Convincing dad that junk yards are not good places for horses! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 08-28-2009, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Convincing dad that junk yards are not good places for horses!

My dad is an old-fashioned farmer type, and knows nothing about horses (he's not even allowed to ride them any more, after he tore open Magic's mouth with his heavy handed 'yank their heads around' riding style), and for the most part, he's happy staying away from the horses. The one thing I can't convince him of, however, is that the junk yard across from the farm is not a good place to let the horses in!
In the summer, the horses' second pasture is a stretch of land originally intended for cattle, surrounded by a electric fence. Just a little ways outside that, is the junk yard/burn pile/collapsed machine shed with a smallish 'lake' thing right in the middle. The junk yard itself has a permanent fence around it. Usually when I put up the electric fence, there's a good yard between the fence and this junk yard. My father, however, once in awhile decides that the grass is too long in there, so he pulls down the fence and opens the pasture to the junk yard! And he usually does this while I'm off at school or work, or if I'm gone for the weekend.
I always lecture him on how they could get hurt, and he always laughs it off. Well, about a month ago, a wind storm whipped up and blew down a still-standing portion of the machine shed and Bandit came up with scratches and cuts all the way down his hindquarters. (Mostly superficial cuts, thankfully.) And when the farrier came out a few days ago, and I showed him a break in Dante's hoof that I'd thought had been caused by a kick or a big rock... he said it was where an old abscess had blown out! I've also pulled pieces of glass and metal out of the mud in all the horse's hooves, and pieces of rusted wire out of their tails.
And yet my dad keeps saying "They're horses, they'll live." or "Give him some penicillin, he'll be fine."
I always put them fence up as soon as I find it down, and dad hears about every cut and scrape they get while in there, but I just can't seem to get it across that one day, one of them might get seriously injured! How can I make him take me more seriously?
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post #2 of 24 Old 08-28-2009, 02:41 PM
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I bet that old shed is made of aluminum... that is some pretty sharp stuff. I had some extra aluminum from when my barn went up stacked beside the barn, next to the riding arena (NOT in a turn out area). A little girl was riding my mare, who decided to graze, she walked right up to the aluminum, took one step back and SEVERED the tendons in her right leg. She SEVERED an arterey and sliced a vein in the other. $6,000 later she has a permanent limp but is ride-able. Tell him that.

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post #3 of 24 Old 08-28-2009, 02:46 PM
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I have the same sort of dad. Unless there is some loss of money or equipment thats going to be caused by the horses, there is no sense in nagging him about it. You could offer to mow or take the weed eater into the junk area to knock down the weeds when they get high. That way he won't be tempted to let the horses "mow" it.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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post #4 of 24 Old 08-28-2009, 05:12 PM
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Good luck convincing your dad. My father in law bought a shetland pony many years ago so his other grandkids would have a pony to ride (my girls had their own pony). He had planted a bunch of clover for hay. My husband and I both warned him not to let the pony anywhere near the clover (she had already foundered once at some point in the past - before he got her). Needless to say, he didn't listen. He thought the pony would like a treat - some nice tasty clover instead of the old bermuda and bluestem. He left the pony in the clover field for several days. By the time we found her, it was already too late and she had died. My father in law still believes to this day that the pony died from old age - but she was only 10. The poor pony died a very painful death - founder and colic both, from what I remember - due to his ignorance. And that man is very PROUD of his ignorance!

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post #5 of 24 Old 08-28-2009, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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@Farmpony: The aluminum off the building is long gone (they scrapped most of it for the other dilapidated buildings on the property), for what little good it's worth. All that's left is the wood posts with the rusty nails sticking out... and on the wall-section that fell down recently, they had a collection of rusty handsaws hung up. :/
But, yes, I've told him about how those handsaws could fall and cut a horse, or the roll of wire that was half-buried in the dirt could wrap around a leg (I got pissed and latched it onto the dad's truck when he parked nearby, so that when he pulled away, he had to pull that wire out with him.), and actually spent an entire day with two of my (very good) friends picking up pieces of broken glass and metal out of a small section, piling them in a few 5 gallon buckets, and spreading them out in the living room on a piece of plastic, then hiding all his shoes. So far, the message hasn't gotten across.

@Vida: I do go after the more open areas with the pull-behind mower on the 4-wheeler, and when I'm out burning down weeds in the ditches, I go in the junkyard and start burning down some of those weeds. Half the time he's letting them in there when there isn't anything for them to eat there anyway, but he still uses the "they can tromp down the weeds" excuse.

@dee: Oh, my dad likes to give the horses random not-good-for-them foods, too. As soon as any bread in the house starts to mold, I have to hide it in the bottom of the trash, because he'll throw it to the horses... mold and all. He likes to give them cattle grain, too, and if his brothers throw out bales of hay that were for the cattle (usually because it got wet and moudy, or it's covered in raccoon droppings) dad "rescues" it and tries to give it to the horses because "they're not worth anything anyway."
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post #6 of 24 Old 08-28-2009, 11:21 PM
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what a shame. it will be terrible if anything happens to them. you'll have to think up something really good to convince him to stop putting them in the 'junk yard'

There is one principle that should never be abandoned, namely, that the rider must first learn to control himself before he can control his horse. This is the basic, most important principle to be preserved in equitation - Alois Podhajsky
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post #7 of 24 Old 08-28-2009, 11:30 PM
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Tell your dad to get a goat. They are much better lawnmowers anyway, and nowhere near as fragile.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #8 of 24 Old 08-29-2009, 03:11 PM
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He gives them cattle grain?????? I would kill him. There's all kinds of additives in cattle feed that is bad, i.e. deadly for horses in TINY amounts (like teaspoon size).

Last summer I came home to Soda eating a pile of corn in the pasture. Apparently dad thought it would be a nice treat to empty out the hopper for the corn stove and give it to the horses. It was like a 5 gallon bucket full of freaking corn. Argh. Of course, after I explained it to him he asks before giving the horses anything like that.
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post #9 of 24 Old 08-29-2009, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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It's not like store-bought cattle grain, or I really would kill him. No, it's just a mix of alfalfa, clover, and whole oats that they throw at the cattle once in awhile. Everytime he gives it to them, the whole herd comes up with diarrhea; our vet has me give them this stuff that's like pepto-bismol for horses (pro-cmc or something, I think? I don't have it in front of me), to help keep them from getting ulcers and the like.
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post #10 of 24 Old 08-29-2009, 03:44 PM
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Oh thats way better. I was like WHAT????!!! Well it could be worse, I know old farmers that do try to feed the cattle feed to the horses (thankfully they've been caught before they actually did it).

I think a goat or two is in order here. They could just "show up".... Or since your dad says the horses aren't worth anything find some way to evaluate them and what they would sell for and tell him that's what they're worth... or you could play the dirty card and the next time he says that ask him how much his daughter's happiness is worth. Then tell him that's the worth of those horses. That might make him think for a minute.
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