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THIS is how wrong it can go :( :( :(

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  • THIS is how wrong it can go :( :( :(

    Lots of you guys know what I've gone through with my lovely TB mare, who has battled on-and-off again lameness. This winter, I decided to stop trying to get her to a point where she was "ridable" and just retire her.

    I spent a LOT of time looking at different retirement options. I decided to lease her out locally. After screening several potential homes, I settled on a woman about 1.5 hours away from me who simply wanted a companion to love, pet and hang out with. She came to visit Fancy and spent 3 hours with us. I checked her references, I knew the vet clinic she was using, I got loads of photos of the farm where the horse would be living. I gave the woman TONS of info about the mare, her history, her feeding regime. We talked about management, care, everything under the sun. I wrote a 6 page contract and felt like it was a dream scenario.

    The horse left on March 22 and looked like this:


    Those were taken hours before she left.

    She was gone 8 weeks. In that time, the lady leasing e-mailed me multiple times a week. We chit-chatted a lot about Fancy, her care, various horse related things. For the first month, everything was great.

    The second month, I started to get an inkling something wasn't right. Nothing I could put my finger on, it just didn't feel right and the tone of her emails was different. She started dodging my request for pictures. My biggest regret is that I did not act sooner, but I was giving her the benefit of the doubt. HUGE MISTAKE.

    Last night my trainer drove down to get my mare, after multiple red flags just put me over the edge. This is what came home to me last night:




    In addition to being emaciated, she has had all four shoes pulled, and she has clearly not been groomed at all, as winter coat is just flying off her. She is nervous, touchy, and very, very lame.

    To say I am heartbroken is an understatement. This is a young mare, who has always had excellent care, even at the track. The lady leasing her knew I would take her back IN A HEARTBEAT if things were not going well or she did not want her. I was very, very clear on that, and she knew how invested I was in the horse. We had constant contact in the 2 months she had the horse. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS!!!!!!!

    Thank goodness I had a written contract, and thank goodness I held on to her papers. Shame on me for not driving down there sooner, though I honestly had no idea that things were THIS BAD.

    Even worse, the horse was boarded. So how does a barn owner AND the lady leasing not notice something is wrong?

    There are other horses on the property in very poor condition. If anyone in Western NY would like to know where this place is, or the name of the lessee, please PM me. I am HAPPY to provide that info so they can NEVER DO THIS AGAIN.

    These are various pictures of my mare in the year I've had her. She has never been a "hard keeper" type, rather quite bulky and almost WB/QH looking:





    A huge thank you to the many people-- friends and strangers alike-- in the Western NY horse community who, over the last 24 hours, offered to pick her up for me, and offered space in the barn if I needed somewhere to take her. The kindness of so many is the only thing that has gotten me through the last day and kept me from wanting to exit the horse world completely.

    I feel like I have failed her miserably, and I feel like a fool, for believing the many emails and stories from the lady leasing her that everything was great and wonderful and fine and she loved her soooo much!

    Let this be a lesson-- Trust no one with your horses unless you know them and can monitor the situation. Write a contract, even if you know the person. Listen to your gut. Don't rely on references or photos. At the first inkling something is wrong, GO CHECK ON THEM.

    My heart is broken.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

  • #2
    Stop beating yourself up! You got her back in time! You did not fail her!

    But gosh, really? How can one do that to an animal?!

    Many hugs to you.

    (but I guess it would not hurt to out this person. Das Mensch, as we would say back home)


    • #3
      O...M...G! That is way worse than I was expecting and gave me goosebumps just looking at the "after" photos...

      The best thing is that you got her back, and can give her the care she needs. We can't always know what is going on, so just be thankful that you got her back when you did. It could also be way worse, so kudos to you for having a written contract and following your gut when you did.
      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


      • Original Poster

        My links are all f-d up.... trying to fix them! That's how mad I am, I cannot even set the freaking links up right.

        Ok, fixed.
        We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


        • #5
          Holy smokes, that is bad. And the horse was boarded.....wow.
          Thankfully she's back with you now. Don't be too hard on yourself, you acted on your instincts when things seemed to be off, and that right there is a very good thing.
          "Anti-intellect and marketing, pretty, pretty, who needs talent
          Crying eyes, we're so outnumbered, fight for the right to remain silent" Buck 65


          • #6
            We had a similar situation happen this year. References were checked, photos sent, etc etc....you think you do your due dilligence and then crap like this happens.
            Thankfully ours didn't come back in quite so terrible of shape....but close. I'm just glad that your baby (and mine) got out in time.
            Don't beat yourself up. We always think that it won't happen to us, that there really aren't that many @ssholes in the world, but there are, and it does happen to good people!!
            Jingles for your mare, and may that woman contract a nasty case of poison ivy in a very, very sensitive place.


