irresponsible neighbors (we have visitors) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 52 Old 02-12-2012, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Angry irresponsible neighbors (we have visitors)

Right now, in my pasture, I have two older horses, a bay and a paint, both mares, that are displacing my girls who are locked in their stalls. Yesterday about noon, they showed up on my property and began pacing the fence line. This is not the first time these horses have gotten out and come to visit, but this time I was able to get my two into their stalls and get these mares into the pasture so they are not running all over the town and being in the road. They got out just about a week and half ago and the cops (bless their hearts) had to chase them all over town trying to get them secured and return them to the owners. And the paint mare was out about a month ago as well.

Well, I am starting to get pretty angry because these mares have been on my property now for over 24 hours! How do you not know your horse has been missing that long!? I have called the local cops who in turn called the local 911 center to let them know where the horses are so if anyone calls to say they are missing, they will know where to find them. I also called Animal Control and left a message (they keep bankers hours here).

I am thinking that I will charge the owners board for the time I have kept their horses, assuming they ever come to claim them. I have fed them, they have had full run of my pasture, including the round bale that I put out for my horses, and I have made sure that (for once) they were securely kept safe and out of traffic.
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post #2 of 52 Old 02-12-2012, 12:06 PM
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Well, I'd imagine someone that doesn't take care of their fence or feed their horses daily are the ones that don't realize their horses are missing.

That's not helpful at all, but geeze. Some people shouldn't own horses. Is there any type of law about horses running free so these people can be fined for improper care, or neglect?

Since this is happening frequently, there has to be something the people can do...?

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post #3 of 52 Old 02-12-2012, 12:13 PM
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Lots of people are struggling now.

Maybe, instead of charging them, offer to help them fix their fence....

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
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post #4 of 52 Old 02-12-2012, 12:28 PM
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I love that you're looking at this from a compassionate point of view.

If it was the first time I had hosted the neighbor's horses, and they had contacted me about it, I would be generous under the premise that I would like someone to do the same for me if my horses got out. And I would offer to help with the fence, also under the good neighbor/what I would like if I were in the same situation premise.

However, the second or third time? With no contact from the owners? I would feel taken advantage of. Yes, times are hard and people are struggling, but a phone call costs nothing, and a thank you costs nothing. Unless these people are extraordinarily gracious when they come to pick up their horses, I would be charging them board.
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post #5 of 52 Old 02-12-2012, 12:46 PM
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A couple miles down the road from our other farm there is a long standing remuda owned by a 89 year old man. His pasture borders the river and was constantly down from flooding. In it he has 15 mares and a breathtaking stud (now gelded) who would throw the two year old stud colts out of the pasture. So every year we had 20 or so horses come to visit ours. Total state of chaos, horses fighting through the fencing. Studs trying to get in to our mares, etc. Thankfully we have a large cattle pen with 8ft high wood walls that we could coral the horses in. Call him up and herd them back to his pasture with feed and helped him patch up his fence. A huge headache. We also had to watch out for them when riding because we would come up on them out in the woods if they were out.

Finally we helped him get help from the corps of engineers who created the flooding mess in the first place and they built him sturdy fences. There were times when I wanted to rip him a new one. He even gave us one of his two year olds to say sorry after we couldn't get him home, thanks just what I wanted, an unhandled near feral two year old stud colt! We are now great friends with the man and have free range on his other properties (over 1,000 acres).

Hopefully you can find their owners. Can you handle them, are they in decent condition? Hopefully they will offer to reimburse you for taking such good care of them. I'm surprised the police don't know where they belong if they've done this before? I'd do the neighborly thing and help them out. Hopefully they are just out of town and don't know they are missing... Some people. Sounds like they need help, or need to find them new homes.

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post #6 of 52 Old 02-12-2012, 01:03 PM
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The only way I can give the owners of the strays any benefit of doubt is that maybe they are away on holidays and have someone coming to feed and check on the horses. That someone maybe is only coming once a day and not always at the same time, so it could be 36 hours before they notice. I know, not the greatest, but a possiblity...

So, have you contacted the owners? If you don't feel comfortable contacting them, I would have asked the cops not to just notify 911, but also to attempt contact with the owners.

If the horses remain there for much longer, maybe find out if there is some kind of abandonment law -- perhaps you could turn the horses over to the SPCA so the cost (and liability??) is not borne by you?

All of this depends on the relationship you have with the neighbour of course. I know if my neighbour's horses got out, I would do absolutely nothing about it. We live on a side road and all drivers know to be on the lookout for moose and deer anyway. A horse wouldn't shock them. My neighbours are nasty, righteous folk and I am just waiting for their due to come back to them. Oh Vengeful Me.
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post #7 of 52 Old 02-12-2012, 01:27 PM
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I believe in being a good neighbor to good neighbors. My non horse owning neighbors once chased down, caught and returned my horses. But we make every effort to be good neighbors to them, they just viewed it as returning the favor.

In other situations, I have offered money, my services, brought baked goods or wine, and written thank you notes, in any case, being profusely grateful that other folks were willing to look after my animals in my absence.

The other situation is that I came home one day to find two strange horses in my spare paddock. Another neighbor had found them running loose and chased and penned them in our spare paddock and called the sheriff's department. Some hours later, the horses disappeared. No note, no knock on the door, no thank you, no apology, no nothing. Sorry, I just think that's rude, and a violation of good country manners. I would have felt obligated to introduce myself, apologize and offer to pay for any damages to lawns, reassure the property owner that the horses were vaccinated, etc. I will not be as likely to respond quickly or well if I see the same horses loose the next time.

In the OP's situation, it's tough. A lot depends on what condition the horses are in. If she charges board, she might just end up with the horses permanently. Someone who can't afford to keep their fences in good repair probably isn't a good candidate to pay expenses. I guess I'd get the sheriff's department or animal control involved and see what they have to say.
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post #8 of 52 Old 02-12-2012, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by gunslinger View Post
Lots of people are struggling now.

Maybe, instead of charging them, offer to help them fix their fence....
I agree with gunslinger
I know you are upset but maybe there is a reason for this behaviour

but how would you not know a horse is missing

Country Woman

Last edited by Country Woman; 02-12-2012 at 03:26 PM.
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post #9 of 52 Old 02-12-2012, 04:34 PM
Green Broke
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I have no clue what the owners situation is.

I know how attached all of us are to our horses and how hard this is to understand.

I'm merely suggesting that there is a possibility that your neighbors might just need a helping hand in a difficult time rather than a scolding for being terrible horse owners.

You never know a person's situation until you walk a mile in there shoes.

Do the horses appear well cared for? Healthy? Happy?

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Last edited by gunslinger; 02-12-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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post #10 of 52 Old 02-12-2012, 04:52 PM
Green Broke
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It does seem odd that their owner hasn't noticed in 24 hours.

My horse along with all the others where I board have gotten out several times. The fences are in good repair but when a horse gets a bug up it's butt to leave......

The last time, they took out a 16 foot METAL GATE! Literally ripped it off it's hinges and then since the opening side was chained shut, they trampled it to get out. No clue what possessed them, they'd been in that pasture since the end of Summer with zero issues and then all of sudden "HEY, let's escape today!!". Same exact type of gate is back up and they haven't bothered it...

Thankfully the neighbors are very nice people, they corralled everyone in the round pen with a bucket of grain and called the BO and myself to come. Very nice of him, considering he looked outside and found half a dozen horses eating his hay field.
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