There is a lethal combination on the Forest at the moment. People focused on their work, running late, or just run ragged as couriers, for example, often are, steaming their way across the Forest, with tunnel-vision and determination, and masses of visitors on holiday mode wending their way, mindlessly stopping in the middle of the road to take pictures, touching, or even feeding the ponies out of car windows; kerb crawling punters who pay with carrots and teach the ponies to solicit at the roadside for food.
Live here or love here, preferably both, people are risking the lives of the ponies through their stupid selfishness. This young woman and her boyfriend deliberately came to the Forest this morning with a bag of carrots, no doubt because they 'love' the ponies, and fed a group of them right by the road (the grey blob is a passing car, that's how close they were). She caused a brawl amongst the ponies and when she left they followed her across the road, hanging about in the carriageway and right up to her car window.
Earlier I witnesses a middle aged woman push a donkeys hind legs with her car as she attempted to make her way past it. It was standing at 90 degrees to the hedge, just browsing and not hidden in any way and yet she maintained she couldn't see it. No madam, that's because you were so close you couldn't see its legs, but its head and bottom were above the end of your bonnet.
I am sick of this, and understand more than ever why the Commoners seem to close in, shunning outsiders, in the face of any discussion, why sometimes they seem to cut off their noses to spite their faces when solutions are offered. You have to harden yourself, stick together, and endure the arrows of others if you want to be a serious commoner unlike an amateur such as me. You have to steel yourself for the inevitable loss of some of your stock, obliterated by stupidity.
Recently I was in the queue for an ice cream at Stoney Cross. I observed a young woman approach one of the ponies by the roadside. "I hope she's not going to touch that pony," I said to the woman behind me. "Its alright," she answered, "She knows all about horses, she's been to Equine College." Oh well, that's okay then.
If you truly love the ponies then don't feed them at the roadside ,and if you only love where you live then just have a bit of respect for the animals that keep it the way it is.