Horse welfare? :@ - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 05-10-2010, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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Horse welfare? :@

So as some of you may know, my school recently obtained a foal. Now the foal is going.......ok. Nothing wrong or abusive has happened to it, and its being treated fairly well, but as far as the donkey and the shetland go, its just horrible.

Today, I watched people who weigh easily over 60kg ride a shetland. This poor shetland isn't even broke and the teachers let them ride it bareback whilst someone led them around on a halter. The halter wasn't tied correctly, and I just stood there shocked. None of these kids were wearing helmets, most were wearing ballet flats or joggers. These are god **** high school kids. You think sense would tell them that horse is too small, but the teachers allowed them to do it. I was asked to ride this horse and try and get it going but I refused. I am a light rider and can ride ponies, but I know when a horse is too small for me.

People also rode the donkey. I'd peg the donkey at 11-12 hands roughly but seniors were riding this poor donkey. I know horses are capable of carrying large weights but the way they rode, and how heavy they were was just arr. They didn't even have control of the poor thing. This poor donkey is really quiet and and he just kept walking in any direction and took a whole lot of pulling on the halter to make him stop. It was just horrible.

None of these children have signed release forms, and I know its mandatory to wear a helmet whilst riding in a school environment. This is just sheer idiocy. I don't know what to do! What are the laws regarding this?

I get told I know nothing about horses by green beginners. I get called a dumb ass when I tell people to make the horse walk when they lead it. This girl today left the saddle blanket on the mini and I took it off and she told me to keep it f$^king on. I asked why and she said to keep him warm! Right, right right. They feed these horses silage. They do get lucerne hay and chaff, but there is a round bale of silage in their paddock.

I'm over it. What should I do because my school is just not capable of having these precious animals.
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-10-2010, 05:18 AM
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O_o
I couldnt imagine being in the position your in!
Sorry I can't offer advice but I hope something gets figured out. I don't think theres really much you can do..
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-10-2010, 05:35 AM
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Any way to contact authorities about this problem? Maybe you can get the situation investigated and potentially have the animals removed- or at least get someone to give the teachers in charge of the animals a firm talking to.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-10-2010, 05:45 PM
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I've been there. I had two ag teachers, one knew about plants, the other knew about basic livestock care [cattle, pigs]. Neither had any horse knowledge. There were girls that would sit on our tiny, tiny pony who had laminitis and could barely walk and make him trot them around. We had boys who would poke a ram in the forehead with a pitch fork to get him to react. We had girls who would try to double-team grooming and they would each to try to pick up a foot at the same time. I trace-clipped the mare I worked with, and when I tried to keep a blanket on her in the dead of winter that she had been wearing the whole time she was in the program, the teacher told me she couldn't wear it because she would founder? I put the blanket on and turned her out anyway, daring the teacher to go take it off. This mare kicked, didn't like to be caught, and hated men. I know. Evil. Anywho, I got kicked out of the class. O_O

I would just try to stay far, far away. It's not worth causing problems in your academic career.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-10-2010, 06:05 PM
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It really surprises me that a school would be that irresponsible.
I am not entirely sure how your school system works there, but do you have a School Board you could report this to? Here we have a school board in every district that has authority over the schools.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-10-2010, 06:12 PM
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^ We have a national one, Board of Studies, though it doesnt really get involved with anything other than the academic side of school.

I'd suggest the RSPCA, though for them to even come out to inspect the horse has practically got to be dying, and since these animals have adequate food and water (i presume) theres nothing they can/will do. Theres to many other cases. I guess it couldnt hurt to give them a call though

Have you talked to your principal? I read some of the other thread but I can't remember...
Are there any other ag teachers/teachers who are horsey?
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-10-2010, 11:25 PM
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-sigh- all I can say is that they would have heard my mouth.....

IMO, people are allowed to be stupid, that's their perrogative. But when animals get involved, I am the FIRST one to go crazy and start screaming.

Why yes, I do like animals better than people.....
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-11-2010, 01:39 AM
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If the Board of Studies won't get involved (which you'd think they would since there is children at risk here), then all I can say is - wait for someone (human, that is) to get injured! That will be a surefire way to get the animals off the school's property.
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-11-2010, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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I'm highly considering contacting the RSPCA. There was no supervision around those horses and I saw a group of girls (who claim to know everything about horses but have never been around them in their life) put a fair too big stock saddle on the mini and then try to hop on, only for the saddle to slip and Pelly spooked. My first plan of attack is to get proof of these incidents, and then speak to my stage adviser and the principal. If nothing changes, I will contact my local RSPCA. I happen to ride with and know very well some people who work at the RSPCA, so things might just go my way.

I think the thing that erks me the most is that there is no supervision, and and the risk of danger is just too large.
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-11-2010, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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I have finally settled on what I'm going to do. I will boycott this class and when asked why I will present a letter outlining my reasons and what needs to change. I'm looking for some credible sources that I can include with my letter. So essentially I'm looking for some credible articles about
1. Helmet use and statistics about the prevention of deaths from helmet use.
2. Liabililty regarding the school if a student in injured from a horse (because no one has been issued with liability waivers.)
3. Correct horse fencing and how dog wire is not appropriate.
4. Horses and what happens if they're carrying too much weight.
5. Paddock maintenance and what happens if the faeces, muck etc isn't cleaned up.

I'm sure we have a few legal eagles on this website who can help me with a few of these issues :) Thanks in advance if you do help.
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