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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everybody, I am sorry if this text is a bit hard to understand, I struggle with long stories and get a bit lost in them. I am really looking for some advice on what to do about this situation as I am giving up and just crying as I have formed a big bond with this horse now and I can't just leave him like this but also can't risk my own little mare if this horses owner won't budge. So here it is:
Disclaimer:: none of this is meant to sound rude or attacking towards this horses owner, but with also the opinions of vets and trainers I am worried.

Almost two years ago at my old stall, I noticed an old gelding that was glued to my mares side who had looked neglected and found out the owner never comes. I had gotten in contact with the owner and had gotten permission to take care of him and work with him.

Over time he got a lot better and looked great! I wanted to move stalls because it seemed like my stall had kept taking on horses they couldn't handle and there wasn't enough hay for everybody and since both my mare and that gelding have laminitis, they are only allowed hay and absolutely no grass. I convinced the owner to move stalls with me since she never came anyway and I was the one looking after him and he was very alone without my mare since for some reason none of the herds accepted him. We moved and everything was great but now to the actual problem.

This horse is 25 and has chronic laminitis, his hoofs are still horrible and I had agreed with the owner to put him and my horse on some pellets with vitamins and stuff to help the hoof growth. She now won't let me do groundwork with him anymore saying, well he almost died a few years ago so I wanna be soft on him... I don't do hard work with him, I almost ever got him to canter as he wasn't capable yet, mostly trot, and he got better, his walk improved a lot as he was gaining the strength to not fall over his own feet anymore. She doesn't agree with me, she also refuses to let me get a vet to help him with a blockage in his back saying she wants to do it the 'soft' way and herself, mind you she's a physio for humans.

Also, she stopped giving him the hoof vitamins and he instead now gets a mixture of oats. Now, laminitis horses should only get hay, no added sugars or carbs or fruits or vegetables nothing just hay is best for them. What she is giving him is the worst ever. He is a Haflinger, Haflinger need literally nothing but hay, I talked to my vet and showed her his food, and she said that it is very dangerous, she wouldn't even give this to a healthy Haflinger not even to a different breed horse that isn't that good at keeping a lot of weight. She said that these types of mixtures are so dangerous that it isn't even allowed at where she boards her horse. Now, this horse is only getting grain that is the first thing you are told not to give a laminitis horse.

I have lost the right to do 20min of groundwork with him so he's only standing all day, and he is still in pain most likely as she is refusing to get his back fixed. She's basically letting him rot away, I have spoken to my trainer as to my vet and they both agree and I keep trying to talk to her or have her have a conversation with a vet about this but she refuses saying she knows best. She sees this horse once a year. It is her horse and I have to respect her choices but I am the one who sees him almost every day and has taken care of him for two years and in all this time I saw her 3 times total and 2 of those time were when we moved the horses and when we looked at the new stall. I keep trying to talk to her about all this and she ignores it. I don't know what to try anymore.

She also repeatedly admits that she doesn't have the money or time for him and I pay for vet and hoofsmith for two years now ( not because I wanted to but because she was never available and I couldn't just have his hoofs horrible), but every time I have tried to offer to buy him off of her with her still being able to see him any time she'd like she has refused. I am at a loss and I am starting to have to move stalls as the stall owner keeps giving the vibe that she doesn't want my horse there anymore and new health issues have come up where a different stall would be better for her.

I don't want to leave gelding behind but I can't risk my own horse getting worse and I also don't wanna watch him rot away when I am not allowed to help him. I took him with me because I wanted to help him and I did, but now that she has forbid me of working with him and that she is giving him this grain that's horrible for him and ignoring everything I say. I can't help him anymore and she's not changing her mind. I don't know what to do.
 

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If this could be proven as a neglect case, could the authorities like some sort or animal welfare get involved? I'm not really sure how badly you want to pursue this. It would take a lot of time, energy and most likely be stressful.

I think the only thing you can do is find a suitable place for your horse. It's really tough because you have gotten emotionally attached to the little gelding. It is a very sad situation.

I wish you luck going forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If this could be proven as a neglect case, could the authorities like some sort or animal welfare get involved? I'm not really sure how badly you want to pursue this. It would take a lot of time, energy and most likely be stressful.

