Unfortunately all kinds of things happen in people's lives, they behave bizarrely as a result and even more unfortunately, it is often the poor animals who suffer.
Years ago I put my pony out on loan whilst at Uni, she went to a pony club recommended family. Everything was fab for two years, then I suddenly got a call to say could I collect here asap. She'd been turned away and not ridden for ages and although physically ok, was clearly a bit put out. Turned out the marriage had failed and the mother was mid-breakdown. So whilst of course I'm not excusing animal neglect in any shape or form, I can see why it happens.