Neighbours told to rein in accusations

By Andrew Bonallack -
2 comments
DON'T BE FOOLED: Barnaby, the miniature horse, is happily unaware he's the subject of social media speculation on his welfare.
DON'T BE FOOLED: Barnaby, the miniature horse, is happily unaware he's the subject of social media speculation on his welfare.

A Featherston horse owner says wrongful accusations of animal neglect on social media are a case of well-meaning concern and "ignorance" by people who should have checked first.

Lynley Davies is upset a post on the Featherston Wairarapa Facebook page suggested her two 10-year-old miniature horses, Barnaby and Patsy, were without sufficient water and food since they took up residence on a small paddock at a Hickson St property two weeks ago.

The dry vegetation and no visible water source on the Hickson St side prompted the neighbour opposite, Reiner Schoenbrunn, to lower in a large plastic trough and fill it with water this week, while another neighbour posted her concerns online.

His daughter picked grass for the horses, while a neighbour supplied more water and has given them "a Christmas carrot".

The Facebook posting stirred up others to call the SPCA and council, while another poster called for a "name and shame".

But it appears people did not realise the paddock connected to a larger paddock on the Fitzherbert St side - with shade and water.

"I check on them two or three times a day," said Ms Davies.

"I don't appreciate them being fed, because I've got one very overweight horse there, who doesn't need any more food.

"Otherwise they are in perfect condition."

She said people seemed to think horses needed to be on "lovely green grass".

"If they were, they'd be sick."

Asked if she appreciated that people's intentions were honest and good, she said she did appreciate it when people loved animals.

"But perhaps people shouldn't jump to conclusions, and do things the wrong way.

"It's out of ignorance."

She said if people had been concerned they should have gone to Quirks antiques shop on the corner of Fitzherbert and Hickson streets, which shares the property with the horses.

She has posted a comment on the Facebook thread explaining the situation.

The entire posting was taken down yesterday by the page administrators.

Mr Schoenbrunn said he only acted out of concern because the horses looked "kind of desperate" and he could not see where their water was. He said he has since been told off by Ms Davies for his actions.

"She said I had no right to put anything over the fence, and they must not eat grass.

"I said all we did as a family was show concern for the horses, based on what we could see."

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