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Kayella 03-11-2013 11:43 AM

Strange Visitors
I wasn't really sure where to put this, so mods can move it if they please.

Apparently, Henny gets "visits" quite often from people I don't even know. My stables are on the corner of a fairly busy road. There's no entry gate to go down the drive way, but there is to get into the stables. There's always a lot of traffic down the drive as there's a storage facility between the barn and the back pasture. Henny's paddock is right next to the drive and right next to the storage facility fence.

I've caught people on three separate occasions visiting Henny. The first was a couple with their little boy who was feeding Henny the really green grass from next to the drainage ditch. I had no problem answering their questions about him or anything. Apparently, they stop by "all the time" to visit Henny. They love him and had no idea horses could be so nice.

The second time was this Saturday when a mom and her two boys came by. They parked, walked over to him and were there for about 5 minutes to even bother asking us if they could feed or pet him. One of the boys came running up to us asking if he could feed the horses an apple. I told him he could feed mine, but not the others. They were of course disappointed because Henny doesn't like apples and wouldn't take them. So after saying bye to him they left.

The third time was yesterday right as we were going out the gate to take Henny for a walk. A man pulled up in his car with his little boy, laughing and saying his son loves Henny and they visit often. They didn't have a chance to get out and visit with him as we were literally about to walk down the road.

I trust Henny to never show aggression or bite or anything, but there are other horses at the barn in other paddocks who WILL. Granted, they visit him the most because he's the nice "baby" but I don't want them thinking that all the horses are that nice and end up getting hurt.

So my point. Do your horses get "visitors"? Do/Would you mind it? I don't really mind people visiting/petting him, but I do mind the treats. I'm worried they might feed him too much, or he might choke on them while I'm not there. He's also become a little mouthy around hands, which is not my fault as I rarely give him treats. It now makes so much sense though knowing how many people come and visit him. I just have no idea how many people come and visit him, and how they seem to think it's okay. Your opinion/advice on people visiting your horse?

MsBHavin 03-11-2013 11:51 AM

We had people stop by and feed our horses 'treats' we asked them to stop feeding the horses because you never know what people think is ok to feed horses, they didn't stop, so we placed 'no trespassing signs' that didn't work, so we put up hotwire on the outside of the fence. That took care of the problem. It's awesome that people love showing their kids horses, but they don't realize that a good horse can have a bad day and bite their kid or worse. Maybe ask that they not feed the horses unless they talk to you before they do? I'd be worried the kids would come back without the parents and try to ride your horse next. :/

Kayella 03-11-2013 11:56 AM

My colt is 10 months old. If I ever saw anyone on his back I would go ballistic. :evil:

I'm pretty limited in what I can do. I board at a facility, so I can't go adding to the fence or anything. It's a metal pipe fence as well. I could maybe put up a sign saying "Do not Feed the Horse." I also can't be there 24/7, so I have no idea when or how many people are visiting. I have no problem with them petting him, it's the treats I'm worried about. The little boy was feeding him some RICH grass which worries me the most.

Said grass pictured here. The picture is not edited, it's that green.

NdAppy 03-11-2013 12:00 PM

Honestly I wouldn't be ok with the petting or touching either. You don't know if they had been around sick horses before, if your horse is going to have an "off" day, etc.

In my personal opinion, its better to be safe than sorry. So I don't allow people to touch/feed my horses if I don't know them and aren't there to supervise. Thankfully to get to my horses people would have to go up my driveway right next to my house, so it makes it harder for random people to "pet the pwetty poneh" type thing.

NdAppy 03-11-2013 12:01 PM

Since you board I would talk to your BO and see what options you have and what can be done before you start making too many plans. They might have some good ideas as well. :-)

Kayella 03-11-2013 12:02 PM

That's a good point, ND, I didn't think about that. Anything could very easily be transferred to Henny that way.

ETA: That's also good advice. I'll definitely be having a talk with the BO to see what they think could help/what they've done in the past. :)

NdAppy 03-11-2013 12:05 PM

Keep us updated on how it goes. :D

nvr2many 03-11-2013 12:10 PM

It's hard being so good lookin!! :lol:

Kayella 03-11-2013 12:12 PM

Haha thank you! He's just so dang irresistible. :wink: Sometimes I can't help but attack him with hugs and kisses.

DraftyAiresMum 03-11-2013 12:19 PM

At my old barn, Aires got visitors all the time. He had a very centrally-located stall and he was the flashiest horse on the property (who can miss the almost 16hh loud black and white pinto with the huge head and the blaze in the exact shape of South America? Lol).

Anyway, my old BO did guided trail rides (dude string rides) and after the rides, a lot of people would wander the property and say hi to the horses. Inevitably they'd end up at Aires' stall because he loves attention and was the most noticeable horse there. This wasn't a huge deal to me as I knew he wouldn't bite and if he got tired of the attention, he'd walk to the back of his stall. Also, I wanted him used to strange people approaching him.

What I didn't like was the couple who tried to feed him coffee and tried to get my best friend to sell him to them (and they boarded there!!!).

I think if you have a problem with what's going on, you need to talk to your BO.
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