tips for moving barns

i am considering moving barns, there is lots of drama occurring at my barn currently and i’m sick of it. i do not own a horse, however i do lease one. my trainer has a terrible reputation in my area and i cannot trailer my horse to pony club events because everyone there hates my trainer. i am going to try a horse this week at a new barn that i am interested in. do you have any tips for leaving my barn and horse, telling my trainer who has a bad reputation of hating people after they leave her barn, and all the other things that play your mind when thinking of moving barns. thank you!

If your trainer truly has such a bad reputation, then why do you worry what she thinks of you after you leave?

Make sure you pay your bills and give sufficient notice. Thank your trainer for her time and leave on a good note. You can control your own behavior. You can’t control trainers response.

At your new barn, don’t go around saying how awful your old barn was or sharing the drama. That will make everyone think you are like your old trainer.


Your trainer sounds like a trainer I once had, unfortunately if they’re anything alike there’s really not a whole lot you can do to prevent her from hating you after you leave. Some trainers/barn owners, no matter how politely and up-front about you are, cannot take news of you leaving as anything less than a serious personal insult.

I’m not sure what the details of your lease are, so you’ll need to know those details before you can make an exit plan. For example, if your lease requires a 30 day notice you may need to decide if you can deal with your trainer knowing you’re going to leave for 30 days, or you may need to just pay for 30 days, leave that day, and be out the money for a month of lease.

When you do tell your trainer that you’re leaving, try not to give her room to argue with you about it. What I mean is, point blank tell her “I’m leaving on Date and I won’t be coming back or leasing Horse anymore.” And that’s it. I know it sounds pretty harsh not to be willing to answer questions but if she’s the kind of person that hates every person who’s ever left her barn ever, she’ll likely try to turn it into an argument. The best way to avoid that happening is not to rise to her bait. Don’t tell her where you’re going, don’t offer explanations as to why aside from “this isn’t working for me anymore.”

Once you leave, don’t talk about how bad your old barn is. If your trainer is as bad as you say, then trust me, once you drop her name pretty much everyone around you will know exactly why you left without you needing to say so. Explanations are not needed. Also, don’t say anything about it on social media and if you see your former barn-mates or trainer at shows and so on, be pleasant but you don’t have to be overly social. A polite “hi, how are you?” and walking away is usually best. Just leave the drama at their barn.


Lots of useful advice above. Thank your trainer for her contribution. Be gracious. If it is truthful, give an innocuous reason why you are leaving (new barn is closer to work/home, etc.)

When you move to the new barn, do not discuss how much you dislike old trainer. Take the high road. It might be hard at first, but you will be a better person for it.

I am guessing you are a minor since you mentioned pony club. Even if you are the one that give the notice to your trainer make sure one of your parents are within earshot and willing to step in if things get ugly.
If your parent normally leaves you at the barn instead of staying to watch you may want to consider having them stay for the first couple of times after you provide notice. Your parents presence is a low key way to remind the trainer that you are a minor and that bullying you won’t be tolerated. If you are not a minor I apologize for my wrong assumption.

In any event: If people ask why your are leaving just be vague. You found a different situation that will work better. You want an opportunity to ride a different horse. You have found a situation where you have better opportunities to attend pony club.


Tons of good advice given already, a few things I might add:
-don’t make leaving contingent upon finding a better situation/horse before you go. If you owned a horse and were bringing it with you, that would be one thing, but since (in this case) you are lucky enough not to have to worry about bringing your horse to a new farm, you don’t have to worry about things like a wait-list.
-be ready to leave IMMEDIATELY after telling the trainer. I’ve heard about situations where, upon telling the trainer someone was leaving, they are asked to leave immediately. Have things organized in case that happens. It’s not a professional thing to do (on their part) but doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

I hope it goes smoothly! Changing barns is never easy, I’ve only done it a few times, usually as a result of moving, but it’s tough for sure. Good luck!

Given the other thread she posted on, I suspect she will need to leave immediately upon informing her ‘trainer’. She “knows” of the trainer on the other thread, but unless her trainer has the same personality disorder (G_d forbid there are 2 trainers exactly alike in the vicinity) her trainer is the one 'discussed" in that other thread…

OP, just leave already- no need to explain yourself, and it may be less stressful for you in the end to just ‘ghost’ your ‘trainer’ ( I use quotes because, well, the other thread…)


OP’s post on the other thread went poof.

