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post #21 of 58 Old 06-18-2013, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by dbarabians View Post
I dont know that I am comfortable labeling anyone a hoarder or backyard breeder.
I think that a hoarder is probably emotionally fragile or unstable.. I see it as an illness not a character flaw. Using the term hoarder IMO is dismissing the underlying problem that can probably be treated. It also highlights the ignorance most of us have about mental illness.
I do think with the advent of the internet, which by the way I am still stuck in the 20th century, a lot of people are reaching out and becoming more aware of the abuse and neglect of animals. That imo is a great thing. Shalom
I'm definitely comfortable labeling someone as a hoarder.....there is someone in my life who is a hoarder, she has managed to fill 6000sq/ft of space with all manner of junk, it's all organized and tidy, it covers the stairs, you can't enter rooms.......when the family comes to stay....they all (sometimes 10 people) stay with me in my three bedroom house...because this woman (and her husband) in a matter of five years have managed to fill every single bedroom in that house with gum wrappers, newspapers, cereal boxes etc.......this hoarding issue is one of the most selfish things people can do. Her grandchildren don't see her because she is too busy clipping coupons and buying junk at thrift stores while pleading poverty.....there is thousands and thousands of dollars worth of stuff in that house....this has been a very big bone of contention amongst family members and has nearly driven people to divorce.

Hoarding is a very very SELFISH condition.

From experience........
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post #22 of 58 Old 06-18-2013, 07:56 PM
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I don't like using the term hoarder in a thread like this- these people aren't hoarders (for the most part) so much as they are ignorant bleeding hearts. As has been said before, these people think they're doing these horses a favour by 'rescuing' them, but they're ignorant and don't realize they're doing more harm than good. In many cases if someone were to approach them and give them the information they needed I do think you would see a change in their behaviour. There is, imo, a difference between that and 'hoarding'. I DO know a 'family' (although it is just one member of the family) who I (from what I know, maybe DB can give some input here) would classify as hoarders. The number of horses they own is in the twenties (or more) all mares are bred, even if it means sneaking them in with their studs. Horses are bought to be 'resold' but they cannot bring themselves to let go of them, so they are put to pasture and another is brought to 'rehome' to continue the cycle. Hay will be bought before the necessities for their children, but even then they get the bare minimum, horses have died in the pasture and not been discovered for weeks or months. People have kept their horses at the farm, and not been able to get them back.

