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Dangerous Boarded Horse- Can I do anything?

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    Dangerous Boarded Horse- Can I do anything?

    I board my horse at a lovely private barn that is owned and operated by a nice man who bought a farm for his daughter. She has since grown up, lost interest in horses and moved away. This man continues to board horses and takes excellent care of the animals and the facilities. He may not be a lifelong horse person, but he is the best barn owner I've come across and I am truly lucky to have him.

    All of the horses are well mannered except for a gelding. The gelding is owned by a lady who knows pretty much nothing about horses. She adopted him years ago through a 501(c)3 animal rescue that is still operating today and has the resources to take the horse back. He is not safe to ride as he has a wicked buck. She does not have the money or interest to either send him to a trainer or have a vet evaluate him and see if the horse is reacting to pain. So has has been sitting for years. The horse's owner pays board two months at a time, so she makes 6 trips to the barn a year. She pulls in the driveway, parks the car, walks past the barn to the house, chats with the farm owner a little, and leaves. She never sees the horse. The barn owner actually raised her board because she wasn't buying fly spray for the horse or paying the farrier so he was having to do it.

    Us boarders used to feel badly for him and pull him out of his stall to comb the dreadlocks out of his mane and put MTG on fungus-y spots. We tried to make sure that he didn't become feral from lack of handling. But it didn't work. This has been going on for 4-5 years and the horse's behavior is getting worse in that he kind of explodes-just hand grazing or grooming. He bits and lashes out aggressively and its not okay. Now nobody is comfortable handling him and we have stopped trying to help him. Now the barn owner is doing funny things with turn out and the way he handles the horse that indicates he is getting scared too. Its starting to negatively impact the care of the other horses. Something also happened last week that has me extra worried, but I won't go into that here, but the barn owner is now injured.

    This is a full care barn where horses only go out for part of the day, so leaving him outside all the time and feeding him over the fence to reduce risk is not an option.

    Myself and all of the other boarders are worried about our barn owner, but he won't boot this horse out. He knows things will only get worse for this horse if he is taken elsewhere. We have all tried to talk to the horse owner and ask what her endgame is here. She is paying all this money for a horse she doesn't enjoy in the slightest, and putting this man who cares too much in danger. But she says she loves him and he is her "heart horse" and she is going to keep him. She has even mentioned trying to find a part boarder for the horse because she says money is tight- so that goes to show you how poor her judgement is. We cannot figure out why she won't just give the horse back. I can only foresee a bad outcome here.

    Is there anything I can do to get this horse off of the property? I can't call animal control because she is paying for him to be cared for, so its not neglect in the legal sense. Do I have any recourse with the non-profit that the horse came from?

    #2
    You can move your horse out of the facility. The end.

    Comment


      #3
      Well, it doesn’t really matter if she rides or even handles the horse.
      The barn owner could tell her that she needs to move the horse because the horse isn’t safe for him to handle. That is the only possible recourse. If all of the boarders talked to him about how they’re worried that he could get seriously injured handling this horse, maybe he’d reconsider.
      I do not see how you, as a fellow boarder, would have any recourse against the rescue at all.

      Comment


        #4
        Could you contact the horse rescue? They probably have something in their clause about taking the horse back if neglected...although not sure what they would do with him, but maybe they can offer the horse owner a better setting for him? Or maybe help the BO with his decision to evict this boarder by helping find a better situation for the horse? It is hard to evict a client (emotionally) and he might struggle with the confrontation.
        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

        Comment


          #5
          I agree with one of the above statements. If you don’t like it, leave. Calling the rescue is not appropriate and clearly the BO is dedicated to keeping the horse. If I were you I’d stear clear of that dumpster fire. It will only get worse from here I assume.
          Ride with seat and a little less hand, doesn’t matter if you’re jumping a fence or chasing a can🛢

          Comment


            #6
            Why do all the horses have to be brought in daily? I have a small acreage (3 acres) with 4 horses. There's enough room that my old horse can be turned out full time. I move her in a dry lot at night to prevent her from digging sleeping spots out in the pasture, but if i didn't mind a few sand spots, she could be out full time.

            if this horse is dangerous, i would put him in his own paddock, away from others and leave him there. Or put up a dry lot next to the pasture and use feed to lure him in so i don't have to handle him.

