Most riders have probably – unfortunately – experienced that a bad stable atmosphere can make you almost not want to go there. Even though it rarely has anything to do with your horse. When you keep your horse in half- or full livery you can do your part to ensure a nice stable atmosphere. But of course, a great part of the responsibility lays with the stable owner.[adrotate group=”16″]
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STABLE OWNER: “IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A NICE TIME IN THE STABLE”
We asked Danish stable owner, Birgitte Sauer Nielsen to come up with her 12 best suggestions on how she tries to ensure that everybody can come and go in a pleasant atmosphere in the stable.
Birgitta owns a private stable in Aalborg in the northern part of Denmark with room for 27 horses. She has run stables for almost 30 years with her husband Ole. During that time, she has gathered a lot of experience when it comes to ensuring the good stable atmosphere indoor as well as outdoor.
For Birgitte, it has always been important to take things in stride. She finds that it helps to create a good stable atmosphere and a good unity in the stable. This way, everyone contributes to the fact that it is fun to be in the stable. And it often makes you as a horse owner want to get more involved in everything from equestrian meetings to small competitions at the stable. Therefore, a good stable environment is crucial if you want to have housing where both horses and riders thrive.
• Put a lot of effort into explaining about possible stable work. What the rules are and set aside time for new horse owners to join as an “apprentice” with an experienced owner before they take their own stable turns. This way you make sure things are done the same way always.
• Be clear about safety on site. Many stables, for example, have rules that everyone wears a riding helmet when they are on horseback. And that children under a certain age must also wear a riding helmet when handling horses from the ground.
• Clarify what comes along with “voluntary” work on site. For example, if you have cleaning days with a obligation to attend or other tasks that you are expected to take part in as a horse owner, this must be communicated to avoid misunderstandings.
• Ensure the tone of voice in the stable, and how people generally treat each other. And make sure to live up to this yourself as a stable owner.
• A good rule is to always say hello and goodbye to each other. Even if it might feel nice to just walk into the stable and be all by yourself with your horse.
• Remember to be clear about the rules for the general handling of the horses.
• Feel free to hold stable meetings every 2.-3. Month. If nothing else for the chance to look each other in the eyes and hear that everything is okay.
• Make clear rules about how you handle the horses when they are in the field.
• Be aware of the rules for using facilities such as indoor and outdoor arena.
• Have good clear terms for the stable, riding arena and the area around the stable. And be sure that everyone who comes into the stable knows the rules and understands them to the letter.
COMMUNICATION IS IMPORTANT
In general, clarity and clear guidelines are key words when you as a stable owner want to help to ensure a good stable atmosphere. Therefore, you can also avoid a lot of things in advance by having clear written rules that all homesteaders are informed about before they start entering the stable. Maybe the rules need to be adjusted along the way. But make sure that there are some basic rules that you can continuously adapt to your particular barn.
In addition, it is important that you as a stable owner get to grips with things if problems arise among the horse owners. Then you help avoid things from pilinh up. A lack of communication can create conflicts. They can often be avoided by having the stable owner take care of things in due time with a good dialogue. This can be done both in everyday things, but also by, for example, holding stable meetings. Here you get the opportunity to talk about things relating to the stable and the expectations you and the horse owners have towards each other.
The stable should be a nice place for everyone to come. A place with room for differences, but where everyone follows the rules. This way, both horse owners and the stable owner have a common responsibility to ensure that everyone – horses as well as riders – thrives in the stable. In the end this will help create the best stable atmosphere.