Sharing the arena . . .

Discussion in 'The Corral' started by Shadimac, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. Shadimac

    Shadimac New Member

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    So, for those of you who board or are barn owners and have arenas:

    What are your experiences with sharing the arena during a lesson program? Do you allow boarders to ride during the lessons? Boarders, what are your thoughts on this?
     
  2. Brilliance

    Brilliance New Member

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    I hated sharing when I boarded Hank at a barn that had lessons at it.

    There were no days that I could get the arena lesson free in the evening. It always seemed to be very green riders. At the time Hank was a young 2 yo and it was his first time being socialized with other mares and arena crazyness. Many times it was their mare being in heat and wanting to visit Hank than him wanting them, the riders were too green to know what to do if something went "bad". It was either lessons or the trainers lighting up areosol hairspray ----arab/saddlebred barn. Thankfully Hank learned to ignore all the chaos for the most part but he sure did act up a whole lot at the begining.
     

  3. flygyrl

    flygyrl New Member

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    Ack!

    When I was teaching lessons, we had to share the indoor with boarders AND other lessons. I'm talking about teaching a walk-trotter, while another training is schooling a jr rider over 3' jumps, while two or three other boarders are hacking around. In a SMALL indoor. Scary!

    As a trainer, I hated it. Now, as a boarder, I dislike it as well. I don't want to have to spend my entire ride working around you....but I prefer that to not having access to the arena at all.

    The key to this is posting rules etc in ADVANCE so conflicts don't arise during lessons/riding time.

    I would suggest that small children/beginner riders be kept on a lunge or kept to one-half of the arena so as not to accidentally cut off or run into someone else who's riding.

    Boarders should be expected to generally try and stay out of the way of a lesson.

    If multiple lessons are being taught at the same time, they should be either both flat lessons or both jumping lessons.

    If the arena is small, there should be a limit for the number of horses in the ring at one time, and if that becomes a problem, then there should be a time limit on those who are riding. Example: No more than 4 horses in arena at one time. If there is a wait to get into the arena, ride times will be limited to 30 minutes.

    How enforceable this would be, I don't know.....but this can really be a dangerous issue if no rules are in place.
     
  4. Jamik

    Jamik New Member

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    Brilliance--- Please do share about the arab/saddlebred trainers lighting up aerosal hari spray. :fluffb Sounds like it could be interesting...I've always wondered about those tactics, since I've never worked around either of those breeds.
     
  5. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    The hair spray is a new one. When I was in a position to share the arena with some saddle seat riders it was a fire extinguisher. Fun times.

    At least my horse got desensitized really quickly -- fire extinguishers, coffee cans with rocks, whips a popping didn't phase him.

    Neither did a lot of very eventful heavy traffic -- the barn in question housed every type of horse critter known to man (I don't think there were any Pasos or Standardbreds, but that was the only exception and I'm not sure there weren't any there, just don't remember any). The saddle seat horses were no more or less guilty than others (although that extinguisher did cause a liberal supply of f bombs the first time it was encountered).

    I don't really care about sharing the arena as long as everybody is on the same page with the rules of the road. Only two exceptions: young, beginner riders (I get nervous around little tots, don't want to see them hurt) and green or bad actor horses (don't want to see anyone else get hurt). If either of those are in the arena I think it's best to let them have the whole shebang and ride elsewhere or at another time. Even the tots are ok, as long as there's some way to get on the opposite end from them, and if I'd be on something I could halfway trust to not be stupid.
     
  6. Brilliance

    Brilliance New Member

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    Saw them do it with riders and halter horses . . . when the horse went by the "judge" they would spray the hairspray or other flamable and light it with one of those longer candle lighters. Intstant torch = flames plus noise= big lift, big eyes, and lotsa times big WTF from the horse and other riders. They did at least anouce "FLAME" as they were doing it. They also used the rocks in a can and plastic bag on a longe whip.

    I most worried about not knowing who was too green to handle bad things happening
     
  7. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    I think that's where the barn owner/management and the trainers make or break the situation. If you're dealing with professionals, real ones, then even a potential bedlam isn't all that unworkable. Similarly, if the place is rather half-arsed you could have relatively low traffic and it's enough to make you tear your hair out.

    Having been in both, I'd take the former over the latter (of course, wonderful professional barn/arena with low traffic is da bomb, but one can't alway get one's way all the time).
     
  8. MyTeDun

    MyTeDun Senior Member

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    Do things like this really occur in some barns? WTF are they thinking? Isn't that a perfect example of an accident waiting to happen~~
     
  9. asuits

    asuits New Member

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    I disagree. The lesson is one horse whereas the boarders are paying to keep their horse there and have use of the arena. When we had the boarding barn (we didn't have school horses) the lessons were expected to try to stay on a circle on the inside and the boarders could ride around them unless they were working on more extensive movements and then they would ride just like anyone else would. It did get to the point where we posted schedules and only 2 lessons were allowed at one time.
     
  10. Shadimac

    Shadimac New Member

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    Thanks everybody for your replies, its interesting.

