I guess "SSS" Isn't a valid option, like with dogs harassing livestock?
See I was going to say that... but held back .
\"For all those men who say, \"Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,\" here\'s an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it\'s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.\"-
There is no room to be nice here. While the child may have a genuine interest in horses, she is showing a blatant disregard for their safety (as well as her own) as well as disrespect for you and your property.
While I think a reasonable person would indicate that any injury to her or the horses would be her fault, I could easily see her parents filing an "attractive danger" lawsuit because little snookums "just wanted to pet the pretty ponies" and ended up being attacked by "vicious animals." The sad thing is there are numerous cases in which the REAL victim (the horse owner) ended up paying for the stupidity of others (I know there have been at least a few cases like that discussed on this very forum).
And, you would have a legal snowball's chance against them if your horses were hurt.
I like the idea of photos/videos posted to a public local forum, but I would definitely get some evidence against her in case something happens.
Note: I realize that horse crazy kids sometimes lack sense and I often cringe when I hear stories about people being rude to know-nothing people who wander on to a farm to pet the ponies. However, there is a big difference between being rude to a passerby who simply wants to pet your horses (although I certainly understand the liability risk here as well and cause for concern) and a kid purposely chasing the horses around with a stick and then smarting off when you tell her to leave. I'd probably be tempted to chase the kid around with a big stick if I saw her near my horse.
When life gives you lemons. . .say &%^# you lemons! And throw those lemons back in life's face so that it will be afraid of you and won't try that crap again!
Jetsmom-no you don't SSS to kids in the pasture-just the screaming ones you can hear all the way across Walmart for your entire shopping trip (and you SSS Mom not the kid-the kids change when they get a new family that raises them responsibly).
I second the police charge idea. If you found an adult in your pasture chasing your horses with a stick you would have filed charges, and how long has this been going on without your knowledge? I like the videotape idea too, since you have lots of proof for the police, parents and if necessary the social services/school authorities when it continues later (and I bet it will). And don't go see the parents-let the police do it, since they need to explain the legal repercussions to the parents and you need to establish the legal record about this case. Also, call the police anytime you see her-if the kid lies about anything that happened when you try to take her home or follow her home you won't have a witness on your side. Is there a neighbor or someone close by you can call as a witness? or maybe ask at other local farms if they've been having the same problem? Your animals may not be the only victims of her little visits and chasing behavior, and there may be other horse owners that wonder why their animals are suddenly upset and nervous.
I don't know about the school schedules where you are but here they have a couple of months off usually and many are shipped off to visit relatives for the summer to get them out of the city (and for free day care) and run loose--the kid you see now on school vacation may disappear for a while soon but return during other holiday periods or school breaks if they are visiting, or after school if they live close by--you need to take firm action to CYA in case anything happens to the kid or more likely to your horses running through a fence or breaking something. If you doubt the possible outcome read the multiple previous threads about trespassers and pasture accidents. And put chains and locks on the gates to the road-it might be overreacting but if something awful happens you'll be asking yourself why you didn't take precautions.
It's never pleasant to involve the police but since you have an ongoing problem you need to solve it now before it escalates or before she starts bringing her little friends back to ride the horsies some afternoon or shows the other loose kids in the area about how much fun horse chasing is.
If she's just wandering around again, not chasing horses, I'd be tempted to call the police and have THEM escort her off the property and home. While you wait, video and document said obnoxious child. If she started doing something stupid, you're there but I think being met and taken out by cops might have more of an impact. Good luck!
Perhaps she has watched a bit too much Parelli on RFD TV, and that is her idea of "working ' horses with a homemade carrot stick.... Not entirely out of the line of possibility. If this was me, next time I saw her, I would ask her if she would like to come see the horses, catch one up, and talk to her and let her pet it , etc... Then walk her home so you can meet her parents,e tc....
My DIL is going through the same thing right now. Her 3 horses are in a huge field (50 + acres) with a bush in the middle. She is 8 months pregnant and checks on the horses once or twice a day. There are signs on the property, but once again, she has found halters, lead ropes, plastic bags, pop cans in the bush!
She has figured out who is responsible and has gone to the parents several times. The kids (one being her next door neighbour) have admitted they had gone to see the horses and even ride them (and the mare is no easy ride so she thinks they rode the filly and the pony). DIL has filed a report with police (no charge yet, but just to make sure they had her complaint on file). One parent has been very helpful and has grounded child, the other blew her off, hence the report to the police. Unfortunately, the pasture is not right next to her home and she has to walk quite a bit to find the horses sometimes. Now her father promised to take over the watch in the next weeks, but she is nervous.
