Some Nova Scotia horse owners have started a petition calling for the tougher regulation of horse stables.

Horse owner Carlene Walsh says General, her friendly, high-spirited gelding, is in good shape now. But she says he rapidly lost weight during a five-month stay at Breighmara Stables at Black Point, N.S. last year.

“It got to the point that you could see all of his ribs...his shoulders were not nearly as thick as they had once been and his flanks were sunken in,” says Walsh.

She says General quickly rebounded after being transferred to a new stable and treated with antibiotics.

“It only took a couple weeks, like within a couple days he already looked better because he had good quality hay and water,” says Walsh.

Walsh was among 50 members of the Nova Scotia horse community who gathered Sunday afternoon to discuss their concerns about Breighmara.

The stable has also been under scrutiny by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture.

“We have received a complaint and we are doing an investigation there right now,” says department spokesperson Krista Higdon.

The RCMP have received complaints about Breighmara and police say the owner has complained about harassment from outsiders.

CTV News tried to contact the owner but calls were not returned. A visit to the farm also proved unsuccessful after a lawyer asked a CTV reporter to leave the property.

An online petition calling for the tighter regulation of horse stables has gathered more than 5,000 signatures in just one day.

“It was a petition to start to get the attention of the minister of agriculture and the other powers that be that can change these laws,” says Walsh.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Ron Shaw