Growing up on a horse farm has its perks, but making friends of the human sort is not one of them. It wasn’t until college and entering a boarding barn situation that I learned that barn time can also include things like, oh, having conversations with people.
At first socializing something of a curve ball for me- barn time was horse time, and I was in the habit of going to my inner zen place and focusing on the task at hand at the barn, not catching up on the latest news or getting pulled into barn gossip.
And then I found a barn where the people somehow spoke my language. Everyone had goals and appreciated horse time as that golden hour of getting away from the responsibilities of a working adult. But they also cared about each other, and were excellent sources of advice, a helping hand, or an eye for diagnosing that latest cut/wonky step/braid quality.
Suddenly, barn time could be socializing time as well. Sure, it’s always about riding, but hanging around and chatting became one of the bonuses to the barn- a time to be part of a tribe of people that just get it. It’s a no-judgement zone of the best kind.
I’m lucky to be in another place where I’ve found my tribe, though still regularly stay in touch with the first barn I fell in love with. Nights at the barn can extend well into the wee hours, and it’s a place where the people are as much a part of the barn as the horses.
It’s not always this way for equestrians though. What kind of horse-person are you? Is barn time sacred to just horses for you? Or is socializing a part of the enjoyment? Where do you draw the line when it comes to people versus horses at the barn? Do you see sharing a facility with others as a hindrance or a bonus?