            You can't convince someone to give up their horse, nor can you call the rescue to get the horse.

            It wouldn't be too difficult to set up a 12 by 24 ft dry lot to put the horse in at night. Put his feed in there, open the gate, close it behind him. Don't lead him, don't handle him.

            How does he get his feet trimmed if he is dangerous? If he's not getting trimmed, you might be able to contact the rescue for neglect.

            Comment


              #7
              Based on the above information, it doesn't sound like there is anything you can do short of leaving the barn. You did mention the care of all the horses is being negatively impacted but we don't have enough information to know in what way or if it is serious enough to discuss with the BO.

              If the horse is a danger to the BO, it is up to the BO to ask the HO to leave. It doesn't appear that the BO has reached that conclusion (yet).

              On a seperate topic, many horse owners would have a conniption if other boarders were handling their horse without permission. Not sure if that is the case here, but personally, I would refrain from handling horses that weren't mine unless asked to do so.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by OneTwoMany View Post
                Based on the above information, it doesn't sound like there is anything you can do short of leaving the barn. You did mention the care of all the horses is being negatively impacted but we don't have enough information to know in what way or if it is serious enough to discuss with the BO.

                If the horse is a danger to the BO, it is up to the BO to ask the HO to leave. It doesn't appear that the BO has reached that conclusion (yet).

                On a seperate topic, many horse owners would have a conniption if other boarders were handling their horse without permission. Not sure if that is the case here, but personally, I would refrain from handling horses that weren't mine unless asked to do so.
                Yes, when I read about you all handling him all I could think about what that I know many people who would be very annoyed with you touching their horse without permission. What about if something had happened while he was out of the box with you and he injured himself or you? If he’s not your horse and you don’t have permission leave them alone for so many reasons. When I turn horses out when our barn help has to go away unexpectedly or is sick I always ask permission first even if I have done it 100 times.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Depending on how the barn and turnouts are set up, step in posts and electric wire are sometimes an option. I set it up so that I can just open gates instead of leading them (my own horses) in and out one by one, because it's a much more efficient way to get the job done. It would also be safer in a situation in which a BO needed to deal with a difficult horse.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by walterthealter View Post
                    I board my horse at a lovely private barn that is owned and operated by a nice man who bought a farm for his daughter. She has since grown up, lost interest in horses and moved away. This man continues to board horses and takes excellent care of the animals and the facilities. He may not be a lifelong horse person, but he is the best barn owner I've come across and I am truly lucky to have him.

                    All of the horses are well mannered except for a gelding. The gelding is owned by a lady who knows pretty much nothing about horses. She adopted him years ago through a 501(c)3 animal rescue that is still operating today and has the resources to take the horse back. He is not safe to ride as he has a wicked buck. She does not have the money or interest to either send him to a trainer or have a vet evaluate him and see if the horse is reacting to pain. So has has been sitting for years. The horse's owner pays board two months at a time, so she makes 6 trips to the barn a year. She pulls in the driveway, parks the car, walks past the barn to the house, chats with the farm owner a little, and leaves. She never sees the horse. The barn owner actually raised her board because she wasn't buying fly spray for the horse or paying the farrier so he was having to do it.

                    Us boarders used to feel badly for him and pull him out of his stall to comb the dreadlocks out of his mane and put MTG on fungus-y spots. We tried to make sure that he didn't become feral from lack of handling. But it didn't work. This has been going on for 4-5 years and the horse's behavior is getting worse in that he kind of explodes-just hand grazing or grooming. He bits and lashes out aggressively and its not okay. Now nobody is comfortable handling him and we have stopped trying to help him. Now the barn owner is doing funny things with turn out and the way he handles the horse that indicates he is getting scared too. Its starting to negatively impact the care of the other horses. Something also happened last week that has me extra worried, but I won't go into that here, but the barn owner is now injured.

                    This is a full care barn where horses only go out for part of the day, so leaving him outside all the time and feeding him over the fence to reduce risk is not an option.

