Idiots feeding the horses!

YorksG

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A small rant coming now.
We have our horses at home, fields and yard surrounded by other fields and a private lane, no footpaths or other public access to the fields, although there are footpaths across fields next to ours. One of the younger horses, the Appy, is very, very sensetive to some foods (especially high sugar ones and in fact neither Appy can cope with carrots.) We appear to have an odd occurrance, usually on a Thursday, when she is bonkers coming in and itchy for a couple of days. We put up extra electric fencing, just behind the dry stone wall and signs saying not to feed and that it is private land, all well for the last three weeks, happy horse and happy me :) Until yesterday when she was bonkers again and still itchy today! I will try the wi-fi camera next week, but am seriously running out of ideas of to stop these fools, as I have not caught them in the act yet, I'm guessing they won't come into the field if they see me around and can't get to feed the girls if they stay out of the field.
Any ideas other than razor wire on the wall tops?
 

Cheeky Chestnut

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I would put camera signs up and also signs saying those feeding the horses will be liable for vets bills. We have people feeding ours who just happen to be on a well walked road. I have told them personally NOT to feed bread and porridge oats to my cereal intolerant old guy, I catch them every week doing it because they are old horse people and horses lived on bread and oats in their day.

I have told I will pursue them for damages but they just don't give a crap.
 

SusieT

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IT might not be carrots. I'd be thinking more environmental causes linked to high pollen days etc.
 

Pearlsasinger

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BB, years ago I had a seriously cereal intolerant mare, at livery. We spotted an elderly man walking on the private track round the outside of the field, where he definitely should not have been, with a loiaf of bread. When I asked him not to feed her, the reply was "she likes it". Yes she did, she was addicted to the stuff but it made her extremely ill. We just could not get him to leave her alone. She was well down the pecking order, too, so it was a miracle that there weren't some serious injuries as well.
These fools drive you mad!
 

hibshobby

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Firstly, sorry but he/she/they are not idiots. They just don't know better. He/she/they don't know that your horse does not tolerate cereals.Totally agree that he/she/they should not be feeding your horse but to many, horses = carrots, sugar lumps etc etc.

Secondly, just have a word - show them your posts on this forum. Or show them magazine articles. As you say, in their day it was "bread and oats". Not fair to say they don't give a crap. They may well, they just don't know.
 

Mrs B

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Firstly, sorry but he/she/they are not idiots. They just don't know better. He/she/they don't know that your horse does not tolerate cereals.Totally agree that he/she/they should not be feeding your horse but to many, horses = carrots, sugar lumps etc etc.

Secondly, just have a word - show them your posts on this forum. Or show them magazine articles. As you say, in their day it was "bread and oats". Not fair to say they don't give a crap. They may well, they just don't know.
And which bit about 'private land' & 'do not feed' & 'liable for vets bills' do you think these people not get? Especially as in BB's case, she has explained the problem in person.
 

YorksG

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Firstly, sorry but he/she/they are not idiots. They just don't know better. He/she/they don't know that your horse does not tolerate cereals.Totally agree that he/she/they should not be feeding your horse but to many, horses = carrots, sugar lumps etc etc.

Secondly, just have a word - show them your posts on this forum. Or show them magazine articles. As you say, in their day it was "bread and oats". Not fair to say they don't give a crap. They may well, they just don't know.
They are idiots if they climb a wall and virtually limbo under electric fence to feed animals which are not theirs and where there are notices telling them not to!
I do not understand why people feel it is ok to feed horses that are not theirs, no-one tries to feed my dogs without asking.
 

hibshobby

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As I understood it, there were no signs - the OP is going to try cameras "next week". I'm not defending the offenders, I just think there is a degree of overreaction.
BB does have a case as he/she has asked whoever not to do it - fairynuff.
I keep my horse on a private yard and the land owners are very private and defensive about their property so I totally understand what people will tolerate. But they still get people mis-interpreting a footpath route and walking and cycling/running on the land. A word in the ear, with German Shepherd in tow does the trick.
 

YorksG

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As I understood it, there were no signs - the OP is going to try cameras "next week". I'm not defending the offenders, I just think there is a degree of overreaction.
BB does have a case as he/she has asked whoever not to do it - fairynuff.
I keep my horse on a private yard and the land owners are very private and defensive about their property so I totally understand what people will tolerate. But they still get people mis-interpreting a footpath route and walking and cycling/running on the land. A word in the ear, with German Shepherd in tow does the trick.
The signs are there and have been for over a month, I have re-read my OP and I did say the signs and the extra electric fencing is there.
I do not consider it an over-reaction when the mare is made ill and uncomfortable. I just do not understand why people feel they have the right to feed other peoples horses, when they wouldn't dream of feeding the cattle next door, or even our sheep! How would they react to my waqlking into their garden and feeding their rabbit on mars bars I wonder?
 