            • #7
              I am so sorry you and your mare have gone thru this. Thankfully you did feel something wasn't quite right and you did something about it. Your mare will recover, you need to give yourself permission to recover too. You didn't do anything wrong, you thought you were doing the best thing for her. Get her healthy and let it go...in your heart.

              On the other hand, I hope you're going to press charges against her and the BO. How can anyone run a facility and allow horses to get in this condition???

              Good luck and hugs, to you and your mare.


              • Original Poster

                You're totally right, pinkpony, you think it won't happen to you. And I thought by having an air tight contract, and constant communication, and checking all her references and keeping tabs from afar, that things would be fine.

                But despite all that, she can choose not to feed her. Know what I mean? There is nothing I can do to MAKE HER FEED THE HORSE. There is nothing any of us can do to MAKE them actually take care of the animal.

                I'm glad you got your horse back, too.
                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                • #9
                  You need to report to Animal Control ASAP. Your poor, poor mare.


                  • #10
                    That is so, so sad. For this exact reason, if I were unable to keep my current horse who is hot, spooky and not beginner friendly, or if he became chronically lame and I couldn't have 2...I would put him down. If I don't want a horse that can't be ridden, you can bet dimes to donuts, nobody else does either. At least not anyone I would trust to give him to. Going to sleep is a much better fate than starving to death or being otherwise mistreated.

                    That's just my 2 cents. FlashGordon I am so sorry about your poor mare, I'm sending prayers and jingles that she has a speedy recovery and also for comfort for you. I'm so glad that you got her out of there. You are a diligent keeper!


                    • #11
                      First ~ thanks goodness she is 'home' ~ honestly you did everything you could ~

                      First thank gooodness she is 'home'

                      Honestly you did everything you could except visit or send someone to visit and take pics ~

                      Water under the damn ~ just breathe in breathe out and plan your/her recovery ~

                      Jingles laced with thoughts and prayers and ((hugs)) for both of you ~

                      She is 'home' that's the MOST important part here ~
                      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                      • #12
                        Oh my god. I'm so sorry for your mare.

                        This is why I just can't let them go . I'm so sorry it turned out so bad but relieved you got her in time. My heart goes out to you.


                        • #13
                          Ugh. So so sorry. Glad you have her back!


                          • #14
                            Please press charges and do everything else you can do to make that woman's life a living hell.


                            • #15
                              That is just SO wrong

                              I feel like kicking that woman in the hindquarters, and I don't even know your mare.

                              Poor Fancy. For her to get that wasted in 8 weeks, she had to have been kept locked inside for most of the time. Even grass turnout would not have emaciated her that quickly. I hope the permanent damage is slight.

                              Gawd. How can humans do that to animals?
                              Facta non verba


                              • #16
                                I bet she was sooooo happy to be home. Poor horse. Don't beat yourself up, I think you did more than enough homework and on paper it probably did look like a perfect situation. This really boils down to the leaser SUCKING at life.

                                Custom Painted Saddle Pads and Ornaments


                                • #17
                                  So sorry that happened to you and your mare.

                                  I agree, try to get animal control or someone involved so that doesn't happen to anyone else.


                                  • #18
                                    I've almost had this happen. My.sweet show hunter had gotten to the point where showing above 3'6 was taking its toll, but because he was made and fancy,I wanted another kid to be able to learn the ropes on him. I leased him out to a woman who had a lesson student looking for a horse. He was not to be used as a lesson horse at all - only for the girl. Like you, I had regular contact with the girl, and the Barn owner, but then the girl slipped and said he was their favorite lesson horse. When I showed up, he was being used in a lesson. Feet were horrible, cranky...I was so glad to get him out of there!

                                    Don't beat yourself up over this - you got her back in time, AND hopefully the authorities will be able to take care of her other horses.
                                    The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      My trainer dropped her off 2 months ago and did a property check, horses were in appropriate (for the season) turnouts and everyone was in decent weight, had water and hay.

                                      What she found last night, was a Whole Lot Different.

                                      Best part about it-- knowing we were coming to get her last night, they turned my mare out in a field of LUSH, knee-high grass yesterday. Clearly trying to hide the fact that she'd been in one of the small, manure-filled enclosures the entire two months. So hopefully she doesn't colic and/or founder now. A$$holes.

                                      Yes, I did report them.
                                      We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


                                      • #20
                                        Glad your mare is home safe. Jingles for quick and easy recovery.