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Making 'that decision' about a horse

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Hound, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Hound

    Hound Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It hasn't been a good start to the year in our household. My husband lost his job last week and since we live on a ranch we will lose our home also. We don't have anywhere to go yet. Anyway, I have an old horse. He is 24 and not in bad shape for his age, but he is an old horse and a little creaky. He has been retired for about 18 months and is too old for an adult to ride, and I don't think it would be fair to put him through a kid riding him either. He colics if he is penned or stalled for any amount of time, so he lives out in the pasture. I've been debating what the right decision is for him. The sale barn is completely out of the question. I have advertised him for free, but I have had either ignorant or dubious replies. One wanted to know if he came with papers (this is an old gelding!), another totally missed the point about him needing permanent pasture and offered to turn him out on 2 acres at weekends. Am I a horrible person for considering euthanizing him? My worry is that if I give him away he may either be ridden, which would cripple him in no time, or end up on a one way trip to Mexico at some point. He probably has a year or two left in him if he stays retired, but his productive days are over. He has been a good horse to me and I want to do the right thing by him.
     
  2. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

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    Do you have any horse sanctuary's in your state? Many will come and pick up.

    I once took in a mare whose owner loved her and hated to part with her. The owner also rode her for hours in mountainous terrain until she stumbled over her own feet with ringbone. I was told she'd be okay for the kids to ride. I had little experience with horses but I took the mare because I didn't want her ending up in the hands of someone less compassionate. We never rode her, just enjoyed her very outgoing personality. She died of natural causes. Keep trying to place your guy. You may find someone at the last minute willing to take him or help you to keep him. If in the end you make the decision to let him go, you'll know that you gave it your all. If you have to go that route don't beat yourself up. It's not unkind or unloving, just hard. [​IMG]
     
  3. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    It's a very difficult choice, but I don't think it's a wrong one by any means. I wish there were more people like you who were willing to do the right thing for their beloved pets if all else failed. I think it would certainly be more humane than putting him into a situation which would hurt his health and/or cause any needless suffering.

    However, definitely keep your ears open in case you hear of anyone looking for an old companion horse for another horse. There are great homes out there, but sometimes you have to spread the word and keep your ears wide open. We found a great home for an older mare with ring bone when a lady in the office at my high school overheard me talking to one of the principals about my horses. She had been looking for a companion for her daughter and other horses, and our belgian mare was perfect for her.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  4. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

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    I think you are very correct and humane in giving him a humane end to his life at home and not allowing him to fall into the wrong and possibly abusive hands. Kudos to you and I hope everyone supports you in this wise decision. It may break your heart to do it but it would hurt worse to find out he went out on a killer truck to an unknown destination.
     
  5. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

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    Quote:I disagree with the sanctuary idea because those are having a hard time too, and some are either not taking proper care of the animals or going under altogether due to the economy. Once she gives the horse up, she has no control over its future or end.
     
  6. Hound

    Hound Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My concern about using a sanctuary is that there are horses in more dire situations that need the help. I will keep trying to find him a home, but he would be quite an expensive pasture pet as he is big. I just don't feel right about ending his time early either though [​IMG]
     
  7. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

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    Quote:I disagree with the sanctuary idea because those are having a hard time too, and some are either not taking proper care of the animals or going under altogether due to the economy. Once she gives the horse up, she has no control over its future or end.

    I think it goes without say one would do their homework. There are good reputable ones.
     
  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Quote:The KINDEST thing you can do is put him down,....
    I'm SURE its VERY stressful for him to be passed off on another family/home/barn...at his old age.
    I KNOW that i'd put my horse/dog down rather than have him stressed at this late stage in life;....he deserves better than stress at his age. Just let him go to sleep with you all by his side...
    [​IMG]
     
  9. heathersboers

    heathersboers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would not euthanize him- he has plenty of years left. We have a 45 year old QH mare, and she is in OK shape for her age, but we feel that when it's her time, she will pass on- If we see her suffering, we will then euthanize her- I am sure that a sanctuary will take your horse. the USERL specializes in adopting out horses, and they check on them also. I would try that first. i hope you can find him a good , caring home where he can retire.[​IMG]- Where are you located?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  10. unionwirewoman

    unionwirewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well it's a tough situation to be in....been there a few times just in the past 2 yrs on my horse getting into trouble , then nursing him back to health...not sure if we can keep the house now....but I can live in a tent . My friends momand dad ran a dude ranch in Texas for quite awhile....they had horses there that were supposed to be put down . They fed them right , got the proper care for them , and you'd never know that the oldest horse there was 38 . I would give your horse up to a reputable sanctuary....yes they are very hard hit . As hard as it;s been for us...I've given half a ton of hay to one . Ironically she gave it to my neighbors who are the worst possible animal owners I've EVER met . Give your horse hope.....it's given you love and companionship....it's only right to do what you can . I do understand about feeling guilty about giving it to a sanctuary....There have been so many stories in the paper around her though about people tying them up to trees because the people lost their houses , and the horse died from exposure/neglect and starvation . Give your horse what you can....no one will condemn you for euthanizing ar sanctuary . I do tend to lead towards no kill.....but ya gotta do what you think is right . I'll give ya hugs hon....I know how hard it is when ya think you have to put them down .[​IMG]
     

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