neighbor kid problems! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-21-2013, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Location: BC, Canada
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neighbor kid problems!

I have my 3 horses in a 6 acre rented field behind my house. Two of them are youngsters in training (3 and 4 yrs old). The 3 year old is recently gelded and still showing some stallion-like behavior. Several other houses on our street back onto this field. When I first moved them here I contacted all the neighbours asking them to please refrain from going in the field or feeding them over the fence (I do not hand feed them treats myself, because I do not want to encourage nipping, biting and pushiness). Recently I noticed 3 little girls from up the road riding their bikes to the end where the gate is, climbing onto the gate and calling the horses, who came RUNNING from the opposite end. This made me immediately suspicious and also worried, because the two youngsters can become pretty rowdy and my biggest worry was that these kids might be actually entering the field. The third horse is an older alpha mare who can also get pretty pushy and aggressive at feeding times. After observing this a couple of times I went out and confronted the kids, who admitted they were feeding them grass but insisted it was "okay, because they know how!" I tried to explain to them all the reasons why it wasn't okay, but these girls are about 8- 10 yrs old so it was a waste of time. They also told me that their mother cuts through the field all the time, and the horses "surround" her! I phoned the mother and left a message on her answering machine explaining my concerns (the children's safety, my liability, and the horse's training). She later left a really angry message on MY answering machine which I have not yet responded to. She said she NEVER enters the field (so her kid was lying?), and her kids do NOT feed the horses, they just "admire" them. Well, my horses don't come at a full gallop to be "admired", and I don't know of any who do! I am not sure how to deal with this situation.
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-21-2013, 07:08 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Eastern Ontario
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I would be putting an eclectic fence along the top of the gate, and posting "no trespassing" signs all over your property. The next time you see them warn them about trespassing, call their parents and if nothing changes, complain to authorities.

ETA: Not sure about where you are, but here if there are trespassing signs on your property and they get hurt somehow and want to press charges you can't be held liable because you had the signs up.

Thank you for feeding us years of lies. Thank you for the wars you left us to fight. Thank you for the world you ruined overnight. But we'll be fine, yeah we'll be fine.

Last edited by BornToRun; 09-21-2013 at 07:11 PM.
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-21-2013, 07:18 PM
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Hotwire, hotwire, hotwire. I would run it a few inches along the top and maybe even another line a few inches along the inside to keep the horses from coming in too close and to keep someone from going over the top.

How is she getting into the field to cross it? Figure out how she is and block it - hotwire, padlocks, whatever.
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* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-21-2013, 07:22 PM
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I would put up electric fencing and cameras. I agree with the signs cause if one of these children climbs into this field and one of the horses kicks or bites her you could be sued bigtime. Tell the mother that the child has told you they were feeding them grass, putting up a camera or two will catch them in the act should they do it again. Then you can show the mother the tape and hopefully she will deal with her children accordingly.
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-21-2013, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornToRun View Post
I would be putting an eclectic fence along the top of the gate, and posting "no trespassing" signs all over your property. The next time you see them warn them about trespassing, call their parents and if nothing changes, complain to authorities.

ETA: Not sure about where you are, but here if there are trespassing signs on your property and they get hurt somehow and want to press charges you can't be held liable because you had the signs up.
This is what I would do!
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-21-2013, 10:01 PM
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Yes, electric fence would probably help if you can do it. "No Trespassing," "Don't Feed Horses" and "Danger" signs are also great ideas. Record the date that you erect the signs. If you see them on your property, or interacting with the horses, take pictures and call the cops. They will visit the mother and not necessarily lay charges, but enforce the message that what is happening is wrong, illegal and dangerous.

I have a neighbour that I can't talk to at all; they get extremely defensive turning offensive and unreasonable. The last time there was a problem, the cops solved finally it on their 3rd or 4th visit to the people's house. That was at least 2 years ago, and it's been fine ever since.
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-22-2013, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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I would love to do electric, but the fence runs through some thick forest and in several areas is completely covered by blackberry vines. I can do sections of it, and I do have a small battery operated fencer so I guess I could move it around. I am somewhat limited in what I can do because I don't own the property, and it is a very long field with a gate at each end. It runs the length of our entire road (about 1/2 mile), and all the houses on this side back on to it. I imagine the mother just climbed over the fence. I also think other people have been feeding them, even though they were all asked not to. The owners of the field had an ancient old horse in there for years who was very gentle and safe (in fact he hardly ever moved!). After he died last spring they offered to rent me the field. They ALSO asked all the neighbors to stay out, but told me they dislike signs, so I guess I will just have to go and confront the mother (which I hate doing!)
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-22-2013, 11:18 AM
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Good luck (seriously). I'm glad that our small farm is surrounded by woods and fields, both without any houses and no kids anywhere near.
The last time I had to deal with a parent like that at another property, nothing worked until they finally moved.
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-22-2013, 12:10 PM
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Well, that is not an ideal situation. It doesn't sound like you have a lot of options. Good luck talking to the mother. Maybe you can do it when the kids are there as well to help keep it mellow. If it doesn't go well, then I would follow up with a registered letter explaining that their behavior is dangerous and you will not be liable if they are injured and if they hurt your horses even unintentionally, they will be liable for the costs of vet and care.

What about a notice on the community notice board about the dangers of feeding/interacting with other people's animals, to both animals and humans? You could make the sign about dogs, horses, llamas, and whatever else you can think of. Or, specifically target horses.
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-22-2013, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernMama View Post
Well, that is not an ideal situation. It doesn't sound like you have a lot of options. Good luck talking to the mother. Maybe you can do it when the kids are there as well to help keep it mellow. If it doesn't go well, then I would follow up with a registered letter explaining that their behavior is dangerous and you will not be liable if they are injured and if they hurt your horses even unintentionally, they will be liable for the costs of vet and care.

What about a notice on the community notice board about the dangers of feeding/interacting with other people's animals, to both animals and humans? You could make the sign about dogs, horses, llamas, and whatever else you can think of. Or, specifically target horses.
Talk to your animal control folks also. In many places, horses are considered "attractive nuisances", and owners can be held to a higher standard to insure children are not "attracted" to a danger that they don't understand (just like swimming pools).
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