PDA

View Full Version : Help I cant seem to give my horse away!



mbp618
Oct. 8, 2008, 06:51 PM
I need to place my horse in a new home:( I have tried everywhere the giveaway section other various websites
Hes 17 year old retired eq horse who had a bad injury back in 06 which left him with ring bone and a ever so slight hitch in the walk not that noticeable
He can be ridden but has not been consistently ridden since last fall
This horse means the world to me but I can no longer afford to keep
Does anyone know where I can place ads or donating him some where?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Please help

BuddyRoo
Oct. 8, 2008, 07:03 PM
Honestly...how "rideable" is he? Because few people want to take on a mid-aged horse who is not rideable.

Have you considered euthing him?

Not trying to be harsh...as I'm in sort of a similar situation...only with a much younger horse who rears.

Diamondindykin
Oct. 8, 2008, 07:21 PM
It seems that right now with the economy and with winter coming that people can't give away healthy horses much less ones with issues.

It is a very hard decision to make but you might want to consider euthanizing him. It might be the kindest thing that you can do for him at this point. I would be worried about sending a horse like that away to an very uncertain future.

admccan
Oct. 8, 2008, 07:27 PM
There are some horse retirement homes around. A girl that I use to know sent her horse to a barn that only had retired horses and just let them live out the rest of their days. I'm in NC so I don't know if there are any around where you live but you might be able to find some sort of facility like that to take your horse in. or it might be a possibility if your horse can be ridden a little and is a safe and reliable a therapeutic riding center might be something to try as well.I know I wouldn't want to have to put my horse down just for the reason of him being older. Good luck, hope you can find a home for your horse!!

greysandbays
Oct. 8, 2008, 07:31 PM
You have three choices:

1) Get less picky about who you are willing to give him to. Insisting on the "perfect forever home" for a horse who is not perfect is a futile endeavor, even in the best of economic times. Which leads to next point:

2) Pay somebody to take him. Put up money to boot and people will be falling all over themselves to take him.

3) Dispose of him. (Self explanatory)

pandorasboxx
Oct. 8, 2008, 07:45 PM
One site I've seen is www.donatemyhorse.com Not sure if you've already tried this.

I wouldn't trust giving him away if you are looking for a "forever" home. Those situations seem to be very iffy in outcome. Besides if you, who cares more for this horse than anyone, can't keep him, it is alot to expect of total strangers who may not have the same emotional investment that you do.

I second the euthanizing if you come up with nothing else. At least you know he hasn't been sent to slaughter, abused or neglected.

Best of luck.

JSwan
Oct. 8, 2008, 08:24 PM
I'd consider euthanasia.

hedmbl
Oct. 8, 2008, 08:26 PM
There are some horse retirement homes around. A girl that I use to know sent her horse to a barn that only had retired horses and just let them live out the rest of their days. I'm in NC so I don't know if there are any around where you live but you might be able to find some sort of facility like that to take your horse in. or it might be a possibility if your horse can be ridden a little and is a safe and reliable a therapeutic riding center might be something to try as well.I know I wouldn't want to have to put my horse down just for the reason of him being older. Good luck, hope you can find a home for your horse!!

That's what I was thinking. Alot of horse retirement farms require either a one time donation (anywhere from $3-5K from what I've seen) or you can make payments toward the fee in the form of board checks (depends on the policy of each individual place). Worth looking into. Peace of mind without having to euth.

Lauren!
Oct. 8, 2008, 09:00 PM
It's a tough situation. There are a lot of free horses right now, younger, sounder, and more rideable, and they aren't moving either.

How ridable is he? Is he suitable for a college riding program? Some take donations. Same for theraputic riding places.

Offer him as a free lease... if he's the been there done that type he can probably teach someone a lot, and it will reduce you bills.

Can you not afford to keep him AT ALL, or just where he is now? Can he tolerate field board? If pulling his shoes and turning him out, or sending him somewhere where the board is cheap (there are some places that do retirement board for about $300/month around here... about 2-3 hrs from LI) is an option that might work, or at least buy you some time.

Unfortunately it's been my experience that if you're not willing to keep a horse you love, many times no one else is willing to take him on either. I have one who's 27 now that I planned to rehome over 10 years ago... I couldn't bear to part with him when it came down to it, but there really wasn't any place for him to go either... he was middle aged and not really sound, though he was OK for light riding for a number of years after. I boarded him for a number or years and eventually brought him home.