I think the only thing you can do is find a suitable place for your horse. It's really tough because you have gotten emotionally attached to the little gelding. It is a very sad situation.

I wish you luck going forward.
Thank you for your reply! The issue is that the stall we are in is a community. and by Austrian law, the person who takes care of the horse, in this case, would be the stall owner. Legally she could make decisions for the owner as the owner isn't very involved. Even though I am the one taking care of him, legally proven can only be the stall owner as the horse's owner never wanted to get a contract. I thought about having it proven as a neglect case with the backing of a vet but do not think that it would be effective as many will ignore his chronic illness and as there is also a lot worse out there than him sadly. I have also thought about trying to buy him off of her (with her still being able to see him whenever she'd like) with a quite larger amount than he would be 'worth' as I know that she is struggling financially, I just don't know how to bring that up without her feeling attacked. I don't want to take him away from her and she rescued him when he was younger but she just has no experience with horses and barely knows him and won't believe my experience just because I am younger. What I cannot understand at all is how someone can ignore vets telling them that what they are doing is shortening their horse's life by years. I just can't wrap my head around that.

Anyway, thank you so much for responding! I really appreciate it.
 

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So I have a good idea for you, especially if you know she's struggling financially.

I was going to suggest you request a trial for 6 month full lease. Basically you offer to take over full care and costs but she keeps ownership rights and she can set out in a contract what you can and cannot do with him. Feed him X, muck him out twice daily, XYZ turnout so on so forth. When 6 months is up review it with her.

Now another thing. You have probably pushed too hard and done too much on your own which is why she is distancing you. Its so hard. You make someone feel neglectful or even abusive (even if its true) and they'll usually shut the door in your face. Most people can't face truth. That's why she probably doesn't turn up regularly. Out of sight out of mind. You keep pointing out negatives, so she probably doesn't even want to interact with you (even if they are true!).

You need to make her feel like she is doing everything she possibly can given her circumstances. For example I will say "I notice you don't come that often - it must be so hard with your work/distance/kids" (even if its a lie, we both know they just can't be bothered).

"Thank you so much for everything and allowing me to be involved in your geldings life. I was hoping you might consider the following proposal instead, as I know you don't want to part with your baby... what about a 6 month trial full lease? I'll take over all costs, farrier, veterinary and whatnot but you keep ownership rights and can set the terms of the contract. You can specify exactly what you do and do not want in his general care. We will make it official and everything and then review it in 6 months. As you would still be the owner you keep full control. The reason I ask is because your gelding is in love with my mare and I think they are such a good match. I wouldn't want you worrying about his future so I'd be really happy for you to keep ownership rights. I'll take care of him day to day and you can make the big decisions, bit like we already are. This way you can get all the good points of ownership and none of the expenses! Its the least I could do after all the joy he has brought my mare and I, thanks to his amazing rescue mum!'

In bold are bits that I think are important to say. It really is HOW you say it.

The next step. Kill her with kindness. Send her photos every single day. I care for a friends two horses and another mare (similar situation to yours). I am an over-communicator. I send pictures regularly and update regularly. I butter it up and then some, even if I don't agree with the terms laid out.

Lastly ask for less and be specific. "I know you don't want him doing anything strenuous, what about a 5min walk around X? No trotting, nothing, just a little hand walk". Do it. Stick to it. Be honest. Keep at it for ages and then say "I noticed on our last few walks gelding wanted to go a bit further so I let him stay out a few more minutes, I hope that's ok. He really loved it!" (then send a picture of him happy faced). If she really doesn't come around then what you do in your free time is up to you, but better that prying eyes are aware you have permission.

I think its too early to mess with things around her back. Try the stuff above. Don't BUY him, instead full lease him. She still owns him but you get full control in his day to day care, within reason depending on her terms. Mention in your contract that you'll care for him in line with owners request and veterinary advice. So if you change his feed then you have that to fall back on IF* she finds out later. "The vet advised against this feed and you have been so busy and he improved so much... blah blah blah". In this scenario, if successful, its better to lay low for many months without bringing up new ideas and risk her pulling the plug.

Anyway. Take a guess how many neglectful owners I've had to coerce over the years? >.< Good luck!

ps if the feed really is as bad as you say. I know someone once that with someone elses animal (not a horse) would prep their food just as the owner liked it. But when this person went to feed the animal 90% ended up in a bag. That would end up in a public bin. No idea how it got there of course. Why this animal was being fed crisps/chips as a staple meal who knows...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I have a good idea for you, especially if you know she's struggling financially.

