Re-Newing Horsemanship
 
 

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Re-Newing Horsemanship

This is a discussion on Re-Newing Horsemanship within the New to Horses forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    • 3 Post By ecasey

     
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        05-13-2014, 09:42 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Unhappy Re-Newing Horsemanship

    Hey everyone, I'm coming back to horses after an 8 year stint in L.A. And I need help.

    My parents "kept" my horses "for me" after I got married. I was able to visit them a grand total of 2 times during the first 8 years of my marriage, the last being about 6 years ago. Now that I've moved back to my home town with my husband and daughter, I'm heartbroken and heartsick at the condition of the horse and 2 ponies that my teenage life revolved around. Cricket, a Welsh/Chincoteague mix, has skis for hooves. Candy, a Welsh B pony, is bloated and dull-eyed. Star, a Polish Arab, has protruding hipbones and new scars at the corner of her mouth, and she's even more skiddish now than when I bought her when she was 2. A "friend" of the family offered to train her, but returned her when he got frustrated. I can tell from those bit scars how frustrating it was for them both. (I hope she kicked him.)

    Today, I'm particularly upset. Star came up lame. She was a little tender yesterday, so I cleaned her hooves and felt her legs. There was no swelling or hot spots that I could detect, but I have been out of the game for a while. Today, she doesn't want to extend her right foreleg fully when she walks, and kind of shuffles it to the side as she hobbles quickly. I've put her in a stall, but after 3 months without a job, I'm pretty broke so I can't call the vet yet. I'll bully my parents if it gets any worse.

    What I'm most angry about is that their condition has gotten THIS bad, and that their pasture is shared with old cars, trailers, and farm equipment. My dad might be more sailor than horseman, but he really should have more pride in his property. My mom might be getting old, and frankly her confidance was broken when another horse bucked her off and broker her elbow, but she should know better since she used to be a horse lover like me. And what has me really, REALLY upset is that my parents didn't sell the horses before things deteriorated this far. It's like every day I spend with the horses, I find new things that just piss me off about their living conditions.

    I'm doing what I can, on a shoe-string budget, to get them in decent condition again. I've wormed them, brushed them, cleaned their feet, and bullied my mom into getting some senior feed for Candy. (She's about 22 right now.) When I do get a job, my husband and I have agreed to look for horse property, and then remove the horses from my parents' keeping.

    So I'd love tips and tricks for helping out with their rehabilitation and my renewal of my horsemanship. I only have a couple hours a day to spend with them since I'm looking for work and going to business school. I'm willing to work with them as much as I can, but a part of me wants to put a "free to a good home" add in the paper.
         
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        05-14-2014, 02:44 AM
      #2
    Super Moderator
    I can't help but wonder why this is of a surprise to you. Did you not keep in communication with them about the horses during your long absenses?
    Are you parents old enough that keeping up the property, animals too, is a strain for them? What middle aged folks can handle with ease can become really hard for folks when they become old.

    I am glad that ou are there now to ensure the best quality of life for them . And if selling them would do that, I'd look into it. But, from what i've heard, there might not be much of a market that you'd like to entrust your old friends to. They are , after all, needy beings, so why would someone want to take on those challenges?

    It sounds like you are taking a reasonable approach, considering your budget. I wish you the best.
         
        05-14-2014, 09:59 PM
      #3
    Foal
    I honestly didn't keep close communication with my parents. Circumstances surrounding my marriage were a bit rocky, and frankly I got caught up in trying to survive L.A. (I was working 10 to 12 hour days most of the time.) I did tell my parents that I was OK with them selling the horses for whatever they could get, because I didn't imagine that I'd return to the Northwest in time to reclaim them anyway. I assumed that if they kept them, they would at least do basic pasture-pet maintenance like trimming their hooves and deworming them.

    Now that I'm back, I have also noticed that my parents have a lot of other issues that I didn't clue into when I left. Had I understood the path their behavior would take, I would have sold or given away all of them before I left. And I can tell they feel guilty, since my mom gets defensive and my dad always changes the subject. They're getting close to retirement, so I don't blame them for slowing down. I blame them for being irresponsible. I'm also a bit scared for them, because someone could have easily called the ASPCA on them, and they might have been facing charges for neglect. I'm all emotional knots about this, because I see how a bad habit of collecting things has quite literally put them at risk, legally and physically, so I'm angry and worried and disappointed and frustrated.

    I am kind of glad that the horses are still around, tho. I really need to focus on the positive and move forward. Star is doing better today, and I've got my baby brother helping me muck stalls. He's a strapping 16-year-old on the track team, so he's got lots of muscle to move crap. My mom is also going to put me on the co-op account so I can get a few things to help make their lives better, like fura-zone and dewormer. Candy is looking better with the senior feed. And as soon as I get a farrier out here, Cricket will be doing better too. Just gotta stay positive.
         
        05-15-2014, 01:39 AM
      #4
    Super Moderator
    Kind of tough when we see our parents as just "people", with all the warts and failings. The weather is nice now, and Lynden is a nice place. Hopefully, like you said, things will turn for the better.
         
        05-15-2014, 06:33 PM
      #5
    Yearling
    Sorry to come at your post like this, but I guess it kind of hit a nerve with me. I have to wonder when you talk about "bullying" your parents to get things from them whose fault this really is.

    My advice? Take responsibility for the fact that they were your horses and you walked away from them without making sure they'd be adequately taken care of, and then move on. Don't bully the people who had to pick up after you.

    Parents really do have a thankless job, and this seems like one of those situations where kids just don't get it, where they forget that parents don't really want to take our cast off pets but they feel obligated to help out, even when not qualified or in a position to do so.

    Thank them, and work with them to fix the problem. And if you can't afford to do it, then either find a creative way to pay for it (barter, etc.) or give them to someone who can.
         
        05-16-2014, 03:18 AM
      #6
    Foal
    I think sometimes people just don't want to see what they don't want to. I do think that if you have an animal, not wanting it doesn't justify not caring for it. If someone takes responsibility for an animal they should see to it that it's taken care of.

    On the other hand.. If they could not afford it, or just plain did not know what you wanted done with them week to week or in this case monthly or yearly, that's something else altogether, and maybe being in touch them could have helped that. If they needed money for your horses you should have sent some. If you wanted to know if they were getting cared for you should have asked. Even you can't afford them right now so I wouldn't keep trying to make them feel bad. I do think you should have kept better tabs on them even though it sucks that they failed to be responsible.. You did in a way as well, everyone was irresponsible about them. Now however, I think the priority should be less about who's fault it is and instead on how it's going to get better..

    It seems like you're on the right track, just save up enough for a vet apt, teeth, hooves ect and get them healthy again.

    I'm not trying to be negative but I do realize it probably comes across that way, so sorry for that. But as someone who has had to keep tabs on an out of town family member's pet for the last ten years (including stopping in just to check them) and knowing that if I did not that the animal would not have vet care, and having to pay for it myself when it was needed, this hit close to home.
         
        05-18-2014, 07:35 PM
      #7
    Foal
    They probably didn't want to sell the horses because it was their link to you as a teenager; because otherwise, it was a heck of a lot of money to spend all these years even If they did the minimal requirements to keep the horses alive. You're probably right, your parents are just tired; they needed you to come back and lend a hand.


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        05-18-2014, 07:43 PM
      #8
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ScarletFrost    
    I only have a couple hours a day to spend with them
    If you can do any kind of part time work in those couple hours to make them some money it would probably be the best thing!
         

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