Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Beginnings of a Little Story...............Animal Control....

I must admit hearing the words "We have Animal Control pulling into the yard." did not shock me. With the state Solidare had been in I had been waiting for Animal Control to descend upon us for months. Every time I turned that mare and foal out into the front field I shuddered. It was tough enough looking at the mare in such shape knowing exactly what was happening to her. I wondered what an untrained eye must think.

I'd had friends tell me they wouldn't put the mare out into the front pasture for the world to see. They'd have kept her behind the barn out of sight but I couldn't do that. The front field is the flattest easiest to navigate field we have. The back field is sloped and has the creek running through it. I wasn't taking any chances Solidare might be hurt or even drowned falling back there. Instead I'd take my chances with the neighbors and anyone else who might question what was going on with my mare.

Now Solidare was gone and Animal Control was in my yard. It didn't make sense. I could see from the expression on the officer's face, she was puzzled too. Looking around she could see horses nearly everywhere but all of them looked pretty darn good. There may have been some tangled manes but that's not considered neglectful, thank goodness, and the only horse showing any sign of ribs was Scarlet.

The woman was shaking her head telling me they'd gotten a call the day before from a woman who claimed she wasn't normally in this neighborhood. She was driving by on her way to Ashford and had seen a thin bay horse out front in the field. It was clear from the expression on the Animal Control Officer's face she didn't see anything that would warrant such a call.

I laughed as I realized it had been Rhet out there in that paddock. Wouldn't you know it. I told the officer there was indeed a thin bay horse our front the day before. I described the horse as the hot arrogant colt he is and explained about the current issues that have caused him and the other colts to drop weight. I also explained to her about Solidare and how I'd really expected to see them then. If any horse on the place should have stimulated such a call, it was her.

The officer asked if she could look around a bit, a request that Dave and I both easily granted. Some of the horses might be a bit thin but they are healthy and in good shape. We had nothing to fear by allowing her access to any of them.

All the while we walked around our farm looking at horses we talked about what being a breeding farm and raising young horses entails as far as growth issues and weight are concerned. I kept looking for Scarlet because she was the horse most like Rhet at the moment, well other than Legs who is by far the thinnest horse on the place due to his worry about Solidare. Scarlet seemed to be lost back in the trees. The only mares up front were a little on the plump side. No wonder this woman couldn't figure out why she'd been sent here.

After a little bit watching mares, the woman asked if she could see Rhet so we walked her into that barn. I opened his stall door and Rhet loomed bigger than life right smack in front of us. His head was held high and his expression kind as he searched for some sign of affection.

I had to push the horse back just to get room to get through the door to remove his blanket. The horse didn't want to budge, he really wanted to be scratched and to investigate this new person brought by to admire him. It was easy to see by the look on the woman's face she was mesmerized by this huge 2 year old colt looming over the top of her. I heard her comment to Dave, "They're not loved much here, are they?" as the other three horses in that barn banged the walls trying to get some attention too.

Dave laughed as I worked on stripping Rhet's blanket off. I thought about the fire breathing colt Rhet used to be when he first got here. If she could've seen the difference between that picture and this she'd have really been amazed. I know I still can't believe the difference in this colt. He still has that big attitude but he's definitely become a people horse.

The woman stopped me midway as I was peeling Rhet's blanket. "You don't have to take it all the way off, just slide it up so I can see." I did as she asked and scrunched Rhet's blanket up on his shoulders so she could see his ribs and hips. Shaking her head again, she said, "This horse is a good solid 4.............endurance horses are 3's." From the tone of her voice, I took that as a confirmation the horse looked exactly how we told her he would. I covered Rhet back up and we walked the woman to her truck.

She asked us if she could confirm the information she had on us in her computer. The name and address were correct and "Yes" we'd had a rottweiler that is long since dead. Then she clicked onto the complaint and entered "Unfounded" into the database.

To be continued.........................

Rescues and Afterthoughts

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  1. It certainly is a good feeling to be able to show (and show off) your herd of healthy and happy horses. I remember someone at work once telling me they saw some abused horses on the way to work. I asked why they thought they were abused & they told me "because they were laying down" and "horses don't lay down!" I laughed and told them horses most certainly do lay down!

    Rhet looks gorgeous. Bays... my favorite.

  2. I am not surprised Animal Control would find nothing wrong. I am sure it was quite nerve wracking watching the truck pull in.
    As for the lady who called, I do commend her for being concerned, but she should have just come to the house and asked.

  3. Glad everything turned out okay with the Animal Control lady. They can be good but sometimes they can be real butt heads. I have two that could lose a few pounds and one that could eat all day and never get fat, I think it is the part Thoroughbred in him that keeps him slim. Glad your ACO knew what she was looking at and why some were in different shape then others. I've never had a fence walker but one of my friends does and it's almost impossible to keep that horse from looking ribby.

  4. Good grief! I swear, sometimes I think people literally go out of their way to cause trouble. Obviously the woman who reported you knows nothing of horses, or atleast fit ones. I'm happy to hear that all went well. I know you're an awesome horse mom who bends over backwards to care for her horses...ugh, I'm so annoyed at the person who reported you!

  5. I suppose you have to give a nod to the complainant. If she really believed there was a problem, at least she stepped up in the interest of the animals, which is not often enough the case. I'm very glad and not surprised that you got a positive response from the officer.