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Yard politics - any tips?

7 replies

ApplestheHare · 03/09/2020 14:18

Recently started a new share on a small yard. Unfortunately there seems to be a bit of a split between two groups. I don't want to get involved in this in any way but feel like people are wanting me to become involved if I hack out with one party or help out with another's horse. Is it realistic to think I can be kind to both parties and stay out of it? Any tips?

OP posts:
ApplestheHare · 03/09/2020 14:20

P.s. I should probably say that I've never been caught up in anything like this so I've no idea how to go forward really. It's making me wonder whether or not to stay.

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slightchill · 03/09/2020 14:29

V disappointing for you - this sort of stuff is tedious and frustrating. In your shoes I think I would just say openly to both groups "I'm not getting involved/taking sides" and plough your own furrow, but in all honesty, this sort of thing rarely improves. It's usually because the yard isn't being managed properly from the top, down, or the owner is too absent. Sorry to say but if you think the dispute is "entrenched" and things are unlikely to change for a while, then I think I would be keeping my eyes and ears open for somwhere else . Without wishing to sound over dramatic, if you are continually stressed and tense while you are there, and the atmosphere is unhappy, then your horse will pick up on it.

ApplestheHare · 03/09/2020 14:39

To be honest this is what I'm most worried about. I also have very limited time atm, and it's my escape from the pressures of work and the children. The YO and YM are involved and on one side, which is also tricky. They seem happy to say anything about anyone, even children on the yard. It's a shame as share is great, plus location and facilities are perfect. I thought maybe I could compromise on the rest but I keep getting into difficult conversations and just having to say 'Sorry, I don't know anything, I'm new and luckily everyone's been helpful'.

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RatherBeRiding · 03/09/2020 16:33

Have to agree with slightchill. Yard politics are the absolute pits and one of the reasons I now rent my own fields!!

Grey rock might be the way to go. Smile at everyone. Say as little as possible beyond "Isn't it a lovely day". Hack out on your own. Find reasons not to help anyone with their horse (citing nervousness of handling strange horses/general inexperience might be a good get out even if you're perfectly competent and confident). Find a repertoire of useful phrases to trot out "Oh I don't know anything about that"....

ApplestheHare · 04/09/2020 06:56

I might have to give grey rock a go... I'll find it hard as I usually chat to everyone but if it keeps me out of the conflict it'll be worth it. Unfortunately I've already helped with a few other horses but from both sides of the divide, so perhaps I can keep doing that without getting further involved. Help is help you'd have thought.

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thetemptationofchocolate · 04/09/2020 15:23

You can try to keep out of the quarrel but I bet sooner or later one side or another will try to drag you into it. 'I don't know' will indeed be your friend :)

maxelly · 04/09/2020 16:34

Yeah try and stay out of it is the best I can offer - I am sure some people on my yard think I'm hard of hearing thinking as I tend to offer up a 'huh?' and blank look in response to any bitchiness starting or a 'I haven't heard/seen/know anything about that' or a 'dunno' or a 'I don't know what you mean' if people try and draw me in - plus I have a super-dooper thick skin developed from having occasionally been the target of it myself Grin.

It works up to a point although I hate to see the teenagers/young girls upset by fall-outs/gossip, and it affecting their riding so I have on occasion offered some friendly words/advice to one or other parties (usually along the lines of don't get involved and focus on yourself and your horse!) - but that's as far as I'll be drawn, I would never comment on other people's riding or horses or morals or whatever it is, down that route nothing but grief lies IMO!

If you find despite your best efforts it's still going on and bothering you then the best thing you can do really is leave, hard if you like the horse but as you say riding is for fun and relaxation and you are highly unlikely to be able to get them to change...

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