                    Myself and all of the other boarders are worried about our barn owner, but he won't boot this horse out. He knows things will only get worse for this horse if he is taken elsewhere. We have all tried to talk to the horse owner and ask what her endgame is here. She is paying all this money for a horse she doesn't enjoy in the slightest, and putting this man who cares too much in danger. But she says she loves him and he is her "heart horse" and she is going to keep him. She has even mentioned trying to find a part boarder for the horse because she says money is tight- so that goes to show you how poor her judgement is. We cannot figure out why she won't just give the horse back. I can only foresee a bad outcome here.

                    Is there anything I can do to get this horse off of the property? I can't call animal control because she is paying for him to be cared for, so its not neglect in the legal sense. Do I have any recourse with the non-profit that the horse came from?
                    Another person who is shocked that you and the other borders felt it was OK to touch a horse not owned by you. Please tell us that you got permission before deciding you would handle this horse.

                    I see nothing wrong with telling the barn owner you are worried about him handling Dobbin The Dangerous. Past that this is definitely a mind your own business situation. It is not up to you to decide how someone else loves their horse and what they should be doing with it. How you enjoy your horse does not have to equal how others enjoy theirs.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Also consider that this BO may prefer owners who stop by every other month to pay vs those who are around more.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        This is really none of your business. If you don't like the way the owner manages the horse, buy the horse and manage him the way you think is best. You and the other boarders have grossly overstepped already.

                        If you're not happy with the care your horse is receiving, address that with the barn owner, or move.

                        If you were very close with the barn owner, you could share your concerns about his safety--but since you and the other boarders are inferring that he's uncomfortable with this horse, rather than hearing it directly from him, it sure sounds like you to don't have that kind of relationship.

                        Tread lightly here. You're really at risk of getting asked to leave. Plenty of barn owners would have given you the boot long ago.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Help the BO realize there are solutions such as fencing off a full-time solo turnout, not only to keep him safe, but also to protect you and the other boarders who don't want to be anywhere near this horse. Horses are quite capable of living outside, without flyspray or a roof overhead. Put up a windbreak of some sort (even if it's just a couple roundbales) and he'll be ok. The fencing should be quite secure (not just a step in post with 1 strand electric) because the horse may be upset at first when all the other horses have gone inside. He'll adapt.

                          The rescue transaction, and whether the owner rides or visits her horse, is seriously none of your business. Nor is it remotely close to neglect/abuse if a horse is left out in a field without much human interaction unless he's going without water, food, medical care. I second the question though about how he's getting his feet trimmed if he's this dangerous?

                          When you board, if you've made a request and the BO elects not to fulfill it, then your choices are to leave or accept the situation as-is.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I would contact the rescue, after first looking into what their level of interest is in adopted horses. Here's why... if this horse technically still belongs to the organization, and his demeanor is declining, and a medical cause hasn't been considered and looked into... he's a risk to himself, the BO, the rescue entity if they still own him, and any professional who might have to deal with him, because all horses need to be safe to be handled to see the Vet and Farrier, at least. Boarders may be at risk if he ever got loose, so add them in, as well
                            There very well could be a reason for the buck, and (perhaps related) his decline wrt being safe, that is physiological, and either treatable or a reason to consider euth if he's not treatable. Some might say ignoring that possibility, that his nature turning mean is/could be physiological in nature, is neglect.

                            Some say MYOB. Yeah, but if the horses is being neglected or is a danger to himself or others around him, it becomes all of our business, imho.
                            Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                            http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If this horse is becoming / has become too dangerous to handle safely, I would classify this as a neglect situation. The horse may be in pain. The fact that the barn owner has to charge extra for some basic care items like fly spray and farrier work, can also be seen as a neglect issue on the horse owner's part. How are things like routine worming and shots handled? Has the barn owner talked to a vet about the situation?

                              "Heart Horse" or not, the owner is neglecting this horse. (Though I will say that I serious hate that term, "Heart Horse". I have seen it used to justify too many situations where neither horse nor human were thriving.)

                              So, if I were a boarder at this barn, I would be having a quiet conversation with the rescue involved. An in-person, seeking information, type conversation -- no written record to come back and bite you. I would ask the rescue to schedule a 'wellness' visit and arm them with some specifics to ask about and observe.

