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Child at show stealing hay and carrots

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  • Child at show stealing hay and carrots

    I'm hoping for some input about what I should do in this situation. I was at a show with my trainer, and a small child (around age 8?) wandered over to our stalls and started stuffing his shirt full of carrots. My trainer called out and then spoke with the child, apologizing for the raised voice but reminding him to ask before taking other peoples' things, and sending him off with a few carrots when he asked permission for them. Figured this was end of story, and no big deal. Right? Wrong.

    Not 10 minutes later, child returns and sneaks over to a nearby stall (and yes, was actually sneaking - creeping along and stopping to look around, then proceeding) and starts taking hay from the open bale. This was one of those rare moments that no one was really around; most folks were out at dinner and I was the only one at our shed row. He didn't see me cleaning tack in the corner. I approached him and reminded him that hay was very expensive and that he needed to ask permission before taking someone else's. He replied that he was helping his mom feed the horse. Now, I assume that he meant give it treats because he made a comment as such to my trainer, but he may have even meant they didn't have anything to feed the horse or who knows what. I said something along the lines of "why don't you pick him some nice grass, since he's been in a stall all day" and the kid runs off to do so. I thought this would also be the end, but of course, it was not.

    Throughout the remaining days of the show, the kid returned half a dozen times that I saw and absconded with several flakes (that I saw). I was busy doing my own tasks and often only saw him running away with his shirt full, and quite frankly didn't have time to monitor someone's kid, so I let it drop. What would you all recommend doing? Mom was no where in sight, and kid clearly knew this was inappropriate behavior. I mean on one hand, it's only a bit of hay and a bag of carrots, but it doesn't seem right to condone this either. What is the COTH opinion? MYOB or act? In what way?

  • #2
    Just for fun - or as a start I would have followed the child to see where he was going... I don't know - unless I saw that the kid selling the hay or stealing from lots of people and loading up a truck with adults waiting - I probably would have ignored it. Any action I would have taken beyond what you guys did in talking with the kid - would have been taken up with the adult he belonged to. The sneaking around scares me more - I would be afraid he might get hurt by my horses somehow.

    Jill

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    • #3
      Maybe it's a mom thing- but the answer from me wouild have been "take me to your mom." At that point, you might point out that the child doesn't appear to be aware that all of the hay/carrots at the show belong to other people. As a fellow mom, I'd probably try to laugh it off as "kids!"

      But make sure to insert into the conversation that the child is not welcome to your hay- you'll also get an idea of whether mom is truly out to lunch or just slightly out to lunch (not knowing where her 8 year old is at a horse show qualifies as slightly OTL no matter what her response is).

      My own feeling is that the kid is in danger and someone needs to notify the parents of what he's doing. No guarantee they'll do anything about it, but at least the responsibility is off of you.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have no patience for sneaking kids because they are often the products of sneaking older siblings or parents and they need to learn that sneaking is not acceptable. I've been in many situations where I've donated or "borrowed" supplies at shows and i've always asked permission. And I've never known someone to send their kid to do the job!

        i would have told the kid that he is not allowed to take your hay or carrots, period, because you paid for them. If this is happening at a horse show, presumable the parents/family aren't poor. Then, i would ask to be taken to the parents or follow the kid to the parents and ask to speak to the parent in private. I would tell them what I observed and state that the behavior (which is stealing from others at a horse show) is totally unacceptable. If the parent was out to lunch, I'd throw in that I'd call security if I saw their kid stealing my hay again. While I understand that a kid is just a kid, stealing is not acceptable behavior in a kid. Plus, I only bring a finite amount of hay to a show and I'd be pretty aggravated if someone stole my hay and my horse had to suffer the consequences.
        Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

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        • #5
          I would have, after the second transgression, followed the kid and had a talk with mom. If I saw the kid doing it again, you can be sure I would notify either the mom or the show authorities.

          Stealing is stealing, regardless of age, and a kid that age should know right from wrong already.

