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CLC Stables

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2002
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I just returned home from a short 3 day vacation and I got home at Midnight, so checked the horses everything looked fine (WRONG).

When I got up this morning, they were both out on pasture, the gates were torn off their hinges, they had NO WATER and there was a HUGE pile of hay out in the pasture.

When I fixed everything and put them back in pens I gave them water and I had to MAKE THEM QUIT drinking. I have no idea how long they haven't had water, but it has been 95+ here in SE Washington.

I am extremely peeved at the neighbor. He usually does such a good job I just don't understand what happened.
Gosh that sounds horrible.
I would be upset also. Although you need to talk to your neighbor and find out what might have happened. They just might had an ilness in the family or even a death or something might have even happen to that person that was taking care of the horses.

I would for sure talk to him first. See what they have to say.

Then if they didnt have a darn good reason then I would be really POed


To dang hot for horses to go with out water. Glad your vacation was short.
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No there is no death they are out mowing lawn and stuff now..................I am too ticked to talk to them yet.

I am sorry, I hope you can get an explanation soon for your sake.

I'm sure they have a good reason........

I'd not be bothered about the feed aspect, not over a couple of days and if there was a VERY good reason- but the water- now that is serious, I cannot imagine how they must have felt!! We are in the low 90's and the foals are lying in the river!!!
We used to get a neighbor to feed and water while gone till one year one of the stallions was missing and she didn't bother to tell us he had been gone 3 days and she didn't bother to look for him. He was found about 5 miles down the road after l called the RCMP to report him missing. She admitted she was feeding and left his gate unlocked and saw him leave but couldn't catch him and thought he'd just hang around by the pasture with the mares till we got back. So except for going to shows one of the family has to be here now cause l don't have a lot of faith in others anymore. But if he's out cutting grass and doing stuff and l saw that l would probably be over there gelding the guy so he's lucky he lives next to you..
WOW!!! That's horrible! I always have such a hard time leaving my animals in anyone's care for those exact reasons... You never know what you're going to find when you return home...
Poor things, I hope they weren't w/o water for long, I'd be highly PO'ed...this is why I hire someone and I pay them very well.(I only have 2 minis and 2 goats)...not a friend, not a neighbor, I ran an add and actually interviewed a bunch of people...I got over 200 calls on the add believe it or not. I have friends that could do it, but I want to keep it a working relationship. I ended up hiring a 40yr wonderful woman who just completed her internship/college for vet technician and she only lives 4 miles from me. When I come home, everything is perfect...I'm usually gone 2-3 days a week...now, I guess I'll never know what happened the first two days, but when I get home, water is fresh, stalls/pastured cleaned, animals brushed and fly sprayed. She didn't want paid hardly nothing, but I insisted on paying her more...I think she has come to really appreciate my $80/week and I don't think she'll screw it up.
It's really hard to find someone you trust to care for animals. Hope you can find more reliable help. I've been very lucky over the years, but the girls who have helped in the barn are gone or going to college, and my neighbor who did an outstanding job this year is moving 40 miles away with her horses. She was great - fed for us for a week in January, I wasn't where she could call but she emailed every single night to let me know how things were going and was super conscientious.

Oh my gosh that's horrible! The poor angels! Whenever I am gone, I have my boyfriend (age 15 and we've been going out for about a year now) take care of my 2 big horses, 1 miniature, 3 rabbits, 2 cats, 1 parakeet, 1 indoor dog, and 3 outdoor dogs and 1 duck. He ALWAYS has all the animals clean, plenty of water, and just the right amount of food everynight, and even works with my rescue TWH/Arabian cross Shadow and spends time with each animal. He WONT let me pay him, instead - he just insists on going to the movies or a date to pay him back.

What a great boyfriend - He doesn't really like horses ( alot of VERY bad experiences with his past horses such as being ridden off with, dragged with his foot hung in the stirrup across the yard, bitten, kicked, stepped on, etc. and since he's been around my horses he's come to like them better and he has even taken up with Shadow. ) yet he still takes care of them just like they were his own.
Man are we lucky..we have a neighbor that just gratuated 8th grade, so will be 1st yr high school...she loves her own horses and loves mine!

She comes down all the time just to see them. I pay her $10 a day to feed, clean and water. She's a BIG fan of Pat Perelli system and very nice around my horses..

she once came all the way back to the house to tell me some hints to stop Shortcake from pawing big holes while she's eating grain
We had it covered but she is so serious about it all.

So well worth it and I would pay her more but I'm also paying $22 a day to board my dogs when away..mind you we only get away 2/3 days at a time

I'm interested to know what they have to say / had to say after you talk to them.

