I watched without saying anything for a week. VERY HARD FOR ME TO DO. My horse / barn management knowledge, at least the valuable parts of it, came from a woman whose two horses I exercised regularly, and cared for during her frequent travels. Her standards of care were super high. She had fifty years of experience with horses. I was her barn backup for a number of years and the experience was invaluable. Unfortunately all good things come to an end. (It's a very sad, but interesting story - I'm working on it for a future post... How to survive a "barn breakup")
So I held my tongue for a week. The blanket didn't fit well, was much too heavy for the temps, and the waterproofing in doubt. A few days ago the topic came up. I
"Does Cowboy have a rain sheet? [No]
The great thing about a rain sheet is he'll stay dry without overheating. [Blank stare]
Getting cold and wet is mostly what we need to worry about around here. [His blanket is waterproof]
You can always layer a rain sheet over another blanket if it actually gets cold enough..."[Another blank stare]
As per usual, sharing helpful information elicited defensiveness. They said that (weird quilty) blanket is waterproof!!!! I asked how old is it? Has it been washed much? If that blanket is still waterproof I'll eat my hat I was thinking...
Right on cue, last night it rained / snowed and was actually cold. When I arrived at the barn this morning Cowboy's owner was removing his blanket. She hung it on the hitching post as they were leaving. Just before I took off, I felt the inside. Couldn't help myself. It was absolutely soaked. That poor horse had worn that cold, wet, heavy blanket all night long.
This afternoon we were at the barn together again. I mentioned the wet blanket. "Oh yeah - we know. We ordered another blanket. We're going to shut him in the run in until it comes. That way he'll stay warm and dry."
I nixed the "shutting Cowboy in" idea, as the run in is about 9 x 9... too small for a sixteen plus hand horse to lay down in safely... not to mention that their plan for locking him in was hanging a 2 x 4 across the opening. Not to mention that was a ridiculous idea...
Don't get me wrong - my boarders are really nice people... really nice people who have never taken care of their own horse until the last 8 months, as my boarders. I have refined my technique of "sharing" horse care info (which frankly is getting tiresome). I have led by example, mostly to no avail.
I have watched Cowboy go without water, be under and over fed, be very difficult with vet and farrier, get run off his feet with almost no warm-up...
Because I care about Cowboy I will continue to try to help improve his conditions as necessary. I will pick my battles. I will also try to perfect my delivery of advice. Casual hinting? And I guess I will have to just chalk the experience up to character building aka sucking it up.
Edited to add: I hope this post doesn't sound too snarky. My tolerance for foolishness goes way down when I'm hormonally challenged:)