About a month ago, my next door neighbors put up a makeshift fence and put five horses in their field. (I should point out that the fence actually is several feet onto our land and several acres onto the neighboring farmer's land. We said something as it was going up, but the neighbor assured me he knew the boundaries and that was the property line).
Their daughter has been taking lessons but is very much a beginner. She's the only one with horse experience.
There is no shelter whatsoever.
They ate all the grass in a couple of days and they had no hay.
One of the horses is a young colt and he is limping severely in one of his front legs.
I walked over when the girl was in the field with the horses and told her I have over 20 years experience with horses and would be happy to help if she had any training or general care questions. I also asked her if she realized the colt was lame. She told me the horses all actually belong to another lady who would be giving her a horse in exchange for keeping the five of them on her land. She pointed out a buckskin gelding that was extremely thing. She said the buckskin was the one she'd been riding and that one was supposed to be hers, except he was super skinny and they didn't know why. She did assure me the vet was going to be coming out "sometime."
The next weekend, yet another horse showed up in the field. The dominant mare nearly ran that horse to death. A few days later, a trailer showed up and picked up the mare and a chestnut gelding. After a week, both were back. Six horses in the field now.
After the horses had spent some time in the small field, a makeshift fence went up on the other side of their driveway. It was a much larger field. (Apparently, several acres of that pasture actually belong to the neighboring farmer, who was none too happy about it. He had the land surveyed, proving that the fence encroaches on our property on one side, and a very large chunk of his property on the other side. Still waiting to see what happens with THAT).
Anyway, the vet was finally out and the little colt was limping so terribly by then, he could barely walk. He did seem to improve a bit after the vet visited, but still is what I would call "dead lame."
The horses have now been moved back into the small field and have a round bale. The buckskin has put on weight.
My mom spent some time at my house last week and was there during the day when the girl and another woman (not sure if it's the lady who owns the horses or someone else) spent time "training" the horses. They used their dogs to "herd" the horses and round them up, and the poor lame colt was forced to run around with the rest. Any improvement he'd show in the weeks since the vet was there is now gone. I do understand the concept of having the horses run if you can't catch them but the really need to catch that poor colt first so he can't run, and NOT use dogs to frighten the horses.
Once they caught them, the "trainer" apparently kept trying to make one of the horses lay down. She then lunged him for awhile, and again tried to make him lay down. When he wouldn't, she kept violently running up to him and screaming in his face.
They then saddled two of the horses, galloped madly down the very rocky gravel road (horses are not shoed) and then spent some time taking pictures of themselves standing on top of the horses' backs (preparing a lovely sale ad, perhaps??).
I have not witnessed any of this "training" but if I do, I'm considering walking out there and having a chat.. just to see what on earth they're doing. I've already offered my assistance so I'm not sure what else I can do about it. I guess we'll see. I just feel so terrible for that poor lame colt.