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Rider Insider: Barn Rules

Every barn has its own set of rules. What official guidelines are in place at your farm?

July 23, 2013

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No Whining When riding in the arena, pass left shoulder to left shoulder.

If you borrow it, put it back.

Don't feed fingers to the horses.

Regardless of whether you ride at a commercial megastable or just keep a few horses in your backyard, your barn undoubtedly has a few rules. Horses can be dangerous to inexperienced humans, and humans can certainly be dangerous to horses, and many standard barn rules are in place to protect one species from the other.

Other barn guidelines are there with the aim of keeping peace between human members of the barn family. Standards for how the arenas, wash racks and tack rooms are maintained can stop disagreements before they happen.

And then, there are the list of things that should be common sense but become official just to make sure everyone remembers. No smoking in the barn area. Helmets must be worn when mounted. Don't use other people's stuff without their permission.

Beyond these standard regulations, what rules do you have at your farm—or what have you seen at other barns you've visited—that are unique, important or possibly have a good story behind them? Have you encountered any rules at other people's stables that leave you scratching your head (or running for the barn door)? Click "Submit a Comment" below to share your story. Some responses may be selected to be published in a future issue of Horse Illustrated!

Noble Equine Throughout 2013, Noble Equine will be sponsoring the Rider Insider column in Horse Illustrated with a prize for the selected featured response. If you'd like to be considered for a prize, make sure to include your contact info in the email field of the contact form (emails will not be publicly displayed.)

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Reader Comments

Annabel    Bedminster, NJ

4/5/2014 7:07:51 AM

Riding comes with a lot of responsibility and with responsibility comes rules. Rules aren't there to bring you down, they're there to help you along the way. The sign doesn't say "pick your horses feet" for no reason! In a way, rules are reminders to get back on track!

Chelsea    Danville, VT

1/21/2014 2:18:20 PM

Horses can be very dangerous, though the benefits of riding are worth it in the end. Riding and being around horses requires a few rules though. All barn rules revolve around the safety of the horse and rider, if they are both are safe, then all is usually well.

Sarah    International

12/16/2013 4:38:52 PM

1)Always wear closed-toe shoes.
2)NEVER run in the stable unless it's an emergency.
3)Cleanup after your horse.
4)Always wear a helmet when riding.
5)Put things back where you found it.
6)No screaming.
7)No tank tops.

Andrea    Shelton, WA

10/15/2013 3:29:27 PM

Please Pick...
Please pick your horses hooves as you exit the arena to leave valuable footing in the arena and out of the barn isles. Also pick poop after you ride to keep footing nice for everyone :-)

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