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UPDATE AT POST 75: Keeping the Farm Safe From ... "Family"

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  • #41
    I would consider sending an email out to all hands, stating that while you have enjoyed holding the family reunion July 4th party for the last __ years, it has become too much for you and it is time for another member of the family to step up and take it over. Then request volunteers. Don't be afraid to name names. I bet hellspawn's parents are due their turn.


    • #42
      I don't know how we as a society have gotten so wrapped up in being "polite" and not "offending" people that we essentially allow them to walk all over us and disrespect our homes and property.
      I would turn this around and ask where all the rudeness and "all about me and the hell with you" came from in this country. Where do people get off with no rules for any of their kids, rules that benefit them and no one else, me first and the hell with you????????? I got mine, good luck getting yours.
      Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
      Now apparently completely invisible!


      • #43
        I have a 75 y/o friend who was born on July 4. He and his wife have always thrown a huge bash that day, often with over 100 guests including kids, grandkids, and many friends and neighbors. Folks come from all over the country - they have relatives and old corporate friends scattered all over the map.

        Things have gotten pretty crazy in recent years, as more and more of the “Me Generation” bring their bratty “Mini-Me” kids, but rather than give up their traditional party (which they have been doing for over 25 years now), my friends sent out email invites this year that clearly specify THE RULES.

        1 - No one may bring additional guests w/o first clearing it with the hosts. Maximum 2 additional guests per family (no exceptions). A $12.50 fee will be charged for each additional guest to cover food/beverage costs.

        2 – Children under age 12 must be supervised at all times by an adult. All children are expected to be well-behaved and respectful of their elders. Physical or verbal harassment of other guests or THE ANIMALS will not be tolerated. Nor will foul language, or mouthing off/arguing with adults. Unruly children must immediately be dealt with by their parent or they will be put in time-out by the hosts. Parents of repeat offenders will be directed to leave, with children in tow.

        3 – There will be no alcoholic consumption by minors – PERIOD. Clearly inebriated adults may be refused additional alcoholic beverages.

        4 - Since fireworks scare horses, and this is a HORSE FARM, no fireworks are allowed other than sparklers and those only at a specified time and specified location, under supervision of adults. This will be strictly enforced and anyone bringing anything other than sparklers will be told to immediately leave the premises.

        5 – Due to past issues, there will be a plainclothes police officer amongst the guests. He will be the guy not drinking and watching the rest of you.

        Their email invite included an RSVP w/acknowledgment that the person had read and agreed to THE RULES. They wondered if some of THE RULES would afffect this year's turn-out, but it didn't seem to. It was a typical large crowd, and even included many "past offenders" but they all seemed to be on their best behavior this year. A few kids got a bit rowdy here and there, but they were quickly dealt with by their parents and only a few kids ended up in time-out for throwing tantrums. All in all, everyone had a great time!


        • #44
          Originally posted by lawndart View Post
          Been there, done that. Turned into the crazy lady who does not like company.

          Farms seem to bring out the worst in some people. They see it as a private playground that they get to enjoy for free. While you get to feed them, clean up, and try to ride herd on their kids.
          Houses on a lake are the same. Ask me how I know
          I wasn't always a Smurf
          Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
          "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
          The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


          • #45
            Originally posted by DownYonder View Post

            5 – Due to past issues, there will be a plainclothes police officer amongst the guests. He will be the guy not drinking and watching the rest of you.

            Love this one ..
            Nevertheless, she persisted.


            • #46
              You are giving me great ideas on how to manage "guests" in October. Somehow my hubby and I are hosting our niece's wedding at the farm and they now tell us about 150 guests! We will need some rules in place!
              Beth Davidson
              Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
              visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com


              • #47
                I think the OP needs to just not hold it for a couple of years. Since she kind of caved on all the rules THIS year (extra guests, fireworks, etc.), if she hosts it next year they won't take any proposed rules seriously.


                • #48
                  Agree that you need a break from hosting. But if you do go ahead, send the rules and include a $50/person charge in advanceto cover food, wear and tear on property, insurance, security, and "rainy day fund" for when someone/some animal finally gets hurt.

                  Bet you will cut attendance that way!