          Just my 2 cents and I would certainly not put up with that from my kids
          Eileen
          Mad Mare™ Studio
          Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.
          http://MadMare.com

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          • #6
            Screw PC and kindness, at age eight the little punk knew exactly what he was doing was stealing. I have always found that a very loud and pointed "Get the F%$K outta here you little thief!!!" works wonders. Followed by telling parent that the next time the kid steals, it's her ass on the line for letting an eight-year-old run around unsupervised.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Coreene View Post
              Screw PC and kindness, at age eight the little punk knew exactly what he was doing was stealing. I have always found that a very loud and pointed "Get the F%$K outta here you little thief!!!" works wonders. Followed by telling parent that the next time the kid steals, it's her ass on the line for letting an eight-year-old run around unsupervised.
              This x2.

              I'd embarrass the snot out of him. I'd probably drag him to the show office by his ear and tell them to announce over the PA system that there is a 8 year old thief waiting to be claimed. Then I'd wait around to see who picked him up so I can know who to avoid in the future.

              Either the kid is doing it on his own, and will get his hide tanned when his mom finds him, or he's telling the truth and his mom actually is sending him out to steal others' things because she thinks people will go easier on a kid.


              I would not, over my dead body, let it go. You were beyond kind by explaining to that kid that he was stealing and that's not ok, and he came back and did it all day long. Helllllllllll, no.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
                This x2.

                I'd embarrass the snot out of him. I'd probably drag him to the show office by his ear and tell them to announce over the PA system that there is a 8 year old thief waiting to be claimed. Then I'd wait around to see who picked him up so I can know who to avoid in the future.

                Either the kid is doing it on his own, and will get his hide tanned when his mom finds him, or he's telling the truth and his mom actually is sending him out to steal others' things because she thinks people will go easier on a kid.


                I would not, over my dead body, let it go. You were beyond kind by explaining to that kid that he was stealing and that's not ok, and he came back and did it all day long. Helllllllllll, no.
                After my experience with child spawn last year, this would have been my response too. Maybe without the swearing though.
                Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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                • #9
                  Stealing is actually actually a behavior that some kids that age exhibit, despite having been raised "properly." Some kids are just immature and don't yet have the self control to resist taking something that does not belong to them. The child still needs a scolding, and the parents are probably horrified. Just like you and I want that decadent dessert that we know is unhealthy and adds pounds, but we can't resist...some kids have those exact same urges but unfortunately want something that does not belong to them, and can't resist the urge to take it. Fortunately most of them grow out of it!

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                  • #10
                    Erring on the side of the parent, do you for sure, KNOW she is aware of what her child is doing? If anyone ever swore at my child or acted as some of you "adults" are telling the OP to act toward the child, we would have words and you wouldn't like it. Before jumping to conclusions, talk to the childs parents first. One never knows.

                    And if you don't like children, fine, that is your right, but don't be an ass to them because you don't. Some of us are mothers and we actually like children in general.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Flash44 View Post
                      Stealing is actually actually a behavior that some kids that age exhibit, despite having been raised "properly." Some kids are just immature and don't yet have the self control to resist taking something that does not belong to them. The child still needs a scolding, and the parents are probably horrified. Just like you and I want that decadent dessert that we know is unhealthy and adds pounds, but we can't resist...some kids have those exact same urges but unfortunately want something that does not belong to them, and can't resist the urge to take it. Fortunately most of them grow out of it!
                      There is a huge difference between having the urge to eat a dessert and stealing something that does not belong to you. You're not going to go to jail for food over-indulgence.

                      If they did this in a retail or convenience store, do you really think most shop owners are going to let them off because of their age? Most would call the police and the parents. No questions asked. Better to learn the lesson now than to face the music later.