These are well educated horse people, and that is what I would call animal hoarding. They do the same with dogs, the number of dogs on their property is in the double digits, and while I have never been in their house I do suspect it's a similar situation inside. THAT is what I would call 'hoarding'.
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post #23 of 58 Old 06-18-2013, 08:22 PM
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Okay, at a proper computer keyboard now, I can relate the horse hoarding I know of personally. About 30 years, this lady was young, successful in AQHA showing & training, and had champion horses, and was making big bucks training, breeding & selling Quarter Horses. She and another lady decided to go into business together & bought an equestrian center up north from the lower mainland where land prices are much cheaper. Then horses prices fell, quite a bit, she kept her top dollar price tags and kept breeding, the equestrian centre needed a new well, new roof and major repair to the house on the property. Her business partner & her had a major falling out & left. Between that time and to about 15 years ago, I don't know what took place but I heard rumors here & there. The lady, I will call her T, took a job at the same place I work, great, I knew her from shows & I got along with her.
She knew my daughter was looking for a new horse, so she invited us out to her place to look at some horses of hers that she said would be suitable. After the ranch tour, I almost vomited. She had 6 stallions (former showhorses) in stalls with hugely overgrown hooves that she said had not been outside in over 10 years, she exercised them daily in the indoor arena (only longe, she doesn't ride anymore because she has a bad back), at least she said she did. She had about 10 two year old uncut colts in a rickety corral that wouldn't hold an old decrepid nag, never mind a herd of colts, which looked like unthrifty, wormy yearlings. All the fencing was falling down, or had fell down in individual paddocks, her pasture, which was her main herd's saving grace is about 75 acres with a creek, she ran about 30 mares & a few geldings on that land. All the pasture horses looked like they self trimmed their own hooves and were quite fat as the grass was quite lush at that time, most weren't ever halter trained. She grabbed one gelding from the herd, a 9 yr old, and said he was the horse for my daughter, greenbroke, huge ugly scar on his leg, but he was a nice looking horse, she wants $5000 for this horse because he was out of this champion or that champion or some bloodline, I forget. My daughter said as she was interested in showing, she really didn't want such a scarred up horse but she pointed to a shiny mare in the herd & said "She is pretty, has she been handled at all?" T replied, "No not yet, I want $10,000 for her, you can't replace her bloodlines"....or some such nonsense as that. She took us up to her barn appartment above the indoor arena (the house on the property was condemned & 1/2 torn down) to show us the papers on some horse, when we walked in I almost fainted, she was a hoarder!!! Filthy, clutter, cats, dogs, one eyed cats, one eyed dogs, feces, urine, I had to get out of there, now! We made our excuses & got the hell out of Dodge never to return again, my daughter was so mad at me for subjecting her to that.
We still worked at the same place together and winter came around, her water froze, I asked her how she was watering the horses, she said she hauled water out to them in her truck. I doubt that, she was the laziest thing going, around work, her clothes stunk, her hair was greasy. Since I was her boss, I told her to go have a shower before work (I work at a hotel with a pool, she can shower in the pool changing rooms), and make sure her clothes for work are washed by housekeeping and stay here and don't take them home. She agreed and complied. Somehow, she found a few people to board at her place, but one boarder came to talk to her while I was working and was mad, said their horses had no water and stalls hadn't been cleaned since they did it. She lost her boarders. Someone casually asked her about riding lessons as she used to teach, she quoted them a rate of $75 per session, using their own horse! Sorry, but you couldn't pay me $75 to go to her place again, never mind ride there!
Spring rolls around again, of course those ungelded colts all broke out & were breeding the mares, and she had no idea what was in foal or not. Her neighbor who I casually know, helped her bury a mare that laid down between two trees to foal & died. The coyotes were eating the foal that was half out of the dead mare! Then she tells me her mother is eating dogfood to pay the morgage on her place and she has no life outside her job & chores because every penny she has is spent on the horses, she said she makes great sacrifices for them. That was about all I could handle, I finally had to say something. I called her a selfish b*tch, and told her to call the SPCA to give all those horses away and sell her property and stay away from horses. NO, her horses were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars with irreplaceable bloodlines! I told her GOOD, THEN SELL SOME SO YOUR MOTHER CAN STOP EATING DOGFOOD! She was insulted (whatever!) and said she was going to get her brother to buy half interest in the equestrian centre.
Shortly after that, she got fired so I haven't seen her since but her neighbor keeps us informed. The SPCA seized 10 stallions from her barn, so I guess she added 4 more to the 6 I saw. The horses in the pasture were left. She lets people take the obviously pregnant mares, or mares with foals, and keep them until the foals are weaned, they keep the foals & give the mares back to her. Most of the those mare are emaciated when they arrive but are returned back to her in good flesh, so she figured out how to circumvent some problems. There is an old talkative farmer that delivers her roundbales that told me a story about her. He said all her horses are pretty skinny during the winter & they have no water, the creek is frozen so they eat snow and he doesn't put the roundbales out in the pasture, she wants them dumped outside the fence, she pitchforks off of it to them. He said there is no way that little amount of hay he sells her is anywhere near enough for all the horses she has. He saw a little skin & bones filly shivering off to the side and out of pity he asked her if she was for sale. Yes, but of course this filly has rare, irreplaceable bloodlines and $3000 is the price. He told me he laughed & said to her "That's for all the horses and the property too, right?"
So there's my experience with a horse hoarder and it still makes me ill thinking about it.
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Last edited by waresbear; 06-18-2013 at 08:30 PM.
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post #24 of 58 Old 06-18-2013, 08:28 PM
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Wares - that is an example of just how selfish and self serving hoarding is....sad story:( Thanks for sharing.
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post #25 of 58 Old 06-18-2013, 10:27 PM
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Anyone that keeps more animals than they have the time, money, and energy to take care of is a hoarder. I have seen it with dogs, cats, goats, horses, birds, and combinations of all of these. They have animals in filthy, half starved conditions.

On the other hand, I remember going to a lovely cattle farm. The owner enjoyed owning a lot of birds. He had an ostrich, peafowl, chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, and I am not sure what all else. There were several hundred birds. The place was really clean and all the birds were well fed and in good condition and appeared to be happy. He knew the history and lineage of each bird and took great pride in showing them off. This is not what I consider hoarding.

To me, you could be a pet hoarder if you only had 3 pets. Hoarding is having more pets than you can take care of.

