Sigh...certainly understand the "attractive nuisance", but I agree with Buddyroo: try nice first.
I had a neighbor feed my horses - who are NOT all that accessible, pasture is set back 50' from the road and separated first by a ditch, then a 8' berm.
First time I saw her she told me she had fed them a small bale of alfalfa that had not been eaten by her son's hamster:eek:
I explained I need to know what they have eaten in case it makes one sick and asked her to stick to apples or carrots, cut up.
She took this inch and went a mile - coming to the barn (I admit, I invited her to come in) when I was not home and dumping various melange of fruits & veggies in their buckets.
I'd come home to find assorted berries, cucumbers, cabbage, melons, etc uneaten.
She even added garlic powder since she'd read that was good for you.
Made for a smelly mess in the Summer.
So I repeated the restriction and asked that she stick to commercial horse treats and not more than 3 apiece.
She's happy, I'm happy, horses are delirious.
Every guest I have out to the farm comes loaded with carrots & apples.
That I allow them to dole out sparingly under my watchful eye.
So far noone has been bitten & my horses think of humans as Pez dispensers :rolleyes:
I wasn't encouraged to tresspass or feed horses I didn't know when the owner hadn't given permission. People told me to be respectful of other people's property.
Originally Posted by Dispatcher
Me too. My mom would have laid into me good if I ever approached an animal without asking the owners permission first.
Originally Posted by SillyHorse
I enjoy teaching others about the horse world if they obey the most bare bones basics of common courtesy. Entitled people who assume that what's mine is theirs by default get a cooler reception.
And on the flip side, you have me. I just got handed a broom and told I couldn't pet any horses till I'd cleaned the barn aisle, after I had quite peskily shown up there every day for about three weeks just to SEE those beautiful heads looking over the stall doors.
Originally Posted by SillyHorse
(this ended in us buying a horse at that barn)
Sure glad it happened that way. :)
I would certainly talk to them about treat feeding and ask that they don't, make up some excuse if you have to about health issues.
My old barn I was at, there was a front paddock right by the road (granted it was a pretty quiet street) and I was in the paddock with my horses and found an apple someone had taken a bit out of and then thrown in with them, I guess thinking they were helping the horsey. In this day in age you never know what screwed up things people may try to feed horses (we had issues in dog parks in Toronto with people trying to poison dogs and some did die as a result) so I don't like any strangers feeding mine, and it is hard as I have a cute little pony lol
OK, gonna be impossible to address everyone's suggestions (which I sincerely appreciate!), so will try to narrow it all down.
A) I already have hotwire up at the top of the fence, the white tape approx. 1/2 inch wide, but it is not marked with signage. If they tried to reach over to pet/feed yesterday, I'm sure they probably got a rude surprise. And then realized not to touch the wire but reach through fence lower down...
B) I do want to be polite and encourage the little girl-- I still remember how I was as a horse-crazy kid.
C) I have a 2.5 yr old gelding that not only gets very pushy when fed treats (hence, he rarely gets them) but is still boisterous enough to try and nip to see if he can get away with it. I like the idea of the fly mask with "I bite" on it but... being a 2.5 yr old boisterous gelding means I went through at least 3 fly masks on him this year. And not just to accommodate his growing noggin.:cool:
I guess I'll just wait and see if they stop again and try to communicate with the mother instead of just waving hello. Maybe my lack of verbal communication has actually unintentionally encouraged them. Thanks again, guys! Any other suggestions much appreciated!
Why is it that people think its okay to feed horses? Most people would freak out if random people were throwing food in their yard for their dogs to eat. "Hey this ground beef is going bad, let me throw it over the fence for the neighbor's dog to eat" Really?
Is it that people do not realize that horses bite?
We have the same issues, I try not to be a b*tch, but I do have one prone to choke so I hung a sign on his paddock with his picture. I wrote "While Cooper may beg horribly for your carrot or apple his teeth do not allow him to chew them well. If you would like to give Cooper treats, he prefers Cheerios and he won't choke on them." Now all the neighbors buy Cheerios for Cooper ! I come down and see them allover the ground every night. I have also heard the kids educating other kids on Cooper's Sign. so it has turned out fine. I just have the PA Equine Liability sign up and try to teach them how to feed properly.
Sunken--I don't think a lot of people think twice about feeding dogs either.
In general, I don't think a lot of people THINK!
I had HORRIBLE trouble w/ my next door neighbors feeding my dog. Even after multiple vet bills that were most likely a result of the crap they were feeding! Finally, with a 5k vet bill in hand, I told them that the next one was on them. That STILL DIDN'T STOP IT.
