Opinions needed as soon as possible! Severe boarding problems! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 09-30-2014, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: MI
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Exclamation Opinions needed as soon as possible! Severe boarding problems!

Okay, I'd typed out the whole story once, and it took me an hour on my iPad...then it somehow all deleted when I tried to submit it. So, let me ask what I need to without the whole story.

I am boarding two horses at a facility I'd worked at over summer. Since I'm there more, I've noticed several problems. However, the worst is definitely the part I'm concerned about. The horses haven't been fed multiple times, and I've been lied to each time I've questioned it. I have actual proof of this, and several witnesses. When they are fed, they're not being fed nearly enough. All of the horses have lost weight. Not just a little. When my horse first got there, he was a bit overweight actually. Now, his backbone, hips, and ribs are starting to stick out quite a bit. I got him two months ago... My mare hasn't been there a month yet, and her ribs are starting to show. Four horses are in severe shape, to the point where it makes me cry in frustration when I see them. I don't believe they'll make it through a Michigan winter. Especially the one mare. Her eyes are yellowing, she's practically a skeleton, and she's gone down several times. She can hardly stand on her own. I have pictures from when I first started there versus now. At the time, I was told the few who were underweight had medical issues that were bing taken care of. Now, I know better.

If I call animal control, will they do anything? She has about fifty bales of hay, and last I knew, some grain. However, it's not used often. I can't actually check the grain because it's locked up. The hay is too, but it is easy to see through the wire. The grain is in metal cans. The pastures are empty of anything but dirt, mud, and rocks. So, even when they are fed, it isn't nearly enough. At most, she gives the horses four flakes a day. It's poor quality hay, and the flakes are tiny. They get about four pounds of grain a day, if they're lucky. The mare I mentioned is getting two pounds of grain and a flake daily (that's what the feeding chart calls for anyway) when she is fed by them. I give them a little extra grain when I can, but I can't afford to feed thirteen horses properly, plus pay board.

The horses are eating the wood on the stalls, fences, etc. They're eating their own manure they're so hungry. They're getting really pushy too in their search for food. Not only are they suffering from hunger, but someone is going to get hurt if this doesn't end. Well, more than I already have been. They shove against the gates when you go to open the gates, and run to their stalls, waiting to be fed. Or, they'll search the ground for every single strand of hay they can find.

I am taking my horses and leaving, but I hate leaving the rest. They're good horses, and I'll admit to having grown attached the horribly underweight mare. I don't want them to die or anything because I'm not all over the people feeding anymore. But, I was told if there was hay and grain, animal control probably wouldn't do more than give a warning. Like I said, I have evidence of the feeding issues, the weight changes over the last few months, and I have all of the excuses she's given me that are easily disproven. What do you guys think? Could I get her for neglect?
UnwindingDream is offline  
post #2 of 29 Old 09-30-2014, 09:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
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Ultimately aren't the owners are responsible for the care of their horses? You are taking that responsibility by moving your horses. I'm not sure that SPCA could actually do anything because the BO is only responsible for the care of the horses by legal contract. IMO, the owners need to act by either moving their horses or requiring action by the BO mandated by a court. Whether that action be to properly care for the horses as per contract terms or provide the food so that the owners can feed their horses.

Worth a phone call though. The worst SPCA will do is say they can't touch it. Maybe they will still consider a site visit which will result in documentation.

I would be encouraging all the owners to be ACTING NOW. They need to move their horses, or provide feed and care directly to their horses on their own immediately. They can go to the courts for costs, but the primary action needs to be care of the animals.
NorthernMama is offline  
post #3 of 29 Old 09-30-2014, 09:29 PM
Join Date: May 2011
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Definitely call animal control!
Clayton Taffy is offline  
post #4 of 29 Old 09-30-2014, 11:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: NE Florida
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Call AC, SPCA, and any other animal welfare group in your area, even equine rescues.

Show them your photo's and if you have them text or email records of conversations, maybe record conversations if you can.

Take pictures of the locked up feed, empty buckets, nets, feeders. Of the horses eating wood and manure. Actually video recordings are better if you can get them.

