5 Acre Dream (minus the 5 acres!)


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Last Night...

I have a neighbor around the corner. The back of their property shares a fence with the west side of my property.

Last year, they got a yearling stud colt for free. The idea was their 12 yr old beginner daughter would train it. (eyes rolling) The yearling is now a big, strapping, two year old stallion. It is not even halter broke.

They never mess with this stallion, he is totally wild. I know he has not been vaccinated or wormed either.

Last night, I came home and he was in my pasture breeding my nice show mare!

I went over to their house, and only the daughter was home. She came to my house to help me catch the stallion.

We tried to bribe him away with grain, it didn't work. I went and got my mare, to get the stallion to follow her out of my field and he was trying to mount her as I was leading her! I had to hit him in the face with the lead rope to get him off of her.

I got him in his field, closed the gate and he immediately jumped back into my field!

I put my mare up, and told the girl to go home until her parents get back and can come over to get the horse.

The dad and the kids come back and remove the horse. I told him he will have to do something to contain it. He said he would run a strand of hot wire. Sorry, but that is not going to keep your two year old stallion out of my field.

I strongly suggested he have it gelded, which he dismissed.

He ended up putting a couple of panels where the stallion jumped the fence. But, my entire west side fence that borders the stallion's field is crappy old woven wire that is sagging and falling down. Sorry, I don't think a strand of hot wire will help to keep him out.

I think the horse is going to have to be gelded, got rid of, or they will have to put up a suitable fence.

I am sick over this. I don't know what to do. I made a police report about the incident. I called my vet and Margo will have to have a shot to abort. My little pony, Pete is covered with swelling from being kicked.

I can't believe my horses, who I slave over, who I live in the country to have, who I spend all of my money on, are both now injured and Margo possibly bred, because of the irresponsibility of my neighbor!!


Just a human said...

I saw your comment over at Fugly.Since you have a police report, I would think that you could send him the vet bill. If he refuses, you could threaten him with a civil suit. I am not one to preach that type of thing, but for some people (like the ones who have dogs that bite, but will not get rid of the dog)hitting them in the wallet is the only way.
You might want to also invest in a big sturdy fence to keep him out.I think he will keep coming back and he sounds dangerous.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Well, I do believe in most states stallions fall under the strict liability law. They are always assumed guilty until proven innocent and the owner is responsible for all their actions. So you may go after the neighbor for damages to your property (horses he hurt, having to abort your mare and having the vet out, fixing fence, having to keep your horses inside).

Likewise you are always responsible for any and all damage that your horse creates. You are required to have suitable fencing that keeps the horse confined (all horses). There might be local laws and regulations for the keeping of stallions (bulls - big unalterd animals likely to create a public hazard if they are not kept properly)

So you'll just have to find a way to make it fincially discouraging for your neighbor to allow the stallion situation to continue. Of course this is something you never need to have to deal with. If you think that stallion's trouble at 2 wait until he's 4. I find late 3 early 4 to be the worst year for young stallions.

Good luck with the situation.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Sara, call your vet. He/she can give your mare a shot to keep her from getting pregnant. That's top priority right now.

Send your neighbor the vet bill, with a firm letter stating that they will be liable for ALL damages to your horses if their horse gets in with yours again. You might also recommend your vet for gelding!

Anonymous said...

In addition to the above.
Get the fence replaced and take him to small claims to pay for half of it.
Hot wire may or may not work and some stallions will breed through a fence. Especially if the mare is extra "cooperative".

Anonymous said...

Sara most states have laws about the containment of stallions. and some states have laws that say its your responsibility to put up fencing to keep other peoples livestock out. you can find most of those laws online. where I live, stallions must be kept behind 6 foot fences with a 50 foot setback from any property lines. loose stallions at large if they cause any damage the owner is responsible to pay for them. this includes breeching fences. I would bet in Missouri that your neighbor is responsible for your vet bills, the repair of any fencing. also, many states have laws that state you may confine the loose stallion and have the sheriff sell him at auction to compensate for any damages. send him a bill!!

Anonymous said...

Sara: First off, I'd do whatever it took to keep my horses safe, then I'd go after them in whatever angle you can so they "see the light" that letting their 2 year old stallion breed your show horse is NOT okay. Take your receipts for damages and see a lawyer. If you have to install your own fence, keep receipts. I agree, taking a big bite out of their pocketbook always makes people pay attention.

Anonymous said...


Definitely hit them in the pocketbook.

Give them copies of bills for all the damages and tell them you expect to pay since their horse did the damage. And they will be dealing with this in court if they don't want to do it the easy way. Get a quote for a stallion-proof fence.

Make it really clear to these people that having an ungelded gelding is very expensive and the longer they take to geld the more expensive it's gonna get.

Check with your local regulations. In some places the required height for a stud enclosure varies from 6 feet to 8 feet, and of course the fence has to have much sturdier construction.

A wire fence with a hot wire is not legal anywhere I know of for enclosing a stallion.

Some places have very specific requirements for a stallion's enclosure. Maybe just getting a copy of what is required in your area will get these people to realize that gelding is a good idea. And training.

I suspect these laws aren't because stallions are vicious, but because mare owners like you don't want surprises.

Next time this horse shows up in your pasture (he's probably there now) you might want to call animal control and have them haul him off. They haul off stray dogs, right? They require male dogs to get fixed before they'll let you take them home, maybe the same ought to apply for stray male horses. At least those that aren't trained, registered, or champion material anyway.

Good luck. This would make anyone crazy.

Anonymous said...

Sara - From New Hampshire:


467:1-a Stallions.
Any owner or keeper of a stallion more than 12 months old, who willfully or negligently permits such stallion to run at large, out of the enclosure of such owner or keeper, shall be guilty of a violation. The fine imposed shall be for the use of the town in which the offense was committed, and the guilty party shall also be liable to the party injured and for damage done by such stallion running at large.


635:3 Trespassing Stock.
If any person having the charge or custody of any sheep, goats, cattle, horses, or swine shall knowingly, recklessly, or negligently suffer or permit the same to enter upon, pass over, or remain upon any improved or enclosed land of another without written permission of the owner, occupant, or his agent, and thereby injures his crops, or property, he shall be guilty of a violation.

AareneX said...

Here in my county and state (W. Washington) the laws are clear about stallion confinement, but the fine for not having it isn't very steep, and it isn't enforced except when there's an incident. Sigh.

As others have suggested, give the Irresponsible Owners the bills from your vet. Do NOT wait until the next time. Deal with it NOW. Maybe he'll pay and maybe not, but you need to inspire ACTION, not words and a strand of hotwire. A stack of bills can be very inspirational.

Good for you for researching both the gelding option and the fencing option for your neighbor, but I recommend that you also fence your property to keep other people's animals out. I agree that you shouldn't have to--it's the neighbor's responsibility to contain his animals--but this isn't a perfect world and stuff happens, so protect your horses to the best of your ability.

It would be good if your neighbor suddenly Got Responsible and offered to pay for everything, including your fence improvements, but don't count on it. Save your receipts just in case--maybe it will happen.

Finally, your lawyer can hit the neighbor's insurance company for damages to your animals. They may pay you; more importantly, if they have to pay out money you can be sure that they will raise the neighbor's rates AND require changes in fencing. These bills can add to the inspiration of your neighbor.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

There is a law in Missouri - which I will look up and send to you - stating that "1/2 of your property line fence between neighbors is their cost - and the other 1/2 is your's."

After presenting your neighbor with all the vet bills which I would do ASAP - and assuring him that it better not happen again; you might remind him that if a new and better fence is built, 1/2 of all that cost will be his and that a lien can be put on his property for it.