Ignorant horse owners, rant! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 10-14-2020, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Ignorant horse owners, rant!

Something that drives me nuts about some people is how they'll buy a a farm, a horse, sometimes several horses, and not do ANY research and make no effort to educate themselves about horse ownership. It makes me want to tear my hair out!

I was talking to someone recently who needs help putting weight on their very skinny, kill pen thoroughbred. My conversation went like this:

"what kind of grain do you feed him?"

"I don't know"

"okay, how much grain do you feed him?"

"oh I don't know, a couple of handfuls"

"well because he's so thin, he will probably need to be blanketed for the winter. How heavy is the blanket you currently have?

"I don't know"

"Has this horse had its teeth floated? Vaccines? A vet check?"

"what? You have to do that every year?"

It took me all of 30 seconds to check what this person feeds and the weight of the blanket. The blanket turned out to be a lightweight one with 100g of fill, and they feed the cheapest sweet feed their local feed store has to offer. These were very basic things a horse owner should know! Upon saying they should give this horse a higher quality feed if they wanted to see more weight gain, and they were incensed. They claimed to not be able to afford the extra ten bucks per bag of feed, yet they got this emaciated horse who's riddled with rain rot.

And this is a common occurrence!

I don't want to bash people who are trying, but come on, there's no excuse in this day and age to be so uneducated about an animal you purchased! You have a supercomputer in your back pocket, can't you Google how to put weight on a horse? Or why your horse has crust all over its back that bleeds when you pick at it?

It's not rocket science... It's so easy to educate yourself.
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post #2 of 36 Old 10-14-2020, 02:41 PM
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That's very sad. I hope they manage to follow up with some of your suggestions.
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post #3 of 36 Old 10-14-2020, 02:47 PM
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Lack of available information is rarely the reason people remain ignorant these days. You know that saying about leading a horse to water?

There are probably other reasons, possibly legitimate reasons, that she isn't treating her horse right. Lack of money, for example, or pressures on her from some source you don't know about.

Maybe you could ask her if there is anything she needs in order to help her horse.

Short horse lover
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post #4 of 36 Old 10-14-2020, 02:51 PM
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Getting a horse when you're new to them, it's a steep learning curve. I've been there. You just can't learn everything about everything all at once. At least this horse isn't on a truck to Mexico. She's trying to help him.

You can try to give her advice, but you want to be tactful. And compassionate.
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"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
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post #5 of 36 Old 10-14-2020, 03:17 PM
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Iím with @Ratlady on this one.

Donít be bringing home a half starved 1,000 pound animal that you know nothing about without some Experienced backup. A vet might do for starters. If you donít have money for the basics and your finances were on shaky ground to begin with, donít ďsaveĒ a horse because you will end up causing the horse more grief.

I no longer have any sort of patience for this kind of ďsavingĒ, or people who buy nice horses and donít have a clue what to do with them in terms of training ó and blame everything on the horse instead of squarely on themselves where it belongs.

@Ratlady , if the person wonít take any of your suggestions, itís going to be tough but you will probably have to turn your back. Animal Control will likely think feeding a gallon of cheap-butt sweet feed is better than the kill pen, so long as the horse has water and some hay, regardless how crappy it looks and how much lack of energy it has:(:(

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #6 of 36 Old 10-14-2020, 03:31 PM
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@walkinthewalk I understand where you're coming from, but criticizing someone because they feed cheapo swill brand and not frou frou equine brand, and aren't using the kind of blanket you think they should be using -- I mean, this owner IS feeding him and she IS blanketing him. All of us can criticize others because we don't think their choices are adequate. I could criticize someone because they only blanket and don't add a neck covering, or because they only feed frou frou equine feed, and not frou frou equine extra feed, y'know?

It's not surprising to me that someone would be "incensed" if you come at them with an attitude of criticizing their choices. Maybe I'm sensitive because I'm a relatively new horse person, but I never really appreciated being criticized for my choices, especially since, as we all know, most things aren't that simple, and most horse people will never agree that there is one answer for every situation anyways.

There's a difference between actual neglect and someone just not making choices you agree with.

The vet, the farrier, of course. Those need to get done. But you can mention these things nicely. I think people are more receptive to kindness than criticism; and just like with horses, you need to pick your battles. If you pick someone apart for every choice that they make, then they are going to dismiss everything you say. So what's the point?

