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Neighbours Do the Darnest Things

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  • Neighbours Do the Darnest Things

    I have crazy neighbours. Not mean people but a little senseless about their activities when we are riding. That is OK most of the time....they do not need to live their lives to accommadate my riding. the horses adjust and it means they can go most any place and not be too startled by the unexpected. BUT the daughter married a man who I think is in fact a little mean spirited and gets a charge out of making our horses spook. It seems if somethime he does that makes them spook he will do it over and over again...that day and other days. Like ducking behind a car and popping up just as we approach. They a re a family that love to burn.....they burn garbage (we joke that they are burning bodies of those they have killed) and they burn brush and they just plain burn for camp fire I guess. Our horses have adjusted to this but the other night they had a fire going and started throwing fireworks and "caps" into the fire. They got a reaction from the horses but bless their little souls no one was so reactive that anyone got killed or tossed on the ground.

    We have never complained re the neighbour's activities but have made audiable comments about the disturbing impact of some of their worst behaviours. I realize some of what they do is simply not being horse people but the young husband is doing this for a reaction....I am convinced. What if someone gets really hurt? I do not know what to do and have the feeling if I talk to them about it it will cause "issues" and they could get worse. The fact remains they are on their property doing legal things. The fireworks, however, have really taken the cake. Any suggestions or do you think the approach that the horses have to cope ought to continue as our approach?

  • #2
    I had a neighbour like that- he used to deliberately light bottle rockets off next to my round pen when I was breaking greenies, used to gun his motor and appear to be about to run us down if he was dirving down the road where we were trail riding, and the burning! He had a business that produced a lot of empty plastic bottles and every couple of days he would BURN all that plastic- it seemed to me he waited until I was riding to start his fires with gasoline, producing many explosions, etc.

    I try not to worry about the "what-ifs". I did however, after a couple of years, start phoning the fire/police department whenever he lit those illegal plastic fires, fired his guns or set off fireworks out of season (they are only legal here on Halloween, New Years and Canada Day). He did collect a few fines after a while, which didn't help me much, but did seem to make him move his burnpile and stop lighting the fireworks and guns. And none of my greenies is upset by explosions and fireworks, so thanks for the chance to desensitize...

    He is much nicer now. Something really changed his life and he came over last summer crying and apologizing for all the things he had done and said over the years. Turns out his wife, who was never a problem, was diagnosed with cancer. She seems to be doing OK now, but it changed his life, I can see.
    "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


    • #3
      I would also start making complaints. That way you have a history.
      a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


      • #4
        If it truly isn't harming you and the horses are coping and getting used to things, I would do my best to ignore it, not give them any reaction, and just go about your business. Here's why...

        My friend's parents live on a beautiful piece of property and keep their two horses there. To get to their house, they have to use the road/driveway that goes past a neighbor who likes to keep junk cars and other stuff along the sides of that road. He happens to be blocking the other driveway to their property and was not amenable to moving his stuff permanently. They asked nicely, explained they wanted to be able to drive their horse trailer out that entrance, finally complained to the police when he didn't move his stuff. Over the past 2 years, it has escalated into a legal battle. Neither of them feels they can back down now without the other "winning". Friend's parents don't feel they can enjoy the neighborhood because there is always the threat of potential violence or just bullying from the neighbor guy. They won the legal battle and may be evacuated when police come to take some of this guy's stuff to pay the legal award due to the very real possibility of violence happening. It's hard to watch from the outside and reminds me that we all have to work hard to be good neighbors...even when our neighbors don't work as hard as they should. So, I'd do everything in my power to make sure things Don't escalate with a neighbor. Because it doesn't matter if you're "right" if you then can't enjoy your place and live in fear.


        • #5
          Well Bless Your Heart

          The next time he jumps out at you, respond as follows: "Well bless your heart for helping me to bomb proof my horses. You have been ever so helpful." It should take the wind out of his sails.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Treasmare2 View Post
            The fact remains they are on their property doing legal things.
            If you are sure this is true, then there really is nothing you can do. Note that CatOnLap was talking about reporting ILLEGAL things. There might be a noise ordinance where you are, at least between certain hours. But if not, I think you have to adjust.

            I had a neighbor who claimed that my BBQ smoke went right in her windows and dirtied the curtains. She called the police repeatedly. Even though scaring horses is more insidious than cooking burgers, the answer is still the same. The police didn't even respond to my neighbor.
            Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


            • #7
              Originally posted by JoZ View Post

              I had a neighbor who claimed that my BBQ smoke went right in her windows and dirtied the curtains. She called the police repeatedly.
              Oh sure, now I have to go find something to clean my monitor.

              Who knew grilling was so evil?

              Is it legal for them to burn trash? It is surprising the places that is not legal anymore. Check the local codes.

              I like X-rab's idea. If they think what they are doing is not bothering you but helping you it will ruin all their fun.


              • Original Poster

                So far we have had them mostly on the "ignor program" but the problem is that a spooking horse seems to be reward enough to continue their efforts. I am over 50 with moderate bone density risk so the possibility of a fall is never good. I try to avoid risky situations but their behaviour tends to remove my choice.....generally I try to ride thru their antics.

                There may be a burn permit required....that is a great suggestion that I will explore but the the burning is only an issue when they add the fireworks to the flames. The little darlings have built a shed and bought motor bikes which they like to rev up and do alot of banging around the shed which is as close to my riding ring as they can get. The truely puzzling part is this is a peaceful neighbourhood and rarely are people at odds but for some reason this newish husband has something in for the horses I think. I wish I could spook his motor bike as he was slinging a leg over it so that he gets a picture of how unfunny it is for us to deal with his attempts to view a rodeo. I have decided he is just a jealous entitled person but if I break my back as a result of their behaviour I am going to be very unhappy because alot of this is avoidable. The other side of me does not want to create a show down with neighbours that I know are not going to move away and neither am I. I am looking for opportunities to run into the mother, who lives one door down from the young ones,(they also burn, use chain saws alot and chippers and weed whackers) and tell her about my fears of a wreck and hope it gets dealt with within the family. In the meantime we try to maintain our position of sitting on a saddle rather than in the air two feet to the side of the back of the horse....wowsers!!!


                • #9
                  I like the idea of thanking this young neighbor hubby for being so helpful -- only I'd take it a step further...

                  Working with a horse that you know is already bombproof, I'd ask him if he could please do it again -- your horse really can use the desensitization -- and again, and again, and...

                  You might also tell your someone (within young idiot's earshot) how good training help is so hard to find, and how lucky you are to have someone willing to do it for free.
                  They're not miniatures, they're concentrates.

                  Born tongue-in-cheek and foot-in-mouth


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by susanne View Post
                    Working with a horse that you know is already bombproof, I'd ask him if he could please do it again -- your horse really can use the desensitization -- and again, and again, and...
                    Brilliant. Every time he sees you coming he will high tail it out of there.
                    "Aye God, Woodrow..."


                    • Original Poster

                      Snort!!!!! Good one!!!!! Love it.