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RockRiverTiff

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I had a glorious early start to my morning. :DOH! At the crack of dawn, I got the call that the horses were out. Nothing gets me up faster than that! The whole way to the farm (about a 5-minute drive if I'm panicking), I couldn't stop thinking that it was all my fault. I turned the broodmare herd out onto a new section of pasture last night as a treat, and was just sure that I hadn't done a good job checking the fences prior.

So we get to the farm, and the horses are the closest they have ever been to the road. Turns out the new girl is much less inhibited than the homebreds. Thankfully the wonderful neighbors were blocking them off. I grabbed a bucket and a handful of halters/leads, and as soon as everyone sees me coming with the bucket they start heading in. Mo had the gate to the drylot ready, and the pasture gate closed, so I just walked in and everybody followed for an early breakfast. I am so lucky the girls are well-behaved and food motivated.


Here's the kicker. We walked the fenceline, and there were no breaks. We came around to the side facing the lane between the first and second barns (broodmares are in the first barn), and the gate is unlocked and pushed all the way in. To make a long story short, someone let them out. Again. It rained last night, and you could see their footprints in the mud. Some of you may remember that I had to lock the barns because people were stealing and moving horses. Well now that the barns are locked they're messing with the gates. So I have to lock the gates. When does it end?! They could have easily caused the death of my babies... I do run random checks now against schedule just in case, but at this point if I caught anyone I'd probably end up charged with assault. Friends have suggested cameras, but the front of the farm alone is 80-acres--I don't even know where I'd put them. What do the rest of you that don't live on your farms do?? I am at wit's end worrying about these...........people...
 

minih

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What about hot wire on the fence and locks on the gates?
 

RockRiverTiff

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There are locks on the gates as of this afternoon. We used to run a hot wire around the perimeter, but we shut it off because we had so many neighbors that liked to "visit" with the horses, but I guess if I really want to keep people out, it's going to have to come back on.
 

Miniv

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Did you follow the tracks to where they lead???

Be sure to notify the police about this too..........
 

Marty

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This would be enough warning for me. I think its a foiled attempt to steal some of your horses.

Time for booby traps. I'd be gathering up tons of cow bells and tin cans and things that can make a ruckus and be concealed and hang them from gates and the fence line camouflaged. I would completely be doing a whole lot of hot wire too. Battery operated motion lights too.
 

RockRiverTiff

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The tracks lead up to the first barn, so I assume they parked there, tried the door (padlocked), and then went on to the gate. The police know and do drive by when they can (even confronted me when I got a new car), but we're well outside of town. We have security lights already because the business is at the same location. We have been here for 25+ years with no problem until the subdivision was built a few years ago. I do worry about someone trying to steal the horses, and had quite a run in a couple months ago, but have no idea what else I can do beyond locking everything and everyone down.
 

Shari

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I just do not understand people...sure you have heard me say that enough times. So sorry you have to go through this...is not right.

Get "No trespassing signs" put them up every 10'... that is what I have had to do. Hot wire your place..and put warning signs up.

Go to Costco and get one/some of their nice but affordable outside Camera's...and place them around your barnyard but out of reach of people.

This is also important... Report to the police every time someone messes with your place. They may not be able to help you but you have offical docs filed,, so if something goes down they are more likely to help.

Between the No Tresspassing signs, the hot wire and camera's ...most people will figure out they aren't welcome!
 

backwoodsnanny

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Finish a two room studio in your barn rent it out to a reliable young adult and arm them with a rifle. No only Kidding really dont know what you could do other than suggestions already mentioned.
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

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We have had problems with vandals here too. I have had the posts we placed to fence off another 40 acres smashed flat (broken at ground level by running a 4 wheel ATV up on them) I have have had the wall of a shed cut open that housed my turkeys on a stormy night (yes it was obviously human damage, the cuts were smooth and clean), a pasture gate opened wide right beside the road and 2 years ago someone set a fire in a brush pile near the main road that became a forest fire and threatened to burn my hay supply and more. It was a very dry year and the investigator thought the person who lit it was just trying to start the brush pile and scare us and it got away from him(or her) Our police department wasn't much help but I report everything anyway and take pictures to document it too. I keep my horses on the 5 acres or so close to my house so I can see them pretty easily even tho I live on 236 acres. If I were you I would consider cameras on the barn and at gates but hidden and use motion sensitive flood lights so the camera can really pick up whats going on. Maybe you can identify the culprits and put an end to it once and for all. For your sake i sure hope so.
 

RockRiverTiff

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Finish a two room studio in your barn rent it out to a reliable young adult and arm them with a rifle. No only Kidding really dont know what you could do other than suggestions already mentioned.
The sad thing is, that sounds like a very appealing solution right now.

Thanks for the support everybody. I will definitely be trying some of your suggestions, and the neighbors told me they will be keeping an eye out for me now too. I DO hope we catch some if not all of these people soon.
 

Field-of-Dreams

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Finish a two room studio in your barn rent it out to a reliable young adult and arm them with a rifle. No only Kidding really dont know what you could do other than suggestions already mentioned.
No, this IS a good idea! You could get a small trailer/mobile home, put it where the renter can see and rent it out. Charge a small rent, you can screen the applicants, and you'll have another set of eyes right there!

Lucy
 

ErikaS.

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My hubby would give his left eye- tooth for that kind of job! Yeah, we're hicks... But anyway, how about a livestock guard dog? We have four dogs; none are really guard dog material, though. Our Saint is scary- looking when she's not asleep and drooling on the couch. My dear husband still grabs the rifle and runs out the door when the dogs make a big enough ruckus or we have spotlighters poaching on our acreage.
 

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