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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2001
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,275

    Default WWYD-Friend not feeding her horses

    She is a super nice, do anything for anybody type and I really don't understand what is going on. We are at a self care facility. There is absolutely nothing in the fields to eat right now, and she is not feeding hay everyday. When she feeds it, it is just barely enough for a meal. Since she is a novice, I sent her an email last week explaining what horses need nutritionally. She took it fine; she thanked me and for the next few days fed appropriately. Yesterday they were not fed again. I don't think it is a financial problem; I've offered to pick up hay for her and she didn't take me up on it. She only has a couple of bales left now to feed them. I just don't get why she thinks feeding horses is an optional part of care! WWYD?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 1999
    Location
    Cypress, near Houston, Texas
    Posts
    8,442

    Default

    Wow! I'd say the BARN OWNER needs to have a talk with her. Because, ultimately, if there is a starving horse that gets seized the BO will be held just as responsible as the owner in most states.
    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    970

    Default

    Get another person who is witnessing this to approach her with you. Maybe with two confronting the problem she would listen. If she doesn't I would call animal control.

    Dawn



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2007
    Location
    South of Georgia, North of Miami
    Posts
    1,117

    Default

    I would first make sure she really isn't feeding. If her schedules changed she might be feeding at odd hours. Then have a heart to heart without making her feel like she's being ambushed. Maybe over lunch somewhere. Tell her your concerns and that you don't mind being the voice for her horses. Someone has to speak up for them. Try to find out what is really going on with her. On the surface she might be fighting hard to keep her true financial situation hidden when the reality is she's having money troubles. She what she says and go from there.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2009
    Location
    Northeast Ohio, where mud rules your world...
    Posts
    1,366

    Default

    did you just out and out ask her if she was feeding hay daily?
    ...don't sh** where you eat...



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,914

    Default

    Ask her if she skips meals often! Sounds like a case of benign neglect - like people who don't take care of their dogs and cats well. Little do people like this realize how fragile horses are and how quickly they can colic etc if not given enought to graze on. I'd tell her one more time and then maybe get the facility owner involved, and from there to maybe her vet and last stop would be Animal Control.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2003
    Location
    California USA
    Posts
    740

    Default

    Maybe she has some problems that are hindering her from getting out to the barn daily. Why not offer to feed for her?
    If the horses are not losing weight perhaps she is feeding early in the morning.
    Don't jump to conclusions until you know all the facts.
    Now if the horses are showing all ribs and hip bones are sticking out then maybe get worried.
    But offer to help her out in feeding if there is a problem at home.
    Don't look for the worst in people.
    You will find what you look for.
    Be a friend.
    JMHO/
    sadlmakr



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    7,885

    Default

    If you don't want to become involved in the daily care of your friend's horse, then I would air my concerns with the BO and let her take it from there for the moment. This could be location, financial,transportation problems, or a misunderstanding about the terms of the boarding contract. Or, the person could be a flake.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    31,225

    Default

    This is one for the Barn Owner. You need to have a talk.

    If she does not think it's a big problem, wait and see if those horses start dropping weight? I'd get a plan B lined up and leave if they do and BO is uninvolved.

    There maybe a reason. Maybe not. At any rate, what happens at alot of self care places is yours is fine but stalled next to one with 3 shoes and a bad cough standing on a foot of sh%t. I don't tolerate that.

    Talk to your BO. Sooner rather then later. Let her handle it.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2001
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,275

    Default

    Thanks for the replies everyone! Believe me, I know what is going on. And I don't want to do anything to hurt her, but I can't let the horses go hungry either. She is an animal lover; she goes above and beyond when it comes to vet bills and farrier care, etc. She doesn't put an animal to sleep until every last option is exhausted. That is what makes this so puzzling. I do know exactly what she is feeding; we share a hay stall so I see when a bale is gone. We take turns feeding sometimes already. I always feed for her on Tuesday nights. She texts me when she wants me to feed other nights. I have no problem asking her to feed for me, and I am pretty sure she feels the same way.

    The condition of the horses is what complicates matters a bit. They are air ferns and really haven't lost a ton of weight. I really can't see AC stepping in until they get fairly thin. I am more worried about colic and just their general comfort. BO is not in the picture; they are not horse people and never around the barn.

    I talked to her today; she said she is getting a load of hay in tomorrow and some round bales for the field. Hopefully this is the case.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    831

    Default

    If she is a relatively inexperienced owner does she actually know/understand how a horse is different from a carnivore?

    maybe explaining how their gut needs to be processing food the whole time and the risk of ulcers/colic etc when they don't get continuous food would help. She may simply not know.

