Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Face of Homeless..........an Escape............

Part 1

After we had our new guests settled, there was one very important thing I wanted to be done. It's probably already obvious that I tend to trust people but this recent incident with the lawsuit tells me I need to be careful and protect myself. Just because I think that someone will not try to take advantage does not mean that will necessarily be the case.

Living on a farm with lots of critters has some inherent safety issues. Anyone who has horses understands what those might be. We, who love horses, tend to ignore those issues. We take them as a part of the territory. It's just understood that life with horses can have risks.

Washington state law recognizes that too. There are laws, RCW 4.24.530 and RCW 4.24.540, on the books limiting the liability of equine activities. As the owner of a breeding farm I should have a sign posted informing visitors of the law. I bought one but can't figure out where I put the thing.

Even if it was posted as required, I'm not sure it would cover people camping at my house. I have always been very much aware of the possibilities even before the events surrounding Faye and then Lindsay's accident Now with a lawsuit hijacking my life, the last thing I want is to be in a situation I could have prevented.

Knowing that horses can and have escaped around here, there's always the possibility that some can go wrong even if my guests tried to stay away from the horses.There was also the possibility that my guests might just explore life with horses on their own. With the number of young horses I have, someone might chose a youngster with only a smatter of manners to befriend putting themselves into a vulnerable situation.

While the odds were nothing bad would happen during their stay here, I needed to be smart and protect myself just in case it did. I also needed to get myself into the habit of putting things down on paper so I never get caught again. To get me started on the right track, J and I sat down and did a release of liability for all of them to sign.

A couple of days later as I was coming home from the park, I realized that Solidare and her foal were outside but nowhere to be seen in their normal turnout. As I pulled into my driveway, I saw exactly why that was. Solidare, her colt, and their sidekick, Dare, had escaped into the yard.

Normally, this would not have been anything stressful but with people camping in my yard it took on new meaning. Normally all I'd worry about would be the horses eating my flowers. They are particularly fond of my pansies I might add. Now I was worried about horses crashing into tents and mowing over people or their pets.

T appeared from out behind the house. He was aware the horses were in the yard but not really sure if that was good or bad. If I hadn't arrived home at that time, I'm not really sure what he'd have done. Even with me there, it was clear T wanted to be nowhere near these loose horses.

To be continued.....................

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  1. Yikes , so many things to worry about!

  2. You did the right thing with the release. I'm like you are...basically trusting of other people. But I've been burned too.

    Horses have a tendency to be destructive when loose. Glad you got home when you did.

  3. By the way, this story of yours struck such a deep note in me, that I actually dreamed about you last night--- I dreamed that it turned out "T" was just using you, and I went to the park and he was out drinking with his buddies, wearing expensive name-brand clothes and laughing about how he conned you....

    Apparently I'm worried about you :P

    And for the record, even though my subconscious is apparently mistrusting and selfish, I think it's a WONDERFUL thing, what you're doing. I used to have a regular lunch-date with a homeless lady, and the story of how she got there ripped at my heart. The two of us tried to get her a job, but nobody would hire her. We even set her up with the materials so she could go door-to-door and spray paint house numbers with cute decals on the curb, but everybody turned her away. It was really sad. So kudos to you.

  4. Wow...I just did some catching up over here, and I also think that you are a wonderful person for taking in a homeless family.

    Now...about those WAC's and laws...isn't it sad that we have to protect ourselves from everything??? We had to do that (have signed releases) on our farm when I was growing up. It just takes one thing with the wrong person......

    PS-I actually live in Buckley, so my view of the mountain is different than the one in my picture too. I know what you mean though. We spent a lot of time in Yelm last month (for baseball) and drove the back way...Orting, Kapowsin, Hwy 7....and the mountain looks totally different from that angle. : )

  5. fernvalley, ya, that's the truth. It's no wonder I'm working on an ulcer.

    Arlene, unfortunately I'm learning it's necessary. I figured the sooner I began doing it, the sooner it would become habit.

    You're right, horses can be very destructive. They could make short work of my landscaping, that is if I actually had any of my spring clean up done. Still they could damage some very expensive plants even if those plants are buried in weeds at the moment.

    Becky, thanks for the concern. I worry about me just a little bit too. Portions of my dreams have been about these folks but mostly my dreams are all about preparation of my papers for the court. I sure do miss fun dreams I can tell you.

    Sad about the homeless lady you knew. I don't know what it is about some people that they just can't give anyone a chance. I'm glad you were there for her. That must have been some comfort to her.

    Melanie, yes I do think it's sad that we have to protect ourselves from those who would take advantage. It really sucks.

    Buckley! on your route to Yelm, you went very near my farm. I am only one block off (north) of 304th just a few hundred feet off Meridian.

  6. Good for you thinking about the legal issues that could happen.

    And how ironic that the horses were out so soon afterwards, too.

    Some horses, especially babies can get so curious. I can only imagine what might have happened to the tent if Solidare's baby got a hold of it. lol!