Monday, June 25, 2012

Time to Post

No, I don't mean time to post to my blog.  I mean time to post my liability signs whether anyone else likes it or not. 

I was talking to my contractor today and he told me that a whole crew of horseback riders cut through my property riding along the perimeter of the fence he just erected while he was welding the gates to my barn.  I said, "And their horses didn't spook?"

He said, "Well, a couple of horses shied.  They weren't sure what to make of me in my welder's mask with sparks flying all around me."

I said, "I guess it's time to put up my liability signs on the new fence.  The only reason why I didn't do it sooner was because I thought no one would have the balls to ride through here while the construction was going on."

He laughed at that... probably because he knows that having balls is never an issue with people in Arizona.  I put one sign at the end of the trail right where riders come up out of the arroyo.

The old sign on the hill instructs them not to go this way...

because the neighbors with the white fence don't want them coming near their place.  However, the construction crew paved such a nice driveway for a truck that I'm sure some riders won't be able to resist.  I'll probably have to put up some kind of barrier at each end of this alley.  I was going to hang a chain between the two fences, but realized that some riders and horses may not see it, thus causing an accident and me getting sued.  If I use just a chain, I'll  have to hang a sign and flags from it or something.
The construction crew piled rocks and dirt from my paddock right on the old horse trail, so the riders cut a new path around it to the left.  That neighbor doesn't seem to like them riding on his property either.  The contractor offered to push the rocks and dirt into this hole that drops off at the edge of my driveway.  I originally wanted him to widen the driveway for trucks, but I'm thinking that if the neighbor really has a big problem when the riders cutting across his land, filling this hole will create a new trail for the horseback riders that runs right along our two property lines.  It doesn't exactly solve my neighbor's problem, but at least gives him a little more privacy since they won't be cutting so close to his back patio.

The contractor said that I can pour sand or D.G. over the rocks and then it will both widen the driveway and make a less rocky trail for riding. I told him it will be a few months before I can get a truck in here to lay down footing in the paddock, because he took all my money. Of course, the county inspector would not let him stray from the engineering plans, so it is going to cost me a bit more to get that roof on the barn. I'll definitely be broke for a while after this. He says I can't ride the horses on the ground as it is, but I'm going to be out there every evening piling rocks into my wheelbarrows until the paddock ground is at least smooth enough for some light riding.

My horses are due for a trim, but I've been waiting to get them to my place before setting up an appointment, since I don't have any control over what happens at the boarding stable.  I don't want to lose a new farrier because my horses start acting out over something happening around us.  Sometimes other boarders or the barn owners let horses loose into the main arena to get some exercise, and that gets my horses all riled up.

Anyway, my old farrier was not a barefoot farrier, but he did trim them the best he knew how so that I could ride without shoes.  However, I also only rode them on soft footing.  Around here there are tons of rocks and I will have to cross paved roads.  The trail up from the arroyo is completely rocks, and several of the riders who have come through there have told me they ride barefoot.  There are a lot of farriers in my area who advertise themselves as barefoot farriers, so I'll contact them first.

It just doesn't make sense for me to keep shoes on my horses because I'm not a rancher who uses her horses like cars every day.  I ride when I have the time, which is rarely; when the weather and temperatures allow, which is rarely; and when the horses are trained well enough to do what I need them to do, which also is rarely.  The horses will need time to get used to their new surroundings and new routine, I'll have to get the paddock ground into ride-able condition, and then I'll have to retrain them, starting with the basics, since it's been so long since I last rode.  I need to retrain myself how to ride too.

I'll have to train the horses to get through the state land gates, which have bars they must step over, and the poles on each side are fairly narrow.  Considering how my horses freaked out over going in and out of the huge livestock gates at the fairgrounds, and my trainer had to work with Bombay to keep him from trampling people during one of his freak outs, I'm sure these little state land gates will be no easy feat.  But, who knows, maybe the horses will surprise me.

I just can't believe that people were out riding in 108-degree heat yesterday.  I thought everyone just shut down their horse activities for the summer here.  I know the city of New York has a law about having to retire the carriage horses for the day if temperatures get above 90 degrees, I believe.  It may even be 80 degrees.  I don't recall.  It does seem a little cruel to ride horses in that kind of heat without access to water for several hours.  If people are going to insist on continuing to ride through my back yard in this heat, I think I will leave a water trough out for their horses too.


RiverBend Farm said...

