Making Friends With Horseless Neighbors

How do you maintain a good relationship with your nonhorsey neighbors?
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Making Friends with With Horseless Neighbors
Horse owner Alan Shank kept horses on his downtown Mukilteo, Washington, property for 16 years and maintained positive relationships with nonhorsey neighbors. | Photo: Alayne Blickle

A friend recently asked for advice on how to make a good impression on non-horsey neighbors since she was getting two new sets of neighbors in one month–each living on 2.25-acre lots in their close community.

In answer to her question I consulted with another friend, Alan Shank, a horse owner and former conservation district farm planner. Alan and his wife, Mary, had horses for many years on very small acreage in the midst of a bustling Puget Sound community, surrounded by high-price homes–as well as ferries, trains, highways and crowds.

“When I was surrounded by nine close neighbors (our barn was 35 feet from one neighbor’s kitchen window and in the view path for all nine homes) my thought was ‘Why would anyone object to seeing beautiful horses outside their window if there was no unsightly manure pile, little to no odor, a relatively weed-free and mown pasture, and few flies or rodents?'” says  Shank, and for him the answer proved to be, they wouldn’t

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Written by:

Alayne Blickle, a lifelong equestrian and ranch riding competitor, is the creator/director of Horses for Clean Water, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed environmental education program for horse owners. Well-known for her enthusiastic, down-to-earth approach, Blickle is an educator and photojournalist who has worked with horse and livestock owners since 1990 teaching manure composting, pasture management, mud and dust control, water conservation, chemical use reduction, firewise, and wildlife enhancement. She teaches and travels North America and writes for horse publications. Blickle and her husband raise and train their mustangs and quarter horses at their eco-sensitive guest ranch, Sweet Pepper Ranch, in sunny Nampa, Idaho.

3 Responses

  1. re: Making Friends With Horseless Neighbors

    I’m fortunate that my subdivision is on the edge of nowhere, surrounded by hundreds of acres of ranch land. It’s three miles to the local village and 30 miles to the nearest town with a grocery store. The lots are 10 acres or larger, and no one lives o

  2. re: Making Friends With Horseless Neighbors

    Despite doing all I can, one back neighbor doesn’t want to look at my horses or nice barn.  I do maintain the joint fencing so my horses never hurts my nieghbors’ fencing, pick up poop 2x day, cover and have it picked up every 3 weeks, and nightly

  3. re: Making Friends With Horseless Neighbors

    My neighbours love me.   The people with trees and vege gardens line up for the manure.    I cleanmy paddocks twice a day and separate the manure from things they would not want to put in the gardens or trees.take rest out into the count

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