Thanks to Catherine at That Red Mare for this one, which I have been pondering for some time, trying to separate out the petty things from actual legitimate concerns.
What is your biggest horse related pet peeve? (Try and keep this one more about the horse itself. Things like spooking at nothing, dirty stoppers, refusing to load, etc.).
Horses with no respect for a person’s personal space. I include in that list horses who ram into you while leading them out, horses that crowd you at the gate in pasture, and horses that lunge at everyone passing by from their stalls. The mare next to Tristan haaaaaaates me, and lunges at me teeth bared almost every time I walk past her, and she managed to get her teeth on my shoulder a few weeks ago. NOT OKAY.
And secondly, what is your biggest equestrian related pet peeve? (This is less about the horse and more about the people in the industry. It can be anything from hating the aisleways in the barn not being swept, the wait times between classes, or even things like rollkur).
Let me clarify: I am at a barn that in many ways has a weirdly split personality. During the late fall, winter, and early spring, it’s sleepy and quiet. There aren’t that many boarders that ride regularly, and 9 times out of 10 I have to turn on lights when I get there and I’m the only person in the ring, because I ride after work.
Then, late spring through early fall, the barn becomes home base for the trainer again, and it’s bustling. There are a lot of people with a lot of money and very fancy horses – and I become invisible. For them, the barn is a place where they come for lessons, or keep their horses in training and visit occasionally, or come for camp, or lots of other things, but most of them temporary. The majority of them – even the ones who come for months, or regularly for years – don’t know my name.
I’m also a bit conscious that they don’t particularly want to interact with me, so perhaps I reinforce this in a way – I’m friendly, cheerful, and try to be approachable but I’m clearly not part of their group, and I don’t ever want to butt in, so. There you have it.
The barn staff is awesome. Generally I get to know the working students as well. There are a few other boarders who are around more during the summer, and there’s a local college that rides out of the barn now. I know and like all of those people. It’s that extra layer of people who have $$$ warmbloods that they send south to Florida for the winter, and – I guess I have hangups. (I’ve written about this before, in regards to our barn’s adult camp
(Oh, and people who talked to their horses in baby talk. I get cute nicknames, I get a certain change in tone, but for the love of God the cutesy faces and mincing gestures and the high-pitched squeals JUST STOP ALREADY.)