    Asuits, I agree with you. The thing is, I was nearly told not to go into the arena on a few different occassions by an instructor because her kids were so green and she didn't think there was enough room. I can work around just about anything, but I don't like it when people tell me that I can't ride my horse when he is all tacked up to go. I have a very busy schedule these days, so my barn time is limited. I can handle riding around lessons as long as I'm allowed too, its not ideal, but its better than not being allowed to go in at all. If I feel I'm on unsafe territory, I have no problems walking out of the arena on my own. In both instances she let me come in, but she was very hesitant. I feel if you are allowing a group lesson of kids to trot and canter, they should be taught arena ettiquette so this is not an issue. . .
     
  11. Brilliance

    Brilliance New Member

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    Shadimac--

    The super green riders were my biggest concern. I would be working my boy in the round pen that was inside the arena and the would be doing the spooking and lessons right next to each other. It was a litteral 3 ring circus. Plus there would always be other riders going around the outside. There were several times that I pulled Hank out of the middle of it when I thought it was just too much for his baby brain. I would tie him on one end of the arena with in eye sight and just let him chill. It seemed to me like the instructors wouldnt even notice when their lesson kids were in over their heads. I too was very limited as to when I could come out to the barn. I do have to say that I havent ever had Hank spook at a thing since we were there.
     
  12. poodlelover

    poodlelover Moderator

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    We do have a calendar in the indoor with lessons posted. Kind of an unwritten rule that there's only one lesson at a time. There's also an outdoor and a jump field, so in the summer it's not much of a problem. Winter is, of course, another story.
     
  13. Shell

    Shell New Member

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    For a barn to advertise the advantages for boarders having an indoor and outdoor arena to use, they should have the right to ride in the arena anytime. It's what's included in our board cost.

    Unless a barn specifies to potential boarders that the arena is used for lessons during certain hours on certain days and boarders need to schedule their ride time before or after lessons, then at least a boarder would know if that barn is worth paying board for each month or not.

    Each boarder helps pays the barn bills.

    Someone taking a lesson pays for the instructor's time.
    Unless the instructor is the same person who pays the barn bills.
     
  14. Tbitt

    Tbitt Most beloved member of MW

    I 100% agree.

    In this case the instructor (I'm sure) is not the one who pays the bills.
    The instructor needs to be reminded that you are a boarder, and allowed to ride, she also needs to take into account that this is NOT just a lesson barn and that she has to gear her lessons accordingly.

    This place does have an outdoor - but I don't think it is lighted, too bad because this weather is still very much ride-able.......

    But, if you are having troubles being allowed to ride, you need to clarify it with the BO.

    Be strong in your convictions, let her know that you NEED to ride your guy. He is not there to just sit, that your schedule is real tight right now and it is not beneficial to feel that you are not welcomed. Especially if they are saying something AFTER you've tacked up! That is bull shit! They know you are there - that place is small enough that EVERYONE knows when someone comes and goes - let along is standing in the isle tacking up!!!
     
  15. TwistedWire

    TwistedWire Guest

    Arena ettiquette and common sense is of the utmost importance.

    If a person is getting a lesson on jumping and a boarder comes in and obviously keeps getting in the way when the rider is clearly approaching the jump, that is SOOO rude.

    As an instructor, I don't mind sharing the arena; however, if I'm giving a beginner a lesson and an advanced person is whacking away on their horse and criss-crossing right in our path while doing so, that really peeves me. Just let me have my little corner and leave me alone.

    While teaching more advanced riders, I don't mind distractions. In fact, I often ride my own horse at the same time and occasionally cross their paths to give them show pen/warm up pen type experience.
     
  16. Tbitt

    Tbitt Most beloved member of MW

    BTW


    This barn is NOT a H/J barn. No jumps to worry about.

    The lessons are normally no bigger than, what, 2-3 riders at most?

    The arena is, 50 x 90 ish. Not huge, but big enough for lessons and a boarder to ride.
     
  17. Jen

    Jen New Member

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    We have an 80 X 120 indoor that in the winter boarders share with what ever lesson is going on. We are boarding barn that has outside trainers come in to give lessons to boarders on their horses.

    The barn owner has made it clear to the trainers that boarders come first & I agree with her.
     
  18. burgie

    burgie New Member

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    Ya know Shadimac....I can think of a place you can go where they share the arena and don't whine and complain about it...

    just sayin....
     
  19. Shell

    Shell New Member

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    Where I board both horses and where I will be boarding one horse soon, each BO stated that boarders have the right to the arenas anytime during barn hours. It's the boarder's choice to ride during a lesson or not.
     
  20. Shadimac

    Shadimac New Member

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    Thanks TBitt for the backup!!! :apl

    I'm kind of picking and choosing my battles right now because there are a few other concerns that have been brought up and I don't want to be the pain in the butt boarder that can't be pleased. If it continues, I'll say something, but for now I'm going to lay low on the topic. I guess I just needed to vent a bit.

    I would use the outdoor more often but most of the time when I'm out there it is already dark out, and no I don't believe it is lit. If it is, nobody has told me about it and I can't see where it would be.

    Thanks everybody for your input!

    And Burgie, I knew you were going to say that!!!! :D