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New neighbors. :(

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  • New neighbors. :(

    I posted new signs on my fences because I thought I'd be getting new neighbors in the trailer that sits at the corner of my pasture. The signs are the general: Hot Wire, No Tresspassing, Don't feed or touch, etc.

    Well, as we were out harrowing the pasture this last weekend, I met the son (12ish years old). He told me how they planned to feed my horses apples. All of my critters (two horses and a donk) have had choke issues in the past. I told the son that and asked him to PLEASE don't feed my horses. He seemed to get it.

    I have to say, he was a very polite kid. You just don't see manners like that these days - yes, mam, no mam, thank you, please, etc. I was very impressed (and I don't even like kids).

    I'm thinking about sticking a note in their mail box to say I was happy to meet their son, that I found his manners a very nice reflection on them but please, don't feed the horses! Of course, I'd put it a bit better than that. I thought I'd give them my contact info in case they don't know anyone local.

    Is this a bad idea? I feel like they'd probably not feed the critters if they really knew there were bad consequences. Maybe I'm naive? I feel like if I lead off with compliments to their son (which are sincere), I might not piss them off.

    UGH. Why do people think they can feed your animals???
    "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

  • #2
    Why not take over a welcome new neighbor gift? Plate of cookies or some other small gesture. Then you can talk to them. If their boy is polite I'm sure his parents are too, it's good to have neighbors you can be on friendly terms with.

    Patience and Consistency are Your Friends


    • #3
      I think it's a great idea to go over there with some nice gift of homemade food, and meet the family and explain your horses' choke issues in lurid detail. Then, they would understand your reasons in full and not feel like they're doing your beasties a favor feeding them UFO's.

      Most people are reasonable if they don't think you're being unreasonable.
      As to why people think it's OK to feed other folks' animals, that's one of the head-scratchers of the universe--up there with why they think 1,200 lb. critters and tiny tots mix, too! I chalk it up to too much Disney . . .


      • #4
        Originally posted by rizzodm View Post
        Why not take over a welcome new neighbor gift? Plate of cookies or some other small gesture. Then you can talk to them. If their boy is polite I'm sure his parents are too, it's good to have neighbors you can be on friendly terms with.
        I agree it is a rare thing to find polite kids anymore. it is so refreshing!
        Set up a good rapore with them off the bat. People that are not horse folks just do not understand some of the problems. They think they are being nice.


        • Original Poster

          It's too bad that I'm a curmudgeon. I don't really bake, either. I was hoping they'd come outside while we were out there this weekend but they didn't. I'll have to stop by their house and try not to be stalker-ish. It all sounds nice and good to day stop by but I don't want ANYONE just stopping by my house. I'm very private and don't appreciate drop-bys at all.
          "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com


          • #6
            LOL I know Alabama and I don't drop by and I'm what....8 miles away maybe??

            Maybe a nice 'welcome' note and as nicely as possible a 'please don't feed my horses anything, not even apples or carrots. All of them have special diets. Thank you so much for your understanding'.

            something like that I know- remember my kids that marched into the Crocker's and announced they were there to feed them corn cobs??? Maggie? who would choke on a palm of pellets??


            • #7
              Maybe leave them a note welcoming them to the area and inviting them to drop by on 'x' day to meet the horses? Then you can explain the choke problem and you'll have a friendly contact! It's always good to be on good terms with your neighbors!


              • #8
                I have told my neighbors if I am out with the horses they are welcome to let themselves in and come to visit, so I can make sure the horses behave and no one gets hurt. They have taken that seriously, and given how polite the child was I can't imagine the parents taking reasonable boundary settimg any way but well. A polite note commending their child's behavior and explaining the problem and giving your contact info in case they need anything sounds appropriate.
                If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


                • #9
                  You have a very good reason to stop by ... because of your horses choke issue. Even horse owner neighbors might not think twice about feeding treats to the horses next door -- people have all sorts of different habits.

                  Stopping by with a welcome to the neighborhood gift (I am store bought, not a baker either!) can go a long long way to making for good relationships. And you can go over WHY feeding your horses is not good and ask them to let others know and help you keep the horses safe and living. When you ask for help in that small way, you might get more cooperation. And fingers crossed you have fun neighbors and not the scary ones I have! (Although lots of other fun folks are also our neighbors). Good luck.


                  • #10
                    I'd go with buying cookies id you don't bake, and stopping by to welcome them. Complement them on their son's manners, and explain about choke to them. I'd also let them know that things like lawn clippings are also bad for horses. Maybe tell him that if he wants to give them treats or pet them, he can make an apt with you, and he can come help you groom them while supervised. You'd probably make his day, and it would be a small price to pay for having the good will of a neighbor.


