DO YOU THINK PONY RIDES SHOULD BE ALLOWED AT FAIRS??

drdoolittle

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Some of you know that I recently brought home 2 former pony ride ponies. I bought them from the woman who owned the pony ride business and had decided to get out of it. When I first went to see the ponies (in July), they were ALL terribly emaciated and so sad looking (except for one very healthy one she was keeping ).
She excused their condition saying, "Hay was hard to get this past winter." and proceeded to tell my friend how one pony actually starved to death during the winter.

I had found photos of some of her ponies on her Facebook page for her business.....I have to share them, they disgust me as the ponies weren't even then in good condition and the woman allowed people to ride them who were CLEARLY too big.

I am sickened thinking of how these ponies were exploited and
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used to make money while they suffered at her ignorant hands. I'm just relieved she decided to sell them all, hopefully all the others got good homes (there were 6 or 7 total).

The final photo is of the 2 year old filly who starved to search this past winter....photo is from summer of 2018. I also included (in the first comment) other photos including a photo that she took to use as a Christmas pic.....the pony does NOT seem happy and all that crap on him is just HORRIBLE!
I HATE these type of pony rides and hope they will soon be a thing of the past!
 

Southern by choice

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The few people that I have personally known that did pony rides/petting zoo services took excellent care of their ponies and all animals. They also had a weight limit. The pony rides were for children only AND if a child was acting ill toward the animal the child was removed immediately. Both people I know had the highest respectability and the one was booked generally 2 years in advance for events. The one had an employee that was seen by the trailers smoking and he was immediately fired. She had a strict policy.

Are there bad apples? Sure, but every time there is one then people want to destroy the whole. That is not ok.
So IMO should pony rides be allowed at fairs? YES. However the fair should be hiring those that are reputable and have healthy animals with the proper parameters in place.

When my children were young getting on a pony for a short ride was a highlight for them. They loved it and looked forward to it, outside of a local fair there wasn't much opportunity for them.
 

Bunnylady

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It's getting close to time for our local fair, which reminds me . . . . Those of us that work in the animal barn (actually, a very large tent) will have to keep our eyes open any time the gates are open. Members of a certain animal rights group will come through on a semi-regular basis and put their pamphlets on top of the cages the smaller animals are in. Handing out any kind of materials without official permission is prohibited; if they get caught, they will be escorted off the premises. So, rather than, say, rent a booth in the Agriculture tent where they can distribute to their hearts' content (as the House Rabbit Society and some other rescue groups do), these folks prefer to be sneaky.:rant

Before the fair can be declared open to the public, all of the animals are given a once-over by a veterinarian. Poultry have to have a certain on-the-spot blood test; horses must have a current Coggins; everything reasonable is done to make sure that any animals there are not a risk to others of their kind. This applies to pony ride ponies and any other animals used by performers. We must meet certain requirements regarding confinement and care, and may be subjected to random inspections at any time. After an E. coli outbreak at a petting zoo a few years ago, we started being required to put barriers up to prevent the public from coming close enough to touch any of the animals, and spray disinfectant on the parts of the floor where the public will be walking any time we move an animal through there, and before we open every day. Violations could result in our being shut down; complaints get investigated (even absurd, ignorant, baseless ones).

Some states have more nit-picky rules than others, but I'm pretty sure all have some sort of anti-cruelty legislation in place. I don't know precisely how it is worded, but Indiana does require that livestock be cared for in a manner that can reasonably be expected to keep them in good health. Several of the ponies in those pictures are not at a good weight; I can't believe that every single fair-goer was so ignorant of good animal care that there weren't complaints (shoot, we've had people complain that some chickens weren't being fed, when they were ankle-deep in the feed they kept shoveling out of their feed cups!). Maybe the issue isn't the law, but enforcement, or maybe the folks entrusted with enforcing the law were too lenient in the penalties inflicted to prevent the tragic death, but I'm wondering if she may have in effect been forced out of the pony ride business.
 
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Baymule

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As a child, those pony rides were so exciting that I still remember them. Most people take good care of their animals. Don’t condemn all for the actions of a few. Even now, I go see the pony rides. I’ve never seen starved ponies.
 

Southern by choice

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The problem is that there are not strict enough guidelines/laws for care of livestock so bad owners continue to get away with abuse/neglect. I think it's fine for animals to be put to use to earn their keep......as long as they are taken care of properly. In this case, she wasn't feeding, vaccinating/worming properly or protecting her ponies from inappropriate riders.....
I disagree, there are far too many laws and it is getting ridiculous. You are going to have idiots, that will not change making more and more laws only harms those that do right. We now have more laws protecting animals than humans. Recently a law was passed.... trying to recollect the state/county.... escapes me at the moment.... no outside dogs. PERIOD. So those of us with livestock are screwed and cannot have LGD's? It is always a busy body that decides that something is so horrible we need a new law.
 

Mini Horses

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AGREE, AGREE, AGREE!!!!!!!

As to the owner/seller/operator:
I am thinking what was once a decent income became more than she could handle financially & physically -- and wouldn't ask for help, or get rid of the "business" earlier. Sadly for all. But seems to be over now.

Enjoy your boys, drdoolittle.


