A builder friend of mine related this story to me recently about a job that was done for a very wealthy horse owner---the builder was commissioned to put up a top notch corral for the person's two or three only occasionally ridden, pasture puff type-horses...
The corral was fairly large, nearly the size of a standard dressage arena, and is the same basic shape. It is a three rail fence of steel pole and steel pole posts every so many feet, etc...there is also a large shade, two gates, and no expense was spared apparently...they wanted "the best" for their horses. This was a large job and very labor intensive. It should have been a very nice enclosure for the horses to amble around in when not being ridden or in their barn, that sort of thing. It isn't a pasture as there is no grazing as we live in the desert...
The homeowners insisted, prior to the plans being drawn up, that the corral be situated surrounding the only two EXTREMELY LARGE and cumbersome patches of cacti WITHIN the area of the property
! Despite urging from the contractor, I guess the homeowners were unwilling to have the cacti transplanted
, despite the contractor being able and willing to do so himself, at nearly no cost!
Given what we ALL know about horses in general, and their proclivity for attempting to kill themselves/harm themselves/impale themselves on ANY ITEM handy, FORGET about the two GIGANTIC patches of huge thorned cactus and the one large THORNY tree that would look super-appealing to a horse's tummy, WITHIN the confines of their pen (!)
...Aren't these homeowners absolutely ASKING for TRAGEDY here??
There is more...apparently, they have a large cement floored barn with outdoor runs attached to each stall, where they normally house their horses. Well, the barn IS apparently lovely, if you are a person
...however...these folks put NO BEDDING of any kind, nor rubber mats, NOR EVEN soft dirt, ANYWHERE for these horses
...it was like, for the indoor stall portion of each stall, the floors are simply hard, NON-textured (in fact, it's POLISHED!!)
cement flooring; and outdoors, the runs are floored with hard packed dirt! Not a soft, padded area to be FOUND! I had NEVER in all my life heard of such a thing.
Thus between the stables and the new corral where they will be turned out, it seems that there are about a MILLION things present waiting to at the LEAST cause the horses discomfort, and at the WORST serious injury...I can just see them getting to playing in their corral and one or more bumping into the cacti, or trying to EAT it...I can see a part of a cactus breaking off and one of the thorns--some of the types have over 1 inch long thorns on them--getting into a hoof or a leg and ending up causing a horrific injury, not to metion immediate pain...Couple that with horses slipping and sliding around on their concrete floored stalls, with NOTHING to cushion their bodies when they lay down, or their hooves when they walk around, OR to absorb their urine (IMAGINE that concrete WET?!) until a "groom" comes along to clean the urine up (push it down a drain, perhaps? Maybe the ground in each stall slopes toward a center drain, though all the more means for a horse to slip after urinating!!) and imagine the feces! It's beyond me except to "assume" these folks REALLY think horses want "flooring" similar to what PEOPLE want in their HOMES!...there's quite a lot more VERY WRONG with this "horse housing" situation actually, but I don't want to risk anyone recognizing these people...
I was just feeling really bad about this situation and wanted to share...it's one of the most odd things I've heard of in a long time...people with that much money, DOING THAT WRONG by their animals!
(Believe me I know money can't buy intelligence, but sometimes I can forgive those who are doing the best they can with what they have and have less than optimal situations for their animals, so long as no animals are being harmed and better situations are being worked on at all times...but when someone has money, there really is no excuse for ignorance, especially in the computer age, when all one has to do is Google "proper horse enclosure/housing/barn accomodations" and they should be set!