So, I was recently going about my afternoon feed routine, minding my own business when a lovely man driving past was nice enough to yell at me out of his car window, “Where’s their f***en shade?”

So my paddock is on quite a busy road, and near the road are 5 smallish paddocks and a couple of them have no access to shade, this is flanked on 2 sides by a much larger herd style paddock that I run 3 thoroughbreds in.

now on this day, and quite a few times recently I’ve run said 3 thoroughbreds on the small paddocks with no shade to do some mowing for me. I can only assume that this lovely individual has driven past the paddocks a few times and seen my poor defenseless 3 in this tiny paddock with no shade and has taken it upon himself to alleviate their suffering in the most well adjusted adult and responsible way he knows how, by screaming at me from his car.

I would just now like to take a moment to make a couple of things quite clear. If in fact they were locked in this tiny paddock less than the size of an arena with no shade, they would also have no water. Which should probably be of more concern to him.

Secondly, behind the shed, and not readily discernible from the road (depending on your direction and speed of travel), is a gate. A gate that remains open all day to provide access to said tiny paddock, from their usual 5+ acre herd style paddock. This paddock provides a constant source of shade throughout the day, and also 3 seperate water sources, along with a mango orchard should they desire dessert! They get locked into this at night as they cannot be trusted to behave in the small paddock overnight. If said 3 horses would prefer to graze in the blazing sun all day rather than relax in the shade then who am I to judge (and realistically what am I actually going to do about it?).

So when this lovely gentlemen took the time to yell at me from his car for no obvious reason it actually quite upset me, and it made no difference that he was ignorant of the truth and I know my horses are well cared for.

It also made me consider, if it were the case that my horses had no shade, would his actions have actually helped their situation? Or would I have immediately become defensive and done nothing?

Next time your going to have an opinion on something like this, or anything else for that matter, please consider that you may not have all the information and that particularly when posting on Facebook people can be cruel, livelihoods can be threatened and it may well be not at all what you think it is.

it is a requirement that al stock have access to appropriate shade/shelter at all times. As we come into summer its a timely reminder to check that your horse can get out of the sun in the heat of the day, and has access to clean fresh water at all times.

If you see a horse that perhaps doesn’t have these things, take the appropriate action, call a local horse rescue and ask for help, they are usually practiced at the art of talking to random horse owners if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. If you are comfortable doing so, approach the owners, offer assistance, highlight the issue, they may not have even realized that the trees in their paddocks provide no shade for a good del of the day. Cal the RSPCA has r DPI or other relevant authority.

Do Not scream at the owner from a moving vehicle! Do not post it immediately on Facebook for the lynch mob.

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