Forced to move...

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Forced to move...

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    10-08-2012, 05:24 PM
Forced to move...

I recently bought my gelding back after selling him 6 years ago. I looked at several boarding facilities in my area and although the one I really liked didn't have a stall available, the BO told me he would convert the run in in one of the small paddocks into a stall for me. I was on a time crunch and decided to go ahead and move Stormy there. It is a self-care facility with very laid back boarders and a nice 25 acre pasture. Since we are new, Stormy has to be segregated in a smaller paddock so he can get used to the other 12 horses before being let out into the big pasture. I had only looked at the place once before moving and somehow didn't notice the HUGE power lines running directly through the pasture.. One tower is in the small paddock directly above the run-in shelter and the other is in the middle of the big pasture. I was a little unnerved the day I moved Stormy and I could hear the electricity humming above us. I asked the BO if he's sure it's safe for us to be there and he said he hasn't had any problems in the 50 years they've been there. So, not having another option at the time, I told myself not to worry about it.

Over the past week I have noticed Stormy being a little more jumpy than usual but assumed it was because he's in a new place and that he'd settle down. Everything was going great.. The boarders are amazing. They have lent me a saddle (I sold all of my tack when I sold Stormy back in 2006), made me reins, invited me on trail rides, and have been genuinely nice to me. On top of all of that, I love taking care of Stormy because it give me an excuse to see him every day and the area is beautiful.

This past Saturday, my mom wanted to come check out the new place and see her 'grandson' (Stormy). She made a comment early on that she didn't like the power lines. I tried to shrug it off as an over-protective mom comment but after an hour or so, we were both a little on edge about them. They were really loud that day and on several occasions, my mom seemed to shock Stormy when she touched him. When we were standing by his run-in, she put her hand on one of the posts and it was vibrating. You could feel the electric current running through it.

When we were about to leave, we nonchalantly asked some of the other boarders if they've ever had an issue with the power lines. We were shocked (no pun intended) to hear what they had to say... One guy told us that he had been riding his mare in Stormy's paddock (before he was there) when he heard the power line 'tick', shocking his horse through the bit. He cracked 3 ribs and punctured a lung. Another woman told us to be careful when its wet out, especially in the winter, because "you WILL shock the **** out of your horse if you touch them".

Here are some pictures of Stormy's paddock and one leg of the power line:

2012-10-04 19.01.14.jpg

2012-09-30 11.54.35.jpg

2012-09-30 11.54.06.jpg

I will get better pictures today but this is the type of power line I'm talking about..

My mom and I did some research on power lines and animals. This is what we found:
The Dangers of High Tensile Power Lines |

In case you don't want to read all of that, I'll summarize.. High voltage power lines are linked to disease in animals and humans including cancer, ulcers, birth defects, etc.

I do not play around when it comes to the health of my baby (Stormy or my future children). Yesterday I stopped by the barn I boarded Stormy at when I sold him. I felt like I had stepped back in time. The barn managers are the same, the horses are the same.. it's crazy. They hugged me and we caught up a little.. It was great. They said they'd love to have me back! All these years I thought the barn managers had changed (one left but was offered her job back shortly after).

For me, it is obvious what I have to do but the decision is weighing heavy on my conscious. I signed a 6 month contract with the barn owner and I feel absolutely terrible for having to break it. I am dreading the talk I'm going to have to have with him today.
I also don't know what to say to the other boarders who have welcomed me with open arms.. It is a hard topic to talk about with them because they keep their horses there (some of them for 6 years or more) and I'm almost positive they are going to think I'm stuck up or over-reacting. I also don't want anyone trying to talk me out of it.

What do you guys think? Am I over-reacting? I'm seriously upset about the situation but I don't see any alternative. It's not like he can get rid of the power lines.

