The 'unpaid' Yard Manager
Having had horses for years, I have been to a fair few yards in my time. Every single yard that I have been on has a 'Yard Manager'. Now I am not talking about the person who is paid to run the yard i.e. the actual Yard Manager. I am talking about the person who 'thinks' they run the yard. Here are a few common characteristics to help you identify the 'unpaid' Yard Manager on your yard;
They know everything there is to know about horses.
Injury of illness, this person will undoubtedly be the first person on the scene to offer their advice about the problem. They will know it all and will have seen it all. No struggle will be too big or too small. Sometimes you won’t even know they are there, but as if by magic they will pop up out of nowhere and interject any conversation with some helpful advice or anecdote. And please do not dare to question their authority on the subject as this is likely to be met by six months of evil stares and a more concerted effort on their behalf to prove to all that they are the fountain of all knowledge.
· They know everything there is to know about the yard.
Whether it’s when the next hay delivery is coming or when the horses change fields, this person will be in the know. Their knowledge may even run so deep that they can tell you the size and make of every horses rug as well as where it is stored on the yard. If you are like me and you tend to keep your head down when you’re at the stables and not get to involved in the goings on, having an ‘unpaid’ yard manager around can be quite helpful if you’re not sure of anything. But most the time it can be rather annoying as the reason that they have so much knowledge is that they are constantly trying to get into your business.
· They are always there.
When you pull into the car park, you can guarantee their car will be there. They are the first ones there in the morning and the last one there at night. On our yard the ‘unpaid’ yard manager comes to the yard at 6am feeds all the horses, goes home and then comes back two hours later for no apparent reason, other than she is able to tell everyone that she is ‘always the first person at the yard in the morning’ in a I’m much more committed than everyone else tone of voice.
· They will have some sort of superiority claim.
The ‘unpaid’ yard manager is the person that drops into every conversation that they ‘used to be a professional showjumper’ or they used to work for some top rider somewhere. Often their words will carry little substance and their claim will be questionable, for example the ex-professional rider who for some reason or another cannot get onto a horse anymore.
Every yard has one, and if you’re struggling to think about who this might be on your yard, remember it could be you??