Touche, thank you for posting your first hand knowledge of the facts involving this sad story. I imagine after witnessing something that devestating, I would have been angry as well. While ignorance can excuse certain behavior, a normal human would notice when an animals reaches killer pen level emaciation. I still fault the parents, but am saddened that any horse lover could let this go as far as it did, then ask for sympathy, and advice on whether it would be okay to trot off to a concert. I have tried to understand both sides of the story until the facts came out and stil believ that nothing we say here can bring the poor animal back, but have to say I am sad to see the real story.
There were warning signs. "Crap-meter" Triggers Went off all over the world reading about this horse.
Looking back...What could have been done?
What can we do in the future??? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img]
If you ever reach total enlightenment while you're drinking a beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose. - Jack Handy
You know, I feel very sorry for Musical_Jumper now. As horrible as this whole situation has been and as disgusted and angry as it made me to think someone was unable to recongize a pathetically skinny and sick horse in their care, I still feel sorry that out there is this 16 year old girl who is dealing with the knowledge that she contributed to the death of the animal that she did indeed love in her own way.
I agree with everything that has been posted above, and yet I still feel for her. I do not understand, nor can comprehend, how she was unable to recognize what she was doing to her own horse, (or her parents lack of intervention either!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img] ) it makes me suspect that all is not right with her in more than one way, and it is saddening that a girl so young has had such negative influences in her life that lead her to an inability to either accept truth and reality or to recognize suffering. I for one hope that Tiffany gets the counseling she so obviously needs.
I still feel sorry for Seger though [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
I have followed all these threads, but haven't posted until now.
I will not be offering my opinion on this turn of events, because I don't think it will add anything. What I would like to do is relate a story of a friend of mine--not to make specific commentary on this incident, but rather attempt to point out that there are a lot of horsepeople in the world who aren't like us, and thus aren't necessarily wrong.
I have a dear friend who is an equine vet--she practiced for many years in the Middleburg area and her clients were the creme de le creme of the racing, hunter/jumper, eventing, and dressage worlds. She said 90% of the serious (i.w. life-threatening or life-ending) injuries and illnesses were cause by a conscious decision of an owner/trainer/rider to compete an animal in its discipline--often because the horse "wasn't quite right", but often just because of the inherent risk in competition. To be frank, she got tired of putting horses back together, only to have to do it all over again the next month.
So, she took a position in rural southern Virginia--some competitove types, but far more breeding and backyard folks. I spoke to her about a month after she had moved and asked how it was going. She related that it had been a real shock--because 90% of the seriious cases she was treating now were related to "ignorance" injuries. Including injuries realted to innapropriate fencing materials, innapropriate care and in one memorable case, a pony that had been left in the front yard tied to a truck tire, so it "could eat some grass". I asked her if she was rethinking the move, and to my surprise, she said "Absolutely not!" Her pointwas that while the ignorance injuries were often mind-boggling, the people's general response when she explained the cause of the injury and how to prevent it in the future was shocked horror that they had done something wrong, and would seek to make amends to prevent futur problems.
"At least these people are willing to learn from their mistakes," she said. "It's a lot better to have to treat the same horse for three different ingnorance injures, than to treat the same horse for the same problem again and again, because "he has to go" to the next horse show, event, or race. I'd rather stich up 6 million wire cuts, than have to inject for the hundreth time the joints of some poor old campaigner whose crippled and should be retired, but "has to get Suzy to Indoors"."
An interesting point, I thought. Regardless of my personal feelings about the ultimate outcome in this case, I am uncomfrotable with a tone I sense in these posts that seems to say "If you aren't(a)in a show/boarding facility; (b)incredibly experienced or knowleadgable; (c)over 25 years of age; (d) have a certain amount of income, etc., etc., you don't deserve to own a horse. This gets into a dangerous sliipery-slope type of territory very quickly, that I think we need to be careful of.
I am sure that M_J knows pretty well by now that she made mistakes she will have to live with for the rest of her life, but I am not convinced her parents realize all this.
I am NOT saying M_J and her family should be turned in, but nobody's even mentioned the legal implications, and being aware that this is *potentially* a prosecutable offense could maybe have knocked some sense into her parents before it was too late.
