Monday, September 28, 2009

Stupendous Sunday

I got a chance to ride Lostine on Sunday. Don't let this sweet face fool you. She made it clear from the start that she wasn't going to cooperate with me, so I rode her hard. I put her mind to work right away and steered strong with my legs while maintaining consistent contact with her mouth. Usually, I don't like to hold the reins as tight as my equitation instructor taught me, but this was a case in which I knew she planned to buck me off, so I had to keep her head up and keep her body in my control.

This time I put Swat around the bottom and sides of the horse's eyes, a thin strip down their faces, and a little on their legs to give them some relief from the flies since it seems to be the only product that works. I usually only use Swat around injuries, but I wanted to have a pleasant ride on Lostine without her getting agitated about the flies. I also took Mary Olsen's suggestion of keeping all four legs wrapped to keep the flies off. It worked. Now I've just got to get one of those crocheted tassel bonnets. Does anyone know where I can get one?

After our ride, Lostine had to openly celebrate that I was off her back...

Ahhhh, that feels better.

It was a gorgeous day and with all the neighbors either out of town or at church, I had the entire air space to myself. Years ago I used to sit out on my patio and read and write. All of that came to a screeching halt when my nosy neighbors moved in next door and made me feel uncomfortable by coming out to stare at me. Today I was able to sit out on my patio for over an hour soaking in the sun and reading a good novel in complete comfort and privacy.

At dusk I walked outside and saw that the nosy neighbors' car still wasn't in their driveway, so I started talking baby talk to my horses, calling them horsies and asking them if they want their din-din. They all turned to look at me, and when they separated, I was shocked to see strangers standing on my property petting my horses. It was a man and a woman holding a baby. They were standing right between my NO TRESPASSING and PRIVATE DRIVE - PLEASE STAY OUT signs. They quickly scurried off when they saw me, so they obviously knew they weren't supposed to be there.

I saw them the night before on my friend's property watching her horses while she was out of town. I kept an eye on them since they were strangers and trespassing on her property. They looked like they were just out for an evening stroll and trying to entertain their baby with the horses, but you never know around here. They could be staking out the neighborhood. They seemed to take great interest in the cabinets on our driveway. The man saw me sitting in my side yard and gawked at me as he walked down the road.

You know, I like to go to a park that is lined with the backyards of houses, but I don't stare at people who are in their backyards as I walk past. I respect their privacy and mind my own business by looking straight ahead in the direction that I'm walking. I don't understand why so many people around here feel the need to stare at me when I'm on my private property. It's just plain rude. I wanted so bad to drop my pants and give the guy something to really stare at, but I contained myself.

Since these people showed up two nights in a row, I'm thinking that they are either visiting relatives in the neighborhood and will be gone soon, or they lost their jobs and had to move in with relatives, in which case my only hope to get rid of them will be either asking them to stay off my property or hoping they get jobs soon.

One of the issues I have with people inviting themselves onto my property is that they send my dogs into hysterics. I have a problem with one neighbor who complains when my dogs bark, so I don't want anyone triggering a barkfest. Between these strangers taking their evening stroll up my private road, which is clearly marked as a private road, and the hot air balloonists floating over my house in the early mornings, there has been a lot of barking going on lately.

Also, I've been finding cigarette butts around my barn this past week, so if these people have been visiting for more than just the past couple of nights, that means they are responsible for the litter on my property too. My horses will eat anything up off the ground that doesn't look like dirt. I don't need to find out what happens to their digestive tracts when they ingest cigarettes!

Every time we get newcomers into this neighborhood, they seem to make a beeline for my land and horses, ignoring my signs and right to privacy along the way. I do have a couple of neighbors who I trust to come over to pet my horses, and that's because I've already had a talk with them about petting at their own risk and not feeding the horses. However, until I have that understanding with people, I don't want them hanging out near my barn. The fact that these latest trespassers don't know me, yet disrespected my signs, makes me not like them already.


fernvalley01 said...

Sounds like a good ,proactive approach to your ride on Lostine. well done

Reddunappy said...

Geez the people would drive me nuts, I would be known as the nasty neighber.

Can you just call the Sherriff when these unwanteds keep showing up? or are they to far away? Maybe if you call the Sherriff a couple times it would help? I dont know LOL Strange strange neighborhood you live in!

lytha said...

oh i wish i had commented before i had finished reading, because those pictures of lostine are so pretty, i was delighted, and each photo just got better, and her thin stripe on her face is so perfect, and her color, and her forelock, and her typy face....

then i finished reading and i am worried about your safety and your horses' safety. i wish you didn't have to worry about so many things in your surroundings!

the worst thing that has happened here, so far, neighbor-wise, last week a neighbor kid reached over our fence and ate some of my raspberries. from my viewpoint in my stall, i could see him stealthily enjoying my favorite berry. i was so mad! i was tempted to become the bad neighbor, and put up a nice passive agressive sign..i even had it planned out, it would the Thou Shalt Not Steal in german. then i doused my resentment and told myself when i was a kid, i would pick flowers from alleys, knowing full well someone had planted them.

anyway, back to lostine. whew, what a beauty! thanks so much for sharing, i loved getting a chance to see her tonight.


