I need some advice, some feedback, on a situation I have here at my place. In full disclosure, this situation already happened over the holidays, but I’m curious as to how other people would’ve handled it compared to how I did. And how to proceed in the future. I will not use real names to protect the, er, guilty.
Rocking E is situated on 42 acres right outside town. We love that country feel! We also love not being in cookie-cutter neighborhood with a teeny backyard. While we don’t have a neighborhood, per say, we do have a few neighbors dotted along our road. We know everyone fairly well and try to watch out for each other.
One house nearby is owned by someone out of state, which he rents to several college students. I have spoken with him in the past, and his daughter has come to ride in my arena. The renters in his house are all horse-owners, and keep multiple horses on their tiny plot of land–basically, their backyard.
This is where things start to get tricky. I want to be a good neighbor, someone who is reliable and reasonable. But I’ve seen some stuff at that house, y’all. No need for specifics, but I’ll just say I’ve almost ran into our gate several times while staring mouth-open at the neighbor house. They’re not all horrible things, just questionable, and I’ve always kept my mouth shut. After all, I don’t want to be “that neighbor” who tattles on everyone.
There have been upwards of 11 horses in their backyard, all with different levels of care. The horses seem healthy and well-fed the majority of the time. But over Christmas that was not the case, unfortunately. Most of the renters took their horses home for winter break, but one tenant stayed with three horses. When temperatures started to plummet, I would glance over toward the neighbor house at the three horses standing in the wind (sometimes sleet) without blankets, shelter, or hay. I assured myself that their owner had the best of intentions and went on my way. It wasn’t until I noticed that the truck that had been there over break suddenly left a couple days before Christmas. I watched and waited for the truck to come back, but it never did. I don’t ever want to assume the worst, but it became obvious that there was no human at home, and no human to feed the horses, check water, break ice, and generally watch over the care of those three horses. I finally couldn’t take it anymore, knowing that temperatures were going to get worse (down to about four degrees) and the horses still had no hay. I sent a message to the one contact I had living at the house, and they confirmed that the owner of those horses did indeed go home and no one was there to care for them. And, that particular person seemed to wipe their hands clean of any responsibility for the horses as well.
Time has obviously passed since this happened. Before I tell you what I did, I’d love to hear what you would do. I genuinely wanted to make the best decision for the horses, my neighbors, and their landlord. I’m a landlord myself, so I felt incredibly torn between my loyalty to the three parties involved. Also, in full disclosure, I found out that the horse-owner in question was also the person who ran over my doggie… Double whammy. That created extra tension with the issue. I didn’t want to seem spiteful by saying something, even though that would not have been my intention.
So, what would YOU do?