Could not agree more, fanfayre, Pokerface, Sonnysmom, and everyone else for all the great suggestions in this thread. Do have a parent with you (if, as we are guessing, you are a minor) when you tell trainer, and if you are an adult, maybe have someone with you anyway, for all the reasons talked about on this thread. Good luck. I hope you find another barn and lease situation that you can enjoy and gets you away from such a stressful, negative environment.

eta after I saw G&T’s post:

Hmm, that’s weird – the post I saw is still there. Hope OP does not get discouraged; I’m with those that suspect this is a minor in a difficult situation, not a troll or clueless person.

1 Like

thank you! i was just kind of thinking about sending an email so that i don’t cause a scene. would that be an acceptable thing to do?
edit- yes i am a minor, i drive myself to the barn, my trainer barely knows my parents so maybe it would work better if they just told her? or do you all think it would be better for me to do it?

OP I have been in your situation twice. The first time I cited reasons beyond my control ie, need full training, closer, whatever. The second time, was my goals. Both BOs were crazy. Especially the second time. I boarded at a H/J barn recommended to me by a good friend despite my eventing goals. I was new to the area. BO and trainer knew I about my goals. They still made wild accusations upon my notice. Both times I smiled, thanked them for the excellent care blah blah blah. I’m not above lying to extract my horse as calmly as possible. Give notice, cite a bulls**t reason, keep smiling, and always thank the crazies for the great care they gave Dobbin.

ETA: Just saw your post about being a minor. Have your parents there if that makes you comfortable. I am not a minor and still gave notice at the last place when my Dad was visiting. I did it in person with a written notice. With my Dad because crazy.

oh lord. so basically i just need to make up some dumb reason about how the barn is closer to my house. etc. i’d need to take my stuff out most likely before i tell her, otherwise it might disappear.

1 Like

I think in this situation (meaning, with a trainer known to be hostile to clients leaving) it is perfectly appropriate to let your parents do the communicating. Have all your stuff moved out of the barn (if you have any), say your goodbyes to your lease horse, don’t breathe a word of your leaving to anyone (not anyone), THEN let your parents call or email or however they wish to communicate, and don’t go to the current barn again.

Again, good luck finding a new barn where you can enjoy horses without all the drama ~

I’m a proponent for emails (But, only if email is a form of communication this person actually uses. Or, is this an email address you found on their website that may or may not ever be checked?) and/or your parents calling. I prefer the latter because the lease is involved, and you are a minor. Depending on what your lease contract may say, and whether you/or your parents fund this, it may be easier for your parents to discuss how the lease would proceed and/or end.

Well let’s hash this out. Where are you going to move to? And yes I have dodged crazy by smiling and giving a reason that has nothing to do with crazy lol. You are not obligated ever to give a reason for notice, but I have come to realize the crazies will want an answer so I come up with one they can’t refute.

Totally missed you lease. Roll out. No worries! Satisfy the terms of the lease and go else where.

1 Like

my lease actually just ended yesterday, so i’m no longer leasing at horse at that barn, just lessons for now. thank you all for the helpful advice! i think we will just do it by email. i have to try out a horse there. since i am no longer leasing a horse at this barn, it is acceptable for me to just take my things, most likely on a day when my trainer is at a show, and then contact her. one thing i dislike about my trainer is that she puts herself over all of her students, and whatever she wants, she gets. i will let you know who this trainer is after i move barns, just for safety reasons.

1 Like

Perfect! You have the luxury of scheduling a lesson at a barn you want to ride with, grab your stuff and go. I personally wouldn’t email. And I personally would not name names. Just quietly exit.

1 Like

that’s probably a good idea. just don’t want people getting worked up about me so called ‘trainer’

Quietly exit. If she has the reputation you say you’re fine. Be better than the “trainer” and move on without saying anything. It’s hard I know, but you do not want that type of reputation either. It was hard for me at my last barn to thank them and smile. Trust me. I also will not act like they do by speaking poorly of them, because at the end of the day, while the culture and standards were not for me, they work for some people.

1 Like

Yes, OP,
Just go, quietly exit, slip out the back, Jack, make a new plan, Stan. There are 50 ways to leave your trainer.

And Have A Great Time With Your New Barn/Trainer! :cool: