I am asking this because about 7 years ago my sister bought a little red and white paint foal. She didn't really understand that just because you buy a baby, doesn't mean it will grow up well mannered and sweet like in the movies. She already had an Arabian who was about 3, and this foal was just so cute she kinda bought it as a pasture mate for the Arabian. Well the foal grew up and was not so nice, she would try to bite, was an escape artist and had a multitude of other little quirks that made her a little harder to handle and my sister who didn't have that much experience with horses started to question owning that horse. Well anyways there were some people who lived out the road who professed to be very knowledgeable in horses and they had a little girl who just fell in love with the paint. My sister being the soft hearted soul that she is decided to give the little girl the paint as a Christmas present. So in her mind she was doing a good deed, and sending her on to a better place with people who could actually handle her "quirks"...sounds lovely...
But then something went wrong...the little girl broke the paint...and she started to ride her frequently. But they didn't feed her. My sister would drive by thier house and watch the condition of this horse grow worse and worse. She became so boney and malnurished she started to eat the barn. My sister asked if the horse maybe could come back to the house and help keep the pastures down with the Arabian...trying to offer up a polite reason for the removal of the horse in the conditions it was being kept. That was met with a "no thank you" she is fine. The horse then developed a sore on it's back because the little girl rode it without a pad under the saddle....a huge horrible sore.
My sister repeatedly asked to have the horse back...the answer was always a no. She contacted the vet who also stopped to talk to the man about the horse...he pointed out the sore...I think at that point the man got turned into the authorities...I am not sure if it was from the vet or perhaps other people who saw the condition of the horse...but all of a sudden the horse dissapeared...he moved it to a pasture you could only get to with a four wheeler...deep down in the woods on a horrible road. My sister asked to come and see the horse...he kept putting her off saying the roads were too bad in the winter. She kept asking and asking...he told her as soon as spring came he would take her down. Then all of a sudden when the weather broke he says the horse died from a fall on the ice...that he discovered her dead with a broken neck...my sister feels like she made such a horrible mistake, and that there is nothing she can do to make it right. She holds a tremendous amount of guilt towards that decision to let the paint go to those people. She tried everything to get it back, she even offered to buy it back, even though she had freely gave it to them.
Has anyone else made a mistake like this in letting their horse go only to find it is being horribly neglected?