Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Addressing emails re: Tangled tale

Today, I am addressing some emails I got about my previous post here, the one titled "A tangled tale"

I received several that were along the lines of "you're a terrible person!" and "he's a nice guy" and "that's not a nice thing to do!"

Ok let me answer this way:

To those of you who think I went way overboard with the posting, I ask you to consider what is better here-that the whole thing gets swept under the rug? Or that an unsuspecting horse owner is made aware of it?

If the "nice guy" gets a pass on this behavior....what else might he do, or not do, to others? It is somehow okay that horses were without shelter, or water, or feed, or were mismanaged, or lost a LOT of body weight, just because he's a nice guy? It's all okay because he has the feed store? Has a 4-H club? Whats your criteria for a boarding operator anyway, one wonders.

If you think I am a terrible person for bringing this from the rumor mill to the harsh light of public scrutiny, I don't know what to tell you-you are missing the point here entirely. And that point is this:

Know who you are placing your horse with. Check references, ask questions, and do not essentially abandon your horses with a stranger-no matter how nice and charismatic the operator, or what line of BS you were fed about the place.

Look at what happened to Wingnut as an example-just one, out of many. She survived, but another horse on the property did not. All the money that was "saved" by cheap board just proves you get what you pay for. Especially when it comes to quality horse care up here. If the boarding fee sounds like a really good deal-it's worth investigating why. If you are satisfied with the answers, so be it.

And if you are at ease with no shelter, marginal care and supervision...then you get what you deserve. But your horses DO NOT deserve it-it is still your responsibility as owner to watch out for them.

If these were your children, would you leave them there in his care? I would hope not!


mbd said...

You know, I normally try very hard to stay out of our local horse community disputes, spats, arguments, whatever you choose to call them. It's a very small community with more than the average ego quota, so it's just not worth it.

I ride, train, and take lessons without regard to anybody's opinion by mine and the horses. It's just easier.

But, this I have heartburn over. Did everybody forget the bottom line here? In the words of my dad, and a lot of smarter horsemen than me: IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT THE HORSE, STUPID.

Not name calling. Not who did what to whom (or didn't) and for how much. Not taking boarders, getting students, having mares stood to your stallion, or how pretty your facility is.

If somebody is running a facility that is detrimental to the health of horses, they should be outed.

What's the hard part about this?

So who are these people sending indignant emails?

It's not the horses, that's for sure.

suvalley said...

mbd, I thank you.

I cannot tell you how much it means, that at least one other person has the cojones to tell it like it is...sing it, sista! (um, er, brotha if that's the case ;))

You are absolutely correct, it is not so much about scumbags and hoarders, ignorance, apathy, greed and the whole gamut of human failings. It isn't about the people or what they do-

It is, as it has always been for me, about the horse!

If no one takes a stand, if no one speaks for them....then what? More of the same? And this is acceptable?

Whether you have a humble place, or a Disney barn-we are not different than anywhere in the US. Tiny lot or huge ranch, you can find equally as good of care (or better) in the ramshackle place held together with baling twine, as you can find in professionally landscaped arenas with video monitors, walls of mirrors and a crew of barn help to sweep up every last stray wisp of hay twice a day.

I have my preferences and they don't suit everyone, and that is just fine with me. But people like Leta Belardi and Mark Figelski? They deservce to be outed, and talked about. If you don't want to talk about them-then talk about those poor horses. And make a vow to see to it that your own horse-never suffers the same treatment. Not ever.

(Sorry, ya hit a vein here!)

Missy said...

WRG,mbd,I'm just like you know stuff is going on out there,you can only sit back,listen,watch,read,throw up,then you come out,claws and hoofs flying,same old shit,different day,and place,and it's not going to stop until the penalties,become more sever{?}. A forty or fifty dollar fine is nothing,they will go off and cont. with the shit!Breaks my heart to,99%of the time,I stay in my world,and take care of my four,and tune the rest out,or I would have 644 + to take care of.

mbd said...

TJ - I'm still apalled that people would be ranting at you -- although I shouldn't be. People never cease to amaze me. You didn't even name the guy in the original post!

I board right now, and I'm very fortunate in that it's an excellent facility for my needs. But I'm still there every possible day and although I love the BO, I never take anything for granted.

Thank you for doing what you do. I know it doesn't always win you friends, but keeping the horses' best interests at heart is what it's supposed to be all about.

Do I sound like a broken record?

Now, can you tackle all the free and cheap old (or lame) horses on Craigslist that are looking for 'good homes' because the owners are too cheap / lazy / blissfully ignorant to humanely euthanize, or find someone who will, before winter sets in?

There's a subject that can get my blood pressure up 40 points in the time it takes to read the ads ....

I have been known to email sellers with the suggestion that I can put them in touch with numerous mushers who will respectfully take their horse and do what's right. Do you know what a horrible, awful, mean person I am to even SUGGEST such a thing for old Dobbin? It's horrible! It's mean! He just needs somebody to take care of him because I can't anymore!


Hell, I'll guest blog, for free, about when it's time, facing up to it, and where to go for help.

Yes, I love my horses. Unfortunately, that does not let me slither away and hide under the nearest rock when it becomes brutally apparent that ol' Dobbin ain't gonna make it another winter. Then it's time to step up and pay back all the years and miles that Dobbin gave me, and give the final gift of taking their pain away (and, as a friend says, making it mine).

If you can't handle it, get out of horses.

Wow. What DO you put in these blogs, anyway? Geez, kinda got me on a roll ....

suvalley said...

mbd, feel free to compose a guest can email it to

suvalley at gmail dot com

I would be delighted to share whatever you have to say :)