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Would you get involved or MYOB?

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  • Would you get involved or MYOB?

    Every morning when I take my son to the sitters, I pass by this junked up place, with a small electric fenced paddock with two horses in it. These people have had them for maybe 4 months? Their "pasture" is little more than an overgrazed dirt lot, and the people have put up a shelter using salvaged scrap and I think a tarp. I never see any hay out there, and I pass by every morning and most every afternoon on the way out to my mom's farm.

    One horse is a grey gelding who was extremely poor when he arrived a couple of months ago. He still is and I really can't see where he's put on much weight. I've passed by and actually have seen him being ridden in this condition. The other is a chestnut mare who I swear is in foal and about to pop. She's even showing a shade of ribs. In fact I'm positive she's in foal simply by the way she's carrying, she looks like she's pretty well dropped and she has that big milk vein on her belly. I'm not even sure these people know enough to know this mare is pregnant.

    I'm concerned for these two horses for several reasons. Obviously, the lack of pasture and nutrition is a given. Also, the electric fencing is pretty bad looking, and I can just see a foal winding up in the middle of the road. Either these people just don't have a clue or they just could care less.

    I have no idea what to do. Part of me wants to go knock on their door and ask them if they realize the condition their animals are in is questionable. But then again, part of me wants to notify animal control since I work for the county. I don't know, maybe they don't know that these guys are in serious need of hay, that they think a couple of scoops of grain is enough. Or maybe I should just stay out of it (hubby would say this) and not risk redneck retaliation which is so prevalent in our parts.

    I'm going to try and inconspicuously snap some pics this afternoon when I head out to the barn. Then I can post them and ya'll can have a better idea of what I'm describing.

    WWYD? Stay out of it? Get involved? Leave a note?
    Crayola posse~ orange yellow, official pilot
    Proud owner of "High Flight" & "Shorty"

  • #2
    If it was me - I'd call animal control, I would not confort the owners myself. Do the poor horses a favor and call it in.
    Moving on doesn't mean you forget about things. It just means you have to accept what happended and continue living.

    Comment


    • #3
      Be careful about posting pictures of other people's horses and putting them online, especially in a negative context. Other people can tell you if this is a bad idea or not, its just my first response. I wouldn't be against, if it were me, getting pictures for records, or to show animal control. Personally, the level of risk the horses are in, if as you say, would prompt me to make a report, both because of the condition of the property and shelter, as well as the animals. Its your consience; since it is bothered, you should be true to yourself and follow it, in my opinion. Nobody elese but you drives past it every day.

      We can't always judge people by the way we would house our animals, however I think its not too hard to determine is a situation is unsafe for the animal. Old or hard keepers can be thin, but you can decide if its likely neglect or if the animal control should look at it. They usually don't cause folks trouble if the animals are after all done well by.
      Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would call AC, pronto. The people probably aren't mean, just ignorant.
        Amateur rider, professional braider.
        ----
        Save a life, adopt a pet.

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        • #5
          I've never been a fan of MYOB. I say make that phone call. If AC goes out, at least maybe the owners can get some much needed education about husbandry.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd notify AC and then just let them handle it from there. Then you would have at least done your part, and if the horses died or something happened to them, at least you would feel better knowing that you did *something.*

            I would under no circumstances approach the owners, that could potentially be a very dangerous situation. Plus, any "helpful info" you might provide them will likely not be well-received, anyway.

            Better to report it and let the pros handle it. Plus, if the owners really are ignorant and just don't know any better, most halfway decent AC programs would rather educate the owners and give them a chance to get it right before taking any further action. So just because you report someone to AC, doesn't mean that they will automatically press charges and sieze the animals.

            But like I said, if I minded my own business and something bad happened to the animals, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself for not saying something. That's just how I am.

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            • #7
              No visible hay might not be what you think it is. Some older horses or horses with respiratory conditions do not get hay.
              What do you mean by being ridden? Some kid walking around or real work?

              I have seen many photos on many forums with horses in fencing I would never consider safe but I also would not consider calling the SPCA on them.

              If the horses are truly sickly looking then call and report it, otherwise MYOB.