I was going to suggest you request a trial for 6 month full lease. Basically you offer to take over full care and costs but she keeps ownership rights and she can set out in a contract what you can and cannot do with him. Feed him X, muck him out twice daily, XYZ turnout so on so forth. When 6 months is up review it with her.

Now another thing. You have probably pushed too hard and done too much on your own which is why she is distancing you. Its so hard. You make someone feel neglectful or even abusive (even if its true) and they'll usually shut the door in your face. Most people can't face truth. That's why she probably doesn't turn up regularly. Out of sight out of mind. You keep pointing out negatives, so she probably doesn't even want to interact with you (even if they are true!).

You need to make her feel like she is doing everything she possibly can given her circumstances. For example I will say "I notice you don't come that often - it must be so hard with your work/distance/kids" (even if its a lie, we both know they just can't be bothered).

"Thank you so much for everything and allowing me to be involved in your geldings life. I was hoping you might consider the following proposal instead, as I know you don't want to part with your baby... what about a 6 month trial full lease? I'll take over all costs, farrier, veterinary and whatnot but you keep ownership rights and can set the terms of the contract. You can specify exactly what you do and do not want in his general care. We will make it official and everything and then review it in 6 months. As you would still be the owner you keep full control. The reason I ask is because your gelding is in love with my mare and I think they are such a good match. I wouldn't want you worrying about his future so I'd be really happy for you to keep ownership rights. This way you can get all the good points of ownership and none of the expenses! Its the least I could do after all the joy he has brought my mare and I, thanks to his amazing rescue mum!'

In bold are bits that I think are important to say. It really is HOW you say it.

The next step. Kill her with kindness. Send her photos every single day. I care for a friends two horses and another mare (similar situation to yours). I am an over-communicator. I send pictures regularly and update regularly. I butter it up and then some, even if I don't agree with the terms laid out.

Lastly ask for less and be specific. "I know you don't want him doing anything strenuous, what about a 5min walk around X? No trotting, nothing, just a little hand walk". Do it. Stick to it. Be honest. Keep at it for ages and then say "I noticed on our last few walks gelding wanted to go a bit further so I let him stay out a few more minutes, I hope that's ok. He really loved it!" (then send a picture of him happy faced). If she really doesn't come around then what you do in your free time is up to you, but better that prying eyes are aware you have permission.

I think its too early to mess with things around her back. Try the stuff above. Don't BUY him, instead full lease him. She still owns him but you get full control in his day to day care, within reason depending on her terms. Mention in your contract that you'll care for him in line with owners request and veterinary advice. So if you change his feed then you have that to fall back on IF* she finds out later. "The vet advised against this feed and you have been so busy and he improved so much... blah blah blah". In this scenario, if successful, its better to lay low for many months without bringing up new ideas and risk her pulling the plug.

Anyway. Take a guess how many neglectful owners I've had to coerce over the years? >.< Good luck!
Thank you so much!!!! Issue is we wanted to lease since we also offered to pay the difference to the old stall so that she doesn't have to pay more than before, she agreed but when it came to the contract she ignored it. She doesn't turn up cause she doesn't have the time for him, even before she met me she only came if even once a year according to stall owners. I have also never actually told her that she's doing something wrong. What bothers me is that I am helping because I offered, no one asked me and I am not getting anything out of this and she will stand before me saying she wishes that I took care of her horse as I take care of mine. First of all I do, but secondly, shes not letting me take that good care of him and also its not like shes paying me to take care of him. Also I sadly don't have time to stay the for 6 more months as I would have to move my mare in the next month as my current stall owner is refusing to give her the supplements twice a day which she desperately needs for her liver right now. I also already pay all his vet and farrier fees and send her pictures and updates multiple times a week that she doesn't reply to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I have a good idea for you, especially if you know she's struggling financially.

I was going to suggest you request a trial for 6 month full lease. Basically you offer to take over full care and costs but she keeps ownership rights and she can set out in a contract what you can and cannot do with him. Feed him X, muck him out twice daily, XYZ turnout so on so forth. When 6 months is up review it with her.

