Badly Kept Trail Horses, what is your opinion?
 
 

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Badly Kept Trail Horses, what is your opinion?

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    05-01-2011, 03:00 PM
  #1
Foal
Unhappy Badly Kept Trail Horses, what is your opinion?

I went to this trail riding facility that I had overheard a trainer at my stable recommend to a person. I didn't like what I saw.

This is what I saw:
At first, I saw a stable that wasn't that well kept, but it didn't bother me that much because I had been to stables that did not look the best on the outside, but all the horses were well cared for and it was an overall good facility. It was my first time there, so I didn't want to make my opinion without giving it a full try.

I went and asked a lady who made me sign a liability sheet then just sent me further back. They did not, at any time, ask me my level of riding. There is a pen that is filled with more than, I would say, fifteen horses (if not twenty). Most with their tack already on. The pen had no shade at all or anything comforting about it. It was right in the scorching sun. I was a little nervous, but I decided to see how everything went.

My horse right away tried to turn around and tried to go back to the stable. She kept on spinning and trying to run to off the forest as well. I though was able to get her under control and continue on calmly with her. Now, imagine if that was a first time rider?

We rode for two hours, but I made sure to keep the horse cooled and in the shade. I had no idea what was in for my horse at the end. If I did, I would have never ridden at all.

Once we went back, they grabbed my horse, and I thought they were taking her to go cool down. I had another hour to blow, so I figured I'd help tire out one of their horses that needed a good run. I said those word, and they handed me the same horse that I had been with on the last trail. Well, the guide's horse that is, which got scared of everything, and they still did not know my level of riding. For all they knew, I had never ridden before that day. That wasn't my problem. My problem was that the horse had just gone for a long ride and was still heated and had it's tack on in a way that is not even suited for just walking around a pen. I said something, and I was hesitant, but I am just a teenager, so I didn't want to disrespect anyone. I figured that maybe I was wrong. They insisted that the horses were great and needed a good trail ride. So many thoughts raced through my head.

My guide took the horse that I was riding, which was also still heated. I did my short ride and was freaking out the whole way back. I realized what was going on and I right away asked to cool down my horse (I wanted to hose her down).

The people looked shocked. Apparently, the horses are tacked from 7 A.M to 8 P.M without ever getting cooled off or any breaks. Now it is about ninety degrees outside or more, with an awful sun, which is okay to ride in as long as the horses are properly cared for after. I realized that the horses are stuck in that hot pen without getting cooled off, and my horse was drenched in sweat from the heat. Also, the water looked hot that was available to them. Anyways, the volunteers, which are other teenagers, were so shocked that they went and asked again. It wasn't that they were letting a customer do it that was freaking them out more the fact that they were actually taking off the tack and attempting to cool it off.

My horse had marks all over it, and was very timid. A huge chunk of hair fell out from under her saddle, leaving a bald spot. It didn't do that anywhere else on the body, I tried to make her feel better and would have taken care of her longer, but their halter, which is made out of rope, snapped and let her get loose. Luckily, she went back to an area where she could be contained.

I read other reviews and most of the people had the same thoughts as mine, except they usually had a much worse experiences there. A kid has even died at this place, but they have been running it since 1988. I even read that they put some starved horses in another stable that I know of, which I will check with when I go down there.

I could go on and on, and I feel so bad about how those horses are getting cared for it. It is bothering me every second of everday since I went. I feel awful that I contributed with those two simple rides, but now I know and will never go again, besides to make sure those horses will have a better life.
All of the horses are for sale, and what broke my heart the most was how I was able to walk away from the stable but those horses would never have the choice.

Any advise, and what do you think about this?
     
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    05-01-2011, 08:12 PM
  #2
Foal
This is absolutely awful! The first thing I would do, would be to go back a couple times to just look around, and make sure this wasn't an off day thing. If it's like that each take time, go back once more (or do this each visit) and take some pictures of the conditions there. If you can, some videos. Figure out who you could call that may regulate a place like that, and give it to them!!! The thing that would scare me more than the treatment of the horses there, is what may happen to them if the trail place got shut down. Where would the horses go?
     
    05-01-2011, 08:27 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Good luck. Sounds like the boarding place I just came from within a provincial park - it's a dude ranch, that's how they run them. The animals are tacked up for 12 hours a day, and they spend all day carting around people who can't ride. Rain or shine, they will be there. And when they've come to the end of their lives, they will go to auction where they will likely be picked up for slaughter.

You can try to do something about it, but I highly doubt anyone is going to listen. As long as they have food and water, and none of the horses are keeling over dead from heat exhaustion, there's nothing anybody can do. It's within their right as a business to use their horses as they see fit within a few VERY loose general animal keeping guidelines.

It sucks, and power to you, but if they're not starving (you can't seem to prove they are) or beating them, I could think of worse lives a horse could have.
     
    05-01-2011, 08:36 PM
  #4
Foal
I will try to get down there to take some videos. I'm not sure if I can get there soon because my mom doesn't want me going back, but I'll make that a main goal.

I don't think it was an off day because of what all these other people were saying in the reviews. Other experienced riders reviewed it with the same thoughts as me. You never know though.

We have rescues around here that do take horses if it were to be shut down. I know that I would probably tie myself to a horse if they tried to put it down or something. The stable has been under, I believe, at least two different managements. I do not think that the animal control can do anything to try to regulate it because the laws are crazy where I am located. We had a lady win back over 200 animals that were severely abused. It was insane!

