Watching my little one at the barn has been rewarding and exciting. I have had the pleasure of watching him learn with each interaction with the ponies and trip to the barn. On the most recent trip, I watched as he and another toddler friend, excitedly strolled in the barn aisles, going from stall to stall, horse to horse. I assisted as they fed treats to Grand Eloquence, my mom’s retired, off-the-track, Thoroughbred. “Flat hand. Flat hand.” I wanted to ensure that despite Elle’s docile nature, no little toddler fingers were nipped off inadvertently. As I watched them, I was reminded of “barn rules” and that 1) it is never too early to learn them, and 2) they often apply to other areas in life. While not all-inclusive and in no particular order: If you open a gate, close it. If you break something, fix it. If you borrow something (tack), return it. If you make a mess (grooming stall, wash stall, arena, etc.), clean it up. If you ride something, feed it. If something needs water, check and provide it. Do not yell or scream around animals or otherwise make loud noises to scare them. A personal favorite, if you fall off, get back on.