I've read quite a few things about abused horses and such, and there are so many different things but there is something that always disturbs me. It's always how people seem to think the human element changes the conditions the horses are in. The people should not matter, only the horse should.
The owner not having enough to feed them, or just being too lazy should not matter.
The owner "loving" them, or the owner exploiting them should not matter.
It doesn't matter the intentions, for one reason or another the horse is not being properly cared for.
It could be worse should not be a reason to ignore what is happening either. Just because there are worse cases doesn't mean that it is not a case of neglect or cruelty. It just means it hasn't gotten as bad yet.
An owner who truly loves their horses knows when they can't take proper care of them. And because they love their horses they will either try to fix the problem, or sell their horse to someone who will be able to.
Just because an owner says they love their horse doesn't mean they know how to take proper care of them. All the love in the world won't make a horse any fatter. Or make their pasture any less muddy or full of dangerous things to hurt them. Only their owner fixing those problems will.
"Well I love them so much, I just don't have the money right now." That is non excuse. That is no excuse for you to watch as your horses get skinnier and skinnier, and eat the bark off of trees because their pasture has not grass left.
My mother and I had once been selling a horse and someone wanted to offer their horses for trade. Their pasture literally had no grass, and the horses were all rather skinny. The owners either didn't notice that their horses were not getting enough hay, or were just didn't care. We ended up buying one of the mares for my friend who could not afford an expensive horse, and needed a quieter horse to ride.
That mare is now nice fat and chubby. She spends her days being the queen and getting so much attention. And guess what? Evidently the owner was talking about how she loved that horse so much, and she should have never sold her, and how terrible my mother was. We never forced her to sell the horse, and do you want to hear where her other horses were sold at? A slaughter buyer auction. Yup that lady sure loved her horses.
Moral of the story, the human element should not matter, no matter how much someone claims to love a horse. Neglect kills just as much as abuse.
So yeah that is what disturbs me. Just because an owner is this way or that way does not mean that the animal is not neglected or abused.