                  You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Blugal View Post
                    Agree that you need a break from hosting. But if you do go ahead, send the rules and include a $50/person charge in advanceto cover food, wear and tear on property, insurance, security, and "rainy day fund" for when someone/some animal finally gets hurt.

                    Bet you will cut attendance that way!
                    LOL, the second time we had a family reunion at our lake house we put an envelope out in a prominent location. The first keg of beer and tank of gas for the boat were on us. After that no beer or gas was purchased unless the money came from the envelope.

                    All food was pot luck.

                    That was the last family reunion
                    I wasn't always a Smurf
                    Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


                    • #50
                      We always hired an off duty mounted police officer to sit at the barn for any parties on site. No fireworks of any kind were ever allowed on our property nor was alcohol. Mounted police officer would patrol the barn during the party and got all the food and non alcoholic drinks they wanted. We got the added security of a uniform on the property that would and could write tickets for trespassing. We had boarders and horses on site that we could not financially risk and protecting that property was something we took VERY seriously. Now our city has a mounted unit and sometimes those guys will take the extra shifts private parties could give. Mom always specified a mounted officer so we got someone that knew the wrong end of a horse and wouldn't tolerate people in the barn. We provided him with a list of boarders who were clear to visit the stalls and if you weren't on the list you could not go into the barn. Family quickly realized we were not kidding when we said no you could not go into the barn and we did not do tours during events. Dad's motto was if you want to visit the horses on a holiday go to a public park and take a damn carriage ride and leave his horses the hell alone.

                      Your farm sounds fantastic though and I do hope you enjoy it!

                      I also love the chore before meal idea. Fabulous idea!
                      Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                      Originally Posted by alicen:
                      What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


                      • #51
                        If you otherwise enjoy having the gathering on the 4th, then I would continue to hold it but, as many have suggested, make rules and enforce them. Send an email or Facebook message to the family stating that since the family has grown so some rules are necessary for everyone's safety and enjoyment. Then just use the no word if anyone violates. I like the idea of posting "no unsupervised visitors" around the barn, etc. As far as the Devilspawn, I have a serious, private talk with his mother and make it abundantly clear that due to his dangerous behavior and her unwillingness to discipline him, that he cannot be safely allowed back on the farm. They may never speak to you again but that may be a plus. If he's that bad, I'm sure your not the only family member that has noticed his behavior. Perhaps you can talk to them and have an "intervention". If something isn't done soon, he may wind up in the juvenile system. I see kids like that in court all the time.
                        I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.


                        • #52
                          Very useful topic

                          Great wording OP and I've been taking notes from all the replies!

                          In fact, I *was* considering hosting a small Labor Day gathering but have re-considered entirely as the stress would thoroughly outweigh any possible enjoyment I'd derive from sharing my sanctuary with a group.

                          I think the semi-curmudgeonly social label I've accumulated from declining self-invitations to my little farm and not issuing any invitations myself will continue to serve me well

                          The horses and dogs will certainly appreciate the peace and quiet

                          Good luck with whatever tactic you employ!


                          • #53
                            Pcwertb-be very careful that the current 150 does't become many times that, and no I'm not kidding. I know people who had a relative (mother of the bride) photocopy their invitation and pass it out to hundreds of additional guests. And most of the uninvited showed up-it was total chaos.

                            KR-I would cancel, but I wouldn't say I wasn't going to be home. As a matter of fact I wouldn't tell any of the really rude people you were going away, or some of them might just show up at your place and have their own party. Don't ever think that might not happen. Someone I know had a great house with a huge pool, and they went away for a couple of days. They came home unexpectedly and found the neighbors having a huge barbecue and pool party in my friends' yard and pool, and the party givers were surprised when the police were called and they got arrested for quite a few different things. Apparently the previous owners had allowed this type of thing (and were world class partiers too) and the neighbors thought everyone was this stupid to let this big liability happen on their property.
                            Last edited by JanM; Jul. 7, 2011, 07:17 AM.
                            You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                            • #54
                              Originally Posted by DownYonder ...

                              5 – Due to past issues, there will be a plainclothes police officer amongst the guests. He will be the guy not drinking and watching the rest of you.
                              Love this one ..

