What kind of boarder are you?


7 Types of  boarders
I’ve been at enough barns that I recognize all of these personality types.

This post over at horsenation.com strikes some familiar chords. I’ve seen most of these boarders over the years and then some.

I would classify my self as an amateur in the categories listed in that article.

As someone who has boarded at a co-op barn for the past 10 years, let me add a couple of other personality types.

The Old Timer: This person might not be old in years, but they are firmly entrenched in the “we’ve always done it this way” school of horsemanship. These folks don’t want to hear that there’s a newer, better or even different way of doing something, because they know the best way to do it. In a co-op barn, this often translates to, “my way or the highway”.

The Learn as You Go : This person is the one who chooses the co-op option because it’s less expensive than full care, not because they have ever taken care of a horse. In a co-op barn, this person can be a quick study, but often time, they have a romanticized view of owning a horse that has little to do with the realities of self care. Unfortunately, these are the people who are also taking care of your horse.

The Shirker:  This is the person who rarely volunteers to do the extra job, but just does the minimum. They often underestimate the amount of time and effort required to take care of horses.

The Extra Hand: This is the opposite of the shirker, the person who has a secret desire to be a barn manager and is happy to spend the extra hours mucking stalls, picking pastures and stacking hay. These are the people who are always available to hold your horse for the farrier or help you load a new horse onto a trailer.

The Fixer: This is the person who always has a hammer in one hand and who has a solid knowledge of electric fencing, can diagnose illnesses and do basic first aid. If you’re really lucky, a barn will have a few of these, with a range of special skills. Or they may have . . .

The Horse Husband: These are the men who provide the muscle for digging post holes, the carpentry skills to re-hang stall doors or install latches, and the electrical skills to wire the fencing, and the patience to spend many hours in the mud watching their wives or SOs enjoy their horses.

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4 thoughts on “What kind of boarder are you?

  1. Maryanne S.

    And then there are the owners who faithfully pay the bills because…just why exactly?

    Too many years ago, as a late teen/young adult when I had a horse and spent every waking moment not in school or church at the barn, I also had the job of mucking 18 stalls every day in exchange for my horse’s room and board. There was a lovely horse, Lady, whose owner never, and I mean NEVER, rode or even came by to say hello and check up and make sure she was getting what she paid for. One afternoon, after about a year and a half, I came in to the barn and saw a woman patting the nose, stroking the neck of, and talking softly to one of the horses. I figured she was just a visitor coming in to look at horses as we would get from time to time and went over to ask if I could help her in any way. She said, no, that she just visiting with her horse, Lady. I then had the embarrassing job of telling her that Lady was over there across the aisle and two stalls down. She couldn’t even recognize her own horse!

    1. Liz Goldsmith

      I’d forgotten about that kind of owner! We had one at a barn I boarded at. She paid $750/month for her horse to live at a nice barn . . . and she visited him maybe once per month. It wasn’t a bad life for him, but it was puzzling. She certainly didn’t need the indoor, the xc course or the access to the trails.

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