Now another thing. You have probably pushed too hard and done too much on your own which is why she is distancing you. Its so hard. You make someone feel neglectful or even abusive (even if its true) and they'll usually shut the door in your face. Most people can't face truth. That's why she probably doesn't turn up regularly. Out of sight out of mind. You keep pointing out negatives, so she probably doesn't even want to interact with you (even if they are true!).

You need to make her feel like she is doing everything she possibly can given her circumstances. For example I will say "I notice you don't come that often - it must be so hard with your work/distance/kids" (even if its a lie, we both know they just can't be bothered).

"Thank you so much for everything and allowing me to be involved in your geldings life. I was hoping you might consider the following proposal instead, as I know you don't want to part with your baby... what about a 6 month trial full lease? I'll take over all costs, farrier, veterinary and whatnot but you keep ownership rights and can set the terms of the contract. You can specify exactly what you do and do not want in his general care. We will make it official and everything and then review it in 6 months. As you would still be the owner you keep full control. The reason I ask is because your gelding is in love with my mare and I think they are such a good match. I wouldn't want you worrying about his future so I'd be really happy for you to keep ownership rights. I'll take care of him day to day and you can make the big decisions, bit like we already are. This way you can get all the good points of ownership and none of the expenses! Its the least I could do after all the joy he has brought my mare and I, thanks to his amazing rescue mum!'

In bold are bits that I think are important to say. It really is HOW you say it.

The next step. Kill her with kindness. Send her photos every single day. I care for a friends two horses and another mare (similar situation to yours). I am an over-communicator. I send pictures regularly and update regularly. I butter it up and then some, even if I don't agree with the terms laid out.

Lastly ask for less and be specific. "I know you don't want him doing anything strenuous, what about a 5min walk around X? No trotting, nothing, just a little hand walk". Do it. Stick to it. Be honest. Keep at it for ages and then say "I noticed on our last few walks gelding wanted to go a bit further so I let him stay out a few more minutes, I hope that's ok. He really loved it!" (then send a picture of him happy faced). If she really doesn't come around then what you do in your free time is up to you, but better that prying eyes are aware you have permission.

I think its too early to mess with things around her back. Try the stuff above. Don't BUY him, instead full lease him. She still owns him but you get full control in his day to day care, within reason depending on her terms. Mention in your contract that you'll care for him in line with owners request and veterinary advice. So if you change his feed then you have that to fall back on IF* she finds out later. "The vet advised against this feed and you have been so busy and he improved so much... blah blah blah". In this scenario, if successful, its better to lay low for many months without bringing up new ideas and risk her pulling the plug.

Anyway. Take a guess how many neglectful owners I've had to coerce over the years? >.< Good luck!

ps if the feed really is as bad as you say. I know someone once that with someone elses animal (not a horse) would prep their food just as the owner liked it. But when this person went to feed the animal 90% ended up in a bag. That would end up in a public bin. No idea how it got there of course. Why this animal was being fed crisps/chips as a staple meal who knows...
But Thank you so much, this is honestly some of the best advice someones giving me so far. About the feed, sadly the stall owner gives him his feed and the stall owner sees eye to eye with the horses owner as she herself as two horses who have been visibly sick a while now that she wont get a vet out to see either.
 

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But Thank you so much, this is honestly some of the best advice someones giving me so far. About the feed, sadly the stall owner gives him his feed and the stall owner sees eye to eye with the horses owner as she herself as two horses who have been visibly sick a while now that she wont get a vet out to see either.
Do what you have to for your mare - at least then one of them will live a good life. It is really heart breaking. All I can suggest is once you move talk about how amazing your new place is. Offer her to join you - you'd be willing to take over his care and other expenses. Remind her that the stall owner is making a profit whereas you care like a friend and family of her and her gelding. I would try, like I imagine you will. I am really soft when it comes to old horses. Such sweet creatures that give so much of their lives so often just get dumped and forgotten isn't it? :< Good luck with your mare!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do what you have to for your mare - at least then one of them will live a good life. It is really heart breaking. All I can suggest is once you move talk about how amazing your new place is. Offer her to join you - you'd be willing to take over his care and other expenses. Remind her that the stall owner is making a profit whereas you care like a friend and family of her and her gelding. I would try, like I imagine you will. I am really soft when it comes to old horses. Such sweet creatures that give so much of their lives so often just get dumped and forgotten isn't it? :< Good luck with your mare!
I will and thank you so so much for the help and support, I myself am a big softy for everything as well, I also recently took in a young horse that was neglected all its life, my mare was a rescue too and all the other animal family members. But thank you so much, I will definitely keep trying to help that gelding and just hope that his owner will be able to see past her pride someday!
 