Haz:)

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If all the camera / hide in the field stuff doesn't work, I'd pop a line of electric tape across the top of the stone wall and also keep the other electric tape. Make sure it's electrified. Are you sure they don't just throw it over? Try sign scaring.

Not the same but similar- people used to throw things over the hedge for my YO pony when she had one many years ago. One day someone chucks their lawn clippings over and the pony got colic and died. Took me years to get that story out of my YO, absolutely heartbroke her. She hasn't had equines since.

Also. Some people walk dogs along the field next door which is also NOT a footpath. One day a staffy comes shooting in. Round and under the hedge + fence and wires. He goes straight for a liveries cob on the nose, and starts snapping. I was injured at the time, so I hobbled up as fast as possible using my Shetland to drag me along a bit. I had to scare it off with sticks but he was near my pride and joy first pony, love of my life, and if I hadn't got up quicker he would of had him (and if he had, I swear he would not of left my fields live... No way, and that's me being honest.) I had to yell across to the owner who was buggering off. Said that the dog had just attacked our horses, she said whatever, I don't have to listen to you.

Apparently you can shoot dogs that are worrying livestock, not that I have a gun. But all the same I wish I'd let her know that. I managed to get my neighbour in the village she was walking back to find out what house she went into so I could report it. The livery decided not to make them pay for vets treatment for some reason, they are too nice like that... She hasn't come back there though, so a face to face massive, aggressive confrontation may work.
 

Cheeky Chestnut

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Problem with Scotland, not as much in England, is the right to roam policy we have up here and anyone can cross any field up here regardless. Dogs have to be controlled but people can do what they like.

I get sick of asking people not to feed my horse bread and cereals. If anyone was feeding him a carrot or an apple then because he doesn't have an issue with them I don't mind. I even told the people of they wanted to feed him those then that's fine.

It's like the girl whose fingers were stripped by incorrectly feeding a horse you are in the wrong no matter what you do. My oldie doesn't get cereals so if someone is handing them to him in a plate they he is going to eat them.

So yes they are idiots for feeding when signs measures and requests have been made not to. :(
 

Cinnamontoast

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There was a bunch of people (mums and very small kids) wandering the yard (it's also an RS) today feeding endless carrots and sweets. Mine was tied up while I mucked out. One tiny girl virtually ran into his legs :( He's not good with small kids and I said to the mums that he might kick. Another livery asked them not to feed the ancient Shetland carrots.

I've had to ask people to stop throwing carrots at horses before-over a fence, at their heads. I just don't understand why people get arsey about being politely asked not to feed. No-one tries to feed my dogs when they see them! Makes me furious.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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I out signs up saying that there was cctv put in the field and that anyone found feeding the ponies would be liable to the vets fees.

Needless to say the ponies were no longer fed random crap by randoms.
 

YorksG

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I hadn't thought of the idiots possibly throwing food at them! But that could well be the case, as I think they would throttle themselves on the extra electric fencing! Why do people think that horses are public property? They must know (because of the signs and the fencing) that we don't want them feeding the horses. The mare nearly took the inside of the stable apart yesterday, rubbing her backside, it's costing me a fortune for these fools to feed her, never mind the distress it is causing her! :( :(
 

Overread

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Same reason people feed ducks or do many things that seem odd when looked at. It's one of those "things you do" because its something that has been done a lot in the past and because its often shown on TV/media/stories/etc... as the thing to do. They might not feed your dog but they'd likely want to pet your dog all the same; its why people also put on that "childish" voice when talking to animals. They don't realise htey are doing it but they are often copy-catting someone else that did it or a video/film/media again.

Heck look at how the way kids treat university - after years of films showing it as a huge booze party ;)


The problem is that these people are expressing a desire to interact with your horse; nature;wildlife; stuff. They want to interact through no source of malice but their understanding is significantly limited. With little understanding; little appreciation they are left with few choices - one is to leave well alone but they don't want to do that so they fall back on the one or two things they do know - horses like treats. Furthermore even if treating isn't in their mind food is an easy way to get a horse to come over to be petted.

Warning horse bites might work better as a sign; however if you've got someone who's been doing this a while they already know your horse enough to know the sign is not truthful. "On medical diet" "Recovering" "highly allergic" etc.. signs might work but if all that fails then "smile you're on camera" can work wonders.

It's a shame to think of everywhere being videoed and on camera these days; but on the flipside if you can't catch the person(s) and can't stop your horse being made ill by the inappropriate actions of others then it might be the last option.



Sadly a horse is a big animal and a tiny carrot or two is seen as totally harmless.
 

Haz:)

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Second the above.

And if everything else fails, and they still keep feeding her, you could muzzle her in the day on Thursdays, but that would be a last resort as a muzzle has the ability to reduce up to 80% of a horses grass intake.
 

c2b

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Maybe the person can't read/has learning difficulties etc.