I think it would be a different situation if she was on your property, petting the horses, and then was truly interested and polite when you came out to talk to her. Then I'd say, fine, maybe something could be worked out. But going in and waving a stick at them and then cursing at the owner? And then COMING BACK after the owner told her off? No.
I have to say I'm really disheartened by the tone of the replies to this post. You have a curious, if misdirected, young girl obviously interested in horses, and you're first reaction is to call the police on her and punish her for her curiousity. Why on earth not foster her interest - give her a constructive and meaningful way to spend her time, teach her that waving a stick at horses is not a good thing to do (something blatantly obvious to us adults, but not to a uneducated child), and you could have a great stable hand, paddock guard, tack cleaner, what have you... Assuming that a young girl would automatically know that she could injure your horses by making them run is a sad assumption to make on your part. Probably the only exposure she's had to horses in the media or books is when they're running about, not grazing - just a thought.
Of course, I'm sure your horses are valuable not only monetarily but sentimentally, so it makes sense to protect your investment. But who do you think is best suited to relay that to this little girl? A police officer who's going to scare her, a mother who's probably going to spank her or you, who could give her a genuine and lasting sense of care and respect for your horses (or all horses) and their value to you?
If she were a good kid who were genuinely just interested in horses, she wouldn't have called names and been back IN the field. I was a horse-crazy kid, too, and I knew better than to go trespassing on other people's property and handle other people's animals. She was warned not once but TWICE and that's more than fair. If she were just hanging out at the property line it would be one thing, but going in the field is way out of line and she should know better. Not even the stick-waving, just being on another person's property, period.
Not to mention that at least over here, if you don't get the police involved or tolerate the behavior at all, you can inadvertently give up your property rights, making you liable if anything happens. If it's at all similar in the UK, the OP's first duty is to protect herself, her horses, and her property. The girl needs to get out and if she wants to come learn about horses, come ask.
If she had said she was sorry and hadn't realized she was doing anything to hurt the horses I would agree with being nice to her. If she were a nice girl you might have seen her on the outside of the fence trying to give treats or pats. Then I would have invited her to come and get to know the horses.
But she yelled back, showed a blatant disregard for your property by coming back and she's a sneak. These are all warning signs. And don't think for a moment she wasn't getting a charge out of chasing the horses.
I say wait until she's in there again and then call the police and let them take her home. Sadly, I would also move the horses closer to the house for the time being, or if its option off the property all together for a while.
I have to say I'm really disheartened by the tone of the replies to this post. You have a curious, if misdirected, young girl obviously interested in horses, and you're first reaction is to call the police on her and punish her for her curiousity.
Nope, I was one of the curious kids (obsessed actually) and knew many of them. We stood at the fence and hoped the owner would notice us and let us help. If the owner noticed us, we used our best nice in hopes that some day she'd let us ride.
This is just a neighborhood urchin with no supervision. Nice definitely has a place, and sure the OP could help her- but she's not allowing it, and is going to get hurt. She needs a lesson and so do her parents.
If she wants to be nice about it, she can ask the OP if she needs any help on the farm.
Call the police, immediately! Just imagine two scenarious - you go to pastures and there is dead/injured horse or dead/injured child. Too high price for being just nice, isn't it?
I have children here, and they know - one step without my permission towards horses, and they are off forever. (Shella is the only child save riding horse on about 10 miles around here, so there are many children who just want pat her, and are ready to kill for 5 minutes on her back. I'm happy to let them have fun, but only supervised. And they all respect it, without discussions).
I have something like rescue horses, seriously woth nothing moneywise, but it doesnot mean that they are not dear to my heart and I would be ready to loose one or other just for silly child. And these children, in turn, are really dear to their mother hearts, so no, nobody can visit my horses without me supervising. Period.
Thanks folks. I'm still reading through the replies but thought I'd post an update now.
I moved the horses from the pasture they where in to one closer to the house. Glad I did because when I went back to the first pasture, all (Every. Single. Post. GRRRR) of my electirc fencing is down. I think she had help to do it, because there's a lot of posts. I'm going to have to cancel my plans for tomorrow to put them all back up.
Phoned the police again, who basically said the same as you. Get evidence, ring them if she comes back etc. Because there's no damage done, there's nothing they can do about the fencing. If she'd broken something they would have been able to act. I'm not a happy camper, needless to say.
I was talking to my lovely next door farmer too, and he thinks she's been messing with his cows too. Is it evil to wish he still had his dairy bull to scare some sense into her?