First off, I'm well aware of what animal cruelty and neglect are. My family owned a veterinary hospital while I was growing up and I worked in the veterinary field as well. I do have a bleeding heart for animals, especially horses. I've seen many cases of neglect and cruelty, and this is one of them. The owner is neglectful of his horses. Someone, with my description of the situation, things got turned around. So, let me give you more details and see what you think. I feel that maybe you weren't getting the right picture. I hope that some extra details will help in better understanding this situation.
The owner's of the property (which is in North Carolina) moved to Arizona about a year ago. They found someone to rent their home and property, the BM, and they agreed that the BM could run a boarding facility. The BM moved to the property in North Carolina three weeks after the owner's had left. To the BM's horror, three horses had been left out in the pasture without any care for those 3 weeks.
The facilities and property are well cared for and maintained. The rocky pasture that the owner's 3 mares are in was never in use until the owner visited in February. The owner "fixed up" the pasture and decided that the mares could stay out in that pasture 24/7 rather than being stalled 24/7. It was the owner's request to have his horses stalled 24/7, claiming that "they're used to it" and that's how he always used to do it.
As for the lame mare, the owner refused to do anything with her a few weeks ago other than get her feet trimmed and that was only after the BM pushed for a trim and vet care. Unfortunately, the owner decided against vet care.
I know that the BM takes care of all of the horses, very well. All of the horses are in great condition, including 3 horses that are his own. He pays money out of his pocket to feed the owner's horses more hay and grain than the owner sends money for. These horses range in age from 3 years to 10 years. There was never an agreement for the BM to take care of the owner's 3 horses that were left behind, nor the fourth that the owner's dropped off in February. The BM is not compensated in any way (money or lower rent payments) for taking care of the owner's four horses. And, keep in mind, the owner brought the fourth horse to North Carolina because he couldn't afford boarding fees or hay for the horse anymore.
The owners live in Arizona. Regardless of weekly updates on their horses' conditions, they still refuse any veterinary care for the horses. The horses are dewormed bi-monthly, which is paid for by the BM. The BM records the weight of every horse on the property every month (including the owner's 4 horses). If it weren't for the BM, three of the four horses would be dead. The three that were left behind when the owner moved were extremely underweight and only put weight back on because of the care that the BM gave them. Two of the horses are close to an ideal weight, but still need hoof and vet care that the owner refuses to give them.
So, do you think the BM should be paying out of pocket for the complete care (veterinary, farrier, chiropractic, etc.) for these four horses because the owner simply doesn't want to?
That would be wonderful if you could just neglect a horse and have someone else pay for everything for them and then sell them. But, that's not how it works.
The owner is cheap (or he just may not have the money to care for the horses and doesn't want to admit it) and he isn't allowing for proper care of the horses. When told by the BM that the horse dropped off in Febuary had lost it's muscle mass (the owner saw this with his own eyes), the owner said, "well, you're more than welcome to work them to put muscle back on them." Also, the BM knew a few people who may be interested in buying one of the horses. When the BM asked the owner how much he would ask for the horse, the owner said $5,000! The horse is a 3 year old Paint stud that is MAYBE 14.3 and has had NO TRAINING. The owner said he would have asked for $2,500 but since the horse is homozygous he wants $5,000. The stud is no where near breeding material.
Also, I've thought of working with these horses,but it's hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I would be conditioning the owner's horses so that he could continue to neglect doing it. If I could buy these horses, I most definitely would. The only thing stopping me is the fact that the owner wants outrageous amounts of money for them.
I hope this better explained the situation. If you need more details, let me know. Thank you