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Discussion Starter #1
So I know nothing about horses, nothing.<br><br>
Our neighbor has 4 horses that I've seen him ride quite a bit.<br><br>
Thing is, they have no shelter at all and look pretty thin. Honestly I don't know if horses are supposed to be this thin or not. You can see most of their ribs, but not so much that it's shocking or anything.<br><br>
I'm just a little concerned and was hoping for some input from people that are actually familiar with the animal.
 

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Well, from your description, it doesn't sound like he's doing to great of a job taking care of them. Though of course I can't say for sure without seeing them myself. But whether it's enough to get animal control involved...that's hard to say. It depends a lot on what your particular county can and can not do in that situation. For example, here, they probably couldn't do anything other than knock on his door and give him a lecture. If the horses are not in extremely poor condition and if they have water, animal control can't do a darn thing. I don't know if there are any "rules" about shelter. It can be frustrating. I called animal control on a woman who had many horses, all of which were very thin (you could see all of their ribs and hip bones). They couldn't do anything, because the horses weren't extremely emmaciated, all had access to water, and she had feed in her feed room (and claimed she was feeding them). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: The authorities wanted to do something, but all they could was tell her what she "should" do, because they have to follow their policies...and there wasn't enough reason, according to those policies, to take the horses. In that particular situation, I really think the horses should have been removed. It was worse than what you are describing.<br><br>
Some horses naturally run a little "hotter" and you might see some ribs, especially when they move. But if they are a healthy skinny they will have decent muscling over their body, their coat will be shiny and in good condition, etc. I've know a few thoroughbreds that can be this way. I have a friend who's horse always shows a little rib. But the horse is in great shape and is very, very well-taken care of, very well fed, is on excellent pasture, has no underlying health issues that could be causing it...It's just how that particular horse is put together. Also, sometimes an older horse might be a little thin, too. I have a 30 year-old Arab gelding. He has always been a very narrowly-built horse. It is hard to keep weight on the old guy these days, and sometimes in the winter I can feel his ribs a bit more than I'd like to. We work hard to keep him on a good diet that keeps his weight up, and he's very healthy! But I would call him too skinny. However, he's certainly not neglected. But, if all four of these horses are "ribby", this probably isn't the case. No, horses shouldn't generally look that way.<br><br>
Do the horses even have trees for shade?? Can you see if their water is kept full and clean?? Typically, if you call animal control, they are obligated to come out and investigate. They probably can't do anything (and it doesn't necessarily sound extreme enough that they would remove the horses, anyway) but they can at least talk to the owner, and hopefully advise him of better ways to care for his animals. Maybe the owner is just ignorant and would listen to their advice and make some changes. If you are concerned for the well-being of the horses, I would call your local authorities and at least hear what they have to say. If the guy isn't really doing anything wrong, he's not going to get in trouble.<br><br>
If you don't get a lot of replies to your post here, there seems to be several of us crazy horse people over on the Pets forum. You could try posting over there, too, to get a few more opinions!<br><br>
Kudos to you for looking out for those critters!!
 

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have you talked to your neighbor? not in your face are you taking proper care of your horses but a neighborly chat, hey I see your horses all the time and I was wanting to learn more about horses can you give me your time to teach me a little something? You might find the guy is a very caring individual that you shouldn't be worried at all about. Until you know the full story don't jump to conclusions plus I'm not for calling in authorities unless you know there is a real problem, especially if it is your neighbor, neighbors should help and support each other not become enemies <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Well he is a very very nice man, we've talked on occasion. When we first moved here about 5 years ago, we had an old barn on our property that we were tearing down. We offered to just take it apart and help him put it up on his property for the horses, but he said he didn't want to have to shovel horse manure.<br><br>
There is a law here saying that horses have to have shelter.<br><br>
I can't tell if their coats are shiney, because they are always covered in mud.<br><br>
They have a pond, so access to water.<br><br>
I guess it's just one of those situation where it's not ideal care, but probably none of my business.
 

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Is there a thick stand of trees or other natural shelter that they have access to?<br><br>
Dunno where you are and what the weather conditions are like, so it's hard to say what they'd really need in the way of shelter.
 

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Shelter does not neccessarily have to be man-made. Our law is 'adequate shelter, natural or man made' .<br>
My horses have both, but prefer the natural.<br><br>
The pond is good as long as it isnt scummy.<br><br>
Do the horses look thin or skinny?<br><br>
If he rides alot they could just be fit. If they are a hot breed they are probablly naturally thin. If they are old, they will be a bit thin. If they are young and growing they will be a bit thin. If they are pasture fed only they will also be a bit thin.<br><br>
If any of them are previous founder horses(its a foot thing) then he could be intentionally be keeping them thin.<br><br>
Too fat is bad for horses.<br><br>
I wish I could explain the charting system for horses. I should be able to find it on-line line though.<br><br>
A bit of rib is ok. If the horses look 'hollow' or like milk cows, they are in need of feed.<br><br>
If you are concerned though, do not hesitate to call the humane society or equivalent. If nothing is worng, no harm done, if the horses are indeed starving then they will get the help they need.
 
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