Barn drama. We’ve all had it, and we’ve all (well most of us) have been in the middle of it. From jealousy, to broken friendships, to being irritated at the girl that’s always considered “the favorite,” it’s usually inevitable that you’ll be caught in it. Unfortunately i’ve been caught in a lot of drama in the past, and yes, I will be man enough to say that I may have caused some of it. But I was young and very immature. I’ve grown a decent amount since then, so I would like to share some advice now that I’m old and wise (Okay.. I’m only 17.. don’t take me too seriously) on how to cope and push past roadblocks with your fellow saddle club members.
- Confront the issue. Sometimes silence is worse than noise. If you have an issue with someone you need to tell them. Now, this doesn’t mean going up to a girl that you don’t get along with and saying “hey I just wanted to let you know your eq sucks and I hate you.” (PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS.) What I mean by “confronting the issue” is sharing how you feel about situation. For example, someone borrows your tack and doesn’t clean it. Instead of gossiping to your barn friends about how rude it was, confront the person saying something along the lines of “hey, I know you’re busy and it probably slipped your mind but next time you borrow my tack can you please wipe it down?” (Or.. “hey, can you not use my tack?“) Politely confronting the issue will keep the peace at the barn and keep your mind at ease.
- Talk to your trainer. This may be difficult and pretty intimidating but talking to your trainer can solve a lot of the issues, especially if you’re shy or nervous about directly confronting someone. Also, sometimes situations are bigger than your Tailored Sportsman Breeches and need to be handled through professionals. I have a well-being rule; if a horse, or person is put in danger or their well being is at stake go to your trainer. (Editor’s Note: Of course, if your trainer is causing the drama (this does happen), then refer to #1)
- Stay out of it. I have a very bad habit of letting people drag me into situations I don’t want to be involved in. If you feel yourself being put in an uncomfortable position, walk away. Don’t give negative opinions, whether you were asked. It’s really hard to tell one of your close friends to stop involving you in drama so if you feel like that’s happening look busy. Seriously! Pick up manure in the ring, brush your horse, sweep the aisle, etc. Make yourself distant to the situation so you won’t be involved.
- Coping with rude comments. Here’s where I get personal: I’ve had a lot said about me in the past, and sometimes I would feel so extremely hated that I didn’t want to ride anymore (Editor’s Note: This has happened to me, too – and probably most of us). A lot of it was lies, and a lot of it was me being myself which was too strong for some people. I will admit I was young and definitely said some stuff I shouldn’t have, but no one deserves to feel like they’re nothing. I was basically pushed out of my last barn, and it really hurt considering I spent four really awesome years there. I was heartbroken, but I picked myself up, dusted myself off, found a new barn and a new situation, and moved on. Sure there were tears and strong feelings toward people but after a while you get over it and you realize that no ones negative attitude toward you should matter.