Carpe Diem!
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post #26 of 58 Old 06-18-2013, 10:35 PM
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Hoarding can be a sign of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or a number of other mental health issues. Extremely low self esteem for one.
Like i said their is usually a mental disorder that underlies the behavior. Treat the disorder and the behavior can be modified.
slapping a label on someone does not change or address the condition that precludes the action.
A reasonable person would never place themselves or their animals in such a stressed enviroment without asking for help. Healthy well adjusted inviduals do not do this. Shalom
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post #27 of 58 Old 06-18-2013, 10:50 PM
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You can't be healthy & well adjusted living in animal urine & feces. You will get sick, physically & in the head.
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post #28 of 58 Old 06-18-2013, 10:59 PM
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We are a society of labels and its how we identify things - including problems like hoarding. Yes - there can be underlying causes and mental illness involved, but it is still hoarding. Since most of us are not professional psychiatrist - it is not our job to change, address, or treat the issue. However, since we DO have the label of hoarder and most of society understands a similar definition of it - we can use the term to describe situations plaguing our country and if its effecting a friend/family member - identify the symptom and either confront or try to get them help if possible.

I think part of the problem in this day and age is everyone wants to be PC and not step on any toes.
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All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #29 of 58 Old 06-18-2013, 11:12 PM
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I see it a lot in less extreme cases than the one wares has described. Recently, I was offered a wild yearling filly who had been rounded up with the rest of her herd and auctioned off by the government. For some reason, this filly had been separated from the rest of her herd and was being "sold" privately. The woman who offered her to me said she'd give her to me for free since she knew I'd provide a good home.

I agreed to go look at the filly, but before I did a neighbor called me up and says she saw the filly advertised and asked if I was still planning to go take a look at her. I said yes, and the neighbor kept mentioning her interest in the filly (and seemed to be fishing for something...) so I told her I wouldn't be offended if she went to look at her and decided to take her before I had seen her. The next day, the filly had been moved to her place. Literally a week later, I overheard the neighbor saying that she needed to go out of town with her mom because she didn't have enough money to pay for her own groceries if she stayed home alone. That being said, her animals always seem reasonably well cared for, thank goodness!

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post #30 of 58 Old 06-18-2013, 11:21 PM
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I will admit that when we bought Clementine and Levi - I had absolutely NO horse experience. Didn't know how to pick a hoof, how to tack up. We leased first, for a month, before buying. I am VERY glad that she was kept at the stable, getting food and water and whatnot, because I didn't know ANYTHING.

In the next week I spent HOURS looking up every single thing I could about horses. Days, even. All of my spare time went to looking things up, renting library books. I know impulsively buying animals is stupid, and I was bound to NOT be that person hwo neglects their animal because of it. I soaked up everything I could. There is SO MUCH to know. I had to learn everything - that they needed their hooves trimmed often, their teeth floated, their sheath cleaned, to be wormed, vaccinated in spring, that they are generally walking accidents waiting to happen.

I had to learn how to own a horse. How to train, how to ride. Everything. All by myself. (Okay, I took two lessons from a 17 year old girl. lol). Horse behavior, horse health. Signs of wellness and sickness. The delicate issue of respect between horse and rider.

You know what? I'm STILL learning. I learn new things often - thank god for this forum. Horses are SO MUCH more work than anybody would expect. More than I ever expected. I DID go into it thinking, oh how nice it'll be to have a horse to ride. I got on her the first time and was so happy that she was a good broke horse (HAHAHA.... yeah, not really). I hate that I went into this so blind, and I don't recommend it for anybody - and I'll be the first to sell her if I ever can't take care of her or afford her - we already sold Levi.

This is the problem. People who do what I did, and DON'T bother to look things up. People who go into it with the "a nice pony to ride" mentality and just kind of wing it. And then, because the horse doesn't die, they get another because the first one is still alive and kicking and seemingly well. And maybe another. And then, after everything starts piling up - horses going lame because their hooves are shot, horses losing weight because their teeth are tearing sores in their mouths, horses so bloated with worms that they aren't getting any nutrition - then they decide to try to hide it. Quick fixes, or breed them to sell the foals to get the money to keep them. Deny that it's that big of a deal because LOOK, they're still walking around!

Then there are the people who just buy them and breed them to make a 'quick buck' without any care for the horses at all. People suck - there will ALWAYS be those people. And I almost think that the reason it's so prevalent now is not necessarily because it's more common (though I'm sure it is to an extent, just look at how many free horses you can get on Craigslist) but you hear about it more. Social media makes it easy for stories like that to blow up instead of remaining hidden in someone's backyard.

It's always happened, and it always will. The only thing we can do is to NOT contribute to the problem, and call the ASPCA when necessary.
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