Not sure what to do...

Mary Poppins

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Oct 10, 2004
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In my village there are some travellers and they have 3 horses. I passed them on my way to the yard at about 6pm and saw that their water buckets were empty and were knocked over. I came back at about 8:30pm and their water buckets had not been refilled and were still where I saw them before.

I'm not sure what I should do? My husband says that I should keep well out of it, but I feel so bad that I have been at the yard fussing over my own horse and making sure that all the yard horses still have enough water, I'm feeling guilty at turning a blind eye to these ones. It's really warm and they must be thirsty.

What would you do?
 

squidsin

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Feb 16, 2013
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I'd fill the buckets. Don't make any kind of deal over it, just do it. Or do you have to go onto their land?
 

Mary Poppins

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I'd fill the buckets. Don't make any kind of deal over it, just do it. Or do you have to go onto their land?

I can't really. There are about a mile from my house. I don't have any water containers and even if I did, I would need to make at least 3 trips as there are 3 horses who need water. I wouldn't be able to do that without speaking to the travellers, which I'm quite frankly too scared to do. When I drove past them this evening they were all sat outside making a fire.
 

squidsin

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Then ring the RSPCA and ask them to look into it. I'm sure you could do that anonymously. At least then it would be someone else's problem!
 

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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Tbh with most travellers I've met its not worth speaking to them about it, they just either don't care or get angry at you.

As for rspca I wouldn't bother, unfortunately we have reported much worse situations and they have deemed the horses to be well cared for.

Maybe see if they have water tomorrow, a couple of hours isn't the worse thing in the world, I mean any of our horses could kick over their water and could be without until we next went to the yard, I wouldn't want to be reported to the rspca for it no matter how bad I felt for my horse not being able to have a drink when its out of my control.

If they still have no water tomorrow I'd probably inform local police, they are very good round our area recently with the travellers and I'm sure they would o have a chat. We have a new copper, old one was terrible
 

Ruby.27

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There are horses near me which have what looks like leather belts round their necks with metal chains attached and tied to fences on the grass verge at the side of dual & single carriage ways. Absolutely disgusting. Have phoned the sspca more times than i know what to do with & nothing has been done. As long as the animal is being fed & watered periodically, they won't do anything. With it being so close to appleby they're everywhere just now.
 

Gimp

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Jan 19, 2005
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phone the BHS, ILPH ( think its world horse welfare now) and RSPCA. Ive increasingly been reading bad reports from rspca but I would pester pester pester.

I suppose though they must be getting some water, they would be dead by now in the heat. Its a shame they dont have access all the time :(




I dont have a problem with a horse being tethered aslong as again it has water available and grass. Id much rather see one like that then stuck in a stable. Most travellers horses are quite happy to be tethered.
 

Tina2011

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I would make sure it wasn't just a one off before running off to the authorities.

I have known mine to knock their water over on more than one occasion but then if its hot I check them several times a day, even in the night the other day.

I have one automatic trough but its not in the bit they are grazing in atm so I have a big butt that I fill with a hosepipe, even so, they do like to itch their bums on it and it sometimes topples.
 

joosie

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Oct 28, 2004
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Of course I understand the concern but I'm not sure it's fair to report them when it's only been a few hours. If there are buckets then the owners are obviously providing water, they may not have known it had been knocked over and that's not really a reportable offence. I would have just bitten the bullet, gone to the owners as they made their fire and politely told them I'd noticed their horses' water was finished.
 

Mary Poppins

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I haven't reported it and I haven't had a chance to go and check them today either.

It wasn't just one water bucket which was empty. The horses are separately tethered by the road and are apart from each other. They each have a water bucket and each one was lying on its side empty. I am pretty sure that the horses have drunk them dry and they had blown over in the wind - I wouldn't have thought that all 3 horses would have kicked over their full buckets.

The horses look reasonably well cared for. They are a little unkempt and I would love to give them a groom, but their feet looked reasonable from what I could see from my car.I will see what the water situation is like either.

I wouldn't be happy about approaching the travellers myself. They are on a country road with no-one else about and they really don't look very inviting.
 

Frances144

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Some folk offer their horses a drink rather than leave a bucket.

If the horses look good, I would not interfere.

Especially in this weather with flies, they might be rubbing their heads on the buckets (if there is nothing else) and that is knocking them over.
 

Tina2011

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Of course I understand the concern but I'm not sure it's fair to report them when it's only been a few hours. If there are buckets then the owners are obviously providing water, they may not have known it had been knocked over and that's not really a reportable offence. I would have just bitten the bullet, gone to the owners as they made their fire and politely told them I'd noticed their horses' water was finished.

Yes that would be me. However good or bad they may or may not be.....I am still a fast runner lol not to mention pretty good at ducking and diving.

I have to say the travellers we have round here are really ok even though they seem fierce, they just take a little getting to know. Once you have them as friends and understand their ways its much better.
 

Ale

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Maybe do the pinch test on one of the horse to see if they are badly dehydrated??
 

newforest

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Leave a note?

I would be pretty upset if someone just reported me without bothering to try and contact me.

They may have just knocked the water over, when I was at camp we did arrive to find no water one morning. So we left more after that, its hot, it evoporates, they kick things over.
 

CMP

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My friend checked on my horses 11.30 Sunday morning. All ok. I was up at 2pm and their water trough was knocked over. It could not have been the horses so looks like someone did it on purpose. Fortunately, I had lots water with me as I was cleaning it out that day. I has never happened before or since. I would monitor situation and if you are still concerned, report it.
 

notpoodle

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Some folk offer their horses a drink rather than leave a bucket.

If the horses look good, I would not interfere.

Especially in this weather with flies, they might be rubbing their heads on the buckets (if there is nothing else) and that is knocking them over.

this as well. deliberately killing their horses is not usually on travellers' agendas. chances are the buckets will be refilled. two-3 hours is not such a long time without water, a long hack will do that too, as will a trip to a competition etc. horses don't drink all the time either. ours have one trough in the 40 acre field, they will come down for water a few times a day.

leaving a note for travellers is often pointless, many cant read or write unfortunately. (we have had quite a few travellers on and through the yard over the years so I learnt a thing or two about them).
 

Dannii5691

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I have had rspca visit from horses knocking over water after I left about 4 months ago
I didnt appreciate being reported for that im sure running to them if the horse has accidently kicked a bucket over wont be appreciated either

as a general rule travellers love and care for their horses im sure they will have topped them up :)
 

Mary Poppins

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Well, I drove past again today, and the horses have each been moved to a new spot for extra grass. They had water buckets which were upright, but all were empty again. I presume they had been filled at some point during the day and the horses had drunk the water.

Their caravans are only about 20 feet from the horses and they were sitting right next to one of the horses tonight. It's not like they could fail to notice that they had no water - if I could tell from my car, they could certainly tell from where they were sitting.

The horses do seem well cared for in other ways, and perhaps horses do not need water 100% of the time. I just know that a constant supply of water is one of my horses basic requirements and I find it hard to sit back and watch other horses who don't get the same.

Maybe I should man up and go and speak to them about it, but honestly they scare me. I feel too intimidated to approach them so I guess that however wrong I feel it is, I will just do nothing.
 
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