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Another Update Page 5 - Disturbing Situation - Wheels in Motion

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    Another Update Page 5 - Disturbing Situation - Wheels in Motion

    Yesterday I show up at my barn to take my horse to the vet. While I'm getting him ready, I noticed a horse in a nearby stall fully tacked up including spade bit, tied to a rope from the ceiling. The reins were looped around the saddle horn so the horse wouldn't be able to lower his head at all. The barn manager was no where to be found and there was no one else there. I think they were cleaning stalls in another barn because my horse's stall was half done. I return from the vet about 2 hours later; horse is still there in his stall, fully tacked in the same position.

    I know the barn manager knows because the stalls had been cleaned and buckets scrubbed. No one else around, boarders or workers, just this poor horse who is unable to lower his head, drink or eat. I did go into his stall because the rope was around his neck so before he hung himself, I straightened it out and wanted to see if he would lower his head. This horse had a terrified look in his eye and just was so sad. He is one of those "Mexican dancing horses" so I don't know if this is common practice to tack and leave them tied for hours on end with no one, including the owner, supervising.

    I'm angry and disturbed by this, especially since the BM knew about it and, obviously has no problem. I've been thinking about moving anyway and this was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

    In the interim, I'm not sure this would qualify as abuse but the horse being denied food and water for at least 4+ hours(I arrived at the barn at 1:00 and left at 5:30); would that fall under the guidelines?

    I'm more or less venting here but it just ticks me off.
    Last edited by 16 Hands; Mar. 13, 2020, 01:23 PM.

    Originally posted by 16 Hands View Post
    In the interim, I'm not sure this would qualify as abuse but the horse being denied food and water for at least 5+ hours(I arrived at the barn at 1:00 and left at 5:30); would that fall under the guidelines?
    That time line is 4+ hours, not 5+.


      I guess I should learn to count.


        Poor horse, that's a tough one. I don't think there is really anything you can do other than mentioning it to the barn manager.


          Wow...that's terrible. I would bring it up with the BM, but I'm also not sure there is much else you can do. You don't have any proof.


            We have a former Mexican horse at the barn I'm at, and that horse is really messed up. You can tell that every interaction he has ever had with a human has ended poorly for him. Jumpy, reactive, ear shy, headshy. I'm casually working with him, but with how little his current owner knows, I think it's to no avail.


            I'm not sure there's much you can do. Ranch horses work harder and longer than the time this horse was tied.


              Did you take any pictures?

              Did you ask your vet about it?


                I'd make a big stink about it to barn management and if they were okay with that going on, I'd be moving my horse out of there as fast as possible. Did you take photos or video with time stamp by any chance?
                Wouldst thou like the taste of butter ? A pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?


                  Originally posted by endlessclimb View Post
                  I'm not sure there's much you can do. Ranch horses work harder and longer than the time this horse was tied.
                  This was kind of my thought. Lots of horses work many hours in a row with out food. Or heck, most horses at boarding barns stand for hours with no food between feedings.


                    I would tell the BO and anyone else who would listen that's why I'm moving. I would also take photos the next time you see it happen, while you figure out where you're going. I've seen similar rigging up of horses like that and that sort of owner, whatever the discipline, just does not care because they don't see the harm. I understand "soaking" a horse and patience posts et al but leaving him bridled in a spade unattended? That's just lazy BS.


                      I think though that a horse off on a long trail ride or able to move around a stall and lower his head is in much less distress than a horse tied this way.

                      I expect this treatment is an extreme version of a "patience pole" and my guess is it's only part of a training methodology that I would not find acceptable for my own horses.

                      However you need to watch more carefully to see if the total methods add up to brutality. And is this done regularly or was it a one off exercise?;

                      The barn owner has little say over the training methods of the boarders.


                        Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                        This was kind of my thought. Lots of horses work many hours in a row with out food. Or heck, most horses at boarding barns stand for hours with no food between feedings.

                        I agree that the no food/water isn't the concern. A horse tied back/up in spade bit would be my concern, as well as being left unattended in tack. Spade bits have big ports that contact the sensitive palate when engaged. The poor horse. I could not handle seeing that, but I also acknowledge that horses are property, so the best I can do is not enable that behaviour by giving the barn a dime of my money.

                        I would leave and explain why.

                        There is a barn near me that leaves horses tied high for hours before and after work (also cruel in my opinion). My friend that rode there left over having to see that: unfortunately they didn't tell management that was why they where leaving.
                        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                          This is not ok. Who owns the horse? I would document it & get your horse outta there.


