Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Being unreasonable

I see examples of being unreasonable all over the place-and not just at the grocery store :)

But I had a specific situation in mind this morning. A regular topic on this blog is the mare I fondly call "Wingnut"

Really, she's a sweetheart of a mare, with a great temperament and attitude. Curious, friendly, and oh so smart-she's much more like a gelding in that way than the majority of mares I have spent time around-or owned for that matter. She may have arrived with the ground manners of a troll, but with some gentle, consistent handling she's turned into a good horse. She still needs some education on the ground (such as getting past her fear of the hose so she can be bathed without a bucket) but the outright panic over a blanket, her flight response to a correction with a lead rope and whatnot, have disappeared for good. She hasn't a mean bone in her body, although she does have her moments when she just needs to bust loose and let go of excess energy. When that happens, she spends about a half hour bombing around at high speed, and can sometimes be difficult to stop. This is just a result of my high caliber diet, her personality, and a youthful exuberance.

So I have fully recovered this mare now, she looks great. Just needs to get that muscling in the right spots which will come only through proper exercise. I have pretty much financed the recovery out of my own pocket, and it hasn't been cheap. The owner is unable to pay full board due to health and income reasons, and I have been urging a lease or sale.

The owner adamantly refuses to sell the horse, which is where being unreasonable touches this situation. I understand the emotional support that just owning horses gives to someone in distress. There is nothing quite like the "pay off" you get from a good cry on your horses' mane-cheaper than psychologists is what I tell folks who wonder what the attraction is :)

So while I can see the need to hang on, on the other hand I feel it's unreasonable to expect someone else to fund that support. It's unreasonable to presume that an 8 year old grade mare, with little basic training, who recieves no attention whatever from her owner, is magically going to be cared for for free. No one wants to make the emotional or financial investment into a horse they do not own or want.

Compassion for the owner and the horse, is why Wingnut is happily munching away on breakfast in the sunshine at my place right now. It's why I agreed to take her back when I first learned of the impoundment and her condition. It's why I have offered to help place her into some other situation since the owner cannot afford full board. It's why I emailed a large number of folks in the horse community about her, and spent quite a bit of time typing responses, emailing photos and genreally doing what I can to make the best of an uncertain situation.

It's unreasonable to expect the perfect person will step forward in these economic times. It's unreasonable to expect me to care for the horse either. It's unreasonable to expect anyone to lease given her shortcomings, given the number of horses available right now with real training. It's unreasonable that the owner cannot even manage a phone call, cannot manage to groom her horse, cannot manage to take any active part whatever in the horse. Any communication is done through a third party, which is also unreasonable.

Is it so unreasonable that I am about to lose my temper over this? Probably not! Would I blame the horse? Of course not-she's a peach-or will be with the right person. What's unreasonable is that I seem to have the entire thing in my lap, by default.


Lori said...

A little frustrating...kind of a catch 22.
Is the owner able to help out at all?

Eventually you may have to give the owner a reality check even if she isn't in the best position for one.
It really is unreasonalbe to expect you to continue to pay for the feed on a horse you don't even own or have not been relinquished ownership to.
You fulfilled your commitment on this, that is, the rescue and recovery of the horse. At this point I believe you are being taken advantage of or your a crutch for this person.
Owning a horse is a big responsibility...for the owner. All who own horses (and animals) need to come to terms with this.

suvalley said...

They can afford $200 a month towards her care, and that's it.

I am still lobbying to get the owner to let go of the horse, instead of my having to get her legally. Sigh.