Monday, December 8, 2008

A wolf in sheep's clothing

It amazes me what people are capable of. Both good and bad. It takes an incidence such as this to bring out the good and ultimately uncover the bad. Unfortunately this one happened to be at the expense of a young Thoroughbred gelding.

It was by accident that he came into my life. A passing conversation at a Christmas party between a friend and myself. Do I want another rehab horse? NO. I have no room at the inn. I'm full. "It's a Thoroughbred" she says.... she has my attention now. Maybe it was the few drinks I had - but I was compelled by her story of this horse. She offers to take one of my rehabs that is well on her way to getting better. It's a good trade. I knew from her story that this horse needed me. I would go see him the following morning. The trade would be complete that day.

He arrived sometime in September at my friend's boarding facility after the racing season ended for the year. He came with the promise of a feed schedule and some alfalfa hay as to not upset the diet he had been on. The young Thoroughbred was supposedly a "rescue" from a local race track. The individual responsible for this horse would be moving him within 6 weeks and this was to be only a temporary, emergency, situation. He was going to be euthanized after a botched spinal tap was administered at the track. Muscles in his hindquarters had started deteriorating apparently rendering him "useless" as a racehorse - disposable. By moving him to my friend's barn, he had been given a second chance, his future was looking bright.

Rescue is a big commitment. I am not going to get into everything it involves but it pretty much takes up a good amount of time and money. If you are like me, and not made of money, you can pretty much forget about that new pair of shoes you've been eyeing. You start calculating in your head how many alfalfa bales you could buy instead of that pretty sweater, and you find yourself shopping online for horse needs instead of your own. You sometimes pass on going to happy hour because you know you need to clean the stalls or hand walk a horse. Never mind that you are sick with walking pneumonia (which I am now) or you just don't feel like going to the barn. You don't have that luxury. You are committed to the care and well being of your rescue animals. Weather you board or not, in the end, it is YOUR responsibility. So I guess you would think this rescue had been an act of good faith - in the horse's best interest. After rescuing this horse from euthanasia - a commitment would have made to have a financial responsibility, not to mention a time commitment for the care of this horse. If not, then why rescue in the first place?

Fast forward to December - the barn owner desperately has been trying to contact this individual for months on the deteriorating condition of her horse. No feed schedule had been given, no alfalfa hay had been left, no visits were made and no board was paid. A name wasn't even worth passing along and for months he went without one. He was dumped. He had originally been put on grass hay and a "normal" ration of grain. After noticing significant weight loss, grain was increased. He kept losing.

There has been absolutely NO responsibility taken for this horse by his "rescuer". So I keep asking myself the questions: Why rescue this horse if there is no intent on following through with the care? What sort of individual would take advantage of a friend and dump all financial responsibilities on them? And lastly... What kind of person would ignore warnings that this horse has significantly lost weight and was in need of vet care? How do you rescue a horse only to let it die?

I am angry but I will not name names. I know the person who dumped this horse. Someone who claims to be a horse lover - who has a few others of her own. A former member of an organization I am involved with. She is well liked and has many friends. I wonder what her friends and peers would think if they knew she dumped this horse? She should not be allowed to own horses, but this is only my opinion. I am allowed to have an opinion about this because I am cleaning up her crap - her throwaway - her discarded piece of trash. How else could she view this horse? She posts on the internet how she is having a great day - while her horse suffers. How can she feed her other horses knowing this one is in need of vet care? Why is this one so much less important to her? What did he do to deserve to be treated like yesterday's garbage? It's pathetic. I am angry. I have a right to be.


Cheryl said...

I no longer have any disposable income. Board, feed, trims, saddles. All my horses are rescues, too! I won't change my life now for anything. I love my horses! Stop by and take a look at my blog: I also have a thoroughbred, Gigondas. She was rescued from a feedlot, along with a 2 year old appendix horse, Beauty. Beauty is now rideable and Gigondas will be saddled and ridden next summer by my cousin, who trained Beauty. Beauty didn't have any issues, but Gigondas was very wary of humans and it took us 2 years to be able to touch her all over and be comfortable around her! GOOD LUCK! I've added you to my fav blogs!

horse lover said...

I hope saving scotty is succsesful.
GOOD LUCK! I am rooting for you!

Strum Bum said...

Hi Annie,
I just stumbled across your blog. My name here is the name of the horse I saved from Justin. He became my respondsiblity when he sent him to phoenix on a trailer with no where to go. He is still racing...he never looked as bad as God. But all the same he didnt care he was sending a viable horse to the kill. Strum is still racing and doing well...;)