                    • #11
                      I agree with the others about welcoming the neighbors,and explaining issues with feeding to them. At boarding barns, I've explained to visitors and people who took lessons there that mine are not to be hand fed treats unless I am present. I have always made my horses available to people, especially children, to pet, and even to feed as long as I am present. One kid at one barn, the daughter of a BW, would hand feed my horses hay, stem by stem, while they were in cross ties every day.

                      Every child I've ever explained this to understood and obeyed. Most adults obeyed also except for a few. One was a barn worker who refused to acknowledge that carrots have sugar and starch in them. She got fired from our barn and went over to another barn to become barn manager there. I've seen boarders go out in a pasture with their kids and feed treats in a herd of horses. That is so dangerous. I taught my horses not to go up to people for treats. And they pretty well obey that rule, except when that one BW used to go out and single out one horse to give carrots to when he was alone in the pasture.


                      • #12
                        I think all ideas are good, but also emphasize that you want to make sure kids are safe too, and emphasize not to skip through pasture, poke at horses, etc. That way it sounds like you are concerned about their rugrats (and guest rugrats).


                        • #13
                          Nothing really to add except to lead with the politeness of their son and that you'd like to show them the horses sometime when you can both agree. You might not want to be buddy-buddy with them, but I know I'd like to know the neighbors, and if a horse ever got out, that they'd at least be somewhat familiar with them, have your info, etc.


                          • #14
                            Your horse would not take an apple from any of them over an electric fence.
                            I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                            • #15
                              My horse would take an apple from anyone over a gaping pit to hell.

                              I like the idea of a nice letter inviting them to drop by on a certain generalized day/time. "I met your son--what a polite and nice young man! He indicated that your family would like to meet the horses sometime. I appreciate that he asked permission, since they have some special dietary needs and I also wouldn't like anyone to get hurt accidentally--however I'd love to have you all drop by sometime to visit and meet the horses! Saturday mornings and Tuesdays after six are generally the best times to find me around, or you can always give me a call at XXX-XXXX. Looking forward to meeting you soon!"
                              "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

                              Graphite/Pastel Portraits


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by alabama View Post
                                It's too bad that I'm a curmudgeon. I don't really bake, either. I was hoping they'd come outside while we were out there this weekend but they didn't. I'll have to stop by their house and try not to be stalker-ish. It all sounds nice and good to day stop by but I don't want ANYONE just stopping by my house. I'm very private and don't appreciate drop-bys at all.
                                Even a curmudgeon can go to the store and buy a potted plant or a pastry. I would write a card with exactly the message you wrote here, STARTING with Welcome to the Neighborhood and how nice it was to meet their polite, well-spoken, and kind little boy, who made you, a confirmed curmudgeon, happy about the future of America's youth, and the capabilities of America's parents. Continue with how he had generously offered to feed your horses apples which unfortunately, you had to decline because bla bla...

                                If it is written, you will be sure to touch on everything you want to say.
                                "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


                                • #17
                                  Your thread title is funny. When I read New Neighbors I was expecting meth labs, loose packs of attack dogs, toddlers in soggy diapers wandering unattended, cars racing down your street, late night loud music, charming neighboring property turned into a trash-filled hoarding nightmare, teenaged ne'er do wells, critical wacky trespassers, complaints about your horses -- any number of problems we have read about on CoTH.

                                  Instead, I read about a sweet little boy who wants to feed your horses apples. Count your blessings!
                                  "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


                                  • #18
                                    Buck up your courage and talk to them in person-even the best note can be misunderstood (tone).


                                    • #19
                                      Notes don't really work. Try visiting them. If there is a treat that your horses can eat easily, bring some with and show the kid how to feed them to your horses. Also, offer the kid some pay for an odd job to check his work ethic. We have some friends who have great kids. They know enough now to do the feeding for us now and again.
                                      “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                                      St. Padre Pio


                                      • #20
                                        I am like you, I do not like random people stopping at my house. Even with that thought I think a personal visit with a nice house warming gift is the best idea. Tone is lost in a note.
                                        And like everyone has said, you not baking is not a road block to doing this. Go buy something. It does not have to be expensive. It is the time of year that plants are cheap. Stop and pick up some annuals and tell them that it is a start on the summer flower beds.

                                        I think being friendly to these people will go a long way. You can explain that your herd has medical issues that do not allow them to be fed things like apples and lawn clippings. Express how much of a bummer you realize it is, etc.

                                        Originally posted by Cindyg View Post
                                        Your horse would not take an apple from any of them over an electric fence.

                                        Really? Because all of mine will.