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Horse sent to Mill Creek farm Retirement not doing well!

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  • Horse sent to Mill Creek farm Retirement not doing well!

    A little pre story. When our family sold our boarding/training facility one of our former students asked to take a particular schooling horse to retire him. We agreed. He was at that time 30 and mostly retired anyway taught a few walk lessons for small kids..went on a few trail rides.

    There was some checking for the first 6 months horse was thriving.

    Fast forward to two months ago I was informed through a local vet that he had been abandoned by the person who took him at his boarding facility and they had made arrangements to transfer him to a retirement facility in the state that takes in government horses and abandoned horses.

    I contacted both the barn owner and the retirement facility. Offering assistance both said the horse was good etc etc. The retirement facility houses the horses in large pastures and I brought up concern that this particular horse both cribs and has anhidrosis and does not thrive in a field environment. Retirement owner got a little huffy and stated that the horse would never be confined when I suggested that he need to be housed under fans during our hot FL summers. I left it that they could contact me for anything any time.

    Today I got a phone call that one of the people from the barn where he was boarded/ abandoned went to visit him and he has lost 300 or so lbs since his transfer there 12 weeks ago. He is cribbing (fences are not hot wired) nor are they giving him either supplement that she (the person who went to visit is paying for). As an aside they offer a sponsorship program and on top of buying his supplements shes paying 50 dollars a month to "sponsor" him.

    She informed me that after baling her eyes out any attempts to talk to the facility owners were met shut down. They even rebuked the idea of putting a cribbing collar on the horse. Both owners are in their 80's and the facility is basically run through volunteer support.

    I am at a loss as to what to do. As I understand they don't believe the retirement facility would even consider sending the horse back to where he was abandoned both the barn owner and the women who sponsors him were agreeable to that.

    I am broken hearted at the thought that he is basically starving to death because none of his special needs are being met.

    I don't want to rat out the facility. He is a horse that by all means is high maintenance and I would even agree that if hes not thriving there putting him down would be acceptable but it sounds like they are just going to allow him to waste away until he dies of his own. Going there he was robust fit and as healthy as one can be at 31

    If anyone has any solutions or suggestions how to handle or mitigate the situation I'm open to anything.
    Last edited by Lynnwood; Nov. 7, 2013, 03:16 PM.
    "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

  • #2
    If you can care for him, you can certainly offer to buy him back from the retirement facility. I'm sure they can use the money (whether or not you believe it to be well spent). As nearly as I can tell from the story, they have ownership of him now, so that's the only way that I could see that you could bail him out.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      From what I understand this was discussed and the retirement owner expressed that once s horse is in their care it never leaves under any circumstances.

      I have a call into the rescue myself again to discuss those circumstances.

      I'm just a little shocked that it is clear the horse is not thriving and they are willing to just let it starve to death in their field.
      "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

      Comment


      • #4
        Even for 500 bucks? That's almost a year's worth of "sponsorship" that I'm sure they could use and one less horse for them to feed. Maybe present it to them this way. Make it sound like a great deal for them.

        Comment


        • #5
          Let me see if I have this right:

          "Retirement facility" is owned by older people who don't want to take care of the horses properly (at least, not this one).

          They do not adopt out the horses they take in. Instead, they give people the privilege of paying for the horses on the property with a "sponsorship program." And working with them for free, of course, via their volunteer program.

          The horse has lost 300 pounds in 3 months and they see nothing wrong with this and are unwilling to do anything about it.

          [edit]
          Last edited by Moderator 1; Nov. 18, 2013, 11:49 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            If he has lost that much weight contact the rescue that placed him at the retirement farm. Does this retirement farm get some kind of govt funding based on the number of horses they have? I don't get why they wouldn't want to sell him if he isn't thriving. If all else fails report the farm to the local ASPCA or sherif. How did the other horses look, can you ask the individual who saw him?
            "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              The farm he was abandoned placed him in the retirement/rescue.

              Where his is only takes in retiring government horses and abandoned horses.

              Everyone I spoke to gave the place rave reviews.

              I had concerns about this horse thriving there from the onset and expressed them to both the person who sent him and the retirement facility owner.

              Quite frankly I was not impressed with my conversation with the owner , I left hoping it was just him being set in his ways as an older person but that since everyone said the place was wonderful things would be ok.

              Editing to add I know photo's were taken of the day he left for the facility and when he was visited and the weight loss discovered. Once I have them in my hands after I email the ACO in that area I will post them here and the rescues name.

              I am doubly concerned that they are just going to give the ACO the BS well he's and old 32 year old horse story and it will be sufficient.
              "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

              Comment


              • #8
                I know exactly which retirement farm you're talking about. I'm very sorry that your former horse ended up there and also sorry that I have no helpful advice. It (meaning the management of the retirement farm) is an unfortunate situation for which I don't believe there is any solution. I fear that it is one of those cases of things going downhill but not yet bad enough for authorities to be willing to step in.

                Large animal issues in the county in which this place is located are handled by the county sheriff's office and I have found them to be quite responsive in the past. They have (or at least used to have) some very knowledgeable cattlemen and horsemen in that unit.

                Edited to respond to Lynnwood's post above that was made while I was typing mine. In my opinion, this place is living on old goodwill they accumulated back when they first opened. Most of those glowing reports are based on past history and many also come from people who are not really knowledgeable enough to recognize problems. I know people who have attempted to offer assistance and advice and the owners are simply not interested in hearing what anyone has to say or making any changes in the way they do things.

