Is It My Job?

I have 3 of my own horses and one boarder on my farm. Owner is 21 and i have known her for years.

We use the same trainer. Trainer comes to my farm as I have an indoor arena.

Its been 2 months now since boarder arrived. My lesson has been, thus far, before hers so i drag and set jumps. One time hers was before mine but since i was having a lesson too i set the jumps. She ended up canceling so we never talked about the issue of who sets jumps when.

My jumper is temporarily out of commission so i wont be having a lesson tomorrow, but she will. I will remove the poles ive been using for rehab with my horse and i will drag so she has a nice arena to work in.

Its worked out to her advantage thus far not having to set jumps and thats perfectly fine with me because ultimately im setting them for myself. As im not jumping at the moment i wouldnt be setting jumps tomorrow. I believe that if she wants to jump tomorrow then she could get here a few minutes early and set the jumps.

Before she moved in i made it very clear to her and her parents that this is my home and not a typical boarding facility. Things are casual and calm, safe and sane. They are good people and we are good people. I take excellent care of both her and her horse, but i think its ok to draw the line at setting up her jumps for her.

Trainer has been coming here for 5 years. I have always had the arena ready and have been mounted and walking to loosen up so when she arrives we are ready to work.

What say you?


I would say you should remind her you won’t be setting jumps, and ask her if she feels comfortable setting them herself. It’s only fair to remind her when things are changing. It’s kind of passive aggressive to not give her the opportunity.

Some of us have arthritis and some of us might not feel comfortable getting the distance right, and if the latter then she may really need you to walk her through it. She may also feel she isn’t allowed to mess with jumps herself depending on past experience. Do you trust her to set jumps without creating a death trap?

But at least give her a heads up. “just a reminder I’m not doing a lesson tomorrow so you will need to set your own jumps. I’m harrowing at 10 am so you can set any time after that. Any questions shoot me a text.”


At any point did anyone say you were supposed to?


I agree with letting her to know beforehand, so she can turn up earlier.


It is your home, your arena, what is the problem? Simply give her a heads-up that if she wants to jump then she will have to arrive early enough to set them up.


In my experience, it’s usually the trainer giving the lesson who sets jumps, so that they are designed to accomplish the goal of the day’s lesson. Not the barn owner, although often the trainer and barn owner are the same person.


I agree that you should just let her know you’re not setting jumps, so she should arrive early enough to do so. Don’t ask if she’s comfortable doing it. If she’s not, she can discuss that with the trainer. In my world, if you don’t know how to set jumps, you don’t get to use them.


[quote=“Weezer, post:7, topic:781347, full:true”]. In my world, if you don’t know how to set jumps, you don’t get to use them.

That’s harsh! Most people learn to jump before they learn to set jumps.

I don’t jump, but here the trainer always sets jumps, with help maybe, but she does placements. Everyone pitches in to clear, if not needed for another lesson.


Let her know, but don’t set them. There’s a million online resources for ideas, and they often have measurements. Trainer can tweak when they get there.

My BO and I have a deal where she sets them up (I work and lessons are often Saturday mornings, so it’s hard for me to help with the up part), and then I take them down Sunday. If I can help put them up, I do that, too! Teamwork is where it’s at.


A simple text: “Just a reminder I’m not riding tomorrow. I moved the poles and jumps to drag the ring, feel free to set them however you need for your lesson.”

I was that 21 year old in a casual arrangement boarding at someone’s home. The barn owner and myself ended up having a huge falling out after a couple years. Had there been a better line of communication, I don’t think that would have happened.


Unless she has openly disagreed with you about setting jumps, I don’t really see any issue here. A polite reminder is totally reasonable.


“Hey boarder. Just a reminder that I’m not riding this week so I won’t be setting jumps pre lesson. You or the trainer are welcome to come early to do so. I’ll have the footing dragged and ready for you to set up. Have a great lesson.”

No you don’t have to set them but wow it’s passive aggressive to be a little ticked in advance before any issue arises and not not give her a friendly reminder that the usual order of events won’t be happening this week. Why look to cause an issue when a polite reminder would solve that problem.


That’s interesting. Before I learned how to jump, I was taught to set cross rail courses. We set them with the coach so we learned how to pace out distances. Then we moved up to jumps. When I taught riding at summer camps I took the same approach. When taking jumping lessons myself, I was always prepared to set the jumps if they weren’t already up, although the coach often set them according to the lesson plan, as someone else mentioned here. I guess it’s all about how you were introduced to jumping.

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You’re really making a mountain out of a molehill, supposing your boarder will be mad if jumps aren’t set.
Maybe she will, maybe she won’t, maybe trainer will set jumps…
Agree, a Heads Up to both would be nice.

For reference, there’s an old joke my Mom told:
Guy is driving waaaay out in the country & has a flat tire.
He looks in his trunk, no jack.
Way in the distance he sees the lights of a farm house & decides to walk there & ask if he can borrow a jack.
As he’s walking, he thinks it might be polite to offer to pay for the use of the jack.
“I’ll give him $5” he decides.
He keeps walking, thinks Farmer might want $10 for the jack.
Still walking, he thinks that’s kind of high for the use of a simple jack.
As he gets closer to the house, he thinks maybe Farmer will want $20.
That’s really a lot to expect he thinks.
Finally reaches the house, knocks on the door, Farmer answers…
“Keep your #$!* jack!” He yells at the farmer & stalks off.


Exactly. The confrontational nature of this post is bizarre, especially given that it’s a 21-year-old young adult we’re talking about here.


Okay glad I wasn’t the only one. I even re-read trying to see if I kept missing where the expectation was made clear in the OP, hence why I finally asked if anyone else had asked her to set jumps. Color me confused.

Also I’ve been jumping for most of my life, but I still use a book or online reference for distance; doesn’t help my normal rides swapped between horses and mediums on the regular. The boarder should be able to do the same if she comes early, or the trainer should be able to set them quickly and easily. Dragging is the time-consuming part, imo.


You have trained her to expect that you set the jumps. You could send an mail telling her that you won’t be having a lesson, and she’ll have to set the jumps. Leave a copy of the Pony Club Manual of Horsemanship for reference, and she has had an educational experience. (How people treat you, is largely a result of the way you treat them. Don’t create a nasty boarder.)


Mountain out of mole hill, unless there is something about the owner- boarder relationship not being shared.

Just say " meet me at x o’clock tomorrow and I will work with you setting up your lesson jumps before you start to get tacked up. "

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I keep looking for where the boarder was put out for being told you aren’t riding.

This is so freaking weird of you, OP. Just call or text her ( iow however you normally communicate with her) to just tell her you’re dragging but not setting jumps since you’re not riding.

Why are you working yourself up over literally nothing?


And passive aggressively leaving a copy of the Pony Club manual isn’t going to create a nasty boarder?!?

OP hasn’t “trained” the boarder in any way. All she needs to do is say, “hey, the jumps aren’t set up, so if you want them, set them up.”