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I have a 2 year old shire, who has never worn a coat in his life. At the moment he looks more like a bear than a horse!
However, this morning I turned him out in the snow. (A sight to behold! He loves it! ) I got a call at 10:30 am from my farm owner telling me to bring him in.

Our neighbours have called the RSPCA because he wasn't wearing a coat?

Where do I stand with this? I feel like I need to inform my neighbours that shire horses don't need coats!

I'm more than happy to have the RSPCA pay us a visit, because as far as I'm concern, my boy is - as far as I'm concerned - very very happy and we'll looked after! I don't know when I can and can't turn him out in case we're going to end up with the RSPCA here every time I out him in a field.

What would you guys do?

Thank you! Phoebe
 

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Let them come. I'd look up laws where you are, but here in the States, as long as the basic needs are met (food, water and shelter), there's nothing the authorities can do.

Also, blankets/coats aren't necessarily a good thing for horses. Their coats are made to withstand the elements and keep them insulated and warm. Putting on a blanket inhibits the growth of that natural protection and flattens the coat that is there, which makes it so it can't do it's insulating job as well.

My gelding has never worn a blanket and never will. He looks like a wooly mammoth in winter and is a pain to groom/shed out in the spring, but he loves the cold.
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On the one hand, I would call the RSPCA myself and ask them exactly what the complaint was that was reported against me, and give my side of the story.

On the other hand, these days you just can't trust the actions of some of these organizations as they are often filled with people who have extreme views regarding animal welfare. I don't really know what to tell you.
 

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It's completely up to the owner whether they want to blanket or not (unless the horse has a health or medical issue that requires a blanket to help him).

My horse has never worn a blanket either (or that I know of). So while the neighbor's horses are in big blankets and boot wraps, or whatever they're called, my horse is out there with nothing on but a nature-grown coat - and he does absolutely fine.
 

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OP I really have no clue what you're concerned about - the RSPCA might come out to see if there's a chance that the horse is being deprived of food, water or adequate shelter and when they don't find any of those things they will simply walk away and tell your neighbor that there's nothing to worry about so they don't have to waste any more of their precious time - which they seem to think is better spent spying on their local hunts.
 

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Let them come, you can't stop them anyway. They'll see he has a good natural coat & they will tell the complainers to shut up. If they get further complaints about the same thing they'll stop it there & not bother you.
 

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RSPCA are a waste of space and they know almost nothing about horses. Meet them, discuss your horse but be aware they are powerless unless your horse is without feed or water as Jaydee says. It might be a good idea to have a frank and educational chat with your neighbours though at some point.
 

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i don't necessarily provide my horses with shelter
there is a walk in 3-stall structure
there are woods

they are happy, well-fed, and well watered
i never blanket them, even when it gets down to 15 degrees (very very rare)
they are very hairy right now, and probably considered fat
 

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What ever you do, don't do something that will build a long term bad relation with your neighbor. let the RSPC come , don't ask them much aobut the complaint. they probably are not at liberty to discuss it anyway. they'll see the horse is ok, roll their eyes for their time having been wasted, and they will report to the nosy neighbor.

I'd never raise the subject again. pretend it never happened, and maybe the neighbors will turn out to be good neighbors.

if they did somethig like that again, I'd Let Them Have it!!!
 

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If you are caring for your horse, then you have nothing to fear. If they even bother coming out, be friendly, show them around and call it a day. It's better to be friendly with them just like it's better to be friendly with police.

In my area, the AC will rarely ever do anything for horses because they cost too much to care for if seized. I called them in to look at two severely overweight donkeys with slipper hooves and was told they were healthy and well cared for.
 

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What ever you do, don't do something that will build a long term bad relation with your neighbor. let the RSPC come , don't ask them much aobut the complaint. they probably are not at liberty to discuss it anyway. they'll see the horse is ok, roll their eyes for their time having been wasted, and they will report to the nosy neighbor.

I'd never raise the subject again. pretend it never happened, and maybe the neighbors will turn out to be good neighbors.

if they did somethig like that again, I'd Let Them Have it!!!

Often The RSPCA are so poorly clued up on horses that they may think like the neighbour and suggest it should be rugged.
You have to be prepared to be enlightening as their lack of horse knowledge can be shocking (unless you are lucky enough to get an officer who knows more than just liking cats).
 

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Likely the complainant has no clue about horse care. You know, one of those people that ask why the horse needs his eyes protected from then sun (he's wearing a fly mask).

Let them come. Let it go. Maybe in your travels you will have an opportunity to nicely explain to the complainants how your horse is well cared for. If they are nice, just ignorant, who knows -- maybe they'll be happy to learn more and you'll have a new friend? Maybe they actually like animals and aren't just out to tick people off.
 

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I wouldn't call them. I would just do what I'm doing and if they come they come. The "caller" may have not even called, it could be just someone spouting off, to stir up trouble.
Just let it lie, and if they come, they may ride by and not even stop, show them around, be nice, and you'll probably not hear from them again. (if you ever do in the first place)
Im sure the RSPCA see enough of bad situations, that your place will look like heaven.
 

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The RSPCA get thousands of calls from do gooders who claim a horse is abused because its not in a stable on a duvet with gloves on its ears. They will most definitely not come out to see your horse unless the owner says there is a dead fox tied to it.
 

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Situations like this make me wonder if people complain that cattle aren't blanketed, or goats or any other farm animals.....why do they think horses are any less equipped by Mother Nature to cope with the weather.

Fay
 

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Because too many owners try to turn them into big puppies. What's the general public to think?
 
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