                And I've got to stop talking about this place or I'll end up on my soapbox making a fuss.
                "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                that's even remotely true."

                Homer Simpson

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
                  I know exactly which retirement farm you're talking about. I'm very sorry that your former horse ended up there and also sorry that I have no helpful advice. It (meaning the management of the retirement farm) is an unfortunate situation for which I don't believe there is any solution. I fear that it is one of those cases of things going downhill but not yet bad enough for authorities to be willing to step in.

                  Large animal issues in the county in which this place is located are handled by the county sheriff's office and I have found them to be quite responsive in the past. They have (or at least used to have) some very knowledgeable cattlemen and horsemen in that unit.

                  Edited to respond to Lynnwood's post above that was made while I was typing mine. In my opinion, this place is living on old goodwill they accumulated back when they first opened. Most of those glowing reports are based on past history and many also come from people who are not really knowledgeable enough to recognize problems. I know people who have attempted to offer assistance and advice and the owners are simply not interested in hearing what anyone has to say or making any changes in the way they do things.

                  And I've got to stop talking about this place or I'll end up on my soapbox making a fuss.
                  Thanks NOSuch although hearing that just reaffirms what my gut is saying and makes me all the more concerned for a good old horse that certainly doesn't deserve this.
                  "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Was this horse sold with a legal bill of sale (and brand inspection is applicable) to the person who abandoned him? Or was it more of a "free lease". What I am asking, is can you prove that you were the last legal owner of this horse? If that's so, I would think you would be able to reclaim the animal. You will want to get a lawyer involved to help if you do still own him.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Not sold but was given away with a full contract. Including first right to return. The place he was abandoned however was not aware so they did what they thought was best and found the horse what was supposed to be a good alternative situation.

                      I do believe he became the legal (via unpaid lean) property of the barn he was abandoned at and they turned that ownership over to the current facility.

                      **Editing to add that I don't want to believe there is any malice involved. That primarily this is a special circumstance horse that doesn't thrive in a conventional pasture retirement situation and needs intervention.**
                      "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If the horse has really lost 300 pounds already I would be doing whatever it takes to get him away from this rescue, including making it my job to hound the authorities (police, animal control, etc.) in the area.

                        In your OP you mention being told about the horse's current housing arrangements by a vet. Can this vet go see the horse and discuss the horse's current condition with the facility? Maybe if you offered to pay the vet for their time they would do this since it sounds like they know you, the horse, his needs, etc. Maybe this vet would help you advocate for the horse to the proper authorities?
                        www.retiredhorses.com
                        Blogging about daily life on the retirement farm: http://paradigmfarms.blogspot.com/
                        Paradigm Farms on Facebook

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by onthebit View Post
                          If the horse has really lost 300 pounds already I would be doing whatever it takes to get him away from this rescue, including making it my job to hound the authorities (police, animal control, etc.) in the area.

                          In your OP you mention being told about the horse's current housing arrangements by a vet. Can this vet go see the horse and discuss the horse's current condition with the facility? Maybe if you offered to pay the vet for their time they would do this since it sounds like they know you, the horse, his needs, etc. Maybe this vet would help you advocate for the horse to the proper authorities?

                          The vet was the horses long time local vet. Also happened to be the vet for the facility where he was abandoned. He is about 5hrs south of where the horse currently is. So no not an option.

                          I do have a call into the local A.C

                          The whole situation just stinks of rats and mice.
                          "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Maybe just the inconvenience of the eventual reporting, and subsequent hearings, legal proceedings, etc. - will be enough to convince them to relinquish the old fellow. When you have your case all firmed up, documented & ready to go, can you get an equine attorney or other person familiar w/ what they'd be in for - to contact them, explain what they'd be in store for, and then turn him back over to you? Especially since you're not looking to really stir things up.
                            But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wonder if they were legally relinquished to them to begin with. What are the laws in Florida regarding a stablemen's lien?

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I am just going to go ahead and post photo's of the horse arriving and the photo's taken this past Sat.

                                I can't even begin to explain how sick I am over it.

                                Yes hes 32 and yes hes not an easy keeper but this is not acceptable.

                                http://i41.tinypic.com/34ovbkz.jpg

                                http://i43.tinypic.com/2ainhq9.jpg

                                Editing I've thought about it and the Horse is at Mill Creek rescue/retirement in Alachua FL
                                "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Nope, not acceptable. I board at a barn where the majority of horses have lived most of their lives, and we have a very geriatric herd. None of our horses that are pushing or over 30 look like yours. Even the hard keepers are in good flesh.
                                  I'm sorry you are in this position. I don't have any advice other than to try to purchase him if you can. It appears these people are letting him waste away because "that's what old horses look like". Very sad.
                                  You are what you dare.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    How far away from you is the rescue? Do you have any space in your barn (or do you even have a barn now)?

                                    If you have space in the barn, and the rescue is pretty close, and if you have a trailer, drive up to the rescue, maybe with the woman who is paying to "sponsor" him, with $500 in cash and proof of some kind that you once owned the horse, and just negotiate with the rescue owner.

                                    If you can't do that, then send the rescue owner the pictures of him before and after (and maybe cc the vet who was involved), and ask what the deal is, and what you might be able to do for the rescue owner to make this horse's care a higher priority.

                                    It sucks that the horse was abandoned.
                                    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Holy crap!!

                                      That is beyond unacceptable.
                                      Barn rat for life

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I'm so sorry-hope you can work something out with the "rescue".
                                        "Those who know the least often know it the loudest."

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