Another thing that occurred to me, and not to be slanderous but simply to point a possibility out: How is M_J's relationship with her parents? Could it be that M_J's parents are hard-headed? Difficult for her to get along with? Not amenable to costs and so on related to horses? Is it possible M_J was too scared to ask them for help for fear they'd...say no? Such things do happen. Having parents who are...shall we say..."less than supportive"...can be stupefying, paralysing...can lead you to forget how to do the right thing. Know what I mean?
Hitch's post of hearing enough, than that's your choice to no longer read this thread. However, as long time posters here, many of us feel DUPED by this kid who involved us by her posts, and then makes up stories about how her horse died, neglecting the facts that she ostensibly caused this young horse's death. I am angry because I feel used, and my guess is that many other longtime bb'ers here feel the same way. I also feel at a loss and frustrated-had we been told the truth (and I am sorry, but a 16 year old KNOWS when they are in over their head, and this kid has a cell phone-USE IT)...she could have sent out the rallying troops here and I can guarantee that someone in the tristate area there WOULD have even come and gotten that horse, had she wanted to save him. Yes, frustration, anger, sadness, we are feeling it. If you feel that this topic needs to end, then don't read it-For me, I am quite bothered by the situation, and it does my heart good to grieve with my cyber "friends" who are also feeling the same way, and talking in the way which we are-just trying to make SENSE of what has happened to an innocent horse. Much like the talk of 9/11 when we just couldn't fathom what was happening. "how could someone?"....some need to grieve in peace, others find comfort in talking it out....I am humbled by the outpouring of love and concern shown on this bb, and am proud to be a part of it. I am just so profoundly saddened that we could not do more....and that there are others out there like him.
Jair, it's nice to see some compassion for a child that doesn't appear to be getting ideal parental guidance. I hate to see the baby thrown out with the bath water, or in this case, the child buried along with the horse. As Louise said, she is not a hardened criminal.
Heather, you make so many good points, and it is comforting to read that most peoples' reactions to their ignorance is "shocked horror." I've witnessed the same, which is why I would rather give people the benefit of the doubt and try to help them instead of castigating them. This reminds me of something that happened when I was a teenager; a fellow boarder who was older but was just getting into horses tied her horse to the sliding stall door. He panicked and ran off dragging the door behind him. Fortunately, the injuries were minor, but she was in tears and so upset with herself. A few days later, I saw her leading him out to the paddock without the throat lash of his halter fastened. I apologized for butting in but did mention why it would be better to fasten the throat lash. She was incredibly appreciative of the advice since she really did not know. I refrain from giving unsolicited advice unless it's a health or safety issue - and then no one is going to shut me up.
First, thank you Touche for posting the eyewitness story.
When MJ posted her long posts about her parents and their attitudes, I felt that something was not right. That something was not being stated.
And where were the parents... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img]
This really bothers me. How could they let a 16 year old handle the total care, expense, and responsibility of a horse and pony, especially when there seemed to be health issues with the horse? The horse was on their property, no? How could they not notice that the animal was emaciated? If they had a problem with Tiffany owning the horse, they should have insisted she find another home for him.
I've seen emaciated horses when I volunteered after Hurricane Andrew. (All the lost and abandoned horses were brought to Tropical Park in Miami for care by volunteer vets and others. Some horses were in such bad shape, and not from the Hurricane, that instructions were to call the police if the owners showed up and tried to claim them.) Anyway, there's no way to not notice an emaciated horse.
These parents share a lot of the blame. They are the adults in this situation. They're supposed to be the responsible, clear-thinking individuals in the equation. They should be ashamed of themselves. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img]
People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... timey wimey... stuff.
Step off of that band wagon-GIRL!!! None of us not 1 person has ever eluded to the fact that you must be rich, in a fancy barn, or over legal age....NOT ONE!!! What we are saying if you read...MY KNICKERS ARE IN A BUNCH....is that you must and I repeat must be responsible to care for animals. Now I know this is not a perfect world. I am not so dense! There are so many bad animal people out there!!! But if you can hook up a modem, make a website, post on The Chronicle of the Horse boards many times a day, you can certainly tell if the walls in the stall are covered in diarrhea and that too many ribs are showing. My god where do you come off. We have all been more then supportive!!! Who are you to judge us this way!!!! Can you tell I am a little worked up over this? I desperately hope you reread what you posted because there is not a one of us here who blamed not being rich enough as a good enough reason. You silly, silly person....