    You say in your first post that she is a novice and then in your last post you suggest she has had a lot of animals, having to make decisions previously about euth'ing etc. If she has had other animals, but not horses, try just explaining the differences.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,735

    Default

    Just make it very simple. Tell her that if her horse does not have hay in his belly more often than not that she will be up for a 10k vet bill when her horse colics. Maybe that will make it sink in for her. It is hard to get people to understand how sensitive horses are to being fed properly. She probably won't worry about her air fern losing weight but she might be able to learn to be wary of a severe case of colic.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2007
    Posts
    3,552

    Default

    or some people have mental problems.

    I just don't get it...how do you sporadically feed anything???? I don't own birds, or reptiles, but I know they would need some kind of care and feeding, and ask a vet or a knowledgable person, or google care and feeding.

    So, by ignoring this, I am thinking the woman is nuts and has some kind of mental disorder. I mean how else do you explain it, unless she is broke, and if that was the case, I shouldn't say this, but I'd probably be pinching other people's hay for my horse.

    I hope you can help her, er rather help her horse. Some people do manifest stress with a mental disorder.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2008
    Posts
    804

    Default

    Some people just don't seem to "get" responsibility. They can appear to be totally normal in all other ways, but they are just incredibly flaky. While I wouldn't call it a "disorder" necessarily, I think fivehorses is right in that it is a "mental problem."

    Why not offer to feed her horse when you feed yours - **for a small fee** (don't want you to get taken advantage of). If hay purchasing is an issue, heck, up the fee and do that for her, too.

    People who respond to life by withdrawing and skipping basic tasks, like feeding the horses, are not people who should be doing self-care.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
    Posts
    2,053

    Default

    Horses require very specific care, and I could see how a novice might not "get it" that their horse that wore a muzzle all summer might now really need a regular hay ration. You are doing the right thing to gently and repeatedly communicate with her about it. Perhaps you could ask another boarder to talk to her too, in a friendly way, just to reinforce the same themes.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2009
    Location
    The Land of Dixie
    Posts
    1,510

    Default

    Since you say your friend is a novice, maybe as other posters have written, she does not know the importance of a regular feeding schedule for a stalled horse. Since you are more experienced, maybe you could try to find out what horse care books she has, if any. Maybe you could then offer to lend her a good basic horse care book so she can "learn" more about caring for horses?

    Today, many people are so used to eating at irregular times because of jobs etc. that they just don't realize the importance of a feeding schedule. Many pet owners I know who have dogs and or cats just fill up the food and water bowls when their animals "ask" for food. Since she isn't at the barn, her horses don't have that opportunity.

    Also, lots of people new to owning horses don't seem to realize how important feeding enough hay is. They really think that as long as they are feeding grain or pellets, hay is not that "important." I think that's because they really haven't learned how a horse's digestive system works.

    I agree that by explaining the possibility of causing colic and the expense involved in treating it, by not feeding enough hay on a regular basis, you will be doing your friend and her horse a favor. Good luck.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2001
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,275

    Default

    Thanks again for the suggestions everyone! I am beginning to wonder if there is a mental disorder going on here. This is someone I've known for 5 years. She has 4 horses in the field. We boarded at a different place until last summer. The other place had decent pasture pretty much all year, so they always had something to eat. The grass is totally gone from the field they are in now, so they have nothing out there. I am really upset this morning because (based on the number of hay bales) she did not feed them on Sunday. I fed them Monday morning and didn't tell her. I figured she would feed them again last night, as she goes out there after work. But this morning, there was no hay gone. I fed them again this morning. I just keep telling myself there has to be an explanation; good people just don't do this.
    Does anyone know of an article online I can send her about the importance of feeding horses hay?



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2006
    Location
    Saco, Maine
    Posts
    4,715

    Default

    Here's another worry-on her days to feed yours, are you sure she's actually doing it? I'd be sitting down with her, something is NOT right. Sorry you're stuck in that mess.....
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2006
    Posts
    1,843

    Default

    ^ Yeah, I am a bit confused...do you have horses there too or are they just her horses? Why are you not concerned about your own horses being fed...and if her horses are staying fat- what exactly is the concern...it's kind of a basic thing- like a furnace, if they are getting enough calories to stay fat- then it seems they are being fed enough...maybe I am missing something???



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2009
    Location
    Atlantic Beach, NC
    Posts
    244

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverBendPol View Post
    Here's another worry-on her days to feed yours, are you sure she's actually doing it? I'd be sitting down with her, something is NOT right. Sorry you're stuck in that mess.....
    I think it's a self care facility where everyone takes care of their own animals, not a co-op where everyone shares the duties.



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