Early last summer, I went with some barn buddies to look at a possible new horse for the barn owner's husband. This place was in a not-so-rural area where backyard owners were packed together in tiny little 3-5 acre plots of land. The lack of space wouldn't have been so bad if they were actually nice, but it was basically a dump.
Okay, so my mom and I are approaching the driveway and we happen to glance across the street to a neighbor's pasture and we saw what looked like a dead horse. It wasn't just lying down, but its nose was pointed up and its legs were stiff, as if rigor mortis had set in. Scared the shit out of me.
We walked up to meet the guy with the horse for sale and asked him about the neighbor's horse, and he was like "Oh, he does that a lot."
Well... okay. We go look at this horse, who happened to be a paint mare who really wasn't anything special, so they weren't real interested. (The guy also has two ugly, hyperactive Thoroughbreds in the nasty little mud pasture. Eww.) So, we go back to our vehicles and I look across the street again... and the horse is standing. Standing rocked way back on his heels and to any good horse person it would have screamed LAMINITIS. I looked at that horse for half a second and knew he was foundering. Bad.
I told the guy, and he just shrugged and said the horse stood like that a lot.
My barn owner walks over and gets a hold of this old guy who owns the horse (who I saw was a dark bay Arabian, probably beautiful at one time) and he says he knows the horse founders a lot and just keeps him to keep his other horse company. The other horse was a 32-year-old appaloosa who was blind and so swaybacked it was like a perfect U.
Is he too besotted to realize how much his horse is suffering or does he just not care? All I can say is that it's a damn good thing for him that I wasn't the one who approached him because I would have skinned his ass raw. I regret not doing so. I've never seen a horse that lame in my life.
We called Animal Services and some chick drove out to see him as we were leaving. She was on the phone with my mom and said she couldn't do anything because the horse was a good weight and there was hay in the pasture.
Dammit, if only I could have gone back and chewed her ass out until she did something about it. I wasn't the one driving, unfortunately. One thing I hate about my city is that the animal control here is a joke. I've called in abuse/neglect cases several times and they did nothing. Bunch of clowns...
And I worry about the horses that other guy owns. If he can't recognize a condition like laminitis, he has no business having horses. And how long had that been going on while everybody watched and did nothing? I can guarantee you it wasn't just a few weeks. I bet that horse had been foundering for months, and with no vet or ferrier care. Makes me absolutely sick. I truly hope that horse has since passed. He needed to be euthanized badly, but I bet that never happened because his shithead owner was too cruel to give him the time of day.
I can't stand backyard owners. This is the kind of shit that happens when dumbass idiots get horses. They don't know shit about horses and often times the horse suffers for it.
And you know what disturbs me the most? The worst any horse abusers get is a slap on the wrist from animal control and then they go about their merry way. No justice. None. Because apparently tormenting animals isn't a big deal to the shithead directors and judges here. That's why it never stops. People are never punished. It's never going to stop unless the laws are enforced.