Neighbor wants to run horses on my property?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cast iron, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    We are absentee owners of some acreage out in a farming/rural area. This property is adjacent on one side to our relatives. We plan to build on the property sometime in the next 6 or so years. We will be planting a significant amount of trees on the property next year. Other than that there are no immediate plans for the property.

    The neighbor across the street is asking me if it's ok for him to run some horses on our property. One of the issues with this is the eastern side of our property is adjacent to 30 acres which was just purchased by other absentee owners. There is no property line fence between these two properties. The new owners of the 30 want the neighbor to run livestock/horses on their 30, but of course with no north/south fence the livestock would be running on our property as well.

    I'm a firm believer that good fences make good neighbors. I'm thinking that if the new owners of the 30 want livestock on their 30, then we should get together and build a north/south fence line. My understanding is the "country rule" is that both property owners split the cost of a fence?

    The neighbor gave me the new owners phone number so I am going to call them and see what their plans are. I have a feeling that they are not going to want to put a fence in, and are going to think that letting livestock run on the two properties with no separation is no big deal.

    How big of a deal is to let someone else's livestock run on your land? Coming from a bit of a legal background I'm a bit concerned about potential liability issues. What happens if he gets hurt on our property? What happens if one of his horses gets out on the highway and gets killed?

    Will horses provide more benefits or do more harm to the property? How about cows, benefit or harm to the property?

    I'm of the mind right now to tell the new owners that if they want to run the neighbors livestock on their property than they will have to go in half for a north/south fence. And then decline the neighbors request to run his horses on our property...

    On they other hand maybe I'm being overly cautious and this is just how things work in the country?

    Wayne
     
  2. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

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    would leasing them the property on a yearly basis for 10.00 - 50.00 whatever, clear you of any liability and still leave you free to build when your ready? , better yet, lease it for real money and pay the taxes from the lease monies
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............Best get down to your property when ALL interested parties are There , and Thrash this out ...IN Person !! Horses , are beautiful animals , BUT they will PUSH a Poorly built Fence ...OVER in short order . IF , they can get their head , Over the top wire their body will eventuallypush the fence over .....Cause the Grass is ALways greener :eek: :yeeha: :haha: fordy
     
  4. Philbee

    Philbee Well-Known Member

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    We lease some property we have to a rancher.He also runs cattle on the neighbouring properties, and as in your case one side of our acerage is not fenced. In our case, it is range land and therefore if we don't want anything on the land it is up to us to fence it out. We are very happy with our arrangments. The rancher has a lease with us which specifies he is responsible for upkeep of fencing that is there and is responsible for any damage done to his cattle or his hands or if anyone is injured by his cattle. With this arrangment we get to have our land in ag. and get a huge break on our property taxes.He pays us per cow per month, since he is running his cows on 3 different adjoining properties he pays the largest landowner and he sends our share to us. Its worked fine so far. If you decide to do it get a good lease signed and as a precaution we also put the property on our umbrella policy. Also some hunter could shoot himself in the foot or something and decide to sue us.
     
  5. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    Much of it depends on if you are in an open range county.

    If it is open range, you are responsible for fencing the livestock out if you don't want them.

    If you are not open range, (closed range?) they are responsible for fencing the livestock in. In this case, no way would I pay for a fence for someone else's animals.
     
  6. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Get a written lease, with release of liability. Get liability insurance on your property anyway. Get liability insurance even if you don't lease it for pasture.

    I'd put up the fence, too, and have everybody share the expense, or get the renter to put up the fence.

    It would be better for the pastures (and the equines) if the horses were rotated from one area to another as they eat one down and deposit their fertilizer and worm eggs. :rolleyes:

    Also make sure who is going to be checking on the animals on a regular basis and ensuring they have adequate water.
     
  7. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Horses are the worst on Trees,Grass,and Fence.They will distroy all.It is their responsibility to have their stock fenced in.

    Just my .02

    big rockpile
     
  8. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Horses are extremely abusive to pastures. I would not permit them if I anticipated planting the trees you mentioned. I own a horse barn and a limited acreage with it. There is no way that I would permit the horses to have access to the pastures that I use for cattle. Horses are bad news to pastures! The answer is a strong NO, have the people to install a fence to separate the two properties.
     
  9. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Wayne, you need to check the laws in your state. For example, in Ohio there is a line fence law (it applies in rural areas, not cities). If you are putting in a line fence you can force your neighbor to pay for half (as well as half of the cost of maintaining).

    I generally wouldn't advocate forcing. I'm putting in about 4,000 feet of line fence along our north and west property lines. I'm not asking any of the neighbors to split the cost. I know what I want and I don't want to get bogged down negotiating with 8 neighbors (we have a total of 17). On the other hand, I have one neighbor I've thought about forcing to split the cost of buffalo fencing.

    As far as horses, I've never kept them myself but looking at the land of people that do keep them, they are pretty harsh on the ground.

