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nikelodeon79 10-05-2012 09:44 AM

My neighbors got horses...
About a month ago, my next door neighbors put up a makeshift fence and put five horses in their field. (I should point out that the fence actually is several feet onto our land and several acres onto the neighboring farmer's land. We said something as it was going up, but the neighbor assured me he knew the boundaries and that was the property line).

Their daughter has been taking lessons but is very much a beginner. She's the only one with horse experience.

There is no shelter whatsoever.

They ate all the grass in a couple of days and they had no hay.

One of the horses is a young colt and he is limping severely in one of his front legs.

I walked over when the girl was in the field with the horses and told her I have over 20 years experience with horses and would be happy to help if she had any training or general care questions. I also asked her if she realized the colt was lame. She told me the horses all actually belong to another lady who would be giving her a horse in exchange for keeping the five of them on her land. She pointed out a buckskin gelding that was extremely thing. She said the buckskin was the one she'd been riding and that one was supposed to be hers, except he was super skinny and they didn't know why. She did assure me the vet was going to be coming out "sometime."

The next weekend, yet another horse showed up in the field. The dominant mare nearly ran that horse to death. A few days later, a trailer showed up and picked up the mare and a chestnut gelding. After a week, both were back. Six horses in the field now.

After the horses had spent some time in the small field, a makeshift fence went up on the other side of their driveway. It was a much larger field. (Apparently, several acres of that pasture actually belong to the neighboring farmer, who was none too happy about it. He had the land surveyed, proving that the fence encroaches on our property on one side, and a very large chunk of his property on the other side. Still waiting to see what happens with THAT).

Anyway, the vet was finally out and the little colt was limping so terribly by then, he could barely walk. He did seem to improve a bit after the vet visited, but still is what I would call "dead lame."

The horses have now been moved back into the small field and have a round bale. The buckskin has put on weight.

My mom spent some time at my house last week and was there during the day when the girl and another woman (not sure if it's the lady who owns the horses or someone else) spent time "training" the horses. They used their dogs to "herd" the horses and round them up, and the poor lame colt was forced to run around with the rest. Any improvement he'd show in the weeks since the vet was there is now gone. I do understand the concept of having the horses run if you can't catch them but the really need to catch that poor colt first so he can't run, and NOT use dogs to frighten the horses.

Once they caught them, the "trainer" apparently kept trying to make one of the horses lay down. She then lunged him for awhile, and again tried to make him lay down. When he wouldn't, she kept violently running up to him and screaming in his face.

They then saddled two of the horses, galloped madly down the very rocky gravel road (horses are not shoed) and then spent some time taking pictures of themselves standing on top of the horses' backs (preparing a lovely sale ad, perhaps??).

I have not witnessed any of this "training" but if I do, I'm considering walking out there and having a chat.. just to see what on earth they're doing. I've already offered my assistance so I'm not sure what else I can do about it. I guess we'll see. I just feel so terrible for that poor lame colt.

OutOfTheLoop 10-05-2012 09:48 AM

I wouldn't get involved in the middle of it. Call the authorities and have them handle the situation if its bad, but don't get yourself involved, it will only lead to trouble.
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Fahntasia 10-05-2012 09:49 AM

^ I agree, stupidity breeds stupidity, call animal control and the police.

nikelodeon79 10-05-2012 09:58 AM

I really don't think they're doing anything that animal control would handle. The horses do have hay and water, they did have a vet out, and screaming in a horse's face isn't abuse as it's defined by animal control.

My thought was just to walk over, ask what the vet said about the colt, offer my advice, and then stay out of it. I can't force them to accept help.

Speed Racer 10-05-2012 10:06 AM

I know it's hard to watch such ignorance Nik, but there's not a lot you can do. As you said, there's nothing really that AC can do about the situation since the animals have food and water.

I would be taking them to task for putting THEIR fence on MY property, though. That's just plain ballsy and rude.

themacpack 10-05-2012 10:07 AM

Considering what you have is, in effect, second hand information (not saying your mother is not a reliable witness to what she saw, only that YOU did not see it yourself) - and the fact that IF this is all true they are not really the type that are going to be open to your interference, I would suggest you either A) steer clear or B) if you feel you MUST do something, contact the authorities.
Be prepared for frustration, though, because there is a great amount of grey area in what is/isn't acceptable keeping - as long as they are meeting the bare minimum legal requirements, there really isn't much that can/will be done - not doing things the way YOU (general) deem acceptable does not equal doing it wrong. With the exception of the lame horse, short of starvation or blatant abuse (while I do not find your description to be that of reasonable training methods, I don't actually see "abuse") they are free to "train" their horses as they see fit.

poppy1356 10-05-2012 10:09 AM

Still no shelter? In Minnesota that is cause for AC to act. I'm sure because of winters that is the same in Wisconsin.

I would have called the cops the second they put their fence on my property.

OutOfTheLoop 10-05-2012 10:11 AM

Around here, a stand of trees counts as shelter, so I wouldn't jump to conclusion
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Speed Racer 10-05-2012 10:12 AM


Originally Posted by OutOfTheLoop (Post 1707909)
Around here, a stand of trees counts as shelter, so I wouldn't jump to conclusion
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Wisconsin gets a heck of a lot colder in the winter than Tennessee. Winter also lasts longer in the northern states, especially those that abut several of the Great Lakes.

OutOfTheLoop 10-05-2012 10:19 AM

True, ill give you that. It wouldn't take much to build a 3 sided shelter I wouldn't think. But it sounds like they proboly wouldn't do it. Like I said earlier, call ac or whoever, that's all you can do. I still wouldn't get involved in it.
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