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Re: Halters on Horses - fairly long

Kathy Brunjes
I have to tell you all about our little adventure in Maine the week we got
home from Florida, right before Christmas...the horses decided it would be
fun to break out and run around the neighborhood - two days in a row.  It
seems that we have these pesky deer who insist on breaking INTO the
pasture and eating the old apples from the trees...wild animals, what are
you going to do?? Anyway, at least one of the horses discovered that the
fence was down, and telegraphed it to the remaining juvenile delinquents
and off they day would have been ok, but the second day the
neighbors were a tad upset (Merry Christmas) and called the police and
animal control officer for our town...of course, we were at work, and poor
Tom (having fixed fences for two hours the evening before in the pitch
black, in the snow, with a get the picture) assumed
everything was ok, so went Christmas shopping and could not be located
(the one year I was going to get a present, too....!!!)- so, we arrived
home late one  the second day to discover the animal control officer
waiting with our "good" neighbors who caught the horses (as opposed to our
"evil" neighbors) to issue us a written warning and to chastise for us NOT
having halters on our horses...that's right folks, all five horses were
halter-less, being pasture ponies and we all know how they can get into
all kinds of trouble with halters on...I became a tad incredulous when we
were told by the animal control officer that it was a State of Maine LAW
that horses had to have halters on ALL THE TIME...I (being the polite
person I am) insisted on seeing that in writing, and shazzam! he produced
it in writing - sure enough, in the State of Maine, there is a law that
dates back to the early 1800s that farm animals AND horses must have/wear
halters at "all times" .  So, we were given a written warning and our
horses were put on probation - stay in the pasture for 30 days or else Mom
and Dad get a nice hefty fine - and if the horses are found without
halters in the future, an automatic fine.  Well.

What a dilemma - all the horses (at least during their probation period)
are wearing halters, and I am having heart failure every day wondering if
someone is getting hooked on something, breaking their neck, etc....should
I mention here that the reason why my horses don't wear (or didn't wear)
halters is that good old Ali has a habit of getting into the most unusual
predicaments, and one day I came home during hunting season (when I put
bright orange bands on their necks and USED to use red rope halters) and
found the ceramic bathtub we use for water hauled out 20 feet into the
pasture, just sitting there, still with water in it, with Ali's rope
halter hanging off the sawed off spigot...ok, so he pulled a full-sized
bathtub with water in it when he got hooked.  And another time, before I
got smart enough to STOP using halters, I came home to find Ali's halter
laying (broken) next to the water hydrant in the overhang, where he
evidently was rubbing his ears and got it caught on the handle of the

As I said, this is long - but the issue with wearing halters out in the
pasture is pretty serious.  And I hope to get our State law changed to
protect our horses.

Kathy Brunjes (in Maine, with five delinquents who are currently serving
out their 30 day sentences)

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