\"Just when I thought I was out ,They pull me back in!\"
-Sylvio Dante--\"The Sopranos\"
I agree totally with how you feel. I have run the gamut with my feelings about the whole situation.
I truly believe the the fault ultimately lies with MJ's parents. Where were they during all this?? Are they that ignorant?? She is a minor, and whether they like it or not, they are responsible for what she does and how she behaves until she's 18. I don't care how much they do or do not know about horses,it had to be obvious how ill Seger was and it was their RESPONSIBILITY to take care of the situation. The horse was on property that they owned. I love how people decide to have children but don't want the responsibilty and obligations that comes with raising them....but that's a whole other thread. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img]
"May the happiest days of your past be the saddest days of your future."
\"May the happiest days of your past be the saddest days of your future.\"
I am one of those who was very suspicious about all these events as well. I had many conversations with my cyberfriends regarding this matter. I was even considering offering to send a blanket, but others did so first. I have been following all the posts from M_J for a long time. And what I see here is major DENIAL on her part. I understand that bad things can happen out of ignorance. But we hopefully realize where we went wrong and make an effort never to make that mistake again. I don't see that effort here.
I see no attempt by M_J to internalize what has happened, and to learn from those mistakes. This has been a long time coming...I remember a time when her father wanted her to sell or give the horse away because she was unable to care for it. She was insistant that she not give up on the horse because she thought he was talented. Many people on this BB gave her advice which she blantantly ignored and argued about, constantly dismissing suggestions and twisting the story.
What I see here is a 16-year old girl with some obvious emotional problems who was ignorant or somehow blind to what was going on (and I can't fathom how that is possible, giving the state he was in). However, that is no excuse for what has happened. It is sickening. What is even more sickening is the fact that she won't even ADMIT to ANY wrongdoing. From what she has said on the board, she holds her herself totally blameless....that she did EVERYTHING she could. She's so far in denial that she won't even learn from this, because she has chosen not to internalize any of this, and has comforted herself with visions of the horse cantering in the clouds. THIS is what I find so infuriating.
And Natty, I agree with you 100%. I did not get the impression anywhere on this thread that people were saying or even implying that you had to have a lot of money to own a horse. I had NO money when I was in college and supported a horse in Los Angeles. I lived at home, worked at Target 6 hours a week, went to UCLA, and worked with horses to pay my board (cleaning stalls, feedin the entire barn every Sunday night, grooming, braiding, whatever). I boarded at a co-op barn for $125/month, and my horse got as much hay as he needed. So it can be done, even in a big city.
I just wanted to say that when we are young, most of our attitudes and our ability to make decisions and to cope come from our parents. We learn from them. So, in this case, it seems pretty likely that M_J's parents are of the "oh well, we do what we can" variety, when they clearly do NOT do what they can.... they might be people who really either do not *know* how to get or ask for help, or explore options, or who consciously or subconsciously *choose* not to, for a variety of reasons. This is a behavior that M_J can certainly unlearn. She's only 16. Counseling would be a great place to start. Reaching out to the other horse people in her neighborhood is an even better place to start. If you need help, in anything in life, you HAVE to first know that you need help (which M_J seemed to), and then ASK for help, and finally, ACCEPT help. You can not sit around playing "poor pitiful me" without sometimes fatal consequences, as she just learned. Manipulative behavior, whether conscious or not, almost always ends up coming back to haunt the manipulator. You have to realize that the world, right here on this BB for example, is full of compassionate people who truly WANT to help, and WILL help. If Vet A can not come, you HAVE to get Vet B even if he/she's not your first choice. You HAVE to ask someone with a horse trailer to get you a ride, even if you have a lot of pride. Where there is a will, there is a way--if something matter enough to you, you will find a way to do it.
M_J, if nothing else, I hope that Seger's tragic death has taught you the importance of exploring all of your options, and being willing to accept help, and that as valuable as online friends can sometimes be, when things matter most, it is the people around you who can actually help. I hope you have learned what your priorities should be--as a teen, perhaps with unsupportive parents, I know that can be hard, but if there is ever a choice between a life and a pair of concert tickets, for example, life should ALWAYS come first. Please, learn how to reach out in the real world, and how to ask questions, and know and admit when you are in too deep.