I have another one who is young (8!), sound, w/t/c/jumps 3'+, beautiful mover and jumper, nice barn manors, but has an attitude problem under saddle... he's a major diva, will be superstar one day, and a complete jerk the next. I can't figure him out! He's currently out for training (AGAIN!) and as much as he's really not working out for me, I know I'm stuck with him... because (especially in this market) if I'm not willing to deal with him, the likelyhood I'll find someone else who is is slim to none!

jetsmom
Oct. 8, 2008, 09:11 PM
No suggetsions that haven't been mentioned, but just wanted to say I'm sorry that you have to give up owning a horse due to financial reasons. It would kill me not to have my own horse to go love on every day.

Hopefully, you have friends who will let you ride one of theirs, to give you a horse "fix".

3horsemom
Oct. 8, 2008, 09:51 PM
i did give a horse away on this bb. i thought i had done everything correctly, talked to the woman multiple times, checked references, had terms and conditions signed and notarized. the mare was comercially shipped at the new owner's expense 900 miles.
new owner sent a couple of pictures and that was it. she changed jobs and i no longer have an e-mail address. i called her to see if she had any use for the mare's blankets and she was abrupt and distracted on the phone but said that she did want the blankets and would send a check. check never arrived and i have this terrible feeling that this woman no longer has the mare and she was just blowing me off on the phone.
it is very difficult to place a problem horse on a "forever" situation. sometimes euthanasia is a very viable alternative.

LarissaL
Oct. 8, 2008, 10:26 PM
3horsemom.. was this Sophie? If so, it's absolutely reprehensible to think with all the work you put into her and finding her a new home you were ultimately taken advantage of.

I really don't have any additional help other than what's already posted. Good luck in finding a new place for him!

2ndyrgal
Oct. 8, 2008, 10:30 PM
and it was a fantastic experience. Couldn't have gone to a more perfect person or place, and she is doing very well. That said, she is younger and was able to be rehabbed and ridden. She had a home with this person regardless, but it made it a bit easier. Free horses aren't free, no matter how cheaply you can keep them. You need to make the right decision for your horse, not for yourself necessarily.

Melzy
Oct. 8, 2008, 10:48 PM
If "this horse means the world" to you, then do right by him with a peaceful ending. How would you feel if he was abused, neglected or crammed on a slaughter bound truck? I'm sorry but that's the reality for a horse in his condition. I know you don't want to hear the truth. There is a reason you can't give him away! You have tried and were unsuccessful, right? Seriously consider euthanasia because it will give you both peace. Remember, lots of younger, healthy, rideable horses are also looking for homes now. I wish you peace.

3horsemom
Oct. 8, 2008, 10:56 PM
If "this horse means the world" to you, then do right by him with a peaceful ending. How would you feel if he was abused, neglected or crammed on a slaughter bound truck? I'm sorry but that's the reality for a horse in his condition. I know you don't want to hear the truth. There is a reason you can't give him away! You have tried and were unsuccessful, right? Seriously consider euthanasia because it will give you both peace. Remember, lots of younger, healthy, rideable horses are also looking for homes now. I wish you peace.

amen.

Angela Freda
Oct. 8, 2008, 10:58 PM
That's what I was thinking. Alot of horse retirement farms require either a one time donation (anywhere from $3-5K from what I've seen) or you can make payments toward the fee in the form of board checks (depends on the policy of each individual place). Worth looking into. Peace of mind without having to euth.
Worth looking into THOROUGHLY.
Our own Caly40 thought she had given her horse to the same and she still has no idea what happened to Flint. Maybe he died there like the lady says. But who really knows and who trust a story that is so hard to get out of them and has changed?

Someone else said it's a lot to expect others to 'deal with' a horse with issues when the emotional investment is not there. I agree and it is that thought that would make me very fearful of relinquishing control of a horse who has served honorably.

eyeswideopen123
Oct. 8, 2008, 11:04 PM
I am with many of the others. I am sorry to say this mbp but if you really cared for your horse you would put him down at home where you know that he had a great life and went in peace. Many to most of the "give away" horses belong to someone that on the outside looks like they are trying to find a good home but on the inside I feel like they are trying to hand off their problems to someone else or they cannot handle putting their horse down. As someone that breeds and sells horses, I see it as someone pawning off their problem on someone else. This is an old, unsound, possibly hardkeeper (I say this as he is a TB) that will probably have to be medicated in the short term and likely put down in thenearby future due to arthritis and ringbone.

