What basic rules does a horse barn need?

Most equestrian riding and horse boarding facilities have basic barn rules, which may or may not be posted in a prominent spot on site. Others print their list of rules on their barn websites or in boarding or lesson contracts. 

What barn rules are most often included?

Generally, barn rules are aimed at safety (for horses and humans), common courtesy, and peaceful coexistence. Here are several commonly posted barn rules, gleaned from several sources. Not all barns choose to have all of these rules, although many of these items may merit inclusion.

  • No smoking.
  • ASTM-approved safety helmets are required for all riders (or all riders aged 18 and under).
  • Sturdy closed-toe shoes are required at the barn.
  • All riders (or their parents, if minors) must sign liability release forms.
  • Visitors must be accompanied by barn staff or horse owners.
  • Children must be adult-supervised at the barn.
  • Unleashed dogs are not allowed on the barn premises.
  • Please clean up after your horse.
  • Please clean up after yourself.
  • No drama.
  • Hand-grazing is not permitted on the barn owner’s lawn.
  • Do not leave horses unattended (except in turnout or their own stalls).
  • If you break something (or your horse does), please speak up.
  • Barn board is due on the first of the month. Every month.
  • Call out “Door!” before entering the arena.
  • No stopping or standing on the rail in the arena.
  • Out-of-control horses (on lines or under saddle) must be collected and depart the arena, while others are using it.
  • A barn-approved riding instructor/trainer must be present during jumping.
  • Do not handle, ride, lunge, medicate, feed, or offer treats to others’ horses without permission.
  • Vet calls may be placed only by horse owners and barn staff (with horse owners’ permission)
  • Only horses, barn staff, and boarders are allowed in the turnouts.
  • Heaters and lights must be turned off, if not in use.
  • Parking must not block access to horse trailers.

Additional rules may cover barn hours, horse vaccination and deworming requirements, arena usage, tack storage, guest riding policies, lesson/clinic arena priorities, and other concerns.

Of course, the big question remains:  How are these barn rules enforced?

Adapted from public domain artwork

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