Cathryn at That Red Mare posted an interesting blog hop about your biggest pet peeves. I went a little overboard, so you're welcome in advance for my 10 item list about how to get along at the barn ;)
1. Pay Your Bills On Time
Seriously, just do it. It doesn't matter if the service provider is disorganized about billing, or if you know Suzie pays late without penalty. Just pay your bills on the day of service. You'll sleep better at night. The vet, farrier, barn owner, etc will probably love you based on this alone. E-Transfers work great for people not so inclined to invoice you. You get a built in record of the transaction and there's no wondering when the cheque is getting cashed.
2. Gossip If You Must
But it had better be nice. Never, ever, say anything negative about another person or horse. It doesn't matter if you hate Trainer B, or you know Boarder C is ruining their horse.Easy rules: If the person being negatively talked about isn't present, you're in the wrong. If the person is present, but didn't ask your opinion, you're still in the wrong. Counter negative chat with a positive comment or two.
3. Clean Up After Yourself
As with Tip 1, even if no one else does, please just do it. You don't need to clean up everyone else's messes, but you should pick up after yourself. Sweep up the grooming area when you're done. Put your gear away neatly. Pick up any poop your horse left in the barn or arena. Turn out lights and close doors if you're the last one there. It doesn't matter if there's staff for that, or you pay a lot for board. It's common courtesy and will be appreciated.
Be open minded. The barn might have a different system than your previous barn. They might have a rule or two that seem silly or like it maybe shouldn't apply to you. Keep quiet and give it a chance anyway. Hopefully, you chose your barn based on good recommendations, the quality of care and how happy the other horses seemed. If it's working for everyone else, it just might work for you.
5. Share Well With Others
Use good arena etiquette. If you're unsure about what is proper etiquette, research it, or ask the barn owner or another boarder. Don't use the wash stall if it's busy and you're only intending to tack up or groom. Do your laundry in a timely fashion. Don't borrow things that aren't yours, even if it's just for a minute or two. Don't give other horses treats or handle them without permission.
6. Mind Your Horse's Manners Too
No one's horse is going to be a perfect angel 100% of the time. But please, please ensure that at a minimum, can be led and handled safely. If Pony has a quirk or training hole that's going to potentially make life difficult for other boarders or staff, please make it known ahead of time so it can be managed appropriately. Ask for advice or help if you need it! No one will think less of you, or at least they'll think more highly of you than if you leave them with an unwelcome surprise!
7. Be Reliable
Show up on time for your lessons or other appointments. If you self board, be reliable about mucking out and keeping a supply of hay and grain. Lend a hand if someone needs one. Treat everyone equally and with respect.
Keep your belongings contained to your designated area. Keep track of when your horse is due for the farrier or vet. If you're going to be away for any length of time, let those that need to know, know. Keep up to date on any relevant insurance or memberships. Be sure everyone has your current contact information and an idea of what they need to do/who to contact in case of emergency, for both you and your horse.
9. Be Honest
Honesty is always a great policy. If you're happy at the barn, let them know! If you're nervous to jump over 2'6' let your coach know. If you're unhappy and wanting to move, let them know that too. Maybe they can recommend something better suited, maybe something can be changed to keep you around. You're easy to have around, and you pay your bills on time, right? ;)
10.Work At The Barn
Seriously, you'll gain a whole new appreciation for the large amount of work and very little reward involved. And you'll quickly grow to love the people that tidy up after themselves and leave concise and current feeding and care notes!