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Badly Kept Trail Horses, what is your opinion?

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        05-02-2011, 07:43 AM
      #11
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
    I think you may be exagerating a little since they have been in business since 1988.
    Kevin, we have a trail riding barn here in MD, which is in business for years and years. Horses are treated same way as OP described (work, work, work all day long, no cooling, marks and open sores(!) all over the body, etc.). Plus they are fed a low-quality moldy cow hay, no grass at all in pasture, little bit of stinky smelty sweet feed on mornings of trail riding (IF the owner buys the feed, sometime there is none). Horses at that farm die all the time, just collapse and gone. I know people tried numerously to bring AC there, BUT looks like the owner has friends there, so all attempts were useless. That farm almost everyone around knows about and it's a complete shame on horse community here. I'm not a first time rider, I've seen it all, and I'm not exaggerating here. Still they are in business for very long time.

    OP, I don't think much can be done. If they are in very bad shape you can report to Animal Control. But AC usually not very active about it.
         
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        05-02-2011, 08:12 AM
      #12
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
    Kevin, we have a trail riding barn here in MD, which is in business for years and years. Horses are treated same way as OP described (work, work, work all day long, no cooling, marks and open sores(!) all over the body, etc.). Plus they are fed a low-quality moldy cow hay, no grass at all in pasture, little bit of stinky smelty sweet feed on mornings of trail riding (IF the owner buys the feed, sometime there is none). Horses at that farm die all the time, just collapse and gone. I know people tried numerously to bring AC there, BUT looks like the owner has friends there, so all attempts were useless. That farm almost everyone around knows about and it's a complete shame on horse community here. I'm not a first time rider, I've seen it all, and I'm not exaggerating here. Still they are in business for very long time.

    OP, I don't think much can be done. If they are in very bad shape you can report to Animal Control. But AC usually not very active about it.
    We have a place in our area that sounds eerily like this Val! Dozens of horses tacked & tied all day with no access to water, manure 6 ft deep in the "turnouts" on the back of their boarder barns (typically vacationers who summer here because of our lakes that lease their horses), know someone who watched a "training" session out there where the owner put tires around the horse's front legs, tied them over it's back and then rode it, the reason "he can't buck that way", horse ended up a bloody mess. They have been called on numerous times and were given court order on proper care and a time frame that it had to be taken care of within. When AC went back they found that they had a major strangles outbreak. The worst part, they were still up and operational and using these sick horses. The place is now under quarantine and hopefully they've had their eyes opened to proper care.

    I totally understand that horses at dude ranches/trail riding outfits/etc are used hard. I have no problem with horses doing a true day's work, but there needs to be some protocol on how they are taken care of while doing so.
         
        05-02-2011, 10:39 AM
      #13
    Yearling
    Sparying down a horse in the heat only cools them down at that particular time the water then lies on the hair and heats up making them hotter then before.

    I worked in a trail centre where we tacked up at 7.00AM then loaded up in the truck and they stayed tacked until 8.00 at night when we trucked home they were then let to the field for the night. These horses worked 7days a week in the summer so 5months and got winter off,

    To customers it looked like the horses never got a break and were treated cruel as they only saw then tacked up and covered in sweat marks or wiht herd marks on them. However that's there job for the rest of the year they do nothing but eat. And they love it you can tell you only have to halter up one horse and lead him down everyone else steps into line and follows him down the field.
    If they didnt wan to come in they wouldnt I know if my guys don't want to come in they charge around the field for hours.
         
        05-02-2011, 10:45 AM
      #14
    Banned
    I do not get all the uproar about not cooling the horse down. I highly doubt this was a trail ride that included 2 hours of galloping. Wasn't it mainly walking? I am guessing after walking back to the facility the horse was as cooled down as it was going to get.
         
        05-02-2011, 11:04 AM
      #15
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HorsesRForever    
    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?
    I had a problem like this at a very near by park that offered short pony and horse rides. And also a place that offered one hour, untended rides on their property.
    Skip animal control, they won't do a thing. BBB didn't help me either.
    Write and/or call your congressman. If you can possibly contact anyone else that has the same thoughts as you, go in on it together and write a few letters.
    I know it might sound drastic, to write a congressman who probably won't care about 'mere horses', but believe me, it works just the opposite way you would think.
    This is something that they have the capacity and the means to take care of and/or look into. In essence, it's a simple fix, and anything that they can do to please constituents AND it's easy, they will jump to.
    I did this in BOTH of my cases. One place is no longer in business and the other is a VERY nice facility now, lots of water, they actually BUILT a canopy for the horses to stand under, etc.
    Again, I know this might seem drastic and also, I am in Michigan, no where near you, but, if you are THAT concerned, write, write, write! Make a nuisance of yourself.
    Good Luck.
         