ON A quick tangent...
Just like the rescue organizations that "rescue" 28 year old, thin, lame, sad wornout, foundered horses that have possibly been giveaways at one time and then use donations to pay to feed these sad but useless horses and find them homes instead of rescueing babies, OTTBs, unbroke horses etc. Euthanasia is the best choice for these old, unwanted, poor animals. Not new homes.This is why there is no bottom value on the horse market. People have no where to put their unwanted or unsound or rearing or crazy or unrehabable animals so there is no room for a horse that is worth a second chance. Again leading back to the overpopulation of horses and the rediculous anti-slaughter rule...

*ok I knew i shouldn't go there... Just so you know I am not pro slaughter in by any means but we sure have gotten ourselves into a BIG mess*

Chall
Oct. 8, 2008, 11:09 PM
Fugly horse of the day had a place in the Carolinas ( North, South, or maybe Tennessee )that she used for retirement boarding. I would search her blog for that recommendation. I believe they send pictures every year of your horse. If it's simply a matter of price placing them far away at a reasonable board may be the solution.

Angela Freda
Oct. 8, 2008, 11:24 PM
I just looked through some of your other posts.
You have/had a 3.5 year old early this spring, and another horse named Patrick you showed at HITS last year? I am assuming Patrick is not your 3.5 year old since you showed Patrick in '07 over fences at HITS, maybe I'm wrong.
Any chance you could sell/lease him/them in order to provide for your former Eq horse? You might have more luck selling a younger, able to be ridden/shown horse.

Also I am about an hour upstate from Manhattan and I know of a great retirement farm that charges only $380/month and my retired horse is flourishing there.

Angela Freda
Oct. 8, 2008, 11:25 PM
Fugly horse of the day had a place in the Carolinas ( North, South, or maybe Tennessee )that she used for retirement boarding. I would search her blog for that recommendation. I believe they send pictures every year of your horse. If it's simply a matter of price placing them far away at a reasonable board may be the solution.

IIRC it's Paradigm retirement or something like that.

FlashGordon
Oct. 8, 2008, 11:28 PM
IIRC it's Paradigm retirement or something like that.

The owner is our own "onthebit"

Here's the website. ;)

http://www.retiredhorses.com/

Watermark Farm
Oct. 9, 2008, 12:25 AM
Please consider putting your horse down.

It's very hard to place sound horses, let alone older unsound ones like yours. I volunteer for an organization that works with Animal Control horse cases, and many horses we take on are just like yours. There are some very sad stories, and some that would horrify you.

There is much to be said for knowing what happened to your old friend. I speak from experience and will go to my grave haunted by not knowing what happened to my horse "Patrick." I wish I could go back and hold him in my arms one more time, while the vet put him down. At least I would know he had not suffered.

IveGotRhythm
Oct. 9, 2008, 01:54 AM
Please consider putting your horse down.

It's very hard to place sound horses, let alone older unsound ones like yours. I volunteer for an organization that works with Animal Control horse cases, and many horses we take on are just like yours. There are some very sad stories, and some that would horrify you.

There is much to be said for knowing what happened to your old friend. I speak from experience and will go to my grave haunted by not knowing what happened to my horse "Patrick." I wish I could go back and hold him in my arms one more time, while the vet put him down. At least I would know he had not suffered.

Beautifully said.

I sold my large pony when he was at the top of his game. Sadly it seems that he was sold to a beginner who drilled him into the ground and burned him out soon after I sold him(he did best when jumping at shows only, and in different scenarios every week. He got bored and stubborn when doing the same thing over and over). He was donated as a school horse soon after and is lost in the system if he is even still alive.

I WISH I had retired him. I wish I could retire him now (I have turned over every stone, I can't find him). I hate thinking of the years he spent doing what he hated (working over and over again in the same ring) and being punished for his "misbehavior" by people who didn't understand him.

