Join Date: May 2014
Location: Lynden, Washington
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.