, landed in another closeby stables where the people seem genuine and friendly, sit around and gab horses (some of them make thousands of dollars a year competing, some of them can only yet walk/trot) and there are no obvious insinuations of superiority or insecurity. We encourage each other, share a soda, (or a beer if it's late evening adults) and enjoy the wonderful world that is horses.

My advice would be, head on down the road. I've boarded, worked, trained, showed at a lot of different stables in the south, west and now northwest, and though some have certainly seen the little dramas come up, most have been happy, healthy, fun environments to learn and have genuine comraderie. And after all, isn't that what it's all about?...

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