We currently have an issue with a young man who has learning difficulties going into one of the fields with two young geldings. He has to climb through several lots of highly electric fencing to do so. It doesn't stop him.
 

sunnyone

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I don't think you'll ever stop people wanting to stroke/pet/feed certain types of animals. Nor can you stop them trespassing, some people think laws do not apply to them e.g.: I had a parish councillor ring me to say people were camping illegally in our field, but the only way they could have known this was because they too had been trespassing in it, and indeed they had planted stepping stones in the adjoining stream so they could do so!

I'm sure you can imagine the scene when my horse had to live behind a Mother's Pride bakery.We resolved it after just a few days as the bakery manager left a loaf by the bakery back door with a sign: 1 loaf a day ONLY for the horse. Do not exceed! It worked. Could you do something similar on a Thursday i.e. leave out some approved feed/treats with a sign to say: Please feed sparingly, nothing else allowed for medical reasons?
 

Illusion100

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Sometimes I wonder if it can be the way horsey folk can be stereotyped. Maybe they are thinking 'Putting fences and snotty signs up, what a stuck up toff, we're only trying to be nice and the horses love us!'. :p

I think the 'Medical diet' idea is great but I might baby language it a bit. 'Feeding us treats we aren't used to is making us sick. The Vets need to so scary things to fix our poorly tummies and it really hurts! Please don't feed us!'

Ok, it's a mouthful but you get what I mean! :p Just maybe if they can see the issue in a different light it may help them understand, maybe!

Good luck!
 

Bessi

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They are idiots if they climb a wall and virtually limbo under electric fence to feed animals which are not theirs and where there are notices telling them not to!
I do not understand why people feel it is ok to feed horses that are not theirs, no-one tries to feed my dogs without asking.

Lucky You! I had a situation where my neighbours decided my dog was too skinny so had been throwing food over the fence into my back garden, she's a young very active ridgeback who is still growing so was lean but by no means thin UNTIL they started feeding her. They threw over cooked chicken bones which splintered and resulted in a abscess in her salivary glands which reoccured and left her unable to eat an requiring two lots of general anaesthetic, they also threw over other food which gave her repeated diarrhoea. Spoke to them several times asking them not to ended up sending them a letter stating if they continued they would be liable for vets fees and still feel uncomfortable letting the dogs out in the rear garden unsupervised in case they do it again..
 

Overread

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I think the baby language makes it sound childish; which will work if its kids but adults or young adults or smart kids will think "ok so they don't want me to give 20 sugar cubes but these two or three healthy apples are fine".

A simple "strict medical diet" or similar is short, to the point and should cover things. The most you might consider is a stark warning for any specific food groups; but if you say " no apples " people go pick something else like mints or carrots so you could end up in a petty battle where by your list of no's gets longer and longer.
One further idea would be to put something along the lines of "DANGER. This horse is allergic to certain foods/treats like some people are to nuts". It gives people a real world reference point that is most likely within their experiences (most people know someone allergic to nuts) to relate to and give context.

And yes you are right; more fences and barriers and signs can sometimes fail to work because people see it as being toffee nosed or selfish and trying to keep your horse for yourself (like it or not the countryside is something people feel entitled to and farmers fields/paddocks/horses/cattle etc... are all part of the countryside).
 

honetpot

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I think we all as children fed horses bread and apples when we saw them at the fence, we were too young and unknowledgeable and did not know it was wrong. When we become educated we learn that its potentially dangerous to ourselves and it not really wise. The problem is the general public is not educated they are still at the stage when you think can pat and feed any horse, and of course if they give them grass clipping its a lovely treat for them.
In an ideal world the best method is education, with children they do mean any harm, I am more worried for their safety so I try and involve them a bit and speak to their parents. I think the tough nut is older adults who have always done it and never going to admit they are wrong and times have changed and see your concern as nonsense. My brother in law who has lived in the country all his life wondered why they had little grass. I would still try education with a little humour. ''Please no extra food,calorie counting''
 

SEL

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So my Appy has PSSM and is intolerant to sugar. She does the best "feed me treats" face around and her paddock (with hardly any grass in) is right by the riding school car park so they can all climb out of their cars and feel sorry for the pony that is being treated so badly with no food. I have resorted to putting up a big red stop sign and underneath it basically says NO SUGAR and then a list of things that means (ie/ no carrots, pony treats, apples, grass cuttings etc). I'm hoping the vast majority of kids can read that bit. In smaller letters underneath it says "feeding this pony treats is like giving a diabetic child sweets - you will make her sick". Most of the parents have now clocked that final sentence and its obviously resonated because I've heard one mum telling her child to stay away.

If that doesn't work then my next sign will be a 'danger it bites' version. The mare does have a bit of a reputation for being grumpy around food so if I can't educate the passers by then I'll just go for scaring them!!
 

YorksG

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Sel, I hope it works for you and your mare. I shall report back on Thursday evening, when hopefully I shall know who is feeding them and will have impressed upon them that they must not feed the horses!
 
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