                              *star*
                              "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                              - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926

                              Comment


                                #16
                                I would be tempted to contact the rescue. I do think the rescue would not be thrilled with what is going on with the horse and would hopefully have the resources to have a vet and trainer evaluate him.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  My board contract states that boarders are not permitted to handle other horses. period. If you were at my barn, you would have been asked to leave for breaking the rules. Because, that is dangerous and a liability issue. My insurance agent would be SCREAMING at me if I let a boarder handle another person's horse.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by ShotenStar View Post
                                    The fact that the barn owner has to charge extra for some basic care items like fly spray and farrier work, can also be seen as a neglect issue on the horse owner's part.
                                    How is this neglect? The owner pays extra for these things to be done and the BO gets them done. I'm not seeing the neglect.

                                    I completely understand that if the horse has become truly dangerous that it might ultimately impact the care of the other horses. Really the only way to handle this is a brief conversation with the BO. "Hi BO, I've watched XYZ incidents happen with Dobbin and I would hate to see you get seriously hurt." and let the conversation flow from there. It's always ok to politely say something to someone if you think they might get hurt. It's not ok to routinely handle someone else's not neglected horse without their permission. In fact, as the poster above me mentioned, it is in my board contract that boarders cannot handle other boarders' horses.

                                    www.retiredhorses.com
                                    Blogging about daily life on the retirement farm: http://paradigmfarms.blogspot.com/
                                    Paradigm Farms on Facebook

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by ShotenStar View Post
                                      If this horse is becoming / has become too dangerous to handle safely, I would classify this as a neglect situation. The horse may be in pain. The fact that the barn owner has to charge extra for some basic care items like fly spray and farrier work, can also be seen as a neglect issue on the horse owner's part. How are things like routine worming and shots handled? Has the barn owner talked to a vet about the situation?


                                      *star*
                                      Farrier work is a basic cafe item, but apparently the owner is paying for it and it’s being done if the barn owner is charging for it and the horse owner is paying for it. Fly spray isn’t a basic card item. IME fly spray isn’t even that effective. Neither of the boarding barns I’ve used have applied fly spray to boarders horses, even for a charge. Obviously this barn does, and it worked for the barn owner to charge the absentee owner for the fly spray and the owner paid for it. Not applying fly spray isn’t a neglect issue. A horse without food or water is a neglect issue.

                                      Perhaps I am jaded because of my experiences with local pet rescues, but our local rescues are not jumping up and down to take adopted dogs back - even when the owner requests and ESPECIALLY if there is a behavior problem. Realistically, if the rescue swoops in and takes the horse back (if they even can), that’s going to be very expensive for the rescue. They’re going to be taking over care of a horse that we are hearing is dangerous and unrideable. Starving or injured horses get lots of donations when the rescue uses social media to promote their cause. Dangerous horses probably do not get sympathy donations. Retraining this horse after years would be expensive, and a medical issue would probably be a needle in a haystack to find. You could try. Realistically, wouldn’t you think euthanasia would make sense here, rather than paying a vet to come out and do countless x rays and tests on a pasture puff that will have difficulty even finding a boarding barn? So now, if we are being honest, the rescue needs to come in, trailer this dangerous horse off of this property when the owner and the barn owner are saying that they’re happy to leave this situation alone. The rescue needs to find a vet willing to do an exam on said dangerous horse, and if they’re thinking clearly, put the horse down. Then they need to pay for that plus disposal. I just kind of have severe doubts that the rescue is going to be jumping up and down to swoop in and undertake this project on the urging of a fellow boarder. I could be wrong, but I just don’t see it.

                                      i have a horse that is a companion horse. When he was starving, the local rescue wanted him but due to the neglect and the police, the horse couldn’t cross state lines. By the time all of this was resolved, he was simply lame and not underweight. At this point, the rescue has zero interest. He wasn’t starving anymore, and so he was no longer going to bring in donations as a regular pasture sound horse. That’s just reality.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        If anything, i think this post really shows the vast differences in other’s view on neglect.
                                        Ride with seat and a little less hand, doesn’t matter if you’re jumping a fence or chasing a can🛢

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