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New Boarder - not caring for horse

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  • New Boarder - not caring for horse

    I realize this is only my second post, but this issue has really got me thinking. To clarify, I am a boarder at the barn, but also close freinds of the owners.

    With out writing a novel, how do you handle a boarder who clearly has no clue as to how to rehab their horse, and isn't willing to listen to the advise offered?

    A bit of background - horse arrived Dec 1st, appoximately a 2 on the body scale, one very fat hind leg. Owner claims other barn quit feeding horse when notice was given (but there are holes in that story). Boarder asked my opinion - I suggesed beet pulp, cool calories. Cold hose the hind leg 20 mins, and get it cleaned up as I suspect mud fever (leg is crusty, either with fluids and such or mud from previous barn). Thanked me profusely, but did none of the above. I've seen in the feed room that the mare is getting quite a bit of food now, so that is an improvement.
    A few days ago, she asked another girl at the barn for advice regarding the leg. Was given same advice, but still did nothing. In fact, claimed that the "leg gets better when she's worked" ( worked?!?)

    What do you say now?

  • #2
    I'll tell you what my vet told me when I had a similar situation:

    People can ask advice all day long. It's their decision whether or not they take my advice. I am doing my job by dispensing it (and taking their money).

    Back away, look away, MYOB. There is nothing you can do. Frustrating as it is. Been there, done that.


    • #3
      Nothing. It's up to the BO, if the BO chooses to do something/anything. Is the horse lame?


      • #4
        Unfortunately I'm not sure there is much you can do. If she isn't going to listen then she isn't going to listen.

        I had a similar situation but was just a boarder at a rather large boarding facility. Young teenager brought in new horse. Both girl and parent's did not know anything about horses. This horse had SEVERLY bowed tendons in both fronts. I am no vet but you could see the bows and the horse dangerously lame just from walking. The little girl demanded the horse be turned out so BO put horse in 'rehab' paddock where horse could not move around much. Girl decides to go ahead and start working the horse. Several people in the barn tried to give her advice but she didn't listen. One day in the round pen the horse bucked (I heard she was using a lot of whip to try and get this horse to move). She was too close and the horse made contact with her arm, shattering it.

        I left the facility before the girl ever came back. The horse just sat in it's stall for weeks. Luckily it is full care and the horse at least had a clean stall every night and some minimal turn-out. Poor thing.


        • #5
          Are you upset about the horse's leg, or that she didn't take your advice?

          People seem to get overly hurt when they give advice and it isn't taken, which I could understand if you were an expert, but it doesn't even sound like you know what is wrong with the horse's leg, so not sure on what basis you gave the advice, nor on what basis you are suprised/upset the horse is being worked.

          I think you are well meaning, but need to learn to not take it personally if you give advice and it isn't taken. You need to defer to the owner and the barn owner to make the ultimate decision on the horse's treatment.
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


          • #6
            The swelling WILL go down when the horse is worked, especially if the horse has cellulitis as it aids in lymphatic drainage. However, exercise is not going to cure it. You could explain to her that treating the symptom is not the same as treating the cause.

            If there's significant swelling and oozing, the horse will likely need a course of antibiotics to treat the infection. Not treating it can cause long term issues with stocking up.

            Most of the time now I don't tell people *how* to treat their horses; instead I tell them they need to call a vet.

            Tell her to read this article:

            Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
            EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


            • Original Poster

              Just feel bad for horse

              Lol, I guess that quote I read here really is true. "If you have to post on COTH, you already know the answer".

              I don't care if the woman takes my personal advice, as I am certainly no expert. I'd just like her to do something for the poor horse. The poor animal has a body score of about 2, a fat leg that is not bending well and yet the woman is hacking the mare out, and ponying her grandchild around. It just bugs the h-e-double hockey sticks out of me!

              As close freinds of the barn owner, I know that she'll do just about anything to avoid a confrontation, so was hoping there was some politically correct advice out there, or even a clause that can be put in a boarding contract to avoid future problems. Does anyone have advice, or know if a clause regarding the level of care expected can be added to a contract?
              The BO aren't really horse people, just really practical, observant farm people. I'm comfortable having my mares in their care, as I know they watch every scrap of food consumed, and make sure it comes out the other end in correct order If anything is amiss with my mares, I get a phone call immediately. However I forsee problems with boarders that aren't knowledgable enough to know when a vet is needed, or committed enough to treat their horses.

              Thanks for the advice offered. Guess I'll try to put my blinders on, and keep gnawing on my tongue.