I boarded my horse at a facility for a little over a month before I moved her to a safer environment. The description below is not the only reason I moved her but one of the main ones. I'm wondering if I'm overreacting? Is this actually a concern? Are my facts right about water consumption and grazing? If I do report it I will be sending this kind of letter to animal welfare. Please be honest, I'm new to the world of horse boarding and I'm not sure if this kind of set up is normal. I feel these horses are in danger mainly because of contaminated water. The other boarders are mainly out of town so I don't believe that they notice the concerns because most of them visit less than once a month. Is this none of my business because I'm no longer boarding there? Uhg, opinions please :)
Also, when I say small pasture in the letter I'd guess it's about 3-4 acres. I'm not certain though so I won't be stating that in the letter if I do report this.
15+ horses are kept in a small pasture with the only access to water being a dugout pond which is frozen during the winter and dirty in the summer. They have a watering troff in the "feed pen" that they are let into between the hours of 9am-5pm. The average horse drinks between 5 - 10 gallons of water throughout the day. Only having access to fresh water for 7 hours out of the day is simply not enough especially when the horses are occupied eating during those 7 hours.
The dugout is my main concern; the water is dirty in the warm seasons and frozen in the winter. When the snow melts and when it rains the dugout is contaminated by the large pile of manure sitting at the top of the pasture. The horses are often found standing on top of the manure pile as it is in the pasture with them. Since it is winter I don't believe this is an immediate hazard to the horses but once spring comes the water will be very dangerous for them to consume from the manure contamination. The manure pile is up hill from the dugout and there has been a trench created so all the water drains into the dugout.
It is recommended that a horse has 2 acres of grazing land per year if grazing is accompanied with hay and other feed. With 15+ horses in the small pasture they do not have access to enough grazing land to sufficiently nurture them.