Conflicted, advice please!
Ok i'll give a bit of background first. I'm from Australia, and my dad manages three side by side properties for two brothers, who are big property moguls, millionares, and extremely business minded. It is extremely difficult for dad to get them to pay for things necessary to the running of the properties, I.e. New fencing, repais to machinery. He is the only person employed to run these three properties, a few thousand acres, and over a thousand head of sheep and cattle. He was until recently earning less than I do, (I am 18 and a year out of school) and absolutely busting his gut to run these properties. We live in the city and this is dad's dream job, despite the crappy pay, he is left alone to run the properties as he wishes. His bosses don't mind if he turns a profit or not, as one day they will sundivide and sell for millions.
And yes, this is all relevant!
We do get some perks for the extra work dad puts in, we are allowed to agist my horses (two at the moment) there for free, and use a shed in the paddock as our tack shed, set up equipment to train, etc. If not for this, We would find it very difficult to afford to have horses.
Now one of dad's bosses, (i'm not going to say names) breeds and runs racehorses, in a very small-time way, producing maybe two or three horses a year.
On the property where my horses live, there is a group of about seven thoroughbreds, all ex-racehorses or spelling racehorses. Two or three of them are owned my dad's boss, the others by people he knows who have approached him to keep them there. Here comes the problem... these horses are totally neglected. They range in age from about four to late teens. Some of them have been there since dad started the job, about seven years, and in that time dad's boss nor any other have checked on them, provided them with the services of a farrier/dentist, wormed them, let alone groom or ride them. They have the run of two decent sized paddocks, so there is decent pasture most of the year except winter. Now we do what we can for them, we feed them hay in winter when the pasture is down (dad's bosses hay, without telling him), if it is seriously suffering dad will let them into a different paddock to let their paddock recuperate. I should mention that due to the absolute lack of handling, there are two of the horses that cannot be caught, however the others are all still friendly. We convinced dad’s boss (with a couple of months of persuading) to get their feet done once, and all got a well needed trim (with a lot of patience from the farrier!), we attempted to worm them but the attempt was useless as we could not worm the two who could not be caught. The same happened with an attempt to de-lice them. The oldest of the horses, in his late teens, injured his leg and we called the vet (without dad's boss' knowledge, ad who afterward was not happy about having to pay her, even though she only charged for the materials), who had to sedate him to treat him (he was one of the wilder ones), and recently another one injured its leg and we brought it in and treated it ourselves until it healed. My issue is the fact that the oldest, a brown gelding, is in really bad shape. He isn’t maintaining weight anymore, despite the fact that at present there is enough pasture, has become listless and does not follow the herd, staying isolated in one corner of the paddock. The other horses are in decent, if not good condition, and we continue to feed them and keep on eye on them, but the oldest, who goes by the nickname of googie, is quite bad. Dad wasn’t sure if he would survive last winter, but he did, and now will be the struggle to keep him going through the drought of this summer. Dad doesn’t have time in his already busy job to do more than throw hay to them once a day, and I work full time and have two horses to work and care for, so I am in much the same boat. He is one of the two wildest, and will not be caught without causing him immense stress.
So this is my problem… I have wanted to report these horses since dad began his job, but knowing it would jeopardise his job I have not. We do our best to look out for them and the rest of them are in decent condition, and fairly tame excepting one, but seeing googie deteriorating is really hard. Dad sympathises with him, but being a farmer all his life is hardened to the death of animals he is unable to help and can’t say anything because of his job., and I’m sure that his boss is happy to let him stay there until he dies. The problem is that we are the only people who see these horses, they are not visible from the road, and the property does not have many visitors, so dad’s boss would undoubtedly know that a complaint came from us. I’m concerned that dad would lose his job, and we would lose our place to keep our horses.
So does anyone have any ideas? Any simple/not too time consuming ways to help googie maintain weight or treat him, taking into account the difficulty of handling him? If it were possible to report this anonymously, then I would not hesitate, but I can’t jeopardise my dad’s job, as difficult as this is. Any help would be appreciated!