                      Eileen
                      Mad Mare™ Studio
                      Custom Swarovski®, Czech glass and gemstone browbands in Circlet, Diadem and Tiara styles. Matching stock pins, bracelets and belts.
                      http://MadMare.com

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Belplosh View Post
                        Erring on the side of the parent, do you for sure, KNOW she is aware of what her child is doing? If anyone ever swore at my child or acted as some of you "adults" are telling the OP to act toward the child, we would have words and you wouldn't like it. Before jumping to conclusions, talk to the childs parents first. One never knows.

                        And if you don't like children, fine, that is your right, but don't be an ass to them because you don't. Some of us are mothers and we actually like children in general.
                        Are you serious? If you don't know where your kid is or what he's doing, you're just as at fault as if you sent the kid to steal. This is why some kids today grow up spoiled little brats...because GOD FORBID anybody disciplines them or speaks harshly to them, mommy will come at you with knife in hand. There's a big difference in just "not liking a child" and disciplining them or having some choice words for them when they STEAL from you.
                        My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!
                        http://www.youtube.com/kheit86

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                        • #13
                          Agree with all the above except Belposh. If it were my child I would damn well expect someone to call him on his behavior. And to do it as meanly and as nastily as possible. Make an example out of him. Of course I am also the kind of parent who won't hesitate to paddle my sons butt in public if he deserves it. More so the parent needed to have a major talking to as well and I would have demanded payment preferably in the form of thief child doing some work like mucking stalls or emptying the wheelbarrow/muckbucket with a spoon.

                          I work to hard for what I have to tolerate someone else's brat or my own even taking/destroying what I have.
                          Proud Mama of a BOY rider

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                          • #14
                            And of course, the horse who is the recipient of the carrots and the hay that is not his usual hay just might colic.
                            This is so wrong all around, the child shouldn't be stealing and he shouldn't be feeding some horse things that horse is not accustomed to.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would have followed the kid to where his mom was (if you had the time to do so) and approach the mother (or have the trainer do so since it was the trainer's carrots).

                              There's only so much you can tell a small child, and obviously, either this one hasn't been taught manners (ask first) or maybe saw his mom doing it so thought it was okay (?)

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Nobody here has pointed out what the Mom was doing when her kid shows up with stuff. Didn't she ask, "Where did you get that?" even once? What gets my back up is the obvious defiance the kid showed. You tell him to stop not once, but twice, and the little thief keeps coming back?

                                After the second time he showed up after being told to stop, he would have been dragged to the show office and a complaint would have been made and Mom would have been embarrassed. I will not assist in the raising of the next 7-11 robber. What's next? Saddles? Bridles? Anything shiny?

                                Jeez some people shouldn't have kids!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  To child:

                                  "You have a choice. Take me to your mother now, who I'm sure will be sooooo pleased to know her child steals. Or I take you to the Show Steward and we will call the police to have you arrested for stealing. Which do you choose?"
                                  <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    That's a pretty funny scenario (I'm imagining the hay stuffed in a shirt - that is itchy!)

                                    I would have found the parent on the second sighting - either by following the kid, or by demanding he show me his parent, or by taking him to show officials and having them announce a "lost child".

                                    I wish I knew what the real story was! Which horse was he feeding - his own or random ones?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I am not saying the child is right, if I had ever caught my child stealing they wouldn't be sitting down for some hours. What I am saying is to go talk to the parent and to explain to them what you saw, it is NOT your right to discipline someone else child and yell at them or curse at them. I am very strict with my children, but I also wanted to be told before hand what they said or did, not some stranger taking it upon themselves to play parent.

                                      I am just a bit amazed at the tone of many of you. Calling a child a brat? Telling them to get the f*ck away from your things? I certainly would not be talking to a child, nor an adult in that vulgar of a way nor being so rude and an hateful. And no one has a right to discipline anyone's child but their own.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Seven-up View Post
                                        This x2.

                                        I'd embarrass the snot out of him. I'd probably drag him to the show office by his ear and tell them to announce over the PA system that there is a 8 year old thief waiting to be claimed. Then I'd wait around to see who picked him up so I can know who to avoid in the future.
                                        Can I get an AH-MEN!

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