Biographical Non-Fiction posted October 22, 2017


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One Way or Another

Something is Going to Change

by MelB


Earlier this summer, my neighbor's horse boarder, who I'll call Jane, took it upon herself to call animal control on me. Why? Because we took in a rescue foal, Blaze, which we had in a round pen, and she thought we were being cruel to it. Why? We hadn't provided shelter in the round pen.

Blaze was born in a field with twenty-three other horses and no shelter. He and his mom were rescued and moved to a paddock with no shelter, where no grass was provided. Mom was already pregnant again, and wasn't gaining weight due to Blaze's nursing. He wasn't gaining weight due to mom's lack of health and adequate nutrition. Blaze was sold to a couple who brought him to me. The couple was told he was a year old, but he turned out to be only six months old.

For some reason, I knew on day one, I would end up with this foal. Call it woman's intuition, but I call it God preparing me. Whenever a new horse comes to the ranch, it is always placed in the round pen for a few days, so the other horses can get used to the idea. They can smell each other over the fence, but if anyone tries to kick, no one gets hurt. It's much easier to replace a board than it is a horse's leg.

The vet came and castrated Blaze, so he wouldn't be able to make babies. Seeing how I have all mares (females), that was a good plan! I was told to keep him separated from the other horses for a good four weeks. He needed to recover from surgery, and gain weight. I started building his weight with five minutes of grass the first day, and increasing in five minute increments each day. I also gave him loads of hay to eat around the clock, and grain with added fat twice a day.

My husband and I debated putting up a temporary shelter in the round pen for Blaze's stay. We had put one up before when other horses have stayed in there, but they refused to go under it. You see, horses are afraid of things that move or make noise, which would be about everything. We had a mild summer here in Michigan. Had it been hot, we would have made other arrangements for the foal.

I went on the internet to read up on how to integrate a foal with a herd of horses. I found cases of horses attacking and killing foals if it was done too early. Being that Blaze was only 260 pounds when he arrived, I knew I had to be careful. He didn't have a mom here to protect him from the other horses. I did feel bad that Blaze had to endure some rain and wind, but my horses don't go into their shelters unless were having a blizzard. Otherwise, they prefer to remain outside and brave the weather. If it rains, they will simply turn their butt to the wind and continue grazing.

My neighbor came over several times inquiring about the foal. The neighbors don't like me, because I boarded with them over four months several years ago. I was clear from the start that it was temporary. I didn't pay money, but fed and cleaned stalls in exchange. They continued to add horses and boarders. I gradually had to do more and more work, than originally stated. She was supposed to write up an agreement, but never did. After I left, she told everyone in the neighborhood that I took advantage of her. My husband would get mad, because I would spend two hours a day over there taking care of things, instead of being home with my son.

I truly believe the neighbor got her boarder to call animal control. That way, she doesn't look like the guilty one. The neighbors played innocent in the whole incident. They claimed Jane was drunk when she made the call. She yelled at my son and swore at him, when he gave Blaze water and food. My husband and I both had a conversation with the neighbors and made it clear we were not happy with them or Jane, and they weren't welcome on our property anymore. We have been nice to them for 13 years, and they have been awful to us. We choose to ignore most of their shenanigans, but calling animal control went way too far.

It took about two months, but I finally got the chance to confront Jane. She hadn't shown up much since her tirade. I compared her vehicle to a picture my son had taken that day. She walked on our property and attempted to take pictures of Blaze. My son stopped her, and she had to stand on the corner of the neighbor's property to take photos. When she waved to me, I knew I had the right person.

I caught her coming out of the neighbor's driveway and stopped her. I asked, "Are you the one who called animal control?"

Jane said, "Yes. Why? Did you need to talk to me?"

"I've been waiting to talk to you."

"We're fine," she said. "I've got to go. My mother is living with me and I'm going to have to put her in hospice care."

"I'm sorry to hear that, but I need a minute to talk with you. (It's interesting: I had to put my mom in hospice in January) Well, I'm not going to be mad about it, but you should have come and had a conversation with me first. Then, this whole thing could have been avoided." I explained the whole rescue situation, where Blaze came from, and how he got here. I went over everything with Jane. "He would have been fully integrated with the other horses within a few days anyway. All your calling did was make me put him in there ahead of time and it got him kicked."

Jane said, "Well, that's going to happen. My horse gets pushed around by the other ones here."

"Yes, but your horse is 1,000 pounds and can defend itself. We're talking about a little foal here with no mother to protect him, going in with full grown horses."

Jane didn't apologize, but did mention she would bring over some horse equipment to donate to me. "Just don't call the cops when I come on your property." The day we confronted the neighbor, we told her we would have Jane arrested if she came near our land again.

"Do me a favor. The next time you suspect horse abuse, go have a conversation with the person. Within five minutes, they will more than likely tell you if the horse is a rescue or not. Then, a situation like this can be avoided. And by the way, you don't have to provide shelter for a horse here in Michigan, just food and water. So, there was no report filed against me at the Sheriff's office."

"I have to go, but we are fine now. The foal looks good."

My gut tells me Jane will not be bringing any donations this way, but I also believe she won't bother us again. We made it quite clear we will not tolerate someone coming onto our property and yelling obscenities at our son.

As for the neighbors, I feel they are trying to sabotage my horse sessions. They come out every time I'm doing a session with someone and try to make as much noise as possible. I feel like I'm being stalked and I can sense evil permeating the air. I can tell if they are home or not, just by the oppressive, heaviness or lack of it in the air. I pray against the evil every day. I also planted 21 trees between my house and the neighbors. One way or another, something is going to change!


Recognized


If you want to read the full story on the animal control call, its called 'A Rescue and a Legacy.' The boarders decided not to keep Blaze, and we bought him. He's such a sweet boy. He's got a great personality and makes me laugh every day!
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