                            I understand about ranch horses being required to stand for periods of time but this horse was unable to even lower his head the smallest amount to clear its nose nor had any access to water. The BM knew about it as she had cleaned his stall around him. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pics. I was in a quandary wondering what the best course of action to take, if any. I was tempted to drive out at night to see if he was still standing there tacked up.

                            Scribbler - this was the only time I've seen it. Generally I'm there in the late afternoon and this time was hours earlier so it may have been going on before and probably has since the rope he was tied to is permanently affixed to the ceiling.

                            The horse is owned by a boarder and from what I understand, this barn welcomes the local horse dancing crowd and have full days of taking over the barn to play with their horses. I met the boarder once and he seemed like a decent guy who cared for his horse but this is just not cool at all.
                            Last edited by 16 Hands; Mar. 13, 2020, 03:20 PM. Reason: Added info


                              This is unfortunately not limited to "Mexican dancing horses"'s fairly rampant in the WP world as well.

                              Honestly, I'd probably have looked around, untied the horse, taken the bridle off and left him saddled in the stall. Then, if anyone asked me, I'd just say I walked by and the horse was tangled up, there was no one around and so I got him unstuck and hoped the handler would return soon. Yes, it's lying, and no, I'm not sure I would actually advocate for someone else to do that...but I might have in that situation.

                              The law lags far behind reality in terms of what constitutes abusive practices, so sadly I don't think getting any kind of law enforcement involved will be helpful.

                              There's a part of me that would be very tempted to speak to the BO and express my concern, and then there's a part of me that recognizes it's unlikely to change anything as the BO clearly cleaned the stall with the horse tied like that and appears to have done nothing. If I were that BO, I'd have untied and untacked the horse and the boarder would know pretty quickly that if I ever saw that again, they'd be out. But I'm not the BO, and neither are you, so I question how much good it will do. Best thing at this point is to "vote with your wallet" so to speak, and board elsewhere. If BO asked, more than likely I'd let them know I don't want my horse cared for by staff that thing it's okay to leave an animal like that.
                              Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not. Remember that what you have now was once among the many things that you only hoped for.


                                Ditto Abby.S. I am a barn over...and I would never allow that in my barn.


                                  Common thing of WP riders. Seen it a few times, always makes me irate beyond belief.
                                  Boss Mare Eventing Blog


                                    The horse's neck muscles would have been on fire with an excruciating ache from lactic acid, in this unnatural position. Unable to release and lower it without pain in his mouth. This is a stress position as is used in torture. This horse has no voice to tell anyone.

                                    And as far as I know there is no purpose achieved by this stupid, cruel practice. It seems designed merely to put fear and domination into the horse.

                                    Take photos. Timestamp. You can screenshot your home screen to help you mark dates and times without having to look at the photo detail.

                                    Video video video. Even if the horse is just standing there not moving, get 3 minutes on video. His discomfort will be obvious. There is *nothing* more powerful than video, even if nothing is 'happening' and it looks like a still shot captures the moment. Lean your hand on a board or something to keep it steady for a 3 minute video that will be upsetting to you to take, and upsetting to others to watch.

                                    You have to have that kind of evidence to talk with the ACO and/or sheriff's office. If they will do nothing (they may say that this form of abuse isn't illegal), make an appointment with your local prosecutor, show them the video, explain the effect on the horse (include the pain) and ask their advice.

                                    Personally I would release the horse and call the BO to let him/her know that I did. But I'd get this documentation first. If someone wants to abuse their horse they have to do it somewhere that I am not. I will not leave a horse like that. I'd calmly tell the BO why - abusive, painful, bad for his health, no water, needs to lower his head for his health, etc. (Which an ignorant owner may not even know, but might respond positively if communicated in a reasonable-sounding tone.) If I take a stand on that there's a chance that, and the BO backs the abuser, then there's a chance I'll have to leave the barn and abandon the horse to these practices. But so long as I stay I can be a voice for those horses.

                                    You are this horse's only hope, otherwise he is in for more hours and hours of similar treatment and cruelty. And there is some hope of making an impression on whoever is doing this that they will get negative feedback, so why not just forego this useless stupidity. Your action might help, but doing nothing helps nothing - so I hope that makes sense.


                                      this would be abuse at a USEF show, per their rules. I would not stay in a facility that permitted this
                                      -- * > hoopoe
                                      Procrastinate NOW
                                      Introverted Since 1957


                                        I'd take a timestamped photo before leaving, then call ACC on the spot and have them come witness it if horse still there when you get back. Tell owner - if they don't have a problem with it, leave.

                                        Also that spade bit might go missing...