Predicament! Possible "custody" dispute in my future??
Well first off I feel I should introduce myself. I'm Tori, and I'm new here with the purpose of seeking some opinions and advice! I have gotten myself into a predicament while trying to help out a friend. I'm not sure what her situation was, but she needed a place for her horse. This was around late August, early Sept.
My parents own close to 40 acres of pasture with a small barn and that is where my four horses are kept. I offered to keep her horse for a while because 30 acres of grass is enough to keep five horses well fed,and she said she would be out daily to feed him grain as well. She also said he would be gone by November when the grass starts to fade since I made it clear I would not keep him free of charge during the winter because of the cost of hay.
Now as we are nearing December she has not come to even see the horse since the beginning of October. During this time I have covered the cost of having his feet trimmed on two occasions and she assured me she would pay me back. I have recently notified her and said that if he will be staying the winter she will need to buy hay for him, however from things I have heard about her lately I am doubting this will come through. (this is hearsay, and personal judgement only though.)
I have heard from a reliable source that her large dog is also crated for long periods of time and generally neglected. To such a point that my source took photos of the dog in it's own feces and almost reported it as cruelty. My source told me that the dog was left in the cage without food (but possibly with water to begin with) for 46 hours straight while the owner was out partying for homecoming weekend.
We are all college students, and I feel this situation could get very nasty very quick, however I am concerned for the horse. He is a young horse who has very little training. He is moderately halter broke, and somewhat to lunge, however he nearing five years old. I feel that if I were to force her to remove the horse from my property he would very quickly end up in a terrible situation.
I believe this because she really does have no way to provide the care for him and would ultimately have to sell him, and when she does, with what little training he has, I am afraid of the place he will end up. I am taking fighting for custody of the horse (if that's what it's even called?) into consideration if the circumstances continue to decline (No hay, no farrier, etc.) However I do not take this on lightly. The last thing I want to do is take the girl's horse away from her, but her priorities are college parties and her many different boyfriends instead of the horse's well being.
What should I do from here? I am afraid if I threaten to take the horse she's going to try to keep him somewhere else and his care might decline greatly. I get the feeling she is financially irresponsible, and she works almost 90 hours a week which is causing her to be fairly neglectful of her horse. I know now is not the time to step in and take the beast, but I feel as if it will come to that eventually, and I am looking for opinions on how to handle the situation, or what obstacles I might face, or if I just need to let go and let what happens to other people's horses happen.
Thanks for your time guys!
Last edited by AtWitsEnd; 11-21-2012 at 06:37 PM.