Wednesday, October 17, 2012

They're not fit let out on their own

Visitors staying in the converted barn are mostly delightful, but...

I have to say I worry about the common sense of some of our guests. We stipulate that the accommodation is non smoking; so most of our visitors don't smoke. If they do, they tend to smoke outside, so I put out a bucket they can use for their cigarette ends. Given our rainy climate the bucket usually has water in it. The trouble is, this seems to then extend their use to the dog's water bucket and the horse's water trough as extinguishing places. I can't believe that liquid nicotine and ash can be good for either of them. Today there is plastic picnic cutlery in the dog's bucket, too.

I have put up two notices on the stable doors that say "Please do not feed the horses." There are various reasons. One is that I've got greedy Fell ponies who are curious and will take something offered by hand which they would refuse if they met it in a bucket. They will very quickly learn that strangers offer food, and strangers' hands then become a target. I hate pushy horses who are constantly bullying for treats. Another and stronger reason is that when we have small children staying - and we frequently do - a greedy, nippy horse taught by the ignorant "feeders" would be dangerous to innocent patting, stroking hands. Yet another reason is that we had a group of smokers last year (ciggy butts in every bucket and trough) and I think they must have given one of the ponies tobacco to eat. That weekend Mr T had "the runs" something horrible for 24 hours, despite no change of diet. Townies just have no idea what is sensible to feed to a horse or how or when to feed it. And no consciousness of the dangers of their own ignorance.

This morning on mucking out I've found a paper plate in the stable. What part of "Do not feed the horses" don't they understand?

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