Like most of you I spent more time than I would like to admit reading every post of kookicat's "Child in my pasture" thread where a 12 girl was terrarorizing kookicats horses and turned into a huge ordeal. I was wondering if anyone has had an issue like this?
I co-manage a trail riding barn in maryland and I had some field shinnanigans too. At my barn two summers ago some horses were coming in to the barn in is morning with braided manes. It was pretty bizarre. And a few times when I wouldnt get out to check on my horse until the evening, some of the horses in the field had sweaty marks on their backs. Our paddock backs up to a development and we thought maybe someone was sneaking into the field in the evening and were messing with our horses. I was pretty upset to say the least. So a friend and I stayed late one night and hid in one of the run in sheds. After 40mins of waiting we saw two girls who looked about 12 or 13 years old look around then duck under the fence. Once they started towards the horses I stepped out of the run in and yelled, "What do you think you're doing in here?!" The girls wheeled around and took off back towards the development. We posted a few security camera in use sign (even though we didnt) and no tresspasing. We keep a look out but havent seen any evidence of them coming back.
Anyone else have a story like this?
He knows when you're happy
He knows when you're comfortable
He knows when you're confident
And he always knows when you have carrots.
A canter is a cure for every evil. ~Benjamin Disraeli
In riding a horse we borrow freedom. ~Helen Thomson
Well I have a neighbor who lets there kids come in my field all the time and feed and pet my horses. One day I had one of them trying to climb up on my mini. She is barely 2 (the mini) and about 30 in.!!! I was ticked. My fence doesnt even boreder their land! I had spoken to their mother a million times but it didnt work. Luckily they moved!
Okay now keep in mind I have a half mile long driveway and 5 acres of my land isnt fenced going down the drive before you get to where my horses are kept. Well two teenage girls thought it would be fun to drive about .3 miles down my drive to feed my horses! I have two senior horses and one is allegic to what seems to be everything now-a-days and the other is just old and shouldnt have a lot of stuff so I scream at them and they hope in their car in leave. Later that night my 21 yr old mare colics and I have to call the vet. I was pissed and I still have no clue what they ate!
~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor
I'm in a neighborhood (luckily a nice one) and have sort of made it a point to be on very friendly terms with all my neighbors and educate the parents about the danger of small children around horses. So far I've been very lucky, no problems.
FWIW... to the OP... Good idea on the surveillance signs, but if I had girls sneaking in to braid manes, I think I'd probably offer them riding lessons in exchange for barn work. That way you get to supervise activities and encourage a healthy activity safely, as well as build some good relations with the girls. I was offered that opportunity as a horse crazy kid with no money and am always willing to pay it forward.
Last year we had a mare (within a herd of 16 horses) come in with ACID BURNS on her face !!!! Our vet came out and verified that's what it was, and we treated accordingly. There was an actual splash pattern where somebody threw it at her ... Thank God it missed her eyes !!!!!!!!!!!!! . The person had to enter the pasture through four lines of electric high tensile ... the gate is locked at night. Hope they got knocked on their butt for their evil troubles ! Sheriff's department came out and investigated and asked around at a lot of the neighbor's places ... they're pretty sure they came across the individual and made sure to scare the bejeebers out of him (all they could do since they had no evidence).
Last edited by TinkerBells; Jan. 12, 2009 at 03:05 PM.
Reason: added text / corrected typo
When my stallion was boarded out for the winter at a place with an indoor a couple years ago I had problems with kids being allowed to handle him by the BO for turnout and such. He was a very well behaved stallion....but a stallion under the age of 5 none the less. A lot of kids worked at the barn for board and lessons as happens a lot.....but for a BO to allow then to handle a stallion is not at all the same as bringing in the mares and geldings. We had a discussion about that.No one ever did get hurt but I am not so sure things really changed when I was not there looking either. Sigh. We moved out of that barn for a number of reasons....but it was tough as it was pretty much the only indoor in the area that would take a stallion at all. The rest of them are used to the rules now and are good about only feeding them treats if they come and ask first/I accompany them to keep an eye on things.
For at home disasters on the minor end we have had neighbors that initially tried to feed the horses treats at the fence. On the whole it was innocently meant and just apples and carrots.....but there is always the bite risk since at least one ungelded "man" has been on the property since about 2003 here. There WAS one eedjit that was tossing them grass clippings, corn husks, watermelon rinds......you name it.Thank God they moved out of state...that neighbor was a drug addict and alcoholic so not exactly easy to reason with.
