A friend doesn't get it
Now, I really don't know how to start....so let me tell you a bit about me....
[ Warning -- this is a long rant, but it does have an end point ]
I am a massive pacifist. I cannot tell people what they are doing wrong, I cannot do anything that might hurt a person's feelings. For a few situations I have managed to nicely say my opinion, but thats rare.
Now, I have this friend. And this friend ( lets call her pat ) thinks she knows EVERYTHING there is about horses. She is 17 and she has ridden a total of 5 weeks in her life ( 1 week every year at camp). She believes she can ride any horse and she believes she can control any horse, because she can ride and take care of a camp horse. And pat is quite "aggressive" she has a strong voice and if she wants to say something, it doesn't matter if my little mouse voice was already in the middle of a sentence. ( but she means well and she really thinks she's being a conversationalist and thinks she's being nice) anywho, so she has 3 horses. all of which ( i believe) she cannot care for.
the first is Toby. Toby is a 7 yr old EXCEEDINGLY green appendix quarter horse. Now, pat believes that with his 3 months of training ( which took place 3 years ago) she will be able to ride him and she has great plans to take him out on the trails and blah blah blah. But now, that has all changed. He has thrush. the day after she told me she had thrush i went out and bought her some thrush medicine. And I purposly got stuff that worked in both wet & dry conditions ( since her pens are all muddy ). So I gave that to her. Its been 2 months. and Pat is using the excuse that its too wet. and now she says she's not even going to use it because she believes his thrush is magically going to cure it's self. I've looked at his hooves. I wouldn't be surprised if they are rotting. she doesn't have much money. She wants to get a $20 farrier, and she believes that this cheap farrier will be able to fix her horses hooves. I know this will not work. And guess what? she is now telling me that he's fine and blah blah blah and she just waves that issue off. And now she says " well he's more of my dad's horse, so i might be getting a morgan!"
So lets move on to the 2 miniture ponies. She has 1 stallion [king] and 1 pregnant mare [ roxy ]. Lets start with saying that both are foundered, and pretty much wild, they have never had their hoofs done. Roxy is pregnant, and pat has no idea how far along she is, she has no shelter, and she thinks that this wild pony will let her come close to the foal. So i am very worried about the foal, when ( and if he survives ) the birth, pat is not prepared to change the fencing ( there is a known cyote den in the ponies field) and she isn't a trainer, she doesn't relieze that a wild mother will protect her foal. besides the foal, Roxy has an EXCEEDINGLY small halter on her, and it's starting to dig into her skin. Pat can't get close to her, and says that if she takes it off she will never get it back on.
Anywho, King, the stallion, is in the same condition. he has a small halter on, and is slightly more tame, but still wild. He is foundered and has never had his hooves done.
Now that pat wants this new horse, I am afraid that the same thing will happen -- she is going to buy a cheap barely trained horse, expect to be able to ride this horse just like a camp horse, and she is going to try to ride, get hurt, spend a bit more time with the horse, and do nothing else.
Being a pacifist, I cannot tell her this. She will not listen to me, and if i try to tell her she will talk over me and make excuses. I feel terrible by not being able to tell her this and help her horses. But its hard, she is a friend, and telling her all this will ruin our friendship, and make it impossible to be with my social group.
this is the lesson to be learned--
Horses are expensive. If you don't have to money to give them a good home and proper care, do not keep buying them with no plans. These horses do not have a future. Toby is lame, I wouldn't be surprised if he becomes unable to walk. And what will become of him? those ponies are in pain and will never have a future in pat's hands.
Horses are living creatures. If you are going to buy one, make sure you can give them the life and respect they deserve.
If you made it to the end of this rant, good job!
If anyone has any ideas on how i should tell pat about this, or how I should go about taking action in this situation, please feel free to tell me!
I would also like to here your opinion on this situation or if you have ever been in it yourself.
Tell another horse person who she might listen to, and who is better with confrontation than you are. Have this person tell her what you just told us, that she is not taking good care of her horses. If you don't know anyone who can do this for you, then I would call animal control. Obviously if she is feeding them enough and they have access to water (which I'm assuming they do since you didn't mention it) they aren't going to take the horses away. But hopefully they would come out and look at the animals and tell her what she needs to do to take better care of them. And hopefully, coming from an authority figuer, she would listen and do what they tell her. Now, I don't know if they would actually come out or anything but I think it's worth a shot.
I agree with what Amba said. You can always ask to remain anonymous in either situation.
Something else I thought of is, if you think it'd do any good, you could write her a letter. That way you will be able to filter what you say more yet get your point across, and you can say what you need to say without her getting the immediate chance to blow up on or interrupt you.
But if you want to avoid direct confrontation with her, I do think Amba's ideas would be better.
PM me with her e-mail and I'll write her a letter!! Aside from that what can we do?
Send her a link to this page via email, so she can read what you think and you won't have to actually say it.
I'm in a similar situation. Our neighbors feed their horses (lightly molding hay sometimes), and they crudely trim their own hooves (and let them grow out horribly long so they chip and break). Their horses are skinny, and I'm not sure if they get wormed. I've seen them work with them twice in the 2-3 years that they have had them (maybe I've just never seen it...). They are confined to a dusty (or muddy, depending on the weather) round pen. Occasionally they get turned out into a square pasture that isn't much larger than the round pen. I have never seen them graze--their other livestock get that privilege.
I help them out sometimes. They don't know how to adjust bridles or anything...I helped them out quite a bit when they first started out. I'm more than glad to help, but I wish there was more I could do. It's not like I could call animal control or anything...they aren't severely malnourished or anything. Not really anything I can do, except help them when they need it.
I think you should send her the link to this page. It may be hard, or even outrageous at this moment in time to do so, but it will in the end help all three horses. I fear for the foal, and mare. There's a stallion turned out with er... What if he becomes aggressive and murders said foal? How awful would that be?
Email her the link to this thread. If that doesn't work, contact an authority figure and ask to remain anonymous. You have to take the initiative before it gets too late and something happens to the horses when you didn't speak up.
really sorry about that, you sound like you know what you are talking about and you friend.... really does sound like she should be owning horses. contact a local welfare organisation if you can espically if the ponies are at risk :(
Contact the authorities and they will evaluate the situation. However, be prepared for the end result to be other than what you think it should be. Provided she is meeting the absolute minimum requirements per your local regulations, they will not just swoop in and save the animals - in fact, even if she is NOT meeting some of those minimums, they may still leave the animals and approach it as a "wait and see" situation wherein they will lay out requirements for change to her and a time limit in which to make the changes. The key thing is that you do have to go into it knowing that often our assessment of what is acceptable or not and the legal assessment are going to be two different things. If that turns out to be the case it won't be because the authorities don't care, but that their hands are tied in what they can/can't consider actionable based on the letter of the regulations they are bound to.
Either way, getting them involved now at least puts the situation on their radar.
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