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This story makes me mad - I don’t know how a horse owner could visit 3 times in one year and yet not want the assistance you are offering. I don’t see anything positive coming of this ongoing relationship. If you can’t buy him, you can ask for the lease but without any unreasonable conditions - you need to be able to care for the horse appropriately. If she won’t agree, your only option would be to call animal control or just move on.
 

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I have zero patience with people who don’t take proper care of their animals. If animal control won’t help, I’d call the local sheriff; my husband and I have done so in the past with good results.
This may seem extreme but I have tears in my eyes thinking of this poor creature. Special blessing upon you for caring so deeply; please let us know how this pans out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have zero patience with people who don’t take proper care of their animals. If animal control won’t help, I’d call the local sheriff; my husband and I have done so in the past with good results.
This may seem extreme but I have tears in my eyes thinking of this poor creature. Special blessing upon you for caring so deeply; please let us know how this pans out.
Thank you for your reply! Believe me, if that would help i would, but i know if i tried and it wouldn’t work than all hope of getting him is gone. Honestly, i have one last idea and hope it will work because i’m up almost every night just balling cause i love that horse so much, but my vet also told me that it’s not enough for a animal control and our police in austria couldn’t care less, especially about horses as they are seen as worm animals and someone who doesn’t know anything about horses wouldn’t see any issue at all.
 

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You mention the idea of buying him for more than he's worth. If it were me -- and I can only speak for me, obviously -- that's what I'd do. Use wording similar to what Kalraii suggested. Thank her for letting him be part of your life. He and your mare are such good friends, you think they maybe even have a crush on each other, unfortunately you need to move your mare to a new place but you actually think that her health might suffer if she was separated from her buddy, and your sure he would miss her, too. Maybe something about how you know that she's been worried about his health and that this might be a great source of stress for her, but you think you're up to the challenge? (I'm not sure about that, I'm good with words but not with understanding how people work. Nothing that would make her feel like you think she's done a bad job, but something that would make her think that it would be good for her to part with him.) You understand that he's her baby, but you just love him so much, you would very much like to buy him. You would be happy to compensate her with [large sum of money], and of course she'd be able to visit him whenever she wants, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You mention the idea of buying him for more than he's worth. If it were me -- and I can only speak for me, obviously -- that's what I'd do. Use wording similar to what Kalraii suggested. Thank her for letting him be part of your life. He and your mare are such good friends, you think they maybe even have a crush on each other, unfortunately you need to move your mare to a new place but you actually think that her health might suffer if she was separated from her buddy, and your sure he would miss her, too. Maybe something about how you know that she's been worried about his health and that this might be a great source of stress for her, but you think you're up to the challenge? (I'm not sure about that, I'm good with words but not with understanding how people work. Nothing that would make her feel like you think she's done a bad job, but something that would make her think that it would be good for her to part with him.) You understand that he's her baby, but you just love him so much, you would very much like to buy him. You would be happy to compensate her with [large sum of money], and of course, she'd be able to visit him whenever she wants, etc.
That's exactly what I was gonna do actually since especially the gelding is actually even more attached to my mare and the gelding's owner is the one who told me that he gets very bad health-wise when he's depressed. And as she knows how attached he is to my mare ( follows her around, goes crazy when I take her without him to cleaning area), and as she is the one who told me about how emotional of a horse he is, I will lead with that as that is the only pull I have with her. Also, money does change how people react so we will see.

Thank you so much for your reply!!!!! :)
 

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Of course! I put more emphasis your mare because I think it makes it seem like she'd be doing you a favor, which could soothe any ruffled feathers, but obviously word things the way that you think will work best! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Of course! I put more emphasis your mare because I think it makes it seem like she'd be doing you a favor, which could soothe any ruffled feathers, but obviously word things the way that you think will work best! Good luck!
Thank you!! That's a great idea:)
 
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