The only really bad thing we had happen was last summer: had two incidents of horses coming in lathered in sweat and two (one each time.....) had a BB inb them.....one in the neck and one in her side. We called the police who came around and talked to all the neighbors. No one of course saw anything. BUT one neighbor came over after the police left and said that the 2 teenage boys around the corner had been in trouble with the business next door to them for some property damage.....so his bet was on them. FWIW after the police visit the incidents DID stop..........thank God before someone lost an eye.
When I was sharing a farm with someone a few years back we started having problems with our horses getting out. They would be out along the road and the gates wide open. When it happened the first time we thought it was our fault, that we had been absent-minded. And being so bothered by that we were extra careful and double checking the gates only to have the horses get out again. It was especially disturbing as this was a mare and foal group.
One day while I am there a man walks right up onto the property, opens the main entrance gate, walks right past me like I'm not there and then walks up to the pasture and opens that gate and goes inside where he proceeds to walk right up to the horses. I'm like WTF? Totally bewildered by the wierdness of it I go up to him and say "Can I help you?" He tells me "I like to come here and pet the horsies." By his mannerisms and language I figure out he is mentally disabled. I do engage him in conversation and he tells me that he comes EVERYDAY to pet "the horsies." Holy Crap! No wonder the horses have been getting out. After talking to him for awhile I realize that he is not going to understand me telling him why he cannot be coming onto the property and petting the horsies (LIABILITY for one, sheesh). Ultimately I tell him that he cannot come over any more because my mommy will get very mad at me and that we will both get in trouble if he comes back. He gets the message and leaves. And you can see he still never thinks to close a gate behind him. I never did see evidence of him returning. Being a grown man (probably being in his late 30's) who nonchalantly walked around doing things like this didn't raise the neighbors' eyebrows. He acted like he was supposed to be there and so they thought he was. I put the word out that nobody was supposed to be on the property unless we told the neighbors otherwise.
My horses live out in the country so this isn't much of a problem around here thankfully...and I live in Texas...
However, I am NOT sorry to say that if this was happening on MY land - those kids would have heard some warning shots before my dogs/husband tracked them down, found out where they lived, and sued them and their parents for trespassing and any other legal claim I could make stick.
I am VERY protective of my animals and this would make me see red. I don't CARE if they are young Twilight-twitterpated girls wanting to braid my horse's tail.
Most friendships in the horse world are just an opinion away from doom.
This is why, when I eventually build my dream farm, the grand prix field will go next to the road, then the outdoor sand ring, then the barn, and all the pastures will be in the back, separated from the road by multiple gates on the driveway.
And my apartment will be above the barn with full views to both sides.
I have never (to my knowledge) had this happen, fortunately. I would be pretty upset if it did. A neighbor kid respectfully asking if they can come over and pet my horses is one thing; someone traipsing on my property and feeding, petting or worse is quite another!
I saw the angel in the marble and I set him free. - Michaelangelo
Our co-op just bought a small piece of property (building a new barn - oh joy!) and we were doing the final walk-through before the closing, when I looked out in the back pasture, and saw two girls just TEARING around the field on their horses. Apparently since the place has been deserted for a few months, they are using the field (behind a closed gate, although we just bought a lock) as a racetrack!
At least the house is up front and the pastures are in the back.
One of the most surreal experiences of my life was at Equitana, where we brought some Friesian stallions for the Mane Event. One of the stallions was brought into the exhibition hall to meet and greet people. We would take groups into his stall and allow them to pet him.
Due to an oversight, his crew accidentally left him alone for a few minutes. When I came back, there was a woman in his stall surrounded by about 10 people. I'm slow on the uptake, so I stood outside and listened.
She went on and on about how she was training the horse, and their accomplishments together. Finally, a bell went off in my head, and I thought, "hey, wait! I'm the trainer."
Another mobbed walked up at that time, and she slipped out before I had a chance to confront her. People are so strange.
My barn is on public property and is open to the public as a condition of the lease. Leads to fun times
Most of the best stories are just hearsay and not things I've experienced. The most interesting observations I've made have to do with people bringing their kids to "see the horsies" (the nanny who brought 3 kids under 5, and didn't notice a preschooler running after a horse I know to be hot to grab his tail, for example. Or kids putting their faces through the bars of the turnout at, oh, about 2 feet off the ground while my 1400 lb draftx is tearing around the turnout at full speed bucking his energy out).
There was one guy who seemed to have a limited grasp of english walking around one Sunday after the office was closed asking everyone if they rented horses.
The lady in high heels and a miniskirt holding a little dog (there are 400 horses at the barn, many of them h/j or dressage show horses, not the place for her little dog!).