Horse Window Barn 745 - photo by Susan

Is My Horse Well Cared For?

For those of us that board our horses we put a lot of blind trust in people, we like to believe that our beloved horses are being cared for in a proper manner. We hope and pray that the barn management is honest. But what do you do when you suspect there is something just not right.

A friend of a friend overheard a tad bit of news one day while grooming her horse, it appeared that the barn staff had no clue she was there, as they went about joking and laughing about the “break out” that occurred a few nights back.

As she listened into the conversation, she gathered that a group of horses had managed to escape their pasture in the late hours of the night, there had been a storm and the power was out, eliminating the protective electric fencing and the heard took full advantage of the situation.

Being a long time horse person I know and understand stuff happens, I’ve been woke in the middle of the night by a police officer banging on my door to ask if the horse standing in the middle of the road was mine, “No, thank heavens!” but in my pj’s I dragged the unknown, scared and wet monster into my barn, tucked him in a stall, fed and watered him while the police office made a report. Two days later the owner showed up with a trailer and tears in her eyes. CRAP HAPPENS.

What bothered me, and the friend of a friend that told this story, was that the barn management never called the owners to let them know. A simple “Just an FYI, everyone is ok, but there was a jail break last night and your horse along with the rest of the pasture broke loose.” The barn staff that was overheard secretly talking about this made it clear they were given strict orders not to tell anyone.

My theory is that if they are quick to hide this incident they most likely hide other stuff.

It is things like this “Double Top Secret” mentality that makes me more aware and conscious of what is or isn’t shared within the barn. You may want to pay attention to whether or not “Little oopsies” are shared with yourself and/or fellow boarders. We all know the “Equine Rule”… that every horse is just looking for a weak gate to crash, or a dead wire to push over, or a faulty latch to remove, or a tree to slice open their skin, or a piece of anything sharp to step on, or .. well you get the picture. If NOTHING ever happens in your barn, and no one has EVER heard of things happening at your barn… Either the horses boarded there are an exception to every Equine Rule; or you have to question the ethical responsibility of your barn management! Keep your eyes open and your ears peeled.. You’re the only reliable voice your horse has. If they won’t share the little things that go wrong.. What makes you think they will freely share the big things?