The golden rule doesn't just apply to people, it applies to animals too. Chances are, if you wouldn't like being treated a specific way, neither would an animal.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for telling her niece it's her fault she got kicked by a horse. She wrote:
I (27F) have a niece (14F) who is my older brother’s (36M) and his wife (34F) daughter. She’s a very sweet girl and she loves my horses and the other horses I board which are my friends. My brother and his wife live in the city, while I live in my uncle’s ranch on my mothers side in a different state. (My brother and I have different mom’s but same dad.)
They sent my niece to come stay with me for a few months. Which I greatly accepted. She’s been good and she calls her friends back at her home state and Facetimes her parents once in a while. She’s a great help with feeding my animals and my horses. The only problem is, she doesn’t know how to ride horses and sometimes teases the horses.
I have two very young horses a filly and a colt which are very excited horses and I don’t really allow her in the field with them. As they like to kick and buck even when people are around. And I have an old stallion which was my first horse my uncle got me. His name is Rooster and he is 32 years old. That is my niece’s favorite horse, she always wants to ride him.
But I don’t allow anyone to ride him and I don’t ride him no more. He’s very patient and kind but he doesn’t like anyone touching his back legs and his tail, when you walk behind him. He will kick but when he knows you are there, he doesn’t mind being touch back there as long as anyone approaches him in the front. Overall he’s a great horse.
She will tease him with a lunging whip by tickling his back legs and his tail, trying to get him to kick. I have told her numerous times and warned her. She still continues to do it behind my back. Well, I told her to go get Rooster out of the pasture and into his stall. She went to go and get him and I heard a scream in the barn.
I got over there and she was holding on to her leg crying in pain, while Rooster ran back to the pastures.
I asked her what happened and she said Rooster had kicked her left thigh and I asked her if she touched him on the back legs or his tail. She said she pushed him on his tail. To get him in his stall and that’s when he kicked her and ran off. She started cursing about Rooster and doesn’t want to be around him. I told her it’s her fault she provoked him and for not listening to me after so many warnings.
I told her that bruise on her leg is a lesson now to be careful around bigger animals. Especially ones that can kick at any moment. She can walk it off, and she called her parents after. They called me and told me that it was my fault for not supervising her and that they’re gonna get her home.
I told them everything but they won’t listen and my SIL told me I need to get rid of Rooster. I told her no and hung up. Now I am wondering...AITA?
NTA - 14 is old enough to take directions and warnings. You have told her several times not to do what she did. She didn't listen and continued to do it anyway. Rooster gave her a lesson in why she should listen to warnings/directions.
I mean if you keep telling a kid not to touch a stove because it's hot, and they don't listen and touch the stove and get burned. Are you going to throw the stove out? To me, this is the logic of her mother.
I have warned her so many times and she always reassure’s me she wouldn’t do it. But for some reason she would record teasing my horse Rooster. I even had friends who seen her do it. Tell me not to have her around the horses no more. I thought I could trust her but now i do believe she needs to go home.
NTA. Weird that she wants to tease the horse, she seems a bit mean. What’s up with that?!
ESH. She sucks big time for antagonizing a horse because she thinks it's funny. But you suck for letting her do it. This does not deserves a simple warning: you should have banned her from getting close to any animals as soon as she started to display that cruel behaviour and let her come back only when she has shown she has learned her lesson.
She needs to learn to respect the horses, and not be allowed to be close to one if she doesn't. It's your responsibility to insure that the people that are around your animals are behaving correctly with your animal. A horse can easily kill a human, it's your responsibility to insure your niece stays safe.
NTA. This wasn't the first time she touched the horse and you have told her several times not to. So yes, it is her fault she got kicked. And if your brother/SIL/daughter aren't even living at your property, what right do they have to tell you to get rid of Rooster? I know who I'd be getting rid of...
ESH. Your niece isn't taking you seriously and she is old enough to know better, but you're the adult who recognizes that she is endangering herself. Until she proves that she can be responsible and not endanger her own life and the horse's health, you need to keep her away. If she cannot be responsible enough to handle the animals, keep her away and do not allow her to be unsupervised, or send her home.
"I have told her numerous times and warned her. She still continues to do it behind my back."
What did you do to drive the lesson home? Not enough, for sure. Be glad that her lesson from Rooster was just painful and not actually a serious injury - it would be your fault.
While the votes are split, it's leaning towards ESH.