Ladies on horses

Barn & Show Ring: The Top Peeves

A few weeks ago we asked our followers to share some of their biggest peeves/triggers around the barn or at horse shows. We received many exciting and very funny responses! We’ve compiled a collection of the most popular ones to share.

Kjersti H
There are so many! I’ll pick a small one – leaving common areas a mess when you are finished. Examples: Not picking up after yourself, leaving debris everywhere, leaving your halter attached to the crossties etc.

Noelle K
Riders with helmets that are too big so the bill of their helmet is pointing towards the sky or falling over their eyes. Entering the show ring with filthy boots.

Patience R
Riders arriving at the in-gate with their trainer when the ring has been held, and the rider doesn’t know their course.

Susie A
People at shows when they decide they are entitled to a parking space. When they are ready to leave, they replace their car with their golf cart. Unless you’ve paid extra for that spot, take your chances!
So irritating!

Dani A.
Taking FOREVER in common areas when they’re done and someone else needs to use it—grooming stall, wash rack, etc.

Sarah S
Riders wearing a shadbelly while the horse is unbraided. I don’t care if it’s a local show – if it’s a formal enough class to wear a shad, braid your horse.

Holly V
When people are watching on the rail, cluck at people on the course at a show. Don’t cluck unless you are my trainer!

Lisa J
Loose dogs!!!! I have a 3.5-pound Pomeranian that is never off the leash and always with me. It annoys the crap out of me that I always have to pick her up in a hurry because people just let their dogs run loose! Not to mention they urinate and defecate on everyone else’s setup.

Stacey M
The riders (of all ages but kids/teens/YAs being the worst offenders) scrolling on the phone while on their horse. This is a privilege, people! And the horses deserve our full attention while we are on them!

Leslie W
Rude people not respecting the humans that make the show run, jump crew, USEF testers, stewards, etc

Tina K.
Not calling your fences in a busy warmup ring, and not riding left to left when on the rail of the schooling area. Trainers, teach your students warm-up ring etiquette at home and set an example at the shows!

Natalie M
People who unintentionally slap their horses when their pats get over-exuberant in their excitement. Granted, our horses are huge, and our slaps probably don’t bother them that much, but it’s something my trainer instilled in me: scratches only!

Sasha S
Bare feet (on humans) or open-toed shoes around or near horses.

Barbara M
Leaving the common areas a mess for someone else to clean up their horse’s poop, mud from its feet & hair from its mane, not putting the hose back on the holder- just throwing it on the ground & the nozzle breaks

Cassie G
At shows: Trainers who act like riders without trainers are invisible (taking jumps down as you approach them in the schooling ring, cutting or not allowing you to put your number in for order of go).

Kelly S
Trainers who constantly interrupt lessons by answering phone calls and text messages. If I am paying for your time, focus on me, not your stupid phone.

Delia P
Twisted reins. Drives me absolutely bananas. I immediately poopoo the rider, even if everything else is fantastic.

Emma S
The three B’s – Boobs, Butts, & Bellybuttons.

Sarah M
Sloppy hair. It makes me grit my teeth to see hair flopping down a rider’s back or not even put into a ponytail, and is just sticking out all over the place.

Camryn L
Tall boots and bows in the pony ring make me insane! if you are old enough to wear tall boots, you are old enough to put your hair up in a helmet with a hairnet.

Nicole R
Inconsiderate riders who constantly cut others off or get in the way in general (examples include hogging the rail or blocking the warmup jumps)

Michele G
Not something new, but cut bailing twine left in the bale of hay

Julia M
Loose kids oblivious to appropriate behavior around horses. Example: the siblings who don’t ride kicking/tossing balls in the barn aisle or using the power scooter, wheelie, etc to do tricks in front of the barn or flying around spooking all the horses.

Berk L
Riders who stop just outside the in-gate for trainer critique. Please move away from the in-gate so the ring can keep moving.

Dabney B
Rogue trash like bailing twine, wind-swept cellophane wrap from pallets of bedding, oh so many zip ties, careless cigarette butts and vape cartridges, empty water bottles and perfect prep tubes, abandoned dead plants and plastic containers, etc.

Carmi R
People not communicating in any arena. It’s unsettling for both of us when out trying to ride dressage, someone takes over the entire arena and then does barrel practice right behind you without warning.

Heather C
When kids have lessons, and their helmet is ill-fitting, or the chin strap is way too loose.
That should be something trainers should be tuned into.

Laura F
Riders just standing on the rail in a tiny warm-up area and people walking side by side on the rail. How do they not notice they are in the way?

Sable H
People riding in shorts with half chaps. Makes me cringe!

Lizzy B.
Dropping the girth when it’s unhooked and letting it slam into the horse’s leg, or dropping the girth to get off a martingale for a flat class WHILE THE RIDER IS STILL IN THE IRONS!

Julie Z
Snarky ring stewards-it is your job to be traffic director of the show, and you chose to do it!

Katie C
Cross ties hung with anything but baling twine or string for a safety breakaway, Buckets that don’t have taped handle attachments, snaps facing out vs in.

Tiffany M
Riders who are being rude to their groom. Riders sitting on their horses like chairs during long waits between classes. Horses get hot, tired, thirsty, and need to urinate too! An empty ring with an open gate and a full warm-up ring, someone’s got to start the class off, if your horse is ready let’s get going!

Sommer S
Not cooling the horse out and just handing a hot horse off to the groom. I am not speaking of professionals that have to hop off one and onto another. I am talking about the people who just come out of the ring and expect the groom to cool out the horse. This sport is a partnership, how do you develop a partnership with a horse when all you do is jump around and get off?

Molly F
Another for loose dogs, if you bring your dog to the show, pay attention to it or leave it at home! They go to the bathroom everywhere, the owners never pick it up, and frequently they use areas for hand grazing as their bathroom. Yuck!

I was really surprised at how much of a nerve this post hit with riders! There were so many responses we couldn’t list them all, but we did pick the ones that multiple respondents commonly voiced. The general theme across the board has to be hands down riders who are inconsiderate to other equestrians. Let’s all make it a priority to be considerate and aware of other riders both around the barn, at the horse show, and in the ring. Teach the youngsters who ride and who don’t barn etiquette and keep your barn dog leashed or crated. Watch for a future blog post on being a good equestrian!

Have we gotten them all? Is anything missing?

Share in the comments!

You might also like:

Best Reasons Why You Should Buy a Horse – Wrong Answers Only

Riding Advice Overheard at the Ring

Equestrians’ Misadventures Using Only 6 Words

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1 comment

General bitchiness


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