What Happens at the Barn…

We might not admit it, but horse people sometimes do some things at the barn that would seem pretty strange to our non-equestrian friends.


Horse people can do some things that seem very strange to those who are uninitiated to the horse world. What might seem totally normal to us (like getting up at 4 a.m. on your day off to go horse show) can be absolutely mind-blowing to those who don’t share our equine passion.

But there are some things riders do at the barn that even they won’t own up to right away. Do you do any of these things? What else do you do with your horse that might seem “odd” even to your horsey buddies?

  1. I’ve tried my horse’s cookies and sweet feed—and liked it.
    We’ve all been there. You’re at the barn longer than expected and you forgot to pack a snack. The smell of your horse’s cookies or sweet feed is just too tempting, so you sneak a little taste, only to discover it’s GOOD! Watch out, Trigger, you may have to fend off your human in order to finish your breakfast!
  2. I share my horse’s treats—after he has tried them.
    Horse slobber? Who cares! Just as some people have no problem letting their dogs lick their face, very few horse people have an issue with sharing apples and carrots with their steeds. After all, sharing is caring, right?



  1. I talk to my horse—nonstop—about the stresses in my life.
    When no one else is at the barn, I like to quietly tell my horse all my problems. I know he can’t solve them, but sometimes just talking to someone (even someone with four legs) helps me work through the options and issues that will arise from making one decision or another.
  2. I secretly go out to the arena after a jump lesson and jump the jumps.
    Nothing makes you feel like you’ve had a good lesson like going into the ring, walking up to the fences you just jumped and thinking “WOW, we did that!” then trying to jump them yourself. Added bonus if the jumps are too big or wide for you to actually jump over.
  3. I make up rap songs about my horse—ALL.THE.TIME.
    Whether it’s about how silly he is or about how he’s growing up to be SUCH a big baby horse, I love to make up little ditties and sing them to him while I am grooming. I am not saying they’re good, but they do rhyme!
  4. I douse my head with water from the hose when spraying him off after a good ride.
    At least the farm where I board has city water! The barn I rode at in college pulled water from a pond for the washrack. Which I learned after drinking directly from the hose (yuck!).
  5. When I’m late for a meeting and can’t get home to change, I’ll run my horse’s brushes through my own hair in an attempt to make it presentable.
    I am not saying it’s pretty, but at least it’s contained. If I happened to have forgotten my hair tie, I’m likely to steal one of my horse’s, as well.
  6. I secretly (or not so secretly, if I can get him to hold still long enough for pictures) like to dress up my horse in holiday-themed costumes. He may or may not have had pink sparkles on his toes at one point in time.


Christmas Costume


  1. I totally take naps in my horses stall (or in the manger in his trailer) with him in it.
    I mean come on, what are the chances he will really step on me?

Sarah Coleman is not so good at secrecy and may do all of things with other boarders present. She does, however, try to keep the silliness to a minimum when there are new boarders present.


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