Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
- if the owner didn't care, they wouldn't be paying for stall board. Horses are expensive. You don't just buy one to be able to say "hey. I have a horse." The cost money up the wazoo, especially to have a horse stalled. If the owner didn't care, or didn't want to spend money on the horse, they would toss said horse out in the pasture so it wouldn't cost as much money, or truly neglect the horse and not be up with board, farrier, and the horse certainly wouldn't have cozy blankets on.
I've been at several barns where people pay for stall board but don't care at all about their horse. I've had some barn owners say a person hasn't been out to check on their horse in six months, but they keep paying for the board. To some people who can afford it, a horse can be just a possession like a car or a boat. Some of these people have no clue about what a horse needs, and if a barn owner doesn't care either the horse can live a pretty terrible life.
Blankets can be "cozy," or they can be extremely uncomfortable. My horses have to have different thicknesses of blankets for different weather, or at least have their blanket taken off when it warms up. A heavy blanket in the wrong weather can make a horse sweat excessively. Just putting a blanket on and never taking it off or checking the horse's coat underneath (they could have rubbed themselves raw if it fits wrong) is not good care.
There are different levels of needs. Food, water and shelter are at the top, but exercise, socialization and mental stimulation are necessary for a horse's health also. They can survive without them, but people can survive locked in a jail cell with food and water also. That doesn't mean they are lucky to be there.
We don't know the situation, but if the OP's description is accurate the horse could be suffering. If she truly cares and the owner is willing to talk to her, maybe she could even just hand walk the horse and give him some relief from his stall.