I can't believe people are cutting thru there!! And then I can't believe they're out there riding in that heat!! Are people just nuts?!?

sydney K said...

Ugh thats annoying that riders don't ask to ride through your property. You could have no trespassing due to liability on your property and a bit about calling the cops if someone does not have permission. Back home it was not a big deal or even here for me to ride on someone else's property, because I know all those people and have had permission. Plus I'm not the type of person to sue someone if I get hurt. I assume my own liability for riding horses no matter what happens. It's sad that this is such a sue happy country.

Reddunappy said...

LOL Nuzz Muzz you are too nice!!! LOL

I was just wondering about the lane you left? It is a driveway area?

I envy you being able to, and wanting to do barefoot trims, and your dry country!!! I trim mine myself, but the ground is so wet here, that they do not toughen up their feet for barefoot riding.

If you are going to have a farrier do barefoot trimming, get Pete Rameys book "Making Natural Hoofcare Work for You", so that you can tell how good of job they do!! The book is excellent. Lots of pictures and different case scenarios. So you can see what a lot of different feet look like.

You will be saving a little bit when you bring the kids home?

Cut-N-Jump said...

Throw out some cholla cactus burrs and let mother nature do her thing. That will keep them out of the alleyway. Besides you don't want people riding their horses up through there where yours can get friendly and nose to nose with them passing along Gawd knows what?

You can also string the no climb across there, put up the No Trespassing signs & call it good. Problem is- some people are determined and will find a way to go through anyways. Asshats can be found everywhere.

It will all come around. Just give it time, think good thoughts and let the rest go. It knows where it can go and what to do when it gets there!

fernvalley01 said...

I think to some degree it is like here, we ride in some pretty cold temps but the horses are acclimatized to it . The thing about a water trough would be very nice but unless everyone scoops out with a pail, they run the risk of spreading disease . and I hate to be mean but some folks just either don't know or don't care and would let their horse snotty nose and all just slurp out of a community trough

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Reddunappy - I just didn't want to hook my fence up to the neighbors' nice white fence and then have my horses destroy it, so the contractor had the idea of leaving a 12-foot wide area around the perimeter of the paddock so that trucks can drive around it if needed. I, personally, think it would make a great racetrack for me and my horses.

Once Upon an Equine said...

I like that sign; it covers a lot. The signs I see in Colorado seem to protect "equine professionals" but don't mention private owners.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I don't like to ride once the temps get above 90F, and if they do, I will only ride in the mountains above 7,500 ft elevation, where the temps are cooler and we have tall trees for shade. Can't imagine how a horse feels with a heavy saddle and human on their back riding for hours in 108F temps. gah!

Good idea about putting up the signs, but I'm wondering why you didn't have your fence line meet up with your neighbor's with the white fence, so there isn't a path for the riders to travel on. Is that path between your fences not your property?


lilyrose said...

I'm not sure I would put out a water trough. That would just encourage all the riders to stop and linger on your land. You could take several feet of no climb fence and roll it, attach the ends to each other to make a round 'tube'. Stand it on end and fill it with all the large rocks you pull out of your riding area. Just strategically place a few of these rock columns at the end of your alleyway and the riders won't be able to squeeze thru. I've seen this done-it works. The wildlife can still run along thru but you won't have to worry about other horses bothering your guys. It will also keep your horses from running off that way should they get loose.

Mikey said...

I'm with Lilyrose on the water trough. That's inviting not only riders, but coyotes and other critters. The idea about non climb fence she suggests is good too. We have the same alleyways here, and I personally like them for a fire break, or if fire trucks need to get thru they can. We have panels that fit across and can swing right open.
Plus in your case it keeps your horses from nosing over the fence with the neighbor horses.
I'm glad you got the signs up though. At least it's some kind of coverage, should someone get hurt.

Anonymous said...

Why not have the contractor who's so good with a welder, weld together a quick gate and set one more post next to the neighbors fence? Then I'd post a no trespassing sign right on the gate - can't get much clearer than that!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Anonymous - Unless you are offering to pay for the extra gate, it's not going to happen. I'm already $7,000 over budget and dipping into our retirement savings. It's really not that much of a problem. I'll just go outside if I catch people and turn them around until I can afford some materials.

achieve1dream said...

I would just put a chain (maybe a white one so it's more visible) with a no trespassing sign on it. That was very sweet of you to set your fences back so your horses wouldn't chew the neighbors fence. :D I wish all neighbors were as considerate as you.

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