If you can't afford to retire him, put him down. If only to save yourself years of worry as to what became of him.

onthebit
Oct. 9, 2008, 02:08 AM
The owner is our own "onthebit"

Here's the website. ;)

http://www.retiredhorses.com/

Thank you Flash and Angela Freda, yes that was my farm referenced on the Fugly blog. And I send out pictures and/or videos at least monthly if not more often. You can see a lot of the pictures on my blog which is in my signature line. You can search the labels "pictures" and "meet the residents" on the blog to see and learn about some of the truly lucky horses that live here.

Back to the topic at hand, I 100% agree with Watermark Farm. If, for whatever reason, you cannot provide this guy a retirement you really might want to consider euthanasia. I have more than one example here on my farm of horses who were given away as companions and wound up in desperate (and I do mean desperate) circumstances. These horses are beyond lucky that good samaritans managed to track down their original owners. If the horse truly isn't useful except as a companion then good, long-term homes will be few and far between. They do exist, they just are hard to come by. IMO there are much worse options for a horse than euthanasia.

eventchic33
Oct. 9, 2008, 10:32 AM
You could try your local or state 4H programs, PC and there is a place in upstate near Canadaigua, that general area, not sure where that runs a home for troubled teens and they have an equine program that will take donations on occasion.

I too, agree with euthanasia.

FairWeather
Oct. 9, 2008, 10:43 AM
This is going to come off as a bit of a rant, and for that I apologize.

I have been contacted by TOO MANY people who "love" their retired horse, but cannot keep it anymore "because I can't afford two and I already got a new one". I'm not saying this is the circumstance with you, just that it is very common.
Folks, If you cannot afford the one you have, and cannot ENSURE a safe retirement, put it down.
If you cannot afford two horses, deal with the one you have, the one who gave you years of service, the one you COMMITTED to all those sound years ago.

There are very few homes out there for broken horses. Who wants a broken horse? Nobody, thats who. And for that, you have two choices that will leave you on this side of ethical and decent. Once choice is to continue to support the horse in a retirement facility, the other is to euthanize the horse.

Giving a lame horse away is a cop-out a lot of the times. It's hard putting horses down--Ask me how I know. But at least I know that when I euthanise a horse, it won't be mistreated, it wont end up at the killers, and it wont starve to death.

KPF
Oct. 9, 2008, 10:50 AM
mbp-- I was one of the people who responded to one of your posts on the giveaways board. Quite honestly, you would have a MUCH easier time placing him if he had been in any sort of consistent work in the last year. That's what really scared me off. You really don't know how sound or unsound he is until you get him into work. What I'd be scared of if I was you, is someone getting him thinking he will be sound enough for flatwork and then, if he turns out unsound, they won't want him anymore. Very few people want just a companion. Lots of people (myself included) would be willing to take an older horse with maintenance issues if it will hold up to regular flatwork.

The other thing that made me lose interest in your horse is the fact that he has ringbone, I already have one old man (20) with ringbone and sidebone and it has been heartbreaking. He has good days and bad, and is no longer rideable. I don't look forward to the day that he cannot get around any longer. However, I've had this horse for 10 years and he was always good to me, took care of me, gave me lots of enjoyment and a few ribbons. He's also a total lovebug. I'm fortunate now that I can have him at home, but I struggled to pay full board on him when I could barely make ends meet, because I wanted to ensure that this horse was taken care of until the end. I wasn't able to afford to board another horse so guess what, I didn't have one I could ride for a year or so. Was it worth making that sacrifice? Heck yeah. I smile every morning when I go to feed and he whickers at me... he's my boy. :) And when the time comes, I'll put him down, knowing I did everything I possibly could to keep him happy and comfortable.

I had a really bad experience giving away a mare to a supposed "rescue" years ago and after that, reality set in... if you want to guarantee your older horse a good home, you have to keep it. Not saying there aren't good homes out there, but there are no guarantees.

If you absolutely can't keep him, see if you can find a horseless kid to ride him a few times a week, get him back into shape and see what you've got. If you can get him back into work for a couple months and keep him relatively sound, your chances of finding him a good home will go way up.

Best of luck to you, he sounds like a sweetheart.

3horsemom
Oct. 9, 2008, 11:32 AM
This is going to come off as a bit of a rant, and for that I apologize.

