Unfiltered Story #155566

, , , | Unfiltered | June 28, 2019

(I work as a ‘senior barn girl/junior instructor’ at a horses-as-therapy program. Often riders or their parents will bring treats for the horses, especially the horses they ride. One rider’s mother comes by with a bag of apricots. She is feeding them to a few of the horses, without taking the pits out.)

Me: Um, ma’am, I don’t think you should give those apricots to the horses.

Mother: But aren’t they the same as apples?

Me: No, apricots are more acidic. Horses can colic easily if they have too much acid in their stomach, or if a pit gets stuck in their intestine. Colicking isn’t fun for the horse or the caretakers, and horses can’t vomit up whatever’s upsetting them.

Mother: Oh, ok.

(She leaves and I go to check the chores list and check a few things off. A covolunteer and I move a few horses around and I return to the main barn, where the mother is still feeding the horses whole apricots. Legally, she is not allowed to touch the horses without a liability waiver, as horses can and will bite. Usually only the rider has the waiver filled out, as the parents like to drop their children off and go talk with other parents or go run errands during the lesson. I happen to know this woman does not have a waiver filled out, and therefore the organization risks a lawsuit if she angers a horse and gets bitten.)

Me: Ma’am, please, don’t feed the horses apricots.

Mother: (pointing to one of the instructors) But she told me I could!

Me: Ma’am, you have a lot of apricots there. Why don’t you leave them on that tack trunk there and I’ll let the volunteers know we can feed them to the horses. We typically don’t give horses too many treats when they haven’t worked yet.

Mother: (pointing to our two goats) So I can give these to them, right?

Me: I guess, but you’d want to remove the pit.

Mother: I can feed these animals my fruit however I d*** want!

Me: Goats can’t eat the pits of apricots, ma’am.

Mother: DON’T F******* TELL ME HOW TO FEED SOME S***** GOATS APRICOTS! THEY CAN TAKE THE D*** PITS OUT THEMSELVES!

Me: Ma’am, please don’t use that language. We have two small children coming soon to ride and–

Mother: F****** TAKE THE G****** APRICOTS, THEN!

(She throws the paper bag on the ground and stalks back to her car, where she sat for half an hour more until her daughter’s lesson ended. She still comes to the barn, but hasn’t brought fruit or spoken to me since.)