Paranoid Horse Ownership

I’ve heard the old saying that horses spend 24 hours a day looking for ways to kill themselves, so it’s not surprising that many horse owners are worry warts. I do not consider myself a worry wart. When Baron comes in from the pasture with an injury, I don’t think, “Oh my God, he’s going to be lame forever. I’ll never be able to ride again.” I’m not the type to assume the worst. But I do think I’m paranoid about my horse ownership skills. For example, when Baron got rain rot this summer, I was mortified.  I was thinking, “Did I not groom him enough? Is he spending too much time in the muddy pasture? Am I a bad horse owner???” Then I heard all my friends lamenting the insidious rain rot that had also cropped up on their horses. Oh thank God! I’m not a bad horse owner, or if I am, I’m not the only one!  But, when he comes in from the pasture with bite marks from the other horses, I wonder if other people’s horses have loads of little bald spots from getting bit and picked on. And then I ask myself, “Should I have him at a barn where he can be turned out only with horses who won’t pick on him? Am I a bad horse parent???” But then I visit my friends at other barns and see little nick marks on their horses and I realize it’s not just my horse.

What about you? Are you a worry wart or a paranoid horse owner? Or neither!?


2 thoughts on “Paranoid Horse Ownership

  1. Debi February 19, 2010 / 11:24 pm

    I am a resigned horse owner. Yes they plan to kill themselves….no actually they plan to cause the maximum expensive damage they know we can possibly afford, over and over. They get nicks from being happy horses, and possibly sounder and smarter and healthier horses. Each morning I flip the lights and do a head count..does that make me paranoid?!?

  2. Natalie Keller Reinert February 23, 2010 / 3:08 pm

    It’s like having a kid. Do you let your kid eat stuff off the floor? The yes camp (I’m in the yes camp) says that the more bacteria your kid ingests at an earlier age, the better off they’ll be.

    Horses need to be outside slamming into each other. Even the low man on the totem pole. Their mental and specifically their digestive health rely upon living as naturally as possible, and this includes a social life even if it appears uncomfortable to us!

    My number one saying is, “They’re fine- they’re horses.” Also, “They are born with a self-destruct button and they spend their whole lives looking for it.”

    Common sense is the only rule to live by. Every horse is different.

    And when it comes to rain rot: since I turned my horses out and quit stabling them, I’ve not had it all. In Florida, imagine that!

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