Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Central New York
Sorry this is so long, but it is my own experience with a neglected horse I wanted to share....
When I was 16 years old (Many years ago) and lived on Eastern Long Island NY, I would ride my horse through trails that led past a "shanty" type home deep in the woods, with a dirt driveway that led out to the back road for cars. I rode past that place everyday after school to the fields and trails along the powerlines. After about 2 months the "shanty" had a horse at it, skinny and shaggy-but it was a horse in "my" neigborhood, and I thought "wow, maybe someone to ride with". Well, the woman was pregnant, had a little toddler and a husband-and THEY lived in the shanty, with a dog and a rabbit hopping around. When I call it a shanty, I mean shanty- metal sheeting, irregular legnths of wood just put togather like a kids playhouse in the woods... seriously. But I did not realize what they didn't have, I just noticed a horse.
Well, we rode together maybe a dozen times and she became closer to her due date, her husband purchased another horse and winter was coming, he put up a plastic sheeting shed for the horses, but kept a few bales of hay in it with car parts, the horses stayed in a 2X4 wood corral, that was maybe 16 by 16ft. As winter went on I went riding less due to icy conditions and when I went past I would see very skinny horses with ice attatched to the hair, but I thought they were getting fed. I started letting my mother know about the horses in the woods, and she became interested in helping-we purchased a bag of grain and I directed her to where the road was to get up to the driveway, she talked to the woman and she accepted the grain-but the husband was VERY angry that we gave charity to them, so I would ride with Calf Manna supplements in my pockets-hand feeding them when we passed by.
But deep winter came and I missed riding that way a few weeks, it was lethal for the second horse- I rode past one day and saw him lay down, and had a horrible feeling in my gut.... I made My horse run home, I ran in my house and called my mother at work, told her "Dusty is down for the count" I will never forget my words..... she knew I never would say such a thing if it wasn't desperate, she called the ASPCA who met me there at Dusty's place, I brought a blanket from home for him but even the ASPCA who called in a vet couldn't save him, he died. WE stayed with him all night, turning him and giving him warm molasses water with electrolytes, the Vet gave him an injection of epinephrine for a last chance to get him to his feet but he couldn't do it. He lost hope in humans, as I watched. The husband was really angry, they moved, the ASPCA condemned the home and CPS was brought in for the kids as well, the husband was brought up on animal cruelty charges. The other horse was placed into a boarding facility "up the Island" and he was watched by the ASPCA-I don't know what happened to him after that.
Dusty's "real" name was Along The Rails, he was a Thoroughbred race horse who deserved better, and as humans that expect to use them for enjoyment we need to care for their most basic needs-food/water and shelter. Occasional brushing is also welcome.
I promised Dusty that if I ever saw another horse in need I would try and help, and since I have that "gut" feeling from God above - I feel it is my responsibility to the great creature we call The Horse.