              Comment


              • #8
                Call AC on them.
                That's what they are there for. They first try to educate. Then when the animal dies of starvation, they can press charges. Sad but true. So they try their best to educate the owner.
                Also, you can ask AC about the people. See if they would be willing for some help or you should steer clear.
                I've seen it happen 2x where surrounding horse people helped out neighbors. But they first called ac to get the vibe from them. Don't want someone shooting at you!
                Even duct tape can't fix stupid

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                • #9
                  Girl, that's what AC is for . I encountered a desparate looking Appy on my way to the lake one day and was on the phone to 411 to get AC's number while he was still in my rearview mirror They actually called me back later that week to advise he was under a vet's care and they were aware of the horse in question, he'd already been reported.

                  The only time it's a good idea to stop in...is with checkbook in hand. My SO was lamenting the fate of a super cute well cared for TWH at a horse camp recently...carrying a rider far too heavy for her small frame. I told him either write the check or shut your mouth, there's no middle ground here.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by HuntJumpSC View Post
                    One horse is a grey gelding who In fact I'm positive she's in foal simply by the way she's carrying, she looks like she's pretty well dropped and she has that big milk vein on her belly. I'm not even sure these people know enough to know this mare is pregnant.
                    You might not "know enough" to know the mare is (or isn't) pregnant either, especially if all you are doing is rubbernecking from the road as you drive by.

                    I've seen at least one mare with a belly so big and low that I (and apparently everybody else in the county who'd seen her) asked when she was due -- and owners swore emphatically that she most certainly was NOT in foal. (I've seen dozens of pregnant mares, so it's not like I go around mistaking every big belly for a foal on the way -- and I saw this mare UP CLOSE, close like in arm's length.)

                    Myself, I had a mare who'd just weaned a foal and wasn't dried up yet and folks were asking when she was due because she had a bit of a belly and looked to be "bagging up" to the casual observer.

                    And we had a thread not long ago where a litany of people (most of them whom apparently thought they knew a thing or two about horses) had been surprised with a foal from a mare that nobody thought "looked pregnant".

                    It appears that looks can be (and often are) deceiving.
                    Last edited by greysandbays; Jun. 22, 2009, 03:22 PM. Reason: missing word

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks ya'll. Yeah, it's been bugging me for some time now. And to answer one person's question: these are not the kind of people who would have a clue what a respiratory condition is.

                      These are the kind of people who picked up a couple of horses cheap (probably off of craigslist or the local paper) and fenced in the side yard. The gelding I've seen being ridden western by a heavyset teenage girl. Have not seen the mare ridden.

                      There's weeds and junk everywhere, the rest of it is grazed down to dirt. I'd venture to say they're ingesting a lot of dirt. I'll refrain from posting the pics here when I get them. If anyone wants to PM me, I'll be glad to share them that way.

                      In the meantime, I think a call to AC is a good idea, though around here I don't know how much good it will do. AC & our local Humane Society is in limbo right now (long story, but distemper ran rampant out there back during the holidays, along with gross mismanagement) We'll see what happens.

                      ETA~ Greys & Bays: I've had quite a few pregnant mares, and resulting foals over the years. I've got a pretty good idea what I'm looking at, especially since these two are right on the side of the road, not set back aways. This mare has gotten progressively bigger in 4 months time while the gelding has not. I don't know how else to put it except that this mare is obviously in foal, not fat. She's not getting the nutrition she needs right now to sustain her and her unborn baby. At least, not in my opinion.
                      Crayola posse~ orange yellow, official pilot
                      Proud owner of "High Flight" & "Shorty"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Give AC a ring. Let them take it from there.
                        Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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                        • #13
                          I'm another one who says call AC. And good luck!
                          www.specialhorses.org
                          a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Call Animal Control or a trustworthy, good, local rescue. The conditions the horses are kept in aren't reason for the call - because unless the state has pretty strict/rigid guidelines for horse keeping, they're not illegal. But if the horses are underweight, then that's an issue. It may be an educational issue - and if so, the ACO who goes out should be able to teach the owners how to better care for the horses and give them guidelines/deadlines.

