Had an altercation with a pony ride/petting zoo today at the fair
Hubby and I went to the Haddam Neck Fair in CT today. Had a great time, nice horse show, lots of farm animals.
We walked by the pony ride/petting zoo section which appeared to be run by the same farm. I notice a pony in a front pen in the classic founder/laminitis stance. You could just see the pain in his half shut eyes. He shifts his weight around a bit then lays down.
So we walked over to the girl running the pony rides and tell her that this pony was in obvious pain from founder/laminitis. She doesn't say anything, but tells another worker to take the pony and put him in a back pen, thus trying to hide him. Pony tries to lay down again, but is afraid of the other pony in the pen with him.
She also calls over the owner who proceeds to get mouthy with us right in front of the parents holding their children waiting for pony rides.
He starts ranting that there is nothing wrong with the pony and he just had an "expert" farrier trim him and that is why he is pain. I explained that a trim shouldn't cause excessive pain like that. He rants on that he has had horses for 50 years and knows what he is doing.
I say I've had horses for 40 years and know what the heck a sore pony looks like. He then threatens to have us thrown out of the fair if we keep it up. I wasn't going to back down and just turn my back on this poor pony who was obviously in a lot of pain.
We proceed to walk over to his truck and trailer, get the name of the farm and went to find a Fair Official to lodge a complaint. First, he is threatening to have us removed from the fair, and to inform the Fair Officials that this guy has a pony that appears to be in a great deal of pain. Not very good PR for this Fair.
Hubby and I lodged a complaint and asked for a call back. I'll also be emailing the fair itself.
I so wished I had my own place. I would have taken this pony in a heart beat...he looked so sad and in so much pain and no one cared.
Good for you for actually DOING something about it.
Got pics of pony? You know I'd be more than happy to run with this. Honestly, I HATE those pony ride operations - more of them than not don't take decent care of the ponies. They used to have them at polo and I would go over and bitch about the ponies not having a drink all day in the hot sun.
Good for you! I hope there is some follow-through on this from the management.
I always get nervous when I see the pony ride setups...worried that there will be something terribly wrong. I was so pleasantly surprised recently when I went to a flea-market at our state fairgrounds that had a pony ride. My first reaction when I saw the ponies was "oh no...don't make me have to buy these ponies" but they definitely didn't need rescuing. Operator had put a few inches of sand/shavings on the concrete for footing, and all the ponies looked healthy and happy with nice feet and well-fitted tack. There was even a sign that said "No kicking the ponies" and a weight limit sign (ponies were quite small). Also saw hay and buckets of water. I wish all of these operations were run like this!
Good for you, you did what so many people think about doing but don't. The pony had someone stand up for him - at least he might get to stay home. I hope that home is a place worth staying. But it counts that one time in his life someone did care enough to at least speak up.
I wonder if you could get the right people out for a surprise visit to the farm to see what else is going on. The pony probably isn't the only one needing more care than he is getting.
I never know what to think when someone claims that having been doing something for a long time makes them good at it. All that tells me is that the guy can easily have been abusing and mis-using ponies and horses for 50 years. But sometimes people do back down when they hear that. I hope that you are not the only one to confront this man in the last 50 years. He may have some practice in getting people to back off from looking more closely at how he treats his animals.
West of insanity, east of apathy, deep in the heart of Texas.
Well spotted, Huntertwo. And huge props to you for lodging a complaint and sticking to your guns in the face of @$$hat owner. He may have "50 years experience" dealing with horses (and probably isn't a day over 55 ), but it's probably one year experience repeated 50 times - not exactly guaranteed to make him a competent horse owner, much less an expert.
Here's hoping that those with whom the complaint was lodged, actually do something about it.
Please also call the ASPCA in your area on the fair & this guy. Thank you so much for standing up for the pony.
Yes. These people (or animal control, humane officer, WHATEVER your area has) can actually DO something, as opposed to the fair management who probably can't do anything more than ask the guy about it, or at most, relieve him of his "job" at the fair.
After knowing my sweet little Dumplin was used as a riding and pony ride pony things like this make my blood boil. I guess ponies are just easier for these a$$hats to abuse. Must be because they are smaller...it makes the losers feel like bigger people.
Be sure to write a letter to the editor of your local paper as well. If there is anything we can do, please call on the coth posse!
I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques
Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.
I do have to start carrying my camera with me..that would have been a perfect circumstance for doing so.
We received a call back from the Lion's Club member last night who we lodged the complaint with.
He claimed he checked the pony several times and the back feet appeared fine.. Plus this farm has never had a complaint lodged against them. Of course - how many non-horse people would recognize a foundered pony?
And to top it off - the farm owner is a Lion's Club member himself.
The farm is not far from me, so I think a road trip is in order. I won't trespass, but would like to see the place.
I'll also be calling A/C and filing a complaint.
Could I post the email of the Fair on here?? Maybe if they get *some* emails, they might be more apt to do something?
I know they all aren't bad, but those pony rides at fairs are like a magnet to me. I just hope like mad that they aren't making this particular pony walk on the *hot walker*.
We ended up rescuing a sound pony at another fair many years ago.
LoriO, do you remember the pony Ebby from Wedgewood? I bought him from the pony ride guy at the Berlin Fair.