Boarding Barn Blues: Sexual Harrassment in the Paddock Winds Up in Court

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If you've ever kept a horse at a boarding barn you can relate to a story in the news this week. Boarders are always complaining about the conditions of turnout at boarding barns and nothing is a hotter than the compatibility of horses who are turned out together.

And there are horror stories galore about barn employees accidentally mixing up horses and putting them in the wrong paddocks. One of the worst things is to find your horse in the wrong stall, wearing another horse's halter, not to mention the very dangerous possibility of your horse eating another horse's grain, supplements, and medication.

But does it ever get serious enough to dial the lawyer's number?

The Chicago Tribune is reporting on an unusual court case in Illinois. The owner of a mare is being sued because her mare kicked a gelding who exhibited male-horse behavior while the two were turned out together. Apparently the injury eventually led to the decision to euthanize the gelding.

The owner claimed that her mare was defending herself "from an unwelcome romantic overture." Her attorney equated the gelding's behavior to equine sexual harassment?an unwanted violation of Gabby's "personal and private space."

The gelding's owner is suing both the mare's owner and the owner of the boarding stable. Instructions had been to turn the horse out alone.

Hopefully, the mare has received some PTSD counseling.