I stupidly put my hand up to help a semi neglected horse on the property I board at who is very obese and almost died after getting stuck on the ground about three weeks ago. The owners are quite nice but not dedicated at all, and were very grateful for our offer to house her in our spare paddock that we rarely use. The deal was simply to house her, and they care for her. However I realised they wouldn't really bother to turn up as they never did in the past and have been lumped with the work on our initial meeting.
How would you go about asking them for more assistance? I don't want to kick the mare out - she's visibly losing weight and is much happier. I am worried she is bonding with myself and my best friend (we graze our two horses together) although the owners seemed to be thrilled that someone wants to look after her. Overall I'm doing this for her, but some days I do get really peeved that they're not looking after her themselves - though this is the reason they were kicked out from their previous grazing. They do have the means and live much closer than myself. I'm a university student too - and I still make it down almost every day.
I know I'm being used, and I'm aware it's my fault for offering to help without making strict stipulations and perhaps a written agreement. She's not the first neglect case on the property that I've helped with, but she is the first where the owners are actually somewhat on the scene. I guess this is what makes me feel nervous, though every time I mention that I feel like I'm overstepping, they shoot back that they're not bothered in the slightest what I do with her.
If you were equally 'stupid' (I like to think of myself as too kind hearted for my own good, and too in love with horses to watch them suffer) what would you do? I haven't mucked her out for the past three days, even though they told me they would muck her pen the other day. It's not been done... and I don't feel I can let it stay there for much longer to be honest. She needs her feet done, and I have given them my farrier's number and they agreed it was urgent to get her seen. I've also asked for a heavier rug (they apparently have a few for her) as its winter here, and was promised by the end of the weekend, but its now almost Wednesday here. I had to spend an hour of my time for my horses on her instead last week as she trashed her fence they set up for her, and she got into the long grass. Since I've done a proper job of fencing her up, she's stayed put so I don't think I'll have to go through that again.
I guess I shouldn't complain, but I guess in my need for a vent, I just wondered if there was anyone else out there who would step forward like this, even though they knew it would have downsides.