Any suggestions on how to approach this to both BO and boarders? Does anyone here have an experience with high voltage lines and horses?
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    10-08-2012, 05:40 PM
I am another one of those mothers who makes remarks about being to close to the power lines to her adult children...., so, guess you know what I am going to say. You couldn't pay me to keep my horse near them, and I consider 1/10th mile too close to live or play. Heard that distance somewhere years ago. I do realize that lots of folks who have boarding stables get permission to use or really inexpensively lease the land under the power lines (I believe here in the states that land is considered a "right of way").....but, I would move. No sense taking a chance when you have the opportunity.
MBFoley and AshsStorm like this.
    10-08-2012, 08:25 PM
I took a video while I was out there today. You can hear the crackling of the power lines if you turn the volume up.

    10-08-2012, 10:05 PM
I would be moving sooooo fast Id leave an electrical storm in my wake! Too dangerous for my liking!
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    10-08-2012, 10:22 PM
Thanks for the input guys.

I talked to the BO today and he was upset. He told me that "the other boarders don't have a problem and they don't love their horses any less than you do". I wanted to talk to him face to face but when I called to see if he'd be home when I went to feed, he kind of forced me into talking about it then. I told him the story of the boarder whose horse was shocked through the bit and he apparently hung up and called the guy. 5 minutes later I get a call from the boarder (who is also a vet student) who told me he was using a copper bit and that's why his horse was shocked.

I really didn't want this to blow up like it did. I can understand that some people don't see anything wrong with the power lines being so close but I am not willing to take their word for it.

He now wants me to call his vet to ask what they think about it. I honestly don't care what they have to say.. I've read and heard enough to convince me not to take the risk.

Do you guys agree with me? I mean, what am I supposed to do here?
    10-08-2012, 10:32 PM
No-I wouldn't call anyone. I am sure that you could find vets on both sides of this one. Too bad it ended up like this, but, just get your act together and move. I am guessing you can with 30 days notice? It wouldn't make any difference to me what the bit was made of, and many have copper in them. You are not comfortable there. Period. Move on.
AshsStorm likes this.
    10-08-2012, 10:40 PM
Thanks franknbeans. It makes me feel a lot better when I hear someone else say it.. If that makes any sense. When talking to my old barn manager, she told me that she worked at a place that had power lines running through it and they had 4 cases of cancer in horses while she was there (1 month)!

I definitely will be leaving. I have never been good at letting people down gracefully.. I usually end up stumbling over my words and not saying everything I want to for fear of hurting their feelings. I need to get over that ASAP!
    10-09-2012, 01:58 AM
Of course he wants you to be okay with that space...he wants your money. There is too much time, money and emotion put into a horse to want to risk it. This guy is obviously ignoring the warning signs in favor of more money in his pocket. Expect him to be upset but contract or no I would get out of there ASAP.
AshsStorm likes this.
    10-09-2012, 07:31 PM
Moving out of there is definitely the right thing to do. I've walked under power lines like those and I know I can feel the electrical field. If people can feel it, it must drive animals crazy. Don't bother calling his vet for another opinion. Just tell him that you have no problem with him or his care of your horse, but you've already made up your mind, don't feel comfortable with the power lines, and would rather be safe than sorry.
Nitefeatherz and AshsStorm like this.
    10-09-2012, 11:52 PM

After trying to be polite and give him as much notice as possible, the BO has turned on me and told me that I have until the 14th of this month to move Stormy.. 3 business days. He kept talking over me and blowing the situation out of proportion, telling me that I was crazy and if I had such a big problem, to get out, call my mom for money, ask the people I bought him from to take him back, etc.. so I had my fiance give him a call. He talked him into giving us a month to move.

HOWEVER, he is putting my horse in a small paddock made of 2 strands of electric wire, 2 feet from the main road. I am NOT ok with that. SO, I have a lot to do tomorrow.. Since we just bought Stormy, bought feed, hay, supplies, and paid for board at this place, AND Jason (my fiance) just started a new job and hasn't been paid yet, I'm having a hard time figuring out how to afford this move. Desperate times call for desperate measure so I'm going to call my father and pretty much beg him to loan me the money to get him out of there this weekend. I've got no choice...

UGH sorry for that rant.. I'm sure I left some things out but I'll post again later when I've calmed down.

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