Okay, it's my turn for "Was I a Jerk"

This week on our local Craigslist, someone posted that they really wanted some horses. They have an autistic child and two other girls 9 and 13 and wanted (specifically) 2 large horse and three small, so everyone in the family had one. However, they dind’t have much money or any place to keep them, so they wanted someone to give them (or sell very cheaply) five horses.

I posted that if they couldn’t afford to buy five horses, they probably wouldn’t be able to afford all the upkeep, with the farrier (approx. $175/mo figuring shoeing every two months), hay (very high here and going higher because we’ve had a horrible drought this summer - probably at least $100-150/mo, grain (based on my horses’ moderate consumption at least $100/mo) and veterinary incidentals. I told them it would probably be a better idea to sign the autistic child up with one of the handicapped riding programs and get the other kids riding lessons, particularly since they was no way of knowing how long the girls would be into horses. That way they wouldn’t have five extra mouths to feed with animals that can live into their 30’s. I tried to be as reasonable about it as I could be, noting that there have been several cases in the news recently about starved and neglected horses, and I was sure those owners didn’t go into horse ownership planning to starve their animals.

My post was flagged and removed. I really wasn’t harsh, and thought I gave reasonable alternatives, but I must’ve struck a nerve, because it takes several people flagging a post before it’s removed. I know I made assuptions about their ability to pay, but they did say they didn’t have much money, and no place (yet) to keep the horses. So, the Double Jeopardy question is: Was I A Jerk?


I see the post as concern with the horses. I would have posted the same. You have to spend thousands a year on horses. They need to look into Rent A Nag, because they can’t afford to keep them healthy.

Not a jerk. It sounds like these people were unaware of the costs involved in owning animals like that, and you were trying to help fight their ignorance.

Well, it’s craigslist, so the fact that you didn’t email them a picture of your penis already puts you way ahead of the pack.

Since their request was posted in a public forum, I personally see no problem with your post. Now, if your goal was to avoid offense at all costs, simply informing them of the typical costs of horse ownership in your area probably would have been sufficient to make them realize what they’d be getting into. Especially considering how unlikely it is that someone is going to give away five horses to people with no money or place to keep them.

Were you a jerk? I vote neigh.

This calls for punishment. Penis picture en route.

They don’t have the money, and they want somebody to give them five horses? I hope to Og nobody will do it, because horses are expensive to keep! Sure almost every little girl wants a pony – I did – but now I know why I didn’t have one; because we didn’t have the money to take proper care of one.

As long as your post didn’t take the tone of “You f*cking morons want WHAT???” I’d say you were more than in the right. And even then, I’d say if you were a jerk, it was justifiable.

A lot of the flaggers are purists. If something is off topic, they will flag it. Commentary on an ad properly belongs in Rants and Raves.

I think that you should have emailed your concerns to the posters of the ad rather than posted an editorial. That is not to say that you were a jerk. I don’t think that you were it’s just that I would have handled it differently.

There are a lot of free horses out there. (My boyfriend’s family just got one.) That’s for the same reason that the newspaper is full of “Australian shepherd - free to good home!” ads - horses are big, hungry animals that take up a lot of room, time, and money. You were the exact opposite of a jerk.

What hajario said, your post wasn’t rude but it was probably misplaced, and flagging isn’t necessarily a nastly insult, its also a way to keep CL clutter free. Email your note to the family and you come out ahead in my book.

I would have emailed them privately instead of posting a response. But what you had to say sounds reasonable to me.

No. Horses are very very expensive and they clearly could not afford to treat their horses right, even though they likely meant well.

However, if I had those concerns *and *if I still had horses, I would invite the family out for a free day of riding.

They don’t know what they are doing. It is asking the same thing as a large free boat so that they cruise their son around for some thrills. It’s free after someone gives it to you right?

I grew up around horses and my wife and daughter have one each now although they are professionally attended to for free on my in-laws farm and they cost us nothing personally although routine maintenance on them can consume on entire weekend when we visit.

I have had the horse upkeep conversation with a few of my professional coworkers and I realized that even bright people haven’t the faintest clue about the time and $$$$ involved with horses.

I would assume that they are just innocently ignorant but you were correct to point out a blindingly obvious problem. Someone has too before they drive some innocent horses straight into disability or the grave or they let incidental horse expenses bankrupt them.

Those who are saying I should’ve taken it e-mail are probably right. I didn’t think of that. In the last couple weeks we’ve had three separate incidences of people with multiple equines nearly starving horses to death or letting their feet grow to such a length that they may be crippled for life. It’s horrible, and abuse and neglet of horses and cattle here is less of a crime then pet abuse. There’ve been cases where people have let their horses starve to death in the field and there were no charges pressed. It’s a damned shame.

DrDeth - My riding horse is a thoroughbred and not very easy to handle. But Tennessee is a huge horse-owning state, third in the nation. If you want to ride, most people can find someone who’ll help out.


Yes, a private email may have been more appropriate.

I think the advice you gave them was good. But the people who flagged it may have seen your explanation as a lecture, or a slight to the autistic child.

btw, i’ll be posting one of my penis pictures tomorrow – San Francisco – Men Seeking Men. :cool:

kevja - I did recommend the seek out one of the local riding for the handicapped groups. I have a sort step-nephew who is autistic and involved in horse programs specifically tailored for him, which has been great for him. Maybe, depending on her level of disability, a professional would be better to help their daughter.


I know a multi horse owner, and horse will eat something or bump something wrong and you have a $2000 medical event. The person spent $10,000 on a horse that died. The neighbor’s loose dog killed the colt after a birthing and caused damage to the mare. No compensation, and both dead. Many people wouldn’t have spent the money on trying to save the mare, but he’s flush enough to do that. This shows why farmers shoot stray dogs.

What s/he said.

Also, some people can get the wrong idea from even the slightest comment that they deem to be snarky.

All they have to do is watch a few episodes of Animal Cops Houston to see that horses are expensive and time-consuming to take care of. You can’t just let em out in your backyard to graze and expect that to give them a well-balanced diet; you have to get someone to tend to their hooves regularly; you need tack, stable space, food, etc … It’s not like purchasing the horse is the greatest expense.

Animal Cops Houston also shows what happens to horses when people don’t know how to take care of them, or can’t be bothered. It’s very sad.

Was your advice on-point and valid? Yes. Was your advice insightful? Yes.

Both the OP and I (and most of the Dope) know that the facts you presented did not determine whether or not you were a jerk.

The actual language you used is necessary if you want absolution.

Being right, helpful, and being a jerk can all interact, in any combination.

Your position has been deemed to be acceptable. Now, we just need the text involved in order to make a complete analysis.