                              Originally posted by RainyDayRide View Post
                              Love this one ..
                              LOL, as it turned out, they couldn't get an off-duty policeman there since it was July 4 and they were all working that day. But they have lived in that small community for over 20 years and are friends with nearly everyone on the police force, so they had uniformed officers drop in periodically for a bite to eat. It was fun seeing the little kids' eyes get like saucers when the police cruisers came down the driveway.


                              • Original Poster

                                This has been an excellent thread, with lots of good ideas for us to consider.

                                On top of everything, once the party was over, I ended up sick. So, I am really in a very bad mood as I try to work through this week and limp my way to the weekend when I can recuperate.


                                • #56
                                  I love this thread and the ideas that have been shared.

                                  I too wanted to have "the place" where everyone was welcome and all of the parties were held. And after many, many incidents of underage drinking, (stupid me, I thought that the soft drinks that I provided would have been enough), rowdy crowds in the barn, damage, and just flat out stress on my part, I have shut the parties down. And suggested a local park for the gatherings.

                                  I wanted to share the story of how my yellow lab cleared the party one year. Now he is the ultimate party guy. He was leading a large group of unattended young children all over the place, not bothered at all by the screaming, tugging on his ears, tail and the random bear hug. But, he is a hunter. And a baby bunny happened to cross his path. And he did what comes naturally to him. The kids were screaming bloody (no pun intended) murder. Shocked and frightened parents gathered their darlings into their arms and headed for the cars. Buh bye.


                                  • #57
                                    Pcwertb, wow, you are a gutsy one. Having been to a big wedding on a steeplechase farm...think seriously about hiring several security guards. Yes, it was needed to direct guests away from the barn and pasture areas and to enforce "smoke here only".

                                    The wedding I attended had a couple of valets for car parking too which helped to keep people in the appropriate areas. Out of bounds areas were roped off with signs.


                                    • #58
                                      Enforcing rules is a good thing. My uncle has a fantastic bayhouse where we sometimes spend holidays...one Thanksgiving 3 or 4 years ago, my then 25 year old brother was a complete ass. Just rude, unpleasant to be around, selfish, etc. We can make all the excuses we want, Oh, he's studying for 1st semester exams in law school and is stressed out, he feels left out when with the extended fam, etc. Nope, don't care. He acted like such an ass and that had consequences. He got suspended from the bayhouse for 5 years. I still don't know if he knows or not, but my parents know, I know, ALL of the family knows. Fortunately he lives across the country so it doesn't come up much, and he still comes to Sunday family dinner at same uncle's house when in town, but he isn't allowed to the bay.

                                      Your property, your rules. You should be able to enjoy yourself as well.

                                      I guess it's easy with my family to do big gatherings because we do them so frequently (every Sunday night, all extended family members that live in the area have a standing invite and any visiting fam is obviously invited). My uncle does dinner for 12 to 30, which must get old. However, my parents always bring a huge delicious salad and several bottles of wine, and other relatives bring other sides and more alcohol as well. I haven't been a regular at Sunday Night Dinner in about 7 years, and I miss it!


                                      • #59
                                        Bella, I want your dog!
                                        Even duct tape can't fix stupid


                                        • #60
                                          Sigh. I usually am not the biggest fan of "My (whatever), my rules," but I feel very strongly about people misbehaving in my home because I grew up in a family where the #1 rule was everyone always has to be welcome, no matter what. My grandmother never locked her front door; family, friends, and friends of family could and did come and go all day and most of the night. It's nice, some times, but it has a hellish potential if Superhost is unable to respond appropriately to abuse of their hospitality. My mom's inability to discipline naughty guests is legendary, and results in high-stress family holidays.

                                          In theory (easy to say, I know) I'd contact Hell Spawn's family privately to tell them that they are no longer welcome on your property, and reiterating that their child deliberately hurt his grandmother. I like the idea of a family-wide letter to let people know next year will be different. I would make the first half of the letter a nice piece about the family, about the reunions past that you've enjoyed, etc. Then a brief paragraph to the effect that due to some unfortunate events, you're going to be making some changes to the reunion next year. And let them chew on that for the rest of the year.