Wednesday, May 13, 2009

HOAs vs Horses

HOA = Home Owners Association

Unless you are fortunate to live on a 500 acre ranch, you probably have to deal frequently with nearby neighbors. Sometimes that can be challenging.

We live in a community with a very active HOA and strict covenants. This has its pluses and minuses. It's nice to live amongst well kept homes and uncluttered lots. But like many such covenanted communities, we have our share of feuding, fines, and lawsuits. Most of us play well with others, but it only takes a few people to cause grief for everyone. Oddly, we even have some homeowners who do not like horses. Why would anyone who does not like horses buy a home in an equestrian neighborhood? They should be living in a condo in the city.

Fortunately, we are in the good graces of our HOA and the AC (Architectural Committee). We followed the covenants closely when we built our barn and they were delighted with the result. But I worried when I recently purchased my horse trailer. There is a lot of strife in our neighborhood over trailers, tractors, and implements that are not properly parked and screened. However, because this is an equestrian neighborhood, horse trailers are expected to be here. We don't have to build a huge fence around them, but we do have to park them as discreetly as possible, preferably behind a home or barn so that they are not visible from the street.

Being good citizens, we had a special parking pad created for the horse trailer. It fits nicely right behind our house which hides the trailer from the street. I went one step further to please our neighbors. Rather than choosing red paint to match my truck, I had the trailer painted in a color that most closely matches the house. Afterall, it will spend more time parked next to the house than hitched to the truck. It worked out nicely and the AC committee was quick to approve our plans. Here is how it turned out:

Dirt and boulders were brought in to create a retaining wall and parking area.

I've gotten really good at backing around a 90 degree angle to park the trailer. I just have to be careful not to back up too far.

The trailer; discreetly parked and camouflaged.

Happy horse owner. Happy HOA.


  1. It is for sure a good way to have to learn how to back that trailer!
    It looks very neat, OnceUpon.
    But I am surprised that you have authorities (thanks for the explanation of the abreviation BTW) that set rules of how to park your trailer, or tractors if it is farmland area? Or have you to build fences around them?
    I can see the benefit of it; it is nice to have tidy surroundings.
    Nothing similar to it here though.
    Hm. It is fascinating to hear what goes on in other corners of the world.

  2. Horse thank-you, we're happy with how it turned out. In the U.S. lots of neighborhoods will have rules and a group of elected homeowners designated to enforce the rules. Sometimes, the associations disband and there is noone left to enforce the rules, then everyone does what they want. Some active ones are quite strict, even telling you what colors you can use to paint your house or how many bushes to plant in your front yard or how many cars you can park outside. It can get crazy. The goal is to keep everyone's property looking nice and keep property values from declining. They can also cause a lot of anger if someone refuses to follow the rules or if the elected people get power hungry and start picking on everyone for silly little things. Some people like to buy in these neighborhoods, some specifically look for ones without rules so they can paint their barn bright pink if they want. Most newer neighborhoods have these rules.

  3. Great parking job. You sound like a good neighbor, even painting your trailer to match your house.