Try whatever you can to make a difference. If AC, SPCA etc refuse to do anything call a local news station, make it hard on the BO, to the point they have to properly care for the animals or the bad press will put them out of business,

"They see me rollin, They hatin, Patrolling they tryin to catch me ridin dirty"
Horseychick87 is offline  
post #5 of 29 Old 10-01-2014, 01:42 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: california
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are there contracts stating who supplies the feed and how much is fed ? If she is the person responsible for feed, then she should get cited. She is refusing proper care.
If you know the owners, contact them and say your horse is being starved , go check on it.
if the owners know this is going on and find no issue with the animals being starved then they could also be charged with animal cruelty.
stevenson is offline  
post #6 of 29 Old 10-01-2014, 02:11 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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What a rotten situation to find yourself in! Do the other owners ever come to check on their horses? Do they seem aware of what is going on? Have you, or will you, speak to them, once you have your own two horses safely out?
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tinyliny is offline  
post #7 of 29 Old 10-01-2014, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: MI
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Most of the new people have absolutely no knowledge of horses and believe everything is being properly taken care of. They've bought into any line she's given them. Anytime I've tried to see what they think about the conditions, they just rave about how amazing this lady is.

A few of the really bad horses are rarely seen by their owners. However, one of them did see their horse recently, and didn't seem phased. He rode his horse even with his backbone sticking out and every rib showing.

Another one of the owners is in charge of the feeding on occasion. She truly doesn't find her horse to be underweight even though he's in the same boat as the last one I mentioned!

In the boarding contract it says she's supposed to supply hay and grain. She's also supposed to feed twice daily, which hasn't happened often lately. However, there is no set amount listed and I'm afraid that will get her off the hook.

And this isn't accidental. It's been brought up multiple times by people who ended up leaving recently and myself. She just sends back an excuse that doesn't even match what happened and moves on with a smile on her face.

If she thinks anyone is displeased with her, she'll claim to be willing to have a vet run tests on any horse or whatever she can. Then, it never happens. She's constantly lying about their care.

She claimed the horses weren't actually eating the manure. They're scavenging for undigested grain because they're pigs. They sift through it... I've witnessed them eating clumps. It isn't searching for anything. It's actually devouring the piles. One of the many lies I've been told lately.

I'm afraid they'll start caring for the horses once I'm gone due to expecting me to contact someone. Then, nothing will be done when animal control or whoever sees that they're "changing their ways". She'll be off the hook to do it again to even more horses if that happens.

She did the same thing just two weeks ago. It lasted less than two days due to me holding myself in check. If I would have reacted how she thought I would, I truly think it would have either lasted longer or I would have been banned until my horses were moved. She begged my father to stay, and made all kinds of promises. It even looked somewhat promising. They got extra food, and some barn improvements were made. Literally two days later, and it all went back to the usual.

They've fixed a few leaks in the roof, and built up a few stalls. But, the feeding is still an issue, and stalls and water buckets aren't being cleaned very well or as often as they're supposed to be. No vet has come to do any tests. The people who ended up taking over the morning feeding seem to be more than okay with their instructions, which apparently now doesn't include hay in the morning. The night shift is now the people who we'd complained about not feeding on multiple occasions.

I feel like action should be taken, but I'm terrified it won't be enough. I won't have access to the barn once my horses are gone. I don't know what will happen if someone goes to investigate and sees her little act she pulls rather than what is truly happening.,
UnwindingDream is offline  
post #8 of 29 Old 10-01-2014, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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I'd wind up telling her that a lawsuit is in the offing, for failure to provide adequate care. That might shake her up.

Saddlebag is offline  
post #9 of 29 Old 10-01-2014, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Jun 2014
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None of this drama is needed! If you don't like the service simply move your horse and this time pick a higher quality place. Any place that allows boarders to work off board or doesn't have a clean neat professional staffed barn is a
Red flag right there.
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BugZapper89 is offline  
post #10 of 29 Old 10-01-2014, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BugZapper89 View Post
Any place that allows boarders to work off board or doesn't have a clean neat professional staffed barn is a
Red flag right there.
^Not true. What do you think working students do?

OP- I am sorry you are in this position. Move your horse and call AC.
updownrider is offline  

animal control , animal cruelty , boarding horses , neglect , underweight horse

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