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Rock Ledge Historic Ranch: ‘Stop feeding our horses, you're killing them'

Posted: 6:34 PM, Sep 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-30 13:13:38-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site in Colorado Springs next to Garden of the Gods, has a mustang that’s now colic due to visitors who keep feeding the horses when they’re not supposed to.

According to Rock Ledge Ranch park director Andy Morris, the ranch has lost two other horses to colic in the past four years.

“I understand that it’s fun to feed animals and people think that they bond with that animal when they feed it,” Morris said. “But if we had 100 people come and each feed that horse an apple then you’re potentially causing a bad problem with that horse and he can get colic and that can kill a horse.”

Morris said despite the signage warning guests not to feed the animals, they have found eaten apples next to the horses' fence.

Morris said a veterinarian checked on one of the ill horses on Thursday. On Saturday, he said the horse started to eat again.

“I think he’s doing pretty good,” Morris said. “He’s alert. What’s big is that he started eating. He wouldn’t eat if his stomach bothers him. I think he’ll turn out okay.”

The horse will probably live, but sometimes these animals aren’t so lucky. Which is why Morris is trying to get the message out not to feed the animals.

“I don’t know why people do this,” Morris said. “I know they don’t mean any harm. But all ranchers would like for people to not feed our horses. Most people woudn’t walk by your house and if you had a dog in your yard – they wouldn’t throw chicken bones over the fence for your dog to eat. It should apply just the same for horses.”