I have been contacted by TOO MANY people who "love" their retired horse, but cannot keep it anymore "because I can't afford two and I already got a new one". I'm not saying this is the circumstance with you, just that it is very common.
Folks, If you cannot afford the one you have, and cannot ENSURE a safe retirement, put it down.
If you cannot afford two horses, deal with the one you have, the one who gave you years of service, the one you COMMITTED to all those sound years ago.

There are very few homes out there for broken horses. Who wants a broken horse? Nobody, thats who. And for that, you have two choices that will leave you on this side of ethical and decent. Once choice is to continue to support the horse in a retirement facility, the other is to euthanize the horse.

Giving a lame horse away is a cop-out a lot of the times. It's hard putting horses down--Ask me how I know. But at least I know that when I euthanise a horse, it won't be mistreated, it wont end up at the killers, and it wont starve to death.

everytime someone post on the giveaway about how much they love their old guy/gal but they have a new horse and cannot afford 2, the above should be the immediate reply.
giving away a sound, healthy horse is fraught with peril if one wants any peace of mind. giving away a lame horse for someone else to maintain and have to deal with the inevitable is imho sherking one's responsibilities.

EponaRoan
Oct. 9, 2008, 11:59 AM
i did give a horse away on this bb. i thought i had done everything correctly, talked to the woman multiple times, checked references, had terms and conditions signed and notarized. the mare was comercially shipped at the new owner's expense 900 miles.
new owner sent a couple of pictures and that was it. she changed jobs and i no longer have an e-mail address. i called her to see if she had any use for the mare's blankets and she was abrupt and distracted on the phone but said that she did want the blankets and would send a check. check never arrived and i have this terrible feeling that this woman no longer has the mare and she was just blowing me off on the phone.

How about asking someone local to the horse/woman to go for a visit to check her out as your agent? You made that part of the terms and conditions, right? The person who got the horse has been online here at COTH within the last month, so she's around.

To the OP - if you can't take care of your horse and can't find anyone reliable & willing to take him on, I don't think it's the worst thing in the world to euthanize. Dying peacefully without pain and with a full belly and your love(d) one(s) with you is a good thing to me. YMMV.

BuddyRoo
Oct. 9, 2008, 12:04 PM
The flip side....

If you can hang in there, you might find someone with a pasture situation who is willing to let you turn out the horse provided you provide feed, care, hay, etc and check in for very little $$ to buy you some time to make a decision, get the horse in work, and find him a permanent home. (IE: not a lot of extra work for them as long as you hold up your end)

Surprised as I am, I got an offer like that regarding my mare from someone just this a.m. I'm still so shocked that I haven't replied.

Big_Tag
Oct. 9, 2008, 12:14 PM
This is going to come off as a bit of a rant, and for that I apologize.

I have been contacted by TOO MANY people who "love" their retired horse, but cannot keep it anymore "because I can't afford two and I already got a new one". I'm not saying this is the circumstance with you, just that it is very common.
Folks, If you cannot afford the one you have, and cannot ENSURE a safe retirement, put it down.
If you cannot afford two horses, deal with the one you have, the one who gave you years of service, the one you COMMITTED to all those sound years ago.

There are very few homes out there for broken horses. Who wants a broken horse? Nobody, thats who. And for that, you have two choices that will leave you on this side of ethical and decent. Once choice is to continue to support the horse in a retirement facility, the other is to euthanize the horse.

Giving a lame horse away is a cop-out a lot of the times. It's hard putting horses down--Ask me how I know. But at least I know that when I euthanise a horse, it won't be mistreated, it wont end up at the killers, and it wont starve to death.


I kind of was in this situation very recently. Had two; one young and sound, one not much older (8) and not really sound enough to do competitive anything. I can only afford one. The 8-year old has a home for life. He got unsound racing successfully for us; the least I can do is keep him safe. So the younger one went. He's got a future. If the 8yo leaves here, it's hard to say what his is. But it's not fair to anyone to try to rehome him. If it come to having him euthanized, that would be preferable to rehoming, but things would have to go EXTREMELY dire. Otherwise, sacrifices are made and he will stay.

cowgirljenn
Oct. 9, 2008, 12:31 PM
It is very hard to place horses right now. We've got probably 15 or so in the rescue right now who are not ridable. Some of them will be adopted by their foster homes who have fallen in love with them - but others will be in foster homes for quite some time (possibly the rest of their lives). Almost every day we're turning people down who want us to take in their older horses with issues. We just don't have room.