"Saddle fit -- it's a no brainer!"" - random person
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post #7 of 36 Old 10-14-2020, 03:44 PM
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It is a skill. Offhandedly asking "oh when was her teeth last done?"

Them : "what you have to do it ever year?!"

Me: "well I didn't think so either but when I got my vet out she told me off and said it needs doing sometimes every 6 months or yearly.. mine had ulcers because I'd left it over a year. It explained why she was so reluctant with the bit..." (even if its a complete lie or twist). I make up some horror story it makes me out to be a partner in ignorance, so to speak, and I'm just passing on my hard learned lessons...

me continuing... [I]"and I also had no clue about rugs you know how it is to be overwhelmed when you're new.. So expensive too! Here... here's a handy chart I still use to figure out when to rug."

And THEN (weeks later)... "I'm gonna get a fecal exam and/or worm, do you want me to see if they do a discount if we both get them? Yeah I have do mine twice a year the worms are bad here and it's way easier to keep weight on when I changed do *insert feed plan* and stay ontop of worming. You should have seen her before"....

The above is a complete fabrication but that's how I approach almost most owners (of many species) when you have to toe the line so to speak. But inside I'd like to shake and scream at them too :P But in reality I'd rather be on their side and do some good for the animal that way. Berating and judging rarely improves a situation in my experience. But it's hard. And emotionally exhausting.
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post #8 of 36 Old 10-14-2020, 03:49 PM
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There a big difference between someone trying their darndest to shorten the learning curve and someone who is trying to bring a horse back to good health as cheap as they can and in the most minimalist of ways. Cheap doesnít cut it when the horse already has three strikes against it.

Itís one thing when someone honestly listens and tries, as opposed to that person who does what I call the bobbing dog head, turns around and keeps doing what they are doing because itís cheap but by gosh, they saved the horse from the kill pen for at least 90 days until they figure out they donít know as much as they thought they did, and theyíre now looking for a free home for the horse.

And yes, if I could lobby to successfully ban that gawd-awful sweet feed, I would do it in a New York Minute. Horses do better on a lesser amount of quality feed than a gallon of Hi-C and a bag of Hershey bars, which is what sweet feed pretty much is to a horse:)

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #9 of 36 Old 10-14-2020, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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With the person I'm referring to in particular, money is definitely an issue. However, that's definitely not always the case. Sometimes I wonder if they just can't be bothered to change their ways. Many, many poor horse people take fantastic care of their animals!

I would never admonish someone for not buying the most expensive brand name tack or feed for their horses. I'm the queen of cheap, my saddles are all dinosaurs, I buy blankets on clearance or used and douse them in tent waterproofing spray until they stand up on their own. But I can read labels and Google what the heck 450 grams of fill means if I'm confused.

But when it comes to horse keeping, there's things you can't cut corners on. Like healthcare, a well fitting saddle, things like that. If money is really that big of an issue, can you do a Google search first and see if bringing home an emaciated OTTB is right for you?

I probably could've been more tactful in my approach... And I recognize that it's a huge learning curve to own horses. But people all too often buy horses without leasing, taking lessons, or so much as petting a friends horse first. If I held the hand and helped buy feed for every first time horse owner with a basket case on their hands, I'd go broke myself.

It's exhausting.
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post #10 of 36 Old 10-14-2020, 05:59 PM
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Hmmm....my horses had their teeth checked for the first time in 4 years this summer. First time in years I could FIND someone to do it. Oddly enough, they needed very little. Checked them for beans at the same time. First time in 4 years. Didn't have any. Mostly live on Bermuda hay, with a snack of pelleted hay feed once/day. No grain. Ever. Had a "chiropractor" out once. She poked Mia in the withers and said Mia's reaction showed Mia needed work. I offered to ram MY thumb into HER shoulders and see if SHE needed work. She left in a huff, unpaid.

I agree folks need to take their responsibility seriously, and that too many do not. But...my horses have never seen a saddle fitter. I don't know of any within 150 miles of me anyways. They have something of a no-frills life but they all seem happy enough. All are in good health. Did I mention they haven't had shots in years?

PS: I took lessons for a few months. Can't say I learned much useful from them. Certainly nothing I use in my daily riding.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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