    Mike
     
  10. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    Friends of ours in California let a “neighbor’s neighbor” run horses on their absentee land for weed control. The “neighbor” just dumped the horses and that was that. When animal control and a horse rescue got involved our friends got yanked into court and had to prove they were not the negligent owners. During the court ordered rescue the sheriff’s deputies located an abandoned Methamphetamine lab in an old pull trailer that was dumped in the back … and our friends got stuck with the clean up bill for the lab.

    Call me a jerk but I do not let anyone do anything at anytime on our land.
     
  11. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    The property is not classified as open range near as I can tell. My inlaws (who live on the acreage next to us) mentioned the split costs on a boundry fence deal. I didn't realize it was a law/statute though. I found this in the WA RCW's:

    RCW 16.60.030
    When two or more persons own land adjoining which is inclosed by one fence, and it becomes mecessary for the protection of the interest of one party said partition fence should be made between them, the other or others, when notified thereof, shall erect or cause to be erected one-half of such partition fence, said fence to be erected on, or as near as practicalbe, the line of said land.

    RCW 16.60.040
    If, after notice has been given by either party and a resonable lenght of time has elapsed, the other party neglect or refuse to erect or cause to erected, the one-half of such fence, the party giving notice may proceed to erect or cause to be erected the entire partition fence, and collect by law one-half of the cost thereof from the other party.

    Wayne
     
  12. Steph in MT

    Steph in MT Well-Known Member

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    We're lucky and have a really considerate neighbor. Before we moved here he asked if he could graze his horses on our property for a few months each summer. He only let them over after all the natural grasses had gone to seed, only fed them certified-weed free hay, never let them over when the ground was saturated from rain so they didn't tear the ground up and even offered to have his boys pick up the manure. Of course I told him that I would be pleased as punch to keep the manure for my gardens. :D It was a win-win for us all and our property was greener than ever before and the fire danger went way down. I guess we're just lucky to have such a considerate neighbor.
    Steph
     
  13. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

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    I would fence the property at the point that I started planting trees. Cows will eat them like snacks - not sure about horses, but I've been told they will browse as well. If you own the fence outright there is no legal contraversy about any damage or breech of boundary that might occur - it's part of the philosophy of 'good fences make good neighbors'. Don't get caught up in the legalities of who you can force to pay for what. If your neighbor has chickens and they stray onto your land, you have legal recourse in that you can require him/her to restrict them to his/her land (unless you are in a free range area). Chickens won't do any measurable damage (vegetable gardens excepted), so your recourse would be just to have your neighbor restrict their range. Cows and horses on the other hand can do considerable damage to land and fauna so you open up a whole different can of worms in court if it got that far. Here's the reality. You are going to start planting trees. At $20 per tree and 50 trees per acre if you also have 30 acres = $30,000 worth of trees. A herd of 10 Highland cattle would take about 4 weeks to decimate those saplings if the land was planted in PRIMO pasture.
     
  14. jefferson

    jefferson fuzzball in the Cascades

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    Hooooo, you have a problem. Neighbors can be nice, not so nice, and a downright pain in the hindend. Every state, and every county has different regulations and you need to know yours. There is also a thing called prescriptive rights. You had better know about them in your state.
    Trees.....cout them out if you got nags browsing!! Horseys are as bad as cows and deer, what they don't eat they will break down.

    I don't like lawyers, but they do have their place (bottom rung of the ladder). But here you may need to have a nice set of papers drawn up. You, in no way should be liable for paying for fences or any thing else relating to a neighbor getting all the bennies from using your property.

    Personaly, I would say no, and do it with a letter, (keep a copy) send it recipt requested.

    Just my 2 cents!!!
     
  15. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

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    Whoa partner. How many horses? Horses will destroy your property. They'll run it up and eat it up. Horses eat the grass at the roots. You have to replant once they are off of it. And they do it quickly. They'll leave nothing but the scrub. Also, horses are hard on fences. They'll ride the fence down. Who has the liability if a horse gets hurt on your land? What if they get out and cause damage to a neighbor's property? I'd talk to a lawyer and find the best legal path to do this if you are considering it. Find out the going rate for this type of service. Who re-seeds your fields? That would be a major expense. The land would need to be fenced and cross fenced. Who pays for that?
     
  16. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

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    I have been running my horses on my neighbors property, at thier request. It helps with fire and weed control. It is not a perfect solution but helps us both out. I have a new neighbor on another peice of property (11 acres) that has already voiced their wish for us to run our horses on their property. Both pieces of property were used for cattle many years ago but have been vacant for 7 years. The horses(only three) have made a big diffrence in cleaning out the old grass that was choking out the sunlight and rain. Not to mention fertilizing. The open area that we can see from our house has dramatically improved in the two years the horses have been on it.

    We do work at being good users, spreading manure where possible and moving them when it is too wet. In some situations it can work.

    Jill