Getting out of hand
Once again, I need your opinion:? Well maybe, just some backup.
I find myself in a conundrum once again, sigh. For starters, I don't own the barn, my parents do. But I'm the resident voice of experience. My parents are the definition of backyard, and will 95% of the time listen to my suggestions. My issue is with their boarders. They are very nice, pay on time, help with chores everyday, basically the ideal boarders. BUT they have very limited experience, especially in dealing with the care & nutrition end of horses. And this has caused an issue a few times already.
After a few times of making suggestions I got the impression they don't like being told there are other more tried & true methods. So unless I think that it's something serious enough to warrant a comment, I try REALLY hard to stay out of it. However, there is now a situation that not only has me frustrated and upset, but is starting to get to my parents (who won't say anything).
A few months ago, their horse was diagnosed with laminitis by a vet specializing in lameness. Two directions were given. 1. get a new farrier, 2. give a special supplement instead of what they were feeding.
1. The farrier. They are not willing to switch or decrease the amount of time between trims. Reasoning being there is no one cheaper. The feet are horrendous now, but even after a trim they look like crap. I'll try & get pics tonight or tomorrow. The farrier we use (& have for over a decade) is willing to take them on and is a barefoot trimmer. He's worked miracles on some of the rescues my mom has brought home. He is $10 more for a trim, and they didn't want to switch.
2. The supplement. The horse doesn't like the taste and won't eat it. So they give it to their other horse. Rather than finding a way to feed it to the horse that needs it or finding something else she will eat, she gets nothing.
As far as the supplement thing, that's their choice. I don't like it, it pisses me off, but not my horse. The feet however, I told my dad that either he says something or I do. Not only would I be embarrassed, but the thought of a horse in that much pain on their property when there is a "simple" way to ease it....:-x
My parents (well my mom) have spent more money and hours caring and rehabilitating horses, for something like this to be occurring on their property. My dad didn't realize how serious laminitis can be or how poor the feet are, and after talking with him agrees that maybe I should say something. He doesn't think coming from him or my mom will do anything since they are only slightly more experienced than the boarders. And since he honestly thinks they just don't know any better, they aren't taking things as seriously as they should.
Part of the problem with me talking to them is that they are there and gone before I get there most times. And since I don't see them that often, I don't want to go about it the wrong way. I'm notorious for being quite blunt, I try to soften it as much as I can (most of the time without a lot of success). We all want them to stay, but they have to take better care of ALL parts of their horses.
Ugghhhh. This sucks!
you cannot force someone to do something they dont want to do.
the horse has been diagnosed by a vet. if they were going to change, that would have been the time to do it.
unfortunately even if you do say something, they probably wont listen and will just be pissed off. i hope your parents are prepared to lose board on 2 horses over this when its brought up to the owner.
i think you would be better off biting your tongue until the owner can see how badly the horse is off, which can takes months, but then they are deciding to make the change.
tough spot to be in, but not your horse so technically not your business. Unfortunate as it is. :-(
also im not sure if you can post pictures of the horse without the owner permission...?
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Grrr, Cla I know but it's so frustrating!!! They just don't get it, or don't want to.
Post pictures of severe cases of laminitis all over the place where they can't miss them. Post news reports of people being charged with animal cruelty due to severe neglect of care. Some the cases of horses with slipper hoofs and such. Maybe this will get their attention as to how severe the problem is becoming.
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My suggestion (a variation of Roadyy's) is to provide them copies of some good articles on laminitis rehab and treatment. If you can't be there to hand it off then leave a note. Speech or note says the same thing - "here's a couple of articles I've come across that might help you out as founder is so darn complicated to deal with" (or something to that affect) followed with "I'd be happy to discuss these articles or share my experience/insights on the matter".
Maybe I should also say that another reason this is getting to me, is that last year the same horse came down with Potomac. The horse had a temp of 104 for over a day, and they weren't going to do anything.
It took both my mom & I saying they HAD to call the vet for them to do it. In that case we didn't know right away it was Potomac, and were worried for OUR horses if it was something contagious. They seem to have the "lets wait and see" approach to healthcare at the most problematic times.
I have never been in a position where I have been running a facility, or whatever. But, as a boarder I know I am always put off by the BO telling me to use whatever farrier, etc.. I'm usually in the opposite position where I have actually done my research versus the BO "I've fed oats for 40 years" - while they have 3 active founders on the property. But that's another story and I dearly love current BOs and their facility.
So I would zip it as far as the suggestions thing goes and let them wreck the horse. As much as it sucks, horses are the property or possessions of their owners. However, you can be sympathetic and always ask how Fluffy is doing. The people will be far more likely to ask for your opinions if you are the person Ooohing and ahhing over poor sick Fluffy, and concerned about her welfare very passively by asking how she is doing every time you see the owners. "Awwe that is too bad" is probably a safe line in this instance.
People are not stupid, and they do notice that your horses are able to be ridden, are healthy, etc..
Your ego is not your amigo. The one time I did get a bit pissed at a woman for beating the tar out of her 4 year old horse with large western rowels and a twisted wire snaffle and some choice words fell out of my mouth, was the last time I've actually spoken to her. Which is unfortunate as I don't like to burn bridges. Different strokes for different folks, and that day I really should have just left the arena and ridden outside in the monsoon, or put Sparky away and brushed him while cooing that the mean lady won't ever touch him.
Eventually after euthing her 3rd young horse I'm sure the woman will realize what she's doing is not working, but the 5 or 6 words I chose to use basically mean it will not be me she is phoning for advice, regardless of whatever my credentials are.
Just wait, be patient, be sympathetic and don't look at what you don't like. As long as they are not touching your equine property, everything is hunky dory. If it gets to the point AC needs to be involved, you are simply leasing the pasture to the owners, and can give AC the owner's #.
They have them at boarding facilities now, but think I would be willing to keep their horses cheaper..NOT.
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