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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a small issue that I am not sure I should let the barn owner know or not when he gets home from vacation.

I'm doing the morning feedings for my neighbor's horse boarding stable while he and his wife are away for a few days on vacation. I take lessons with his wife, and it is great there. There are only a handful of horses who eat in the morning, and a more experienced boarder feeds the rest of them in the evening when everyone gets grained (she lives 30 minutes away, I live 1/4 of a mile away, so me doing the morning is a big help).

Anyway, the barn owner owns a lot of land, and leases some of it to a hunter during hunting season. During this morning's feeding, he dragged in a deer he just got and hung it up. I said hullo as he did and then went back to mucking stalls as the horses finished their meals.

The issue is, is that after he left (drove off left, not just walking back out into the woods), I found he left the heated tack room's door wide open. I am certain all he was doing was washing his hands in the sink in there. But that door needs to be shut tightly, lest the water lines freeze and burst. All the water piping lives in that tack room, so it would be an expensive disaster if it froze. To give you an idea of how cold it is, it was 3 degrees Fahrenheit the other day (about -16 Celcius), and the door left open was the door to the outside, not the barn (unheated barn, but ambient temps are a few degrees warmer than the outside), so it would get colder even faster.

Not to mention, the barn cats took advantage of the door being open. Herding cats OUT of a warm tack room was not an easy task! But they're not allowed in there because they'll scratch stuff up and pee on things.

So should I tell on the guy? I feel so, juvenile, thinking of it that way. But I am imagining the damage that could happen. What if he'd arrived then left after I did the morning feedings, and left the door open? Unless a boarder came by to spend time with their horse, the next time someone would for certain be there would be 12 hours later. The pipes would be frozen by then.

Any words of wisdom? Or how to word things? I am a very non confrontational person, so it is very painful for me to say something negative about someone else. I don't want to cause any problems or hard feelings at all.
 

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Just mention it to him, and explain the issue if the barn owner won't be back for awhile. He probably didn't mean to leave it open, or didn't think that it was a concern.

Or, even better, mention your concerns with the barn owner and let her deal with it. It's her property that would be damaged if the door is left open, and she's the one that invited him on the property in the first place. Letting him know what the issue is may prevent it from happening again, but making a big deal of what he probably didn't even think about is probably not your place. If it keeps happening again then the barn owner may want to consider putting up signs, giving him a stern talkin' to, etc.
 

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Shouldn't be a big deal, I'm sure it was an honest mistake. A note on the door is an excellent idea, and I would mention it to either the hunter if I saw him again, or the owner. You are not saying something negative, you are doing them a favor by bringing it to their attention.
 

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Has this happened more than once? If not, I'd just leave it be...

If it has, then gently mention it to either (or both) hunter-friend and the BO. As everyone said, it was probably just an honest mistake. Albeit a potentially costly one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yea, you're right. Probably a one time mistake. If it happens again, I will say something. It would have been pretty expensive though if nobody had noticed in time, though. Apparently it has happened before during a previous winter, which is why the signs are already on the doors asking them to be closed firmly.

I guess I was just afraid if it happened early in the day and it wasn't caught, I'd have taken the blame. Before I leave, I double check that both doors to that heated tack room are tightly closed. I pull and push on both to make sure it is closed tight. I'm a little OCD, I make a couple of rounds around the barn to be sure all gates are latched and lights off. Last thing I want is a problem from when I was there!
 

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I think you should let the BO know that it happened, but not in such a way that you're 'tattling'. Don't go saying that so-and-so keeps leaving the door open and it could have gone terribly wrong if you weren't there to save the day. Just mention that you noticed he had forgotten to shut the door, and that it might be something to mention. That way you're not tattling, you're observing. The difference is all in the context.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just updating ya'll.

Everything turned out great. The BO came home a few days ago and found everything well and in order! I think he also thinks it was an accident as well, the door being left open. Since I was there, it resulted in no damage, so probably just him giving a little reminder is all that is needed.

The one thing that was a little confusing was a day before the owners got back, a new horse was in the quarantine stall when I arrived for morning feedings. Because he had hay and water, I stayed hands off other than looking at him through the stall. When I asked the BO, the horse was expected to arrive soon, just not while they were away!
 
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