Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
This is so true. Back 3-4 years ago I was rather naive about horses still and made the mistake of calling my miniature horse filly a rescue. She'd been fed, had her hooves trimmed (though not well at all...haha), had hay, saw other horses...so definitely not actually neglected or abused in any way. Yes she'd be handled roughly, but had never been truly beaten. She had a terrible personality and I tried to blame it on her 'neglect.' I soon learned though, that this was simply her personality and that she actually did require a very dictator-like relationship with a human because otherwise her 225 lb self would walk ALL over you!
And then, last year, I met REAL neglect in my filly Kenzie. She was at half the weight she should have been, 12.2hh and 14 months old, thrushy, covered in lice and rainrot, cut up, sick, and left alone without a single bite of hay or sip of water. THAT was neglect. It took a very long time for her to recover physically from all of the trauma she had been through. Then she was abused, by purposeful malice when someone nearly sliced off her ear and posted a warning note in her pen. She is what real abuse and neglect looks like.
But even so, you know what? The best thing I did for her is treat her like a NORMAL horse when it came to training! She wasn't halter or lead line broke at all when she came to me, but the moment she could walk she began to learn. Even when I was tending her hanging ear, I expected her to behave. I didn't let her push me around, didn't let her spook at nothing, didn't let her grab grass because she was starving and didn't let her act like an idiot around people she "might be afraid of." And you know what? She turned out 100% normal with NO fears of humans, ropes, knives, small spaces, trailers....nothing. I don't know what she went through before she came to me but I did know what she'd have from then on so I never gave her an excuse to act up!
You will know when you see real neglect. No, not all horses live in ideal conditions. Most don't get trimmed every 4 weeks, chiropractors, or saddle fitters. But none of this is abuse. It is simply a lack of education on our part to horse owners across the world!
Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.