My heart breaks for horses

18 01 2009

So There have been some recent “dramas” at my stable. A few weeks ago, a man came to our stable and begged to put his new horse up there for a couple of weeks. He was unable to get the horse in the trailer to go get a Coggins test to take the horse out of state. But now the horse was in a trailer, but needed a temporary home for two weeks. I had no idea about this whole situation, I just saw the new horse.

This weekend, I was reading my book with Picasso when I heard men talking up by the barn. About 30 minutes later, I walked up. I noticed a new trailer. Being curious, I went over to look at it. I was horrified to find a horse inside the trailer! Totally unhooked trailer! I eventually got the stable owner on the phone and informed her of the new arrival. She was pissed. Neither one of us knew where this horse came from, but she guessed it as the same man who had the other horse mentioned above. He had called her earlier to say he was in town and was gong to drop his trailer off. No mention of a horse….. I pulled the horse out, he was very thin and had several cuts around his face and eyes. About 30 minutes later, the stable owner showed up. She eventually found the man and he came out.

This man has no horse experience and he is hauling these two horses around the country. The poor guy was “had” by two separate horse people. The first person sold him a dangerous horse saying he was rideable. The second sold him an 8 yr old Quarter Horse which turns out to be a late teens Thoroughbred. It infuriates me when people take advantage of others…. The first horse, dropped off several weeks earlier used to belong to the stable owner’s neighbor. After hearing some horror stories about this horse, we all told this man he was dealing with a very dangerous experienced-person-only kind of horse. He was told this horse had broken two trainers’ hips and hurt several people. He was shocked and sad to hear these stories.

The man asked me for a lesson with this horse. A quick lesson on horse behavior and ground work. I showed up this morning to give him a lesson. We talked about why a horse would be put off by just jumping on him and why (I thought) this horse behaved this way. I explained it was highly likely this horse was forced to do a lot of things he didn’t like, and that he had learned that if he acted violently, people would leave him alone.

We took the horse out and I explained the finer points of horse communication, showing him when the horse was irritated and when he was being accepting. We pulled the trailer out and I said lets just let him look at it, not asking him for anything. I walked him passed the trailer door a bunch of times, never making him stop or go toward it. I needed to leave and told the man to not do any more trailer work, but to just graze the horse. He should bond with the horse and make friends.

I left feeling like I had taught this guy something valuable and hopefully he would give this horse the time he needed to heal.

My heart breaks for this horse. He deserves a person who will give him the time to earn his trust. I have this horrible feeling that he will really hurt this man. I desperately wish I could take him. He deserves so much more.

I shall recount what happens tomorrow…..

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