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QuantrillRaider 12-14-2007 04:58 PM

What should I do?
My uncle who lives in California (I live in Oklahoma) is trying to breed Icelandic horses/ponies. The man has NO prior experiance with horses prior to 3 years ago :? . He lives on a small ranch in Paradise, California. He dosen't really know what he is doing. He just lets the horses run wild around his 40 acre ranch. You can handle 4 of the 6 horses he owns! One of them, a black mare, can barely be touched. He owns a paint, a black, two bays, a dapple, and colt/stallion I have not seen yet. Three are mares and two are geldings. The only horse I feel comfortable riding is the paint mare that has had a little training. Two years ago he had me ride the paint with full english tack, while my cousin and aunt rode the two geldings with only a halter and bare back pad and these two people have never seen horses before :shock: .He has two daughters who are 10 and 7, who have no interest in the horses, are barely watched while they run around and play near the horses. The last time I rode one of the horses after he tacked her up,I noticed the curb chain was missing so I asked him about it and he looked at my like I was speaking a foreign language! He also has 4 pygmy goats, a dozen chickens,plus a rooster the girls are terrified of, and about 5 dogs. The first time he tried to breed he left the mare in the field and wondered why in the morning the baby was DEAD. Last year he finally mangaged to keep a foal alive, a colt, and now has a STALLION that he lets my cousines play around. Is there anything I can do?

msaddle 12-14-2007 05:41 PM

This is a tough one... He's not technically mistreating them or causing them direct harm it seems so you can't take much legal action if you wanted to go that far. And it's not like you can give your uncle a parenting lesson either...

I suggest giving him some reading material for Christmashanakwanzika (?), perhaps introduce him to some new techniques, or invite him to a clinic if you're in the area or if you can't be in the area mention it/give him some info. But be careful not to push it. Horse people, and people in general for that matter I have found can be very stuck in their ways, thinking their way of handling horses is right.

Knowledge seems the best cure in this case. If he can afford it he could also hire a trainer that could teach him a few things.

Also, I know this hurts but it's not your job to teach him. It's something he has to learn on his own. I'm surprised the death of his foal didn't awaken him to his lack of knowledge... but perhaps he will learn with time. Try not to stress about it. I wish you the best of luck.

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