Animal neglect has been an issue in Central Oregon this month. It's an unfortunate reminder that many domesticated animals in the care of humans are not having their basic needs for a healthy life met. Of course nutrition is vital, but many other needs need to be met.
For many of the 83 horses removed from a ranch in Terrebone, hoof neglect was the main concern. Deschutes County Sherriff reports that some of the horses' hooves represented 2 years of growth. Horses that are maintained on soft ground in a contained space must have their hooves trimmed regularily. Wild horses that travel miles per day in search of food and water across ground with varied terrain naturally wear their hooves down. But once you contain a horses in a pen or on small acreage, they don't have the opportunity to travel and naturally wear down the hooves, like they are meant to be.
When the hooves grow out without being trimmed back, it causes stress on the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the legs. This eqates to pain for the horses while standing or moving. Because of the pain they will lay down for longer periods of time, which causes other problems. Reperfusion injury can happen because horses are such large animals and the weight of their body in and of itself can prevent blood flow to certain locations.
If you see a animal that is suffering because of lack of care, contact your local authorities. Speak up for the animal. "Ownership" of an animal does not allow for abuse.