Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Being Responsible for your Animals

To be, or not to be, a responsible large animal caregiver, this is what I want to literally rant about in this post.  Please don't get me wrong, I am fully aware that not all people with horses have equal finances with which to care for their animals.  However, I have seen horse owners with small budgets prioritize the care of their animals.  It is possible!
In today's economy I see more and more horses that are getting very little care.  Some don't appear to be getting any care at all.  They are out on poor pasture, totally ignored, and basically abandoned.  Abandonment is defined as:  Having been given up and left alone.  Horse abandonment is on the rise across the USA, according to livestock and agricultural officials.  As the economy worsens and the cost of feeding and caring for horses rises, more people are abandoning their animals into the wild, where many starve and die.

These are my neighbors horses.  This photo was taken about three years ago, right after we moved to Colorado.  For the most part my neighbors horses have been abandoned.  I really do not want to appear judgmental, but I have neighbors who, in my opinion, should not have horses. Pardon me, but here is where I climb up on the proverbial soap box.

These two bored animals, without much else to do or eat, have gnawed most of the fence posts literally to the ground.

The wooden parts of their little shelter (no trees, no other way to get out of the rain, snow and the wind) has also been devoured.  The neighbors have unsuccessfully tried to reinforce it with scrap metal.  To my eyes, not only is it downright ugly, it surely looks like an accident about to happen.   :o(

Three years after the first  photo of the horses was taken, they have totally chewed the fences to the point that they no longer are fenced onto their own two acre pasture.  (At least for the present time they have something to eat).  Here they are happily grazing on the pasture of the adjoining 100 acre cattle ranch...Still very much ignored, and basically abandoned. 

Okay, go ahead, call me the neighbor with nothing better to do than worry about my neighbors horses, but I just don't understand why these people even have horses.  Other than, and I quote them, " They got a real deal...two horses and two goats, for next to nothing!"   Gosh, anybody with any horse-sense knows that the purchase of the horse should be the cheapest thing they will ever do when it comes to keeping the horse.

Thank you all for letting me blow off some steam.  I think I feel a little better now.


  1. Beautiful animals. Poor things. Makes you want to horsenap them and find them a better home.

  2. I've been a 'neighbor' to this sort of thing. In the past I've tried to help my equine neighbor out.
    They didn't listen.
    In fact they moved...took their equines with them.

    All equines did die. I don't know the cause...they were moved to another county.

    If I began to tally the $ I spent on my critters,...~~well, let's just say~~ I could have bought a Rolls Royce cheaper.

    My critters count.
    And yes we have to watch out for our fellow neighbors who may not always know better.

    Good post.

  3. I have written so many letters to judges in regards to various horse abuse cases. It is indeed growing, and so horribly sad. I'm glad you posted what is going on. Life is not always pretty.

  4. Yes we too have dealt with persons not taking care of there 4 legged friends - dogs and cats included. But recently a person we know left a halter on a colt he had no business even having and it got caught in the fence and broke it's neck. He didn't find it as he was way too busy getting drunk. Friends found it and had it taken care of. I immediately called the local shelter as his old gelding was skin and bones and still had quite a lot of winter hair growth the middle of June - reckon hadn't been wormed. I only keep track of how much it costs to feed these equine as that is part of our farm expenses. Thanks mj. I guess I had to get onto my soap box too.