Horse help!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Pinenot, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Pinenot

    Pinenot Songster

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    Sep 11, 2007
    I got new neighbors this last spring and a couple months later they bought 3 horses. Well I never saw them interact with them. They don't get riden or petted. I asked my husband this last summer if they just ate grass? I really don't know a lot about horses. We do have goats and I assumed they were a like. My husband said yes they will eat the pasture and maybe some pellet, if they give them to them. I saw the horses break down a potty pond gate to get to the water. This winter I never saw any hay, on this 2-3 acre lot, for them to eat. I never saw anyone come out to water them...well they just burried the 2nd horse. The other one was burried a few weeks ago. Now I feel really bad for not listening to my gut feeling. They have the third horse in their barn. I don't know if they are feeding it in there or not. I am just sick to my stomach. I just can't stand this!

    How can I approach this situation? I don't want to just let it go but I don't want to but in someone elses business, if it is a very innocent happening. What should I do?
     
  2. Nick

    Nick Songster

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    Call the ASPCA.
    Those horses should have hay. I also feed some grain/pellets to mine
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Well, on the one hand, many horses can do fine on just good grass in summer and hay in winter. And of course, horses do die sometimes. Especially if these are perhaps very elderly.

    Were the horses outside 24/7 or were they put in the barn at night (at which point they presumably got hay). And if so, how *long* a night -- it is one thing for a horse to go without hay for 6-8 hrs, it is another thing entirely for him to go without hay for 10 or 20 hours. I will tell you that my horses, who are healthy and happy, live outside 24/7 and this time of year I out out measured amounts of hay 3 times a day, it takes them something like 1-2 hrs to mostly finish it each time, so that if you looked at the pasture inbetween times, or if you didn't look closely, you might easily not notice them getting hay.

    OTOH, having no water available is a BIG PROBLEM, and losing two horses in a month, along with the other issues, certainly makes me go Hmmmm.

    Under the circumstances, I think I'd personally be inclined to call the local SPCA or equivalent and see if they can send someone around. Just tell them what you told us, explain that you don't know enough about horses to tell whether they were thin but given that you haven't seen hay or water and two have died, you feel perhaps they should check it out. They probably will. Your neighbor will probably not like it. However, SPCA type folks generally will not divulge who made the complaint, and as long as the horses are visible from the road, it could have been anyone, right? And I *do* think there's a good enough chance the remaining horse may be in trouble that it's worth calling.

    You *could* talk to the neighbors yourself. The difficulty, aside from the obvious social awkwardness of course, is that if you're not used to horses enough to be able to tell whether they're healthy or not, then even if you got to SEE the horse in the barn, it wouldn't necessarily tell you anything one way or the other.

    Good luck to you, and to your neighbor's horse, and bless you for caring about them,

    Pat
     
  4. Pinenot

    Pinenot Songster

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    I actually hadn't seen the other two horses out in the field in the last few weeks. They have been shut up in that barn. They haven't had any access to the field that I know of. I am here all the time.

    They didn't droop in the back like an older horse would, so I think they are fairly young, or at least not old yet.

    I just want to walk over there and look. I won't but good grief! I will talk this over with hubby when he gets home. I don't want my neighbors to get mad, but I don't want an animal to suffer.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Not all older horses are swaybacked, by any means.

    If you should get a chance to look closely at the horses, you'd be looking for things like:

    --visible 'washboardy' ribs. Mind, horses in reasonably decent condition may still look a bit ribby, but if you can very conspicuously see ribs despite a long fuzzy winter coat, or if you see ribs along any of the UPPER half of the body (sort of 'above the waterline', so to speak), then it is almost certainly a seriously thin horse.

    --thin neck, and pointy top of hindquarters, and pointy rather than rounded butt (the farthest-back part of haunches, on either side of tail - the part that would hit the wall first if the horse backed up too far, you know?)

    --deeply sunken recesses above eyes. Note that this is often present on older horses even if they are in pretty good health, but if you do *not* see deep hollows above the eyes, the horses are probably not really all that thin.

    Also you would look for whether there is major amounts of discharge from eyes or nostrils, just like with goats. A bit of 'sleep' or snot is fine, but it shouldn't be really disgusting.

    Honestly, I'd just call the SPCA, your neighbor is unlikely to ever find out who called 'em, whereas if you go over there, it becomes more awkward, you know?

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

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    Try Animal Control if you don't have a local chapter of the ASPCA. They'll come and look, take photos, and counsel the owners before removing the animals. As shocking as it sounds, there are folks out there that actually do have good intentions, they are just not educated on how to care for horses. IMO, there's absolutely NO excuse for this; but it happens. You'll never forgive yourself if you see the third one being buried.
     
  7. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    I would call the local authority (animal control, SPCA, etc). They can investigate without naming you as the whistle blower.

    I agree - not all elderly horses 'look' old, and there might be some good reason for the deaths...you'll never know. It never hurts to report someone, either they're in the wrong and the last horse can be saved or there's no problem. Either way it puts your mind at ease to know you did what you could.
     
  8. dreamgirl

    dreamgirl Songster

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    I work for a horse rescue and advise calling ASAP. If it is nothing, no harm done, but you may save a life. You can try the local Humane Society, ASPCA, sherrif's dept, horse rescue, dog control or tooper's office depending on your localle. Even from a distance you should be able to see if they are bony--hips shoulders and ribs in particular-- and see if thier hooves curve up like jester shoes. No water is a BIG issue. Whoever you talk to will ask about their physical condition and access to shelter, food and water. Good luck!
     
  9. Pinenot

    Pinenot Songster

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    Sep 11, 2007
    Thanks! I am scared to death that I am going to make enimies of my neighbors. I may have to call from a friends home.
    They have that other horse in the barn, so I can't look at it. I am hopeing for a warm day and maybe they will put it outside.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

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    Please don't wait any longer. Use a cell - it can't be traced. They won't tell who the call came from (or at least they're not supposed to).

    There was an incident several years ago in my town, just a few miles from my house, but a road I never go down. I WISH I'd have known...an appaloosa colt that struck out at his owner's daughter when she went to feed him ended up starving to death. Rumor had it the owners paid a ton of $ for him, but the daugher (who they put in charge of him) decided not to feed him any longer because he'd struck out at her. They had another horse that the daughter fed every day. Can you imagine, that poor colt watching the girl walk past his paddock twice a day with hay and grain, and him not getting any? The colt died of starvation. Can you imagine how long it took for this to happen? Animal control came out when someone finally reported the horse lying dead in his paddock, and they pressed charges. Good for them to be punished, but too late for the poor colt.
     

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