My horse is boarded at a wonderful barn. I've ridden horses at many different types of barns, from the smallest to the biggest. This also means I've seen a wide array of rules and suggestions at barns, allowing me to pick out what I believe to be the best!
- Clean up in the cross-ties.
One of the biggest pet-peeves of barn workers is having to clean up after other people's cross tie mess. This includes dirt, poop, and dear lord please clean up after clipping. Take the two minutes: it's easy, and having the barn workers on your side is a major plus!
Beau hanging out in the cross-ties
- Use breakaway halters in turnout.
Not only are they safer than nylon or rope halters, breakaway halters (full leather, leather tabs or crownpieces) allow you to keep a halter on in the field which makes turnout and bring in much easier. (There are a lot of opinions on this, but this is what I find works)
Tiny sporting her leather halter
- Clean up messes in the arena.
Seriously, not cool to leave poop in the arena. Clean it up after your ride.
One of our arenas
- Wear a helmet.
This is a safety issue. Plenty of barns, mine included, don't require it, but it is much safer for you and if you were to fall in an empty arena, there is a much higher chance you will stay conscious and be able to get help. #mindyourmelon
See? Helmets are cool!
- Offer to help.
This is the most important tip. Your barn manager and the barn workers will be much nicer to you if you just offer to clean your own horse's stall or water buckets one day.
Sweeping/Organizing Tack Rooms are great (with permission!)
All of these tips will help you gain a better connection with the barn staff. These people feed, water, and take care of your horse. They are the first people to see if your horse is off, injured, or otherwise needs attention. You want them to like you.
So make friends, smile, and have fun!