Can't wait to here from everyone
     
    05-01-2011, 08:48 PM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacabreMikolaj    
Good luck. Sounds like the boarding place I just came from within a provincial park - it's a dude ranch, that's how they run them. The animals are tacked up for 12 hours a day, and they spend all day carting around people who can't ride. Rain or shine, they will be there. And when they've come to the end of their lives, they will go to auction where they will likely be picked up for slaughter.

You can try to do something about it, but I highly doubt anyone is going to listen. As long as they have food and water, and none of the horses are keeling over dead from heat exhaustion, there's nothing anybody can do. It's within their right as a business to use their horses as they see fit within a few VERY loose general animal keeping guidelines.

It sucks, and power to you, but if they're not starving (you can't seem to prove they are) or beating them, I could think of worse lives a horse could have.
How about lack of adequate water or putting mentally disabled riders on untrained horses?

It is so true what you are saying, and it sucks so much. I wish people would care more about a life, for it is not whether an animal can think or reason, but if it can suffer.

Thanks for your input
     
    05-01-2011, 08:51 PM
  #6
Trained
They are not treating thier horses any worse than someone that leaves thier horse in a stall 23 hours per day. The horses get sufficent feed and plenty of exercise. They may be ridden by novices but they are undemanding novices. Of course an advanced rider would not find it very much fun but for many people it is the only way they have any contact with horses.
LouieThePalomino likes this.
     
    05-01-2011, 09:07 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
They are not treating thier horses any worse than someone that leaves thier horse in a stall 23 hours per day. The horses get sufficent feed and plenty of exercise. They may be ridden by novices but they are undemanding novices. Of course an advanced rider would not find it very much fun but for many people it is the only way they have any contact with horses.

Comparing to bad acts doesn't mean one is better. They are both wrong. The people that are riding these horses that are new are getting bucked off and started galloping without notice, which makes people fall and get injured. They wouldn't even help a rider who was knocked out from the horse.

It wasn't that it's not fun for advance riders, but that the horses run all day everyday without a break or proper anything. You have to be an advanced rider to be able to ride those horses and even then they are still sometimes dangerous.
     
    05-01-2011, 09:39 PM
  #8
Trained
I think you may be exagerating a little since they have been in business since 1988.
     
    05-02-2011, 12:24 AM
  #9
Started
Thoses horses are being used as horses. They may not seem to be treated like you think they should, but like kevinshorses said, they have been in business sine 1988.
Outfitters use horses HARD and I mean hard. Its nothing for them to work daily climbing up the mountains packing camps or dudes that have no clue how to ride. In hot weather, in freezing weather, in snow and rain, they get used daily. Yep, they get tired and they have tack on them from usually 5 in the morning till after dark, they get fed and watered and then start again the next day. Wyoming, Utah and Idaho have some rough country and lots of climbing. Horses on flat land being ridden have it easy compared to outfitters horses.
Some would say I don't use my horses enough and to some that's cruel.
I have an issue with alot of horse folks around here do not water in the winter, they feel the horses can eat snow. I hate it and of course my horses have heated water tanks. My horses live outside in -30 degree weather, in snow up to their bellies and they stand outside during the worst snow storms. Some would say that is cruel, but horses around here are used to that. They have a lean to, but don't use it.
Everyones idea of being treated bad is different and more so from one end of the country to the other.
If you really feel they are being mistreated, then call the local sheriff or police office. File a complaint and see what they say.
     
    05-02-2011, 02:30 AM
  #10
Yearling
I ride my personal horses some days for many hours. We do HARD trails sometimes up here in the mountains and have gone many many miles in a day before. 25 miles and more. When we camp, they stand tied or high lined in tack all day. I never "cool my horse out" because the only horses that really need cooled out are ones doing strenuous work and are breathing hard when your ride is done. I will work mine hard but I will walk them till their breathing is normal before I get back. No cooling needed. They drink from whatever water we come to on the trails. Sometimes its hot. They sweat...alot sometimes. Think of endurance horses in training.

That was indeed a "dude" ranch. I guided at one for 10 years. It isn't like a boarding barn. These horses have a job to do. They are not show horses. They didn't ask your riding skill because most people who have ever ridden say they are "experts" anyway because they have ridden 5 times before at a dude ranch. Its useless to ask. They know their horses and send a guide to avert problems. The guides know the horses best and know that this one tries to turn around and that one likes to try to pass or lags behind. They coach each rider as they go even the newbies. If they are going to trail ride, they are going to have to ride. No horse is perfect 100% of the time.

The only thing I disagree with is no shade over the holding pen. Ours had covered standing stalls and I routinely sprayed the horses down in between rides with the hose when it was a scorcher to keep them cool. We were in a very touristy area. We had about 40 head give or take that rode from 9 am to 5 PM. Some days it was solid. They unloaded a ride got a drink rested for 5 minutes and got loaded up again with another. These horses rode around 30 miles a day on those days. They got days off here and there as we felt a horse needed a rest. They all got fed Am and PM a high energy feed and were turned out all night on free choice round rolls. Most of our horses were fat and sold very often to people wanting solid trail horses. We had alot of turnover because we could turn out a solid trail horse with lots of miles under its belt. When we did get a thin horse in, it typically looked 10000% better in a month or two even in work.

You need more info IMO. Just because the horses work hard doesn't mean they are poorly kept. Just because a hose is missing hair doesn't mean anything either. When they live in a herd they bit and kick each other and like it. Its what they do. There are lots of horses out there headed to slaughter or starving in someone field. I bet each of them would pick a working life at a dude ranch to that.

JMO.
     

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