A vent: I need a "these aren't my horses" sign - anyone?

(mostly a vent, skip to bolded line if you want to give an opinion and move on :slight_smile: )

I have, over the last four years, posted here and there about the, errrm, problem property next door. No, not the neighbor with the cows :laughing:, they are thankfully gone and the new ones have no farm animals beyond poultry. The other ones. The slumlord property with the conex boxes and RV that have been in the same place since at least 2005 (per Google historic tabs) that are being taken over by blackberry, the dilapidated barn that is slumping slowly and roof panels fly off whenever there is a wind over 30 mph; it has two residences on it and both are rented to people who like to do extended (cough started and never finished) car projects with the many projects in the front yards for a few years now… and two horses on pasture rented to a third party not on site. The property is a corner property of a fairly busy intersection, and the horses wrap around the rental houses so they they have fenceline on two roads.

When I built my house but horses weren’t here yet, I had someone come bang on my door that my horses were getting out and getting tangled in the fence. I told her they weren’t mine, but drove around the corner anyway and shored up the fence (they weren’t tangled, they were stepping over/leaning over). There were several houses closer than mine, why she insisted on coming to my house is beyond me but it keeps happening. They were doing the same on my side too, so I mailed a letter to the tax payer on record and the horse owner, whose name I got from AC and then used the parcel map to find a mailing address. The letter spelled out who I was and the state laws on legal fence and breachy animals, and gave notice that they had breachy animals in defective fence. It wasn’t bitchy, just a legal notice, which was CCed to AC. The horse owner called me and tried to be a jerk, but I headed him off and didn’t engage.

I was out of town in late summer 2017 after my horses had been brought home, and someone came and banged on my door in the middle of the night and insisted to my Dad that my horses were out and in her yard and he needed to deal with it NOW. He laughed and said he doubted it, and she got pretty aggressive with him until he took her out to the barn and showed her my horses.

I reported him to AC several times for horses not getting water from 2017 to 2020. I would wait a day or two or three for him to come out, so yes left the horses without water for that long, then would report them and fill the water, documenting with pics and video. He would tell AC that “people” need to mind their own business. He finally got a float waterer, but there was an incident where that got turned off and I again reported him after waiting a few days. He told AC he suspected I was trespassing to turn the water off and get him in trouble. I asked AC if he would give me a number and I would text HIM about the animals. Within a week I was able to snap and send a picture of one of the horses rubbing his head on the hydrant, which had turned it off. No reply.

Last year, I put a horse up for sale and had a lot of people come try him. Two people told me they thought the barn and horses were me, and one said she almost kept driving. I was and am clear on my directions, second driveway past intersection, grey house, red barn, white horse trailer, visible arena.

Three weeks ago, had a note in my mailbox from someone down the road about “your horses” tangled in the fence “over by your old barn.” Not mine. I left him a note on his mailbox thanking him for his concern, included my name and number, and a picture of my horses in case he ever saw anything amiss at my place. I texted the horses’ owner again about the note and the fence, no reply.

Two nights ago I’m at the BF’s when my phone rings. Dispatch calling to tell me of a report that my “two brown horses” are out. I check all my cameras, the one most likely to crawl through his own butthole if a friend was wandering around was in his stall eating hay and I could see at least two others (pixilated greyish and brownish blobbies) calming eating hay. Now I have three “brown” horses but have accounted for at least two, which leaves one more and the burritos, who would be most likely to escape :rofl:. I call Dispatch and provide the name of the property owner and the horse owner. While I’m checking my cameras, I see one of my upstanding neighbors honking at my gate, then shove thru and run up to my front porch, bang on the doorbell a few times, cuss, and then leave. I appreciate his intentions but no. No shoving thru my gate, which has a sign also saying to not go onto my property, no cussing on my porch, just no.

Would it be tacky to get a sign with a vertical line down the middle, with the words PROPERTY LINE in big letters? Maybe smaller letters for “not my horses” and an arrow pointing west? I hate to think that my neighbors think as they drive past my place, that the shithole next door is also me. Am I stuck up? Hells yes I am. I also worked and work hard to build and maintain my farm, and the thought that it’s general opinion that the “old barn” and thin, wormy, mangey horses are mine just hacks me right off.


I mean, would you want people to think that you think this is acceptable? Or “fine,” as the owner said when I texted him the picture that one of his horses was “looking a little thin.” And yes, I reported him after he replied that the horse was 25 and was “fine.” I don’t think a 1.5 or 2 BCS is “fine.”


How bout a sign that says

“If you’re here about the starving horses that get loose over by the junkyard please call …”

Not that anyone will bother to read it


I suppose a sign on my own gate would be less tacky than what I envisioned, which was a larger sign screwed to the post at the fence line…



With big letters! Possibly a laser light show too.


This!! Do all the signs!

Sorry you have to deal with butthead neighbors. They’re no fun.


It’s usually very obvious where the property line is between a well-kept place and a junky one

Chances are, they’re coming to your door because it looks less threatening – in this day and age, it’s no small thing to just come up to someone’s door and knock on it. Setting aside the reality that one’s actual door-knocking risk is not tied to how nice the front yard is, most people have that prejudice.

This pair of properties on a road near me always cracks me up. One could not be more tidy, the other could not be more junky. But honestly, if you’re a passing driver and you saw horses in the ditch across from these two places, whose house would you approach?