                            If you don't see something happen immediately, don't get too worried. The ACO may be giving the owner a chance to correct the situation him/herself and may be following up. And weight gain can and often does go slowly.

                            Thanks for being worried/caring about these guys and trying ot do the right thing.
                            Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

                            Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Another education option--are you near Clemson? I wonder if they have any animal science extension agents...Animal control seems like it is probably the best option though. I've found the ACOs I've dealt with to be really kind.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Since you feel AC won't do anything, maybe try sending them a letter thats says something like:

                                Dear Fellow Horse Owner

                                I notice your recent acquisition of a lovely pair of horses and want to welcome you to the local horse community. My name is XXX i have # horses and would be happy to help you if you have any questions about anything. When is your mare due to foal? She looks like she's getting close! I can't wait to see that pretty baby frolicking in your field. If you're interested in buying hay in bulk I would be interested in going in with you to keep costs low. I noticed your daughter riding. If you would be interested i could recommend a wonderful trainer so she would have some girls her age to ride with. Again, congratulations on your beautiful animals, and welcome to the wonderful world of horses.


                                That way you sound just like a helpful fellow horse person, but maybe some of your questions will get answered...or you can subtly get your point across.
                                Donatello - 12.2hh, 9 year old, pony gelding
                                April - 14.3hh, 14 year old, TB Mare
                                Ella - 12hh, 4 year old, pony mare

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by oharabear View Post
                                  I'd notify AC and then just let them handle it from there. Then you would have at least done your part, and if the horses died or something happened to them, at least you would feel better knowing that you did *something.*

                                  I would under no circumstances approach the owners, that could potentially be a very dangerous situation. Plus, any "helpful info" you might provide them will likely not be well-received, anyway.

                                  Better to report it and let the pros handle it. Plus, if the owners really are ignorant and just don't know any better, most halfway decent AC programs would rather educate the owners and give them a chance to get it right before taking any further action. So just because you report someone to AC, doesn't mean that they will automatically press charges and sieze the animals.

                                  But like I said, if I minded my own business and something bad happened to the animals, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself for not saying something. That's just how I am.
                                  These are my thoughts exactly.
                                  Jigga:
                                  Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Ask the local animal control if there is a state agency to report horse abuse to. I know here in GA there is one & the local animal control people prefer to stay out of it. Try the SC dept. of Agriculture if AC doesn't tell you who to call if it's not them. Good luck & CALL CALL CALL!!!
                                    Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
                                    www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Update on the situation, and good news.

                                      I stopped there this afternoon on the way out to the farm, since I saw people outside. Long story short, they are trying to get weight on the grey. The lady bought him for $450 out of a dirt lot because the owner wasn't feeding him. He's supposedly 15 years, and TWH. I suspect he's older. The mare she got from an auction already in foal. She has no idea who the mare is in foal to or when she's due, but I'd say she'll go in the next week or two.

                                      They seemed genuinely grateful that I stopped by. I gave them some suggestions on what to do to put some weight on the grey~ they've had the vet out and seem to want to do things properly, they just don't know alot. I also offered when I go to get hay in a couple of weeks to bring back a few bales of timothy for them to try.

                                      I gave them my cell number and told them anytime they had questions or concerns, especially about the mare foaling to give me a call, I'm right around the corner. Looks like maybe I did the right thing...
                                      Crayola posse~ orange yellow, official pilot
                                      Proud owner of "High Flight" & "Shorty"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Hunt Jump, good for you. It's so nice that you cared and took the time to find out what was going on. I am always worried when I see a ribby/rough looking horse but now that I have a Cushinoid 35-plus year old horse who has lost a great deal of muscle tone this past year, I am on the other side, worrying that someone will think I don't care for this old guy when I am trying everything to get and keep weight on him. We've fought kidney problems/Cushing's with him for many years and my daughter keeps teasing me because I've been saying he's 32 for the last five years, so he's really up there in years.
                                        There is often another side to the story when you see a rough looking horse and I'm glad that you can drive by that horse now, knowing that someone cares and is trying to help him.

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