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What to do about trespassers? -Updated

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  • What to do about trespassers? -Updated

    I went out to my barn to feed my horses yesterday afternoon and found a peppermint lying in the grass just outside the end doors of the barn. I live on the end of a dead-end street in an older rural neighborhood (all the properties are 5-10 acres). My neighbors are mostly retirees and no one has children at home. We are a very private bunch who will say hello in passing or all join together to fight a common cause, but other than that, we don't meddle in one another's business. We built our barn so that you cannot see it from the street and are circled on three sides by woods and farmland. The only access to my barn is by going all the way down our driveway and down the gravel lane off that around the back of the house. Anyway, I found this gourmet peppermint (the kind like a fat piece of candy cane) in the grass just outside the back doors of the barn where I take my horses in and out twice a day. I know it wasn't there in the morning. To say that I'm bothered about folks in my barn is putting it mildly. I do not board nor do not advertise that I have horses in any way. I do not want people on my property. I have a 17+hh OTTB who occasionally bites and I worry about some idiot getting bitten and coming after me when they have no right to be here in the first place. What is it with people?!! Would you come into my house and pet my dog just because I have one and you know he's there???

    So, great COTH wise ones, what should I do? There really isn't a way to gate my property. Do I put up No Trespassing signs everywhere?? Ugh!
    Last edited by FoxChaser; Oct. 23, 2009, 01:30 PM.

  • #2
    Your set up and neighborhood sound very similar to mine.

    I would worry a lot less about The Big Guy biting someone and more about him getting stolen.

    My best thought would be to invest in a video/audio system that also includes night vision.

    Nothing like hauling someone into court when the "proof is in the video"

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes.

      Put "No Trespassing" signs up at every possible access point to your farm. If you have a long driveway, make sure there are signs on both sides of it, where it joins the road. Put a sign on each and every gate that you have, and padlock your gates with chains. If possible, put a hot wire across unfenced, ungated accesses, with the ingress behind fenced areas. In Texas, fence posts painted purple on top are "No Trespassing" signs, in and of themselves, so grab a brush and the purple paint and get started.

      And even then, better up your liability insurance, because people seem to feel that they're entitled to go anywhere and do anything they like with anyone elses' property, and damn the consequences.

      Good luck. I feel your pain.
      In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
      A life lived by example, done too soon.
      www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

      Comment


      • #4
        Find out what are the legal signs in your state to keep trespassers out.

        Here, you have to state "Posted-No Trespassing".

        You really should have those where they are very visible, along with "private property, no trespassing, "private road" and such others.

        Signs won't really help that much, ask me how I know.
        We have five such signs in our gate and still have to close and lock it all the time and people will still try to take the gate off the henges to get in, or climb it.
        One rammed the gate into a pretzel, until it broke and went on.

        One trespasser was a local TV anchorman, that kept arguing "he was not hurting anything".

        Some day, someone is going to get shot, because we are right by a major expressway, that is a drug transport heaven, so you never know who you are confronting.

        Today's world is becoming more and more strange.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by walkinthewalk View Post
          Your set up and neighborhood sound very similar to mine.

          I would worry a lot less about The Big Guy biting someone and more about him getting stolen.

          My best thought would be to invest in a video/audio system that also includes night vision.

          Nothing like hauling someone into court when the "proof is in the video"
          This

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by walkinthewalk View Post
            Your set up and neighborhood sound very similar to mine.

            I would worry a lot less about The Big Guy biting someone and more about him getting stolen.

            My best thought would be to invest in a video/audio system that also includes night vision.

            Nothing like hauling someone into court when the "proof is in the video"
            And put those "Smile, you are on camera" and "under video surveillance" signs up.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bluey View Post
              Signs won't really help that much, ask me how I know.
              We have five such signs in our gate and still have to close and lock it all the time and people will still try to take the gate off the henges to get in, or climb it.
              One rammed the gate into a pretzel, until it broke and went on.
              Jeez, Bluey - what are you growing?!?!?

