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Would you have said something?

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  • Would you have said something?

    Went out to see my horse after work the other day... The vet was on his way out to see a couple of horses (not mine). Owners of these horses were there and had brought their horses in from turnout. I was a few stalls down getting my equipment ready before catching my horse to ride.

    One of the horses obviously didn't like being in her stall when her buddies were still out, so she was pacing the stall, calling, etc. Owner went into her stall and put on her halter and a leadrope with the chain over her nose. Stood there with her for a few minutes trying to calm her down. Horse was fidgeting and calling.

    Owner apparently got tired of standing there with her horse. Proceeds to tie the leadrop with about 8 inches of slack directly to the stall bar. Leaves the stall. Leaves the aisle. Sits on the mouting block in the parking lot. Horse swinging her butt back and forth, calling, jerking against the chain.

    Nothing tragic happened. Owner came back a few minutes later with the vet in tow. BUT... that was ridiculous.

    I didn't say anything. I stayed in eyeshot of the mare until the owner came back in case she panicked, but I didn't say anything. Part of me thinks I should have, but part of me thinks I did the right thing by just sticking around.

    What would you do in a similar situation? What HAVE you done??

  • #2
    You cannot win in that situation. If you speak up, the owner gets mad because it's her horse and she can tie it up as she wants to. If you don't speak up and the horse gets injured, you feel guilty.

    I just keep my mouth shut if the owner is there and I see her do something that could hurt her horse. I've called owners when I saw their horses is bad situations at barns, and all say "don't do anything, I'll be there in a few hours." People are strange.

    I tell people if they see my horses in any situation that I wouldn't want them in, to please do something. People know that I am over protective of my horses, so I never complain if someone brings mine in or turns them out or hoses them off. Others want to "teach the horse a lesson" so they tend to punish the horse for not being perfect.


    • #3
      I wouldn't have done anything. I mind my own business and stay out of / do not create any barn drama.

      If something is getting dangerous I ask "Can I give you a hand?" or "would you like some help?" - and if they do not take me up on my offer - I go back to minding my own.
      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


      • #4
        Yep, I would have said something and it wouldn't have been something nice. I also would have untied the horse. I have zero tolerance for stupid.
        "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
        So you might as well have a good time"


        • #5
          If the vet didn't say anything to her upon seeing this, I think you would have had a pretty uphill battle.


          • #6
            I learned long ago to keep my mouth shut unless I'm responsible for that particular horse's care.

            My horses get handled the way I want them to be handled. Everyone else's, well, to put it bluntly - not my problem.

            You can't save the world, and you certainly can't save stupid people from themselves. You'll just exhaust yourself trying.
            "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
            -George Morris


            • #7
              Depending on my relationship with the owners, I might have said something.

              If they were nice, not know-it-all's and been receptive to advice in the past, I would have said something.

              Barring that, while anything I said would possibly be a catharsis for me, it would have done the horse no good whatsoever.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Beam Me Up View Post
                If the vet didn't say anything to her upon seeing this, I think you would have had a pretty uphill battle.
                My thought too.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post
                  Yep, I would have said something and it wouldn't have been something nice. I also would have untied the horse. I have zero tolerance for stupid.
                  And in reply I would have said something equally nasty! I have zero tolerance for busy bodies/know-it-alls, most of whom I've found are also stupid.
                  Visit my Spoonflower shop


                  • #10
                    I would hope that I would say 'hey Linda, sorry, but did you mean to tie her with the chain on her nose?'
                    and see where it went.

                    I horse camped this weekend and one lady could NOT ride her horse out of camp. He kept balking, she kept gigging, he started running backwards and starting to rear. Her friend was already down on the trail...but the yellow horse would not leave his paint horse buddy. They just kept getting closer to running backwards into my awning, my tethered dog, my campsite.

                    I offered a crop. She declined and just kept doing the same thing. again, getting closer and closer as he got more and more in charge of their destiny. I didn't ask if she wanted help- I just took a hold of the left rein and directed him down the path, waving at his flank to egg him forward. He finally went. She never said a word to me- but she got out of my campsite and for the rest of the weekend....rode out with said paint ahead of her horse's nose. So if my safety is at risk- I intervene. otherwise, I hope I would be polite in raising the concern- but I don't guarantee it.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by red mares View Post
                      And in reply I would have said something equally nasty! I have zero tolerance for busy bodies/know-it-alls, most of whom I've found are also stupid.
                      If knowing that you don't tie a horse with a chain over its nose makes me a know-it-all, when then, hot damn, I guess the shoe fits. But then again, it's really a non-issue because I wouldn't board with the quality of people who would do something like that.
                      "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                      So you might as well have a good time"


                      • #12
                        I would not have said anything except about tying the horse up with a chain. That will do more damage to the horse than the owner intended if the horse pulls back. But I would *asK* the owner if she was sure she wanted to tie that way rather than tell her.

                        Also, OP, you did the wrong thing with respect to "staying within eye shot" of the horse. Many horses will give up when they realized they don't have an audience. That may be why the owner left the aisle. Staying where you can hear the horse is a good idea. Where you can see them? You just gave the mare a reason to keep being a jerk.

                        Don't judge others so much. Help if you can. Accept others' right to do the best they can and to make mistakes.
                        The armchair saddler
                        Politically Pro-Cat


                        • #13
                          I vote in favor of selecting boarding stables and horsey human friends based on the overall treatment of the horses involved.

