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.