              One trespasser was a local TV anchorman, that kept arguing "he was not hurting anything".
              Another WTF moment. What is wrong with people?!?!?

              Today's world is becoming more and more strange.
              And not in a good way.
              In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
              A life lived by example, done too soon.
              www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ESG View Post
                Jeez, Bluey - what are you growing?!?!?



                Another WTF moment. What is wrong with people?!?!?



                And not in a good way.
                We are not "growing" anything, but we are part of a windfarm, with 400'+ towers, that can be seen from miles around and everyone and their dog wants to go see those towers close up, as if they looked any different than from far away.
                In legal terms, an "attractive nuisance" and so liable for injury to trespassers, even if the idiots had to break in to get in.

                The newsman had someone visiting him and just took them out to show them around.
                We are not even in the windfarm part, but people want to cross thru us to get to it, even with signs and closed and locked gates.

                What a world!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Call 2jakes & get some snakes. Put up pics.
                  “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Post signs Prosecute violators.
                    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Woodland View Post
                      Post signs Prosecute violators.


                      Our signs are the standard for TX:

                      POSTED
                      NO TRESPASSING
                      VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED

                      We also have another sign:

                      NO TRESPASSING
                      NO HUNTING
                      WILDLIFE PRESERVE since 1957
                      Watch out for rattlesnakes

                      We do have some resident rattlers living under that cattleguard with a gate over it.

                      I wonder of people can't read for content any more?

                      We are looking into those surveillance cameras that will transmit to the house, a mile away.
                      That is something the OP may want to look into.

                      OP, you could ask several local security firms what they would suggest.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        look up in Northern Tool or the like for driveway sensors. We have them and it works wonders when we are in the house. Both drives have a battery operated snesor that beeps once for the house drive, twice for the barn drive. If we are home and in the house, we always know when someone has pulled into the drive. You could modifiy location to include your barn.

                        Call the local sheriff to inform. Send out written notice to your neighbors that this occurred. The offending neighbor may sheepishly admit it but will probably be too embarrassed to do it again. The good neighbors will help keep an eye out. No village likes a lurker, the more eyes the better to protect the flock!
                        ...don't sh** where you eat...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Did you see any other signs - footprints, tire marks, etc. - besides the peppermint?

                          I ask because for a while there I was finding strange things dropped into my water troughs - an entire fish skeleton, once - and thought the field hands were playing tricks. Turned out to be a racoon washing his dinner.

                          I think coons and possums and even crows will steal candy.
                          I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We had a problem with the neighbors. Found them wandering down our road, randomly petting and feeding (baby carrots, of all things...looks just like a finger), any horses they encountered. One of the farms is a backyard breeder, no vaccinations, no farrier care, no worming most with pink eye. Like I really want these idiots to feed and pet a sick horse and then move on to mine. Not to mention, we have OTTBs that BITE. Of course, it was a little kid that the parents were allowing to feed the horses. To say I was upset is an understatement. We now lock our gate, have signs, put a hot wire around the top board and sent a letter out to all the neighbors.

                            Still didn't stop an idiot teenager from throwing a glass Coke bottle in the pasture. To make a long story short, horse stepped on bottle, bottle broke, horse rolled on broken bottle, puncture wound to the neck that just missed the jugular. Same neighbor attached chicken wire to my board fence after they put in a pool without asking (the fence, not the pool). We found out when my horses just had to put their heads between the wire and the boards the same day the fence went up. Two eye injuries, stitches and $1000 later we demanded they remove the chicken wire. Now they have puppies and told me they were going to have to put the wire fence back up because "your horses might kill my puppies". Didn't worry that chasing my horses might hurt my horses! Convinced them to put hot tape around the bottom of the fence. For some reason, they're opposed to invisible fence. Go figure. I offered to loan them my portable dog fence. Didn't want that, of course. Puppies still get in the pasture because, of course, they're out without supervision. So far, horses have ignored them. I HATE neighbors! Well, some of my neighbors.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wouldn't jump to conclusions. It could have been a critter that stole it out of a garbage can, for instance, and left it on your property. The possibilities are endless.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                                Did you see any other signs - footprints, tire marks, etc. - besides the peppermint?