ETA--- Bay & I were posting at same time. :) She is correct! Any person NOT familiar with the aging of an animal is often an accuser of "neglect" for the ones who own old ones. They lose teeth, condition, require special feed, have late life disease issues, sway backs, limping and unless you KNOW....yes, many are critical. Often no amount of vet bills will correct some things, only add some relief/comfort. We are more tolerant of aging in humans. Animals have similar issues when OLD!!! 30 for a horse is like 100+ for humans.
We all die sometime. Special care helps until we do, won't stop it! :old
 
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frustratedearthmother

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Agree with @Southern by choice . I see nothing wrong with animals earning a living. But, if they're going to work they should receive the best of care. There should be weight limits even though ponies are well-known for being stronger than their full-size counterparts. The persons who hired this person are the ones perpetuating the problem. I'm glad that she's out of business and you were able to give a couple of her former employees a good home! :)
 

farmerjan

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I disagree, there are far too many laws and it is getting ridiculous. You are going to have idiots, that will not change making more and more laws only harms those that do right. We now have more laws protecting animals than humans. Recently a law was passed.... trying to recollect the state/county.... escapes me at the moment.... no outside dogs. PERIOD. So those of us with livestock are screwed and cannot have LGD's? It is always a busy body that decides that something is so horrible we need a new law.
I am with @Southern by choice 100%. There are so many rules and laws that some of them totally contradict each other. If the laws in place were enforced in the first place, we wouldn't need to keep making "more laws." It is definitely the busybodies that are causing more and more problems. If someone is abusing an animal, report them. As caretakers of the animals, we should be alert to problems. I have been through enough with busybody people that "just know" that I am not taking care of my animals.... BAMBI is a child's fantasyland. Not real life.

My aunt and uncle used to do the pony ride thing at some of the local events when I was a kid. It was a big deal to me to be able to go "help" at these events. They had size and weight restrictions and the ponies were often fat as butterballs from the "good life " they had at home. We didn't have the carousel but actually led them around for the riders. There were kids there that had never been close enough to touch, let alone ride, on a pony.

Sorry, that you opened up a can of worm,s but most on here I do believe think that there are too many laws and "oversight" intruding into our lives. If something is wrong, then make sure the authorities know. But for all those that are "instant experts" , there are alot more of us that really are knowledgeable caring owners. I may not like the confinement systems that the commercial broilers are raised in; but every farmer that I know that has a poultry house, spends more time and money taking care of the birds to make sure they don't get sick, and do what they are intended to do which is grow in the most economical manner possible. There was a time, in the older houses that the smells were horrific, and it was not as well known that the ammonia and all was so bad, but there have been huge improvements over the years. If this country wasn't so obsessed with cheap food, these houses wouldn't be near as prevalent. The farmers do make money off them, but there are alot of hoops to jump through, you are at the beck and call of the company you are contracted to, and they take time to do it right. All that said, I like my birds to be outside whenever possible on real dirt and grass and have a chance to have a real chance to do what chickens do. But don't forget, those birds also can be aggressive and canabalistic for no apparent reason too.

We should all CARE about the animals that we care for, and that we use for whatever purpose we have them for. Pony rides are not the scourge of the earth. Some owners are. Obviously you rescued the ponies from a person who either did not know how to properly take care of them, or could not do so financially. That is wonderful that you took the ones you did to give them a better home.

As far as the dressing up of the ponies in "outfits" for different seasons or celebrations, hey, it isn't that terrible. Some of the animals seem to really like it and all the attention they get. Some hate it. I personally hate to wear a dress and all that goes along with it. Did it for years. I do it when I have to. I think some of the costumes people put on an animal are silly, but they usually aren't hurting anything. To me it is an excessive show of how much they care for their animal. I was in the fabric dept of Wal-mart back a little bit ago. Some young lady and her boyfriend were there and she was buying some "netting" type fabric and asking his opinion. He was just agreeing and rolling his eyes behind her back a bit. I was smiling. I asked if she was making a costume for someone in a school play or something. She looked at me so seriously, and said, no this is to make a tu-tu for my goat. I just smiled and told her good luck hope it turned out well, and turned around to look at some other stuff before I burst into hysterics.... All I can say is GOD BLESS her boyfriend.....
 

Baymule

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I’m of the opinion that more laws and regulations tend to punish those who do things right. Just enforce the laws that are already there. Yes, this was a lousy owner and she should have been reported. What a blessing that she closed and sold the ponies.
 

Southern by choice

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@farmerjan I agree but I will take it a step farther.

What happened to people addressing the person? What happened to people communicating with others? I have seen this on here many times where someone is just so outraged at something. YET, do they go and find out if there is a problem? Can they help? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
People hide behind the "call the authorities".
The age old law for thousands of years has been you have a right to know who your accuser is! In the US that stood for a long time. We have now moved into a very shady area where people hide. I see on FB all kinds of slander and accusation. It is disgusting. For those of us that have been here for years we've seen it here too. Very sad.

Maybe if we (as a society) could say "hey, I see the horses are looking really thin, or the farrier hasn't been out or .... fill in the blank." We might be more effective. Maybe someone lost their spouse and is struggling to care for an animal and needs help for a bit. Maybe those animals in a field that look bad and no one ever sees anyone around is because the 80+ year old farmer is dead in the house. Maybe that herd that looks bad just went through a whole herd sickness and is recuperating.

I am glad that doolittle now has the ponies. Sometimes, that is exactly how we can help.
 
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