Katharine Swan said...

NM, you don't have to be so nice -- even if they are strangers and this was the first time, you need to give them the business, especially considering they were doing this to your other neighbor too!

I would have called loudly, "Excuse me!" and once they stopped walked over to explain, politely but firmly, that this is private property and you do prosecute trespassers.

I mean, honestly. If they want to entertain their baby they can take it to a petting zoo... where they have to sign a waiver first.

Katharine Swan said...

Lytha, you bring up a good point. It's understandable when it's a kid doing it. But when it's adults, who ought to know better... It just makes me so mad.

We don't deal with trespassing at my barn, but since the property is on a corner the pasture does border a neighborhood street. People walking their dogs, taking their kids out in the stroller, or riding their bikes often pause at the fence to see the horsies. That's fine. But yesterday, a mom and her two kids stopped at the fence and called to the horses for TWENTY MINUTES while I was grooming Panama. Exceedingly rude... and shouldn't she be teaching her kids better manners than that?

Paint Girl said...

Loved the pictures of Lostine rolling!! Great sequence!
I would have told the strangers to get off and stay off my property. I have given permission to some of my neighbors to come over to see my horses and goats, but they are nice people, and I trust them. If I caught anyone I don't know on my property, I definitely would be telling them to leave. You deserve your privacy, and I can't believe that they would still come on your property, no trespassing signs and all. They are just asking for it.
It must have been nice to finally sit out on your deck in the sun and read for awhile! I love to do that!

Julie G said...

Don't trust anyone on your property that you don't know. We had trespassers 5 years ago this November... this person decided to break into my feed room and gave buckets and buckets of feed to my horse and the horse that had recently been through surgery... this led to my horse choking that night and colicing throughout the weekend and ending up in surgery with a twisted cecum at 12:30 in the morning. Thousands of dollars out the door and some idiotic person running freely out there my advice to you is.... don't trust anyone on your property that you don't know.
Unfortunately that is the world we live in these days. Good Luck

Mary Olson said...

I can't believe people would do that! Just come on your property! Wait a minute, I did have a neighbor that used my riding ring when I wasn't home and would bring other people with her. I finally put a lock on it because I was afraid of being sued if they got hurt on my property. Of course, then I became the bad guy but you have to do what you have to do.

On a more pleasant note, I enjoyed the rolling photos. Nicer series of shots!

photogchic said...

Stateline tack has a good selection of bonnets. That cigarette butt thing has me worried...they could start your barn on fire. I would go crazy if I found people loitering and littering on my property. Maybe some "No Smoking" signs need to go up.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

You must be one very interesting person...or your property is just so unique that folks can't help themselves.
Like you, if I'm walking ina neighborhood lined with houses, I don't stare at the houses, and especially not if I see someone enjoying their yard. I consider their outside property to be just as private as their inside spaces.

I'm sorry you have to deal with such nosiness. Are your horses friendly to other people and will they accept treats from other people?

Sometimes the neighbor behind our house has kids visit and they always try to get my mare to come to the fence for petting and treats. I can see them from my bathroom window. But Baby Doll tends to be rather 'stuck-up' and anti-social with strangers and will just turn her back to them. I think I'm kind of grateful for that after reading Julie G's comment. wow!

Your photos of Lostine were so great! I love the one of Lostine shaking off the dust when she stood up.
I'm glad you enjoyed a good ride on her and some time to yourself, too.


Leah Fry said...

Do they actually come through a gate into the pasture, or are they reaching over a fence? People are so stupid around horses, I always worry about a lawsuit.

I don't know how you stay so patient. You're a better person than I am.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Julie G's comment reinforces my reasoning for why I don't want people hanging around my horses. It's too easy for people to brush it off and say I'm just being paranoid or I'm just being the unfriendly neighbor, but I know that if you give people an inch, they'll take a mile, and next thing you know they'll be setting up pup tents and a campfire in your pasture. Or worse yet, you'll find your horse choking or colicking or just plain gone, then like Mrs. Mom find your horse at the bottom of a pool in someone's backyard.

My friend lets me ride at her place even when she's not home, but I don't do that because I don't want to be held responsible if something is missing or someone else comes along and forgets to close the gate. I want her to be around to witness that I am respectful of her rules and her property when I use it.

My horses are very friendly and will take treats from people. Gabbrielle gets so excited about receiving attention that she'll try to push right through a fence to wrap herself around you. She connects with everyone she meets, which I'm sure has a lot to do with why people keep coming back.

They come on to my property and reach across the fence. However some of the cigarette butts I've found have been in the paddock and not near the fence. I suppose the wind could have blown them or birds could have transported them, but I've never had problems with finding cigarettes within my paddock, my round pen, and around my barn before and I've lived here for 15 years. With the kitchen remodel going on, we haven't been good about locking the RV lane gate.

