Abuse and Neglect Criteria

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Here is some advice for those of you who are worried about a local horse, here is a guide on what to look for when you think you may have found an abused or neglected horse.


The most common form of neglect is not feeding a horse.

Another sign of neglect is not cleaning or combing them. Or not cleaning their hooves, they may be limping on one or more legs.

Another sign of neglect is the lack of cover. Cover can be trees or a man-made shelter


Going after a horse with a whip

Riding with  accessive spur use

Heavy use hands on reins, so a bloody mouth

Hitting a horse with hands while riding

Remember, most abusers or people who neglect horses don’t realize what they’ve done. Most of it happens when people are ignorant. Very few people will knowingly abuse a horse

What to do when you think you’ve found an abused/neglected equine:

  • Call Animal Control. They are very experienced and can determine if the horse is being abused and/or neglected. They can also handle extracting the horse.
  • If the Animal Control cannot do anything, legally, and yet the horse is in trouble, then contact a horse rescue.


Animal Control:

Sonoma County:

(707) 565-7100


(707) 253-4451

Marin Human Society