If I am paying money to board my horse, I do not want to be told I cannot come out and ride at certain times or days.
The ‘Monday barn closed rule’ is ridiculous. Let’s say I am paying $500/month on board and there are 30 days in the month, that makes $16.67 a day. If the average month has four Mondays, that’s $66.68 per month I should not have to pay for. I’m not able to see an animal I legally own and I pay to be cared for and use the facilities? Not right. I think my new board bill is $433.32 for my missed Monday riding!
Now, as a barn manager or owner, I can understand wanting a day free of boarders. I mean, the horses are the easy part of the business. The people, are a headache. Even the people you like are sill “work”. But, why not take a different option. I think saying no turnout, no lessons, EVEN no stall cleaning makes sense, but to not allow paying boarders to come see their horses or to ride is wrong.
I can understand barn hours since people may be living on the horse property and barn gates need to be locked. Of course, if you have a working second or third shift boarder that is a good client you can trust, allowing that person to ride at “closed” hours should be offered. Some barn owners may object to those working graveyards coming to the barn outside of barn hours because “no one will be there.” But, even during open hours, there are times when there is no one else out at the barn, so that excuse alone doesn’t work. Easy solution: have ‘em sign an additional waiver.
I can understand wanting a day free of boarders. I mean, the horses are the easy part of the business.
Closing the barn at 5pm on weekends is another terrible barn rule. Not EVERYONE wants to ride while there are a million Saturday afternoon lessons going on. Some people do appreciate the ring to themselves. Riding isn’t a social event for everyone.
So, if you are at a barn with barn rules or barn hours that don’t make sense to you, make a stink about it, especially if you are missing out on times you would like to be at the barn. You pay good money to own a horse which means you should be able to see your horse at reasonable times.
Ride everyday and don’t let anyone stop you, especially barn hours!