I've known "city folk" who don't think anything of wandering onto property out in the country to cut down a Christmas tree, go mushroom hunting, or just go for a walk. They just. don't. think.
So it's not at all beyond the realm of reason to me to think that someone, even a well intentioned someone, wouldn't think twice about feeding a horse, a dog, whatever. THEY think they're being nice. WE think they're being asshats.
Further, even when you explain things to some of these folks, they just think you're being an overprotective jerk. Been there, done that.
That's why I'm an advocate for educating first, scare tactics second. If no one has taught them (even the adults!) that what's mine is not yours, well....someone needs to tell 'em.
I like the cheerios idea, btw. I too had a choke prone horse and worried about that sort of thing a lot.
BuddyRoo, we had a similar problem with a neighbor who would NOT STOP FEEDING our dogs some cheap, crappy dog bones that gave them really, really bad diarrhea. We talked to her and talked to her... and told her it was making the dogs sick and she just wouldn't stop. I have no idea what the hell was going through her mind when we told her that. She just said "but they WANT treats! They are so alone out in the yard!" It took us awhile to find out what was making the dogs sick, until my mom caught her red handed.
My mom finally had to buy the types of dog bones, that did NOT result in projectile poop flying across the kitchen floor and give them to her, and make sure she had a steady supply. It sucked to have to do that, and then we couldn't give them bones because SHE was giving them their daily treats. I just don't understand people!
When we had land in AZ, it was right up against the road that my horses were going to be. I was already planning on having 10' in done in hot tape fencing to keep people from walking right up to the fence. We posted "No Trespassing" signs
and had an electric gate that was locked. We moved before we did the horse set up, but boy was I planning on having it fort-knox like. Our neighbor had people driving up her driveway every day to pet the horses. She didn't care, as she was breeding and selling. I would have cared though, I don't want strangers on my property and I don't want people messing with my horses..
All of the boarding stables I've been at have had rules about feeding other people's horses. As long as you had the owner's permission, it was fine. I told people as long as they put it in her feed bin I didn't mind. She wasn't bad about treating usually, but she would occasionally get nippy.
Well, I don't know about everyone else, but when I first expressed to my mother that I wished to approach and interact with a horse that wasn't mine, there was hell to pay. She stopped dead in the aisle of the horse barn at the county fair I'd begged her to go to, turned slowly to me, and said I was no child of hers. Then she beat me around the head with her purse for being so entitled. Then I had to crawl to each little 4-H girl with her pretty pony that I'd so crassly threatened to violate with my selfish, vicious base desire to touch and feed, and beg her forgiveness. Then I had to go straight home and write a 50-page essay on the nature of private property in the founding of America.
Originally Posted by Dispatcher
The problem with us horse people is that we expect non horse/animal people to know right from wrong when it comes to horses. And they don't. So we get all huffy like "omg, common sense" when it's NOT common sense.
I would educate them first before you go shocking them.
We have had good luck with signs that advertise the electric fence. Also, you can get a sign saying not to touch or feed horses online and, I think, at Tractor Supply. I put up the please do not touch or feed the horses signs first, then I found that one industrious gelding tried to take down the signs, thus the electric wire. Hehe.
I do not think you have to be a horse person to have the common sense that trespassing and feeding other people's animals without permission is wrong.
Originally Posted by spacytracy
I do agree that educating is a great idea.
That is true, the trespassing thing is a no-brainer. I get that totally.
I guess its just the culmination of hearing things about non-horse people not knowing what to do around horses, as if EVERYONE in the world should be horse-savvy.
Haven't read all the replies, just the OP's post.
I don't allow strangers on the farm, period. My farm sign at the entrance has the farm name - followed by NO TRESSPASSING, then VISITORS by APPOINTMENT.
Make your farm sign/entrance say what is acceptable and what is not, personally, legally or otherwise.
Your farm sign must be clear. It may be abused at times, but it does protect you and your horses if some stupidhead breaches your posted warning.
I tried nice. Nice doesn't work. Hot wire works. Plus the "danger electric fence" signs.
While I'm glad that this has worked out for you, your guests, & your horses, the last thing I need is for my horses to "think of humans as Pez dispensers".
Originally Posted by 2DogsFarm
The more they'd start thinking that, the more respect would start going right out the window.
Originally Posted by gaitedincali
Me too! I was the horse and dog and cat craziest kid and I would still NEVER touch one without permission. Never.