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?