Last night I put the horses to bed early, since these people tend to come by at dusk and I locked the gate with a combination lock. Around 10:00 PM I heard a ruckus and went outside. All the horses were on alert in their stalls, but I didn't see anyone other than my nosy neighbor peering out her window at me.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Oh, one other comment I meant to make inspired by your comments and questions... my property does stand out because I have a very green park-like setting and my house is a little nicer than most in this area. Others live in rundown ranch homes built in the 1970's on lots of sagebrush. Ours is a rundown ranch home too, but looks a little more kept up from the outside, and we've put a lot of work into growing grass and trees to keep it green and shady. So, it's understandable that my property would attract people.

When my neighbor started running her bread and breakfast, I found that some of her guests would take walks on my property as if it were a public park. My dogs put a stop to that. My husband and kids built a track around the pasture for mountain biking and running, and I've seen people use that for walking and jogging, even though I have a NO TRESPASSING sign right there. I haven't seen anyone climb over a fence or go through a gate, which makes me wish I had ten of thousands of dollars so that I could build a tall fence or wall all the way around my one and a third acres.

Shirley said...

I loved the photos of Lostine rolling; priceless!Things sure are different where you live; here if someone was petting my horses I would just assume that it was someone who loved horses, and didn't mean any harm. I'm so glad that I don't have any near neighbours, but folks around here tend to be friendly.

Kerry said...

perhaps a good electric wire positioned at levels that would discourage climbing through. I know even THAT costs money but it would be worth it if it prevented any theft (or barn fire). I use to be a very trusting nieve (sp?) person, but Larry taught me to think more. Maybe these people are just an innocent family looking for a job and a new start. Mayne the man is scoping out a job looking for horses to slaughter and transport to Mexico....(shudder) and using a wife and baby as a cover to lesson suspicions....

And yes EXCELLENT shots of Lostine, I can't decide which one is best. Your pictures are making me miss the West sitting here in the humid East Texas Piney Woods.

manker said...

yup.. we have some "weather " here too.. yesterday 74 right now 35 and i'm getting ready to head out to the barn where there's (no typo) 3 inches of snow

yikes ... is it september or december? Time warp ensues


S. Lauren said...

Wow I would be highly annoyed with those people too. Do you ever see them with cigerettes? If they smoke, I bet the cigs were from them. It is sad that people would trespass on your property. My grandparents have some gorgeous property on a big river and acreage and people would even go through the fence or open the gate and go onto the property to hunt. I remember a long time ago someone accidently shot one of my grandpa's bulls cause they must of thought it was a deer (there is forest and tall grass there). I don't know how your property is, but maybe more fence or a rope with the sign would help? It really stinks that you do have to be a protective neighbor but I'd worry if they feed my horses and stuff. When I have my own horse I won't let anyone feed it without my permission. Even though it sometimes won't make the horse sick if it is a carrot or horse treat but if someone gives them treats constantly then their manners will worsen.
You could consider placing a sign on the fence asking to not touch/pet/feed the horses. And if the people have to walk on your property to touch the horses, then isn't it there fault if they get hurt? It's not like the horse is reaching their head out over someone else's property and causing a problem.

For the bonnets, if this is what you're looking for, try this link:

It is from Dover Sadddlery, if the link doesn't work go to and keyword search "bonnet" they have a decent selection. Someone else also mentioned Stateline Tack,

Anonymous said...

Check your state laws on the correct legal way to posted your property against trespassers and do it. Ascertain at what point people are in violation; some places you must warn them in person and some places the signs count as first warning. Then call the cops when they are violating. Period. Otherwise the problem will just grow until it's totally out of control and/or someone sues you.

We have a regular succession of "new neighbors" and in general they treat our place like a petting zoo. Until the deputy writes up their citation.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I know that a while back we were having problems with people parking vehicles on our property and right up against the roadside mailboxes. The mail carrier couldn't get in to deliver the mail and/or the neighbors couldn't get in to pick up their mail. So, one day I called the police and asked them to send someone by to ticket the driver. The operator didn't want to waste a patrolman's time on that, so she asked me to call the phone number on the side of the truck and ask them to move it myself.

Since I knew I couldn't get the cooperation of the sheriff's department with illegal parking jobs, I had to just try to grab the drivers before they walked off each time someone parked there. I also put up a NO PARKING sign, but people still stop there to talk on cell phones and read maps. I guess they figure it's okay, because technically they are not parking. They are just stopping. I'll walk up or drive up behind them to try to get to my mail and they won't see me, so I have to honk or knock on their window and tell them to move.

Up at Lake Tahoe they have had to post NO STOPPING signs since the NO PARKING signs weren't working. Then they had to resort to blocking the shoulder with wooden posts so that people couldn't possibly fit their car on the side of the road. The shoulder is there for emergencies only. Sometimes an oncoming car crosses over into your lane to pass a bicyclist, and you have nowhere to go but off onto the shoulder. However, you can't do that if someone is stopped or parked there because they want to climb down the mountain to get a closer look at the lake or they want to talk on their cell phone or take pictures. They have specified parking areas and vistas for that.

Andrea said...

Sounds like you need some electric fence! and a mean yard dog!! I hate it when people just toss butts onto the ground like that!!