We've only had someone feed our horses a handful of times and have used Harvey's brother. We take care of their pets (from dogs to hermit crabs) frequently but even so, I am scared to trust him to feed ours more than once (like dinner when we will be home late).

How do the horses seem to be feeling? The no water, as you know, is the serious issue more so than the feeding (either would have me sickly upset though).
I'd also like to know what their reason was for doing this...

I would be one hacked off mama, that is for sure. I'm one of those who hates not being able to do it myself. I am not gone much and when I am usually it is a family member that takes care of the animals. I know they will take care of them but still I can't help but worry a little when I'm not home.

If I take care of someone else's animals, I want them to come home to find their pets safe and comfortable.
That's awful, Rob!

I hope they can understand what they did was wrong, and of course that you will no longer trust them.

I hope your horses will be fine, too.

I'm sorry this happened to you.

Liz M.

I would be a lot more than ticked Rob and don't even try to cool down, get over there and confront them so they can see your blood boiling.

How dare they do this!

This is why, I have not had a vacation, not even a day trip, nothing. Because sometimes you can't trust anyone. Very unfortunate.

Under these circumstances there is NO good explaination for this.
CLC_Miniatures said:
No there is no death they are out mowing lawn and stuff now..................I am too ticked to talk to them yet.

Well that’s the pits if they were out mowing the yard!
I was at least trying to give them the benefit of the doubt that something bad could have happened(ya know innocent till proven guilty)
that they were not able to care for the horses, but heck if they can mow the yard they should have been able to care for the horses.
I would be so upset and you have every right to be very angry.

Sorry to hear that this happened and I hope your horses are alright. Just way to hot to be going with out water.

Rob, I'm sorry this happened -- especially when you thought you could trust your neighbor!

This makes me all the more thankful to be able to say that my "mini-sitter," Erin (Moore Acres) did a fantastic job caring for our guys! Everyone looks fat and sassy. I couldn't have asked for better.
That's horrible! We've got it tough with our guys because the 30 year old founders, colics, and has seizures at the drop of a hat. Now mind, he doesn't do any of those that often under our care (he's foundered once and it's been years since he last colicked) but that's because we are super-vigilant in his care and feeding. The 28 year old has odd life-threatening allergic reactions to nothing identifiable every few years and now seems to choke if his food is not prepared jjuuuuuuussssstttt right. The mini, thank God, is fine. I'm sure he'll terrorize the housesitter behaviorally, but he won't get sick! LOL. You have to know just how to handle the little rat.

We are extremely lucky that we were able to use our old 4-H network to find a girl who we trust with horses this delicate. She leaves our house a mess (which drives us crazy coming home after a long two-week drive to California and back) but we put up with it because she does a good job with the horses. If she didn't, we'd know! One or the other of them would be ill or dead.
It's still not worth the stress though, and of course good housesitters like her and the vet tech we use as an alternate cost an arm and a leg for their experience. The last few years we've simply minimized the risk by flying me down to CA for only three or four days while my parents drive. I take care of the horses on either end of the trip and we only have to hire the housesitter for three days or so. Makes all of us much happier. Mom says she still worries, but at least I know her horse and will catch the first little sign of anything wrong.

And you'd better believe that when I housesit for someone else I leave their house SPOTLESS! It's a point of pride for me that the only sign I've been there overnight is their newspaper and mail on the table, their pets not hungry, and a note from me to prove I existed! LOL. Something I learned from the bad example of our own housesitter.

So sorry Rob. That is just terrible - I cannot believe that these folks did not give your horse water

This is exactly why I trust NO - ONE - except my husband or daughter to care for my horses and really never go anywhere. A few times a year I go visit my sister out in South Dakota and John and I NEVER travel together. One or the other of us always stays back to care for the animals.

I hope these folks have some good explanation as to why the care was so poor.
I'm certain this was upsetting....and would be for me, too

NOT defending anyone, etc. BUT with this weather I have minis who will actually PLAY IN THE WATER. Knock the buckets/tubs over, splash in the big ones, try to get in them, etc. I'm at home and seeing this
It has always been my practice to add several of those 20 gal muck bucket tubs to the fields, spread out.

Not only does this supply excess water, it usually assures that they wont' knock them all over, drink them all dry, etc.

It's extra work for ME to dump, clean, refill but it sure has been worth it

Plus when I'm gone, even for the day, I feel pretty confident that they won't run out of water.

Just a reminder for all of us to help with the weather we cannot change.

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