I see your point. The two houses closest are definitely more like the property on the right in your picture, not as overgrown but parted out vehicles, trash, etc.

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To avoid people judging you for their farm condition, all you can do is keep up your side of the property line, with a very visible fenceline.

That said, a sign on your own gate–not huge/obnoxious, just something that someone who has already pulled in can read – is not a terrible idea

"The loose horse(s) belong to [neighbor address].

Thank you for being concerned,but they are not my horses and I can’t help you catch them.

Please call 911 right away."

My Bff has had the sherriff’s dept come knocking at 2am more than once. Her neighbors horses keep getting out, as he accidentally leaves his front drive thru gate open.:roll_eyes:She’s getting pretty annoyed, still needing to assist them while performing her own head count.

Sorry you are dealing with this. I too have had the neglectful neighbor with too many thin horses on small acreage, kicking their empty trough in the middle of the night. Lowest point was the middle of the night escape of a mare and foal through fence secured with baling twine onto the road. And the foal got hit and had to be euthanized. I still have PTSD from that one. So my opinion is do whatever it takes to distance yourself and your property.


Put up the sign. Poor horses, asshat owner! I live next door to this except they have cattle…and the owner lives in…China! They’ve been in the road several times, and people just assume they belong to us so they drive them onto our property and lock them in my front pasture. After they destroy it (30+ head in a two acre field!), we call the caretaker and hope they pick up or show up to help us take our mutual fence down — no gate as they demanded when we replaced 1000 feet at our cost when we got sick of dealing with cows flattening it when they starved— to put them back. AC and I are well acquainted over this crap fest next to us. I’ve had to explain to way too many people that those poor beasts aren’t ours.

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Wow China? Why?? That sucks that they just put them on your property too, I’d be hopping mad. I was waiting for the deputy to contact me and ask if they could spend the night at my place until the owner was contacted and fixed the fence, and was prepared with a resounding NO. After I reported the thin horse earlier, AC told me he was required to get a vet to assess and had to follow what she said. I’ve asked repeatedly what happened with that with no response - probably none of my business but still. Lucky shit, the grass came in so the horse looks better, because they threw hay three times over the course of a month and then stopped and haven’t been back out, when AC told him he had to start supplying supplemental food… the older one has some sort of weird skin thing, AC said sweet itch but I don’t think so, looks like mange on a dog, chest and rump are just bare and the dock is completely without hair by mid-summer every year, giving him a donkey tail. I’d guess massive allergies or lice before sweet itch? I change my clothes after I water them each time tho, and wash in hot water. Ick.

The cows are not wormed, pump out calves every spring, are always a bit underweight, moo incessantly when the hay rounds run out… I’ve watered them several times when there were fewer of them. One winter, in an ice storm, they had no food, no shelter, no water for 36 hours. That’s when they had two donkeys, two goats, and 6 cows. AC was not amused. The out of country owners tried to sell the donkeys for meat on Craigslist. I was asked about it as folks recognized the area in photos. AC and I found a sanctuary that came and got them after AC explained how not legal that was. I have lots of horror stories. Feral pigs. Sheep covered in maggots. Bot fly larva erupting out of the cattle in huge, bloody masses as we were having a big bbq so all our guests got to see the fun lifecycle of the bit fly in action. Yay!

Aww man that’s grodie :nauseated_face:

My first thought was a tad strange but heck, I am going to post it anyway.

Why not make a cute little flier to give to all your actual neighbors explaining - This is my property (road view photo included), these are my horses (more photos), if you see my horses out/in danger please let me know! These are not my horses (photos) and not my property (more photos) and I am not responsible for them, if you find them out/in danger please call 911 or animal control for assistance. Be sure to include some fluff about how thankful you are for having such amazing neighbors that want to keep everyone safe.

When you have people out to look at a sale horse include in the directions that you are not the place on the corner with the skinny horses and the barb wire fencing, continue past that and your place is .


I’d put up the sign. I wish I could do that here, but don’t have nearly the problem you do.

On a related note, there is a back road (2 lane rural highway in VA) I take sometimes when I want to avoid I-95 between Richmond and home. On that road, for years, there has been a nice house with a LARGE sign near its driveway that has an arrow pointing to the next door farm that says “DOG KILLER NEXT DOOR”. I’ve always wanted to know what that was about!


Put a sign on the owners fence with his phone number on it. :laughing:


I actually did something like that last year with my senior dog, he took to wandering in his final year and was able to push thru my gate (we did three different mods on it before we stemmed it, and even then…). I put together gift bags with a little letter about how he is a very good dog, but very old (16 at the time) and deaf, and gave my address and phone number and Facebook contact since we have bad signal and a lot of people use WiFi instead of data, two pictures of him from different angles, asked people to not yell at him to “go home,” and provided zippies of dog treats and individual serving packs of people treats (oreos, nutter butter, chips ahoy) as bribery. I hung those on all the mailboxes around. He was just getting out to sniff the smells, I’d notice him missing and find him about 100’ down the road sniffing around the ditch grass… It’s hard habit to not call a deaf dog :rofl:

Ehh I would be more likely to go the “please call 9-1-1” route, yanno? Publishing a phone number like that would seem pretty unfriendly. I think the horse owner is a dirtbag but I don’t want him to get spammy texts n stuff.


I know that sign and remember a newspaper article about it. Apparently the dog had been “trespassing”/roaming over to the neighbors house. Rather than call the neighbor or animal control he shot the dog.