The abandoned-horse epidemic
When Yannis suggested finding a horse for me, I asked him who would be responsible for its nutrition, its vetting, its shoes. Who would be responsible for its care when I would be away. And me being a beginner both in riding and stabling, who would ensure its general welfare and make sure its stall is clean and its environment safe. Without the livery costs (as I volunteered every afternoon), it appeared that the regular costs of my potential equine friend would be more than 200 euros a month in average. This was half my monthly income and I had to spend the rest on other obligations, in a country that -being in a permanent debt crisis- takes loads and gives little. My father wanted me to get a horse, but his intention to assist with its maintainance was zero, especially regarding money. In the meanwhile, I moved to Britain, therefore that specific subject was closed.
This is why I get irritated when I hear about abandoned horses. They are abandoned in various ways: left to die of starvation or disease on the pasture or inside a stall, left behind in public spaces and private fields. And I can imagine that more experienced equestrians have lots of relevant stories to share. Besides, a search on the web will give you plenty of disgusting results.
This afternoon I was annoyed with the abandonment of a young horse inside a lady’s property who also has a horse. Her property is in Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom. That poor animal does not look so bad, but you can say that it has been abandoned recently. The lady also reports a sore nose and has assumed that, it would be hard for a one-year-old mare to transpass the fencing itself. She is trying to locate its owner, hopefully she finds them, but personally I doubt it. And even if she does, why would they accept it back? Most probably they will dump it somewhere else.
And here is the question; why people keep adopting horses that they cannot maintain? Owning a horse is a demanding, costly and time-consuming business. A horse is much different to a dog, a cat or a hamster. It requires care 24/7. Loads of food and water, hygiene, vetting, shoes, insurance, training and expensive equipment. A safe and stable life from all aspects. For the latter to happen, it takes an owner with a safe and stable life -and mind- as well.
I understand that things change unexpectedly in people’s lives from time to time; overwhelming financial hardship, severe illness, new members in the family, changing homes. But who tells you that you can abandon an animal like that? And who has granted you the right to transpass other people’s private properties to dump your own stuff? This is irresponsible and rude. Would you like to be treated like that by a person responsible for your care? When you grow old and need help, would you like to be dumped and forgotten in someone else’s property?
For God’s sake, people, if you can no longer support a horse, do something about it. Sell it. Tell friends and neighbours who might be interested to adopt it (for free, preferably, as it’s abandonment in the middle of nowhere wouldn’t make you any money either), let a vet know, inform an animal association or charity, contact directly some other equestrian for assistance. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you cannot support your horsey friend anymore. You won’t be the first or the last to do it. It’s actually one of the most responsible things to do. The real shame is to dump a living thing like your trash. Would you dump your kids this way?
Let’s share it to find a home for this soul, before she gets to the point that has no return. And before she gets traumatised. She is cute and looks quite friendly. I wish I could do something for her.
Thanks for tolerating my anger! But sharing emotions is one of the purposes of blogging!