                                I ask because for a while there I was finding strange things dropped into my water troughs - an entire fish skeleton, once - and thought the field hands were playing tricks. Turned out to be a racoon washing his dinner.

                                I think coons and possums and even crows will steal candy.
                                I found a cupcake, with icing, in the rafters of the barn this spring. I wanted to blame the one neighbor I don't like but it was too much of a stretch.
                                I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                                Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  You Texans sound like you've been there, done that with regard to trespassers! Yesterday was one of the rare days when I wasn't around most of the day. We have yet to finish our gravel drive to the barn, so it is "paved" with the really big gravel rocks and no top layer. I can't miss someone driving down it when I'm home, it's so noisy- no driveway alarm needed. I've seen the electric company meter reader in the barn once before (meter is on the outside of the barn, thank you- no need to pet the horses!), so she is my #1 suspect. The peppermint was on the end of the barn where my big boy's stall is located. He doesn't eat treats. All the other boys love them, but he just won't go for anything no matter how hard I've tried. I imagine whomever was here tried to give him the mint and he spit it out (it was a bit tacky) and they threw it outside rather than feeding it to one of the other horses.

                                  My husband is a software engineer and certified techno-geek who would love, love, love the opportunity to put up surveillance cameras in the barn. We may go that route. For now, I've spent part of my day today investing in Private Property No Trespassing signs which I will put around our place and one of the Kentucky resolution #whatever signs that warns folks that farm animals and farm animal activities are dangerous and if you're involved, you're doing so at your own risk. Maybe I can have a nice private property sign painted up to put at the bend in the driveway or something. Yuck

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    We have trouble with the meter reader. He's so lazy he opens the gate, drives to the barn and leaves the gate open. We're talking 100 feet from gate to barn! I now lock the gate. Guess he has to climb over. Too bad. Horses are in the barn during the day in the summer and we have several expert escape artists; sometimes they just want out! Can't take a chance on them exploring the neighborhood.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Fox-I would second the notify the neighbors by letter, but I would phrase it something like " Dear Neighbor, I want to alert you to the possibility that someone has been trespassing during the day in our neighborhood. Since many times this is the precursor to a spate of burglaries I would appreciate everyone keeping an eye out for suspicious characters in the area, and I will in return be glad to alert you to trespassers on your property. And if a problem occcurs I will be glad to share the video from my surveillance system with the proper authorities. Sincerely, Foxy"

                                      I'm sorry that you have to go through this, but at least you found out by something minor instead of a burglary or the horses being let out. I would take this as a chance to secure things such as the tack room doors and other areas from trespassers or thieves. And let your DH have some fun, you never know what you may see. And I would call the electric company and see when the meter was read-and if the date corresponds I would talk to the chief of the meter reading team about trespassing employees, their legal liability if anything happens to the horses, and their employee's actions. Of course, it may not be the meter people and that would be worse because the pool of suspects will really be big then.
                                      You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Definitely look up the regulations regarding criminal trespassing for your state. In FL, just having a fence with a gate is sufficient to warn people that they are not allowed to be on your property. No need to actually post the signs. But every state is different.

                                        And get some equine liability signs, and post one at every entrance to the pastures and at the barn entrance.

                                        Unfortunately, you might have to put up a gate that is difficult to open. My big gate has a wheel that created a bit of a dip in the ground. The wheel also conveniently gets stuck on the post, and the latch is difficult to operate. Not that anyone who really wants onto the property will be stopped, but it helps to make it difficult.

                                        I have also had issues with people on my property, but in this case it's the neighbor child who spends her time completely unsupervised. She would go between the gate and the post when I changed the latch so that she couldn't operate it. Finally had to take the gate down and fence over it. We have a hotwire too, but we are still figuring out why it doesn't shock anything.

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