                          Eyes open. Ears open. Mouth shut. That observation of overall treatment tells you everything you need to know.

                          I WOULD have said something like " hey, Susie, your mare sits back she's going to really hurt herself" Or " hey let me show how how to tie her without running up a vet bill ripping half her nose off, half suffocating herself or breaking the halter and flipping" and Susie responds " I don't give a rats hinny" or " good, she deserves it"? Susie is off my friends list. The vet does not say " Hey, Sue, that's not a real good idea unless you want to give me more work"? Might rethink my choice of vet.

                          You absolutely can NOT say " hey don't do that with your own horse" or " that's wrong" because if you put them on the defensive, they will dig in to protect their decisions as "right". Human nature.

                          Simply offering positive suggestions or reminders, " You sure you want to do that" or " ooops, you forgot the chain was still over her nose" is about all you can offer. But that's best handled by a trainer or barn manager and has been handled by them anyplace I have chosen to keep my horse. You cannot run around telling everybody what they are doing wrong or they just get more determined to do it their way and you get deemed the barn busybody know it all.

                          You CAN choose to be in an environment where horses are treated properly, proper handling is encouraged by the barn and pick your horsey friends that treat horses properly
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                          • #14
                            In that case, nope, wouldn't have said anything. She was there, she is the owner, it's her horse.

                            If a barn worker had done it without the owner knowing/approving of it, then I would have spoken up.
                            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                            • #15
                              The only thing wrong I see with keeping the horse in view, is that if she did blow-up, and you raced over, you would have gotten hurt.

                              The vet undoubtedly had no idea how long the horse was left that way. And then too, all vets aren't horsemen.
                              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                              • #16
                                I would mention it to the barn owner and walk away from it after that. They can choose whether or not to advise the owner. If it were my barn, I would have marched right outside and told the owner to tie up her horse properly or find another place to board. That is a liability.
                                “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                                St. Padre Pio


                                • #17
                                  No, I would have stayed out of it. Only exceptions would be if 1) this was a new-to-horses friend who seeks my input; 2) this was a friend who I had a good enough relationship with to know my comment (which I would still word along the lines of, "Did you mean to leave the chain on?") would be received without getting huffy. Defensive ears cannot hear.

                                  I usually try to stay out of this sort of thing, but recently, there was a situation where I just couldn't NOT. One of the private backyard boarders up the road from my barn had a serious head injury a few months ago (horse related, sadly, but she escaped with little apparently permanent damage--just a long recovery). Her completely non-horsey friends and family were taking care of her four horses. I was surprised to see them taking the horses out for turn out one afternoon when I came to feed, and it was horrifying watching these people who'd never led a horse before get dragged around with the lead ropes wrapped around their hands and arms. The mare with strongest attitude (nice horse, just not a beginner's horse on the ground or in the saddle) was literally dragging this big burly guy around in circles. I asked if he needed help; he refused.

                                  Later, though, when I saw them coming back out with two more horses as I was walking out to my truck, I actually yelped and bolted forward to help the woman who was about to get her arm broken when the pony made a sharp turn for some grass, yanking her lead-rope-wrapped arm. This time, I said, "Please, let me help you." She was actually relieved and eager for the help. I grabbed the lead rope and modeled to her how to properly hold it, and also demonstrated how to lead the horse safely. While I was holding him, the pony made a grab for some grass, but when I corrected him with a solid yank, he was adorable--"OMG! Yes ma'am, sorry ma'am, won't do it again ma'am!" Seriously, when he realized I wasn't going to allow it, he completely changed demeanor. (My pony, however, would continue to check just to make sure I really meant it.)

                                  Thankfully, these people were more than appreciative for the help. I just couldn't watch someone get their arm ripped off or get run over. Honestly, there was a bit of a selfish reason too--while the barn areas are all private properties, the arenas are public (owned by the city). If one of these horses got loose and got to the street, or if the newbie handlers were severely injured, it could open up a very big, nasty can of worms that could risk the facility itself.
                                  SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
                                  CP Trilogy 2002-2015
                                  My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie


                                  • #18
                                    I remember getting chewed out by an owner once because her friend came to the barn to ride her horse for her and was yanking on the horses head because she tried to put the bridle on behind the ears and pulling the bit over the nose to get it in the horse's mouth. The mare was named Kelly (I still remember that) and was a saint of a Standardbred. The owner actually screamed at me the next day because I had helped her friend. Never mind that I politely asked if her friend needed help and, after a thankful "yes", showed her the proper way to put a bridle on the horse.
                                    “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                                    St. Padre Pio


                                    • #19
                                      I would not have said anything except about tying the horse up with a chain. That will do more damage to the horse than the owner intended if the horse pulls back. But I would *asK* the owner if she was sure she wanted to tie that way rather than tell her.
                                      This. It may be that the owner was so frustrated by her behavior that she just didn't think about it when she tied her.

                                      I've never gotten a bad response to a question like that. Not ever. Even if the initial response is not to say "OMG you're right", generally something dawns on the person and they fix it sooner rather than later.


                                      • #20
                                        I really don't care what people think...if I see something that could put any animal in a harmful position, my mouth opens automatically...and I will move in to correct the situation without hesitation.

                                        Good thing I run my own stable. The barn owner has ultimate care custody and control which makes it a crime not to act to protect the animals in their care...so I have read.
                                        Good thing I have no boarders....