        05-02-2011, 11:17 AM
      #16
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HorsesRForever    
    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.
    If these people are "new", whose to say they were even remotely close to galloping or the horse was bucking? As horse people, how many "new" people have we all seen that hop on a horse and start screeching "OMG he's galloping" while we're trying really hard not to laugh because the horse isn't even doing a decent trot? Or the horse puts it's head down to grab a snack because the rider isn't paying any attention or even actively holding the reins, said rider promptly flops off and is now loudly proclaiming that the horse bucked them off.
         
        05-02-2011, 11:30 AM
      #17
    Banned
    Del, that is exactly how it is. Newbies are always proclaiming the black stallion they rode the one time they went riding galloped off and starting bucking when it was some shaggy nose to tail trail string horse who barely did a fast walk and they slid off the side.
         
        05-02-2011, 01:00 PM
      #18
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
    I do not get all the uproar about not cooling the horse down. I highly doubt this was a trail ride that included 2 hours of galloping. Wasn't it mainly walking? I am guessing after walking back to the facility the horse was as cooled down as it was going to get.
    Not quite. I don't know the OP situation (especially given OP sounds like a beginner), but on farm I'm talking about horses were sweaty as hell for almost whole day. They worked 3-4 groups each day (1+ hour each) and while yes, there was no gallop of course, carrying 200+ lbs of bouncing all over a place a beginner in 90+ F in very high humidity definitely wouldn't keep them cool. And on top of it when they are sweaty those cheap bad-fitted saddles slip around even more causing sores.
         
        05-02-2011, 07:43 PM
      #19
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MaggiStar    
    Sparying down a horse in the heat only cools them down at that particular time the water then lies on the hair and heats up making them hotter then before.
    Not if you scrape them ;) They were much happier and lots less itchy with salty sweat.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
    Not quite. I don't know the OP situation (especially given OP sounds like a beginner), but on farm I'm talking about horses were sweaty as hell for almost whole day. They worked 3-4 groups each day (1+ hour each) and while yes, there was no gallop of course, carrying 200+ lbs of bouncing all over a place a beginner in 90+ F in very high humidity definitely wouldn't keep them cool. And on top of it when they are sweaty those cheap bad-fitted saddles slip around even more causing sores.
    Yes but just being sweaty isn't "hot" In the horse world, a hot horse needing "cooled down" or "walked out" is one who is breathing hard and has had forced strenuous exercises. Keeping him walking keeps him from cramping up and allows him to get his breathing back to normal. It is not for a horse that is sweaty because its hot out and he has been trail rode unless he galloped in. There is a difference.

    Riding instructors frequently have their young walk/trot charges "cool out" their ride to teach them proper etiquette and "how to" but in reality the horse really doesn't need much more than a rinse off and scrape. This has lead to this popular strange idea that if a horse is "sweaty", he must be "cooled out" I also blame Walter Farley. It doesn't hurt the horse at all but it isn't necessary for a normal, fit horse. So do I need to cool out my horses after they run around the pasture for a few min and get sweated up in the summer heat? How about if they are just standing there and sweating? Lol...No. Of course not.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Delfina    
    If these people are "new", whose to say they were even remotely close to galloping or the horse was bucking? As horse people, how many "new" people have we all seen that hop on a horse and start screeching "OMG he's galloping" while we're trying really hard not to laugh because the horse isn't even doing a decent trot? Or the horse puts it's head down to grab a snack because the rider isn't paying any attention or even actively holding the reins, said rider promptly flops off and is now loudly proclaiming that the horse bucked them off.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
    Del, that is exactly how it is. Newbies are always proclaiming the black stallion they rode the one time they went riding galloped off and starting bucking when it was some shaggy nose to tail trail string horse who barely did a fast walk and they slid off the side.
    And this is exactly why it does no good to ask about experiance lol...Those same people will profess to be "riders" when asked.

    Most popular question at a guided public trail riding facility?

    "How long is the 1 hour ride?"

    "Its about 4 miles"

    "But how long is it?"

    "The 1 hour ride takes about 1 hour?" *raised eyebrows*

    "Oh yeah"

    That's the level you deal with LOL
         
        05-03-2011, 07:14 AM
      #20
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Trinity3205    
    Yes but just being sweaty isn't "hot" In the horse world, a hot horse needing "cooled down" or "walked out" is one who is breathing hard and has had forced strenuous exercises. Keeping him walking keeps him from cramping up and allows him to get his breathing back to normal. It is not for a horse that is sweaty because its hot out and he has been trail rode unless he galloped in. There is a difference.
    I respectfully disagree. You can't keep horse under sun for the whole day in high temp + humidity + working non-stop just because "trail is just walk, no gallop".

    "Good sense, as always, is your best ally when it comes to taking care of your horses. If you step outside and feel as though you have walked into a sauna, if the temperature is high, the humidity is high, there is no air moving and no possibility of any sweat drying, and your lungs are having a hard time dealing with air that feels wet and heavy, it's a good day to ride before sun-up, after sun-down, or avoid riding altogether." (Jessica Jahiel's HORSE-SENSE Newsletter Archives)
         

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