I'll also never forget the letter to the editor in the paper about a year ago, complaining about our local school system. Apparently, the writer thought it was completely unfair and outrageous that our local schools expected parents to be involved in their children's education and to have computers at home. The writer of the letter went on to explain that NO ONE in our county could afford their own computer except the "rich kids" and that parents were too busy working to help their kids with schoolwork.
The sad thing is that this IS the overwhelming mentality of our very rural population. And these people have horses (and other livestock) in their backyards. Just like their moms/dads, grandmas/grandpas, have for generations before them.
SO--When these people lose their jobs as local industries close or lay off workers, and can't even find another FIRST job much less a second one, and are about to lose their homes, where do their animals go?
These people aren't on horse internet boards learning about responsible horse ownership. I doubt they have internet. They are doing what their previous generations have taught them to do, except it isn't working anymore.
I don't think they are deliberately being irresponsible (by our standards). Their upbringing/culture just didn't give them a clue as to what to do in this situation.