On Tuesday, we took in a herd of 8 horses who had been abandoned. They're reportedly broke to ride (and a volunteer has been on two of them so far), decent weight, some of them are gaited horses (may be Paso Finos). These guys were just DUMPED by their owner, possibly because he/she couldn't find homes for them. And they're nice horses...

I am very worried about what will happen if my husband and I lose our jobs in this economy. We've got five horses and while we might be able to find homes for some of them, we also might have to face the tough decision of euthanizing a horse we cannot afford to feed. I pray that doesn't happen - but I know many other people are already needing to consider that choice.

3horsemom
Oct. 9, 2008, 12:35 PM
How about asking someone local to the horse/woman to go for a visit to check her out as your agent? You made that part of the terms and conditions, right? The person who got the horse has been online here at COTH within the last month, so she's around.

To the OP - if you can't take care of your horse and can't find anyone reliable & willing to take him on, I don't think it's the worst thing in the world to euthanize. Dying peacefully without pain and with a full belly and your love(d) one(s) with you is a good thing to me. YMMV.

actually i did and i have.

to the op---i pay 135.00 a month for pasture board at a friend's farm. i am very lucky to have this option. my retired guy is comfortable barefoot so every 5 to 6 weeks he gets a trim for 35.00. he gets no supplements and seems to be fine. there is no budget for anything catastrophic other than the costs of euthinasia and disposal. when that time comes, we will both be at peace.

lawndart
Oct. 9, 2008, 12:44 PM
This is going to come off as a bit of a rant, and for that I apologize.

I have been contacted by TOO MANY people who "love" their retired horse, but cannot keep it anymore "because I can't afford two and I already got a new one". I'm not saying this is the circumstance with you, just that it is very common.
Folks, If you cannot afford the one you have, and cannot ENSURE a safe retirement, put it down.
If you cannot afford two horses, deal with the one you have, the one who gave you years of service, the one you COMMITTED to all those sound years ago.

There are very few homes out there for broken horses. Who wants a broken horse? Nobody, thats who. And for that, you have two choices that will leave you on this side of ethical and decent. Once choice is to continue to support the horse in a retirement facility, the other is to euthanize the horse.

Giving a lame horse away is a cop-out a lot of the times. It's hard putting horses down--Ask me how I know. But at least I know that when I euthanise a horse, it won't be mistreated, it wont end up at the killers, and it wont starve to death.

Why apologize FairWeather? You said something that needs to be said.

There are good Retirement Farms out there, you just have to do your research. Go visit, or find someone else who has actually been at the facility.

summerhorse
Oct. 9, 2008, 12:48 PM
I can only ditto the posts that say either suck it up and keep him or put him down. Your horse is not likely to find that forever home out there that will pamper him until he dies. He MIGHT but he might just as likely end up on the auction trail. Horses don't tell time, they don't think of the future. He's happy and not in pain now, give him until it starts to get cold and have him peacefully euthanized at home if you can't keep him.

Ambrey
Oct. 9, 2008, 12:48 PM
Right now is the worst time to be trying to find a home for a horse. We are being hit hard by all this too (no job losses or anything yet, thank goodness, but reserves are shriveling up along with the stock market) but I realized last night that we cannot sell the horses right now- a year ago we didn't think we'd have financial issues, so who's to say anyone who buys them won't be in the same boat a year from now? Once they leave your hands, even if the person you sell them to is a good home for them, there's no telling where they'll end up.

So being one with two horses, one more marketable than the other (although both very useable), my choice would be to cut costs on both of them by finding barebones boarding situations if the need arises and ride this out. Is that a possiblility for you, OP? If you could find pasture board for both of your horses you might be able to keep both for the price of one, and not be faced with rehoming a horse in this terrible economy.

onthebit
Oct. 9, 2008, 12:56 PM
This is going to come off as a bit of a rant, and for that I apologize.

I have been contacted by TOO MANY people who "love" their retired horse, but cannot keep it anymore "because I can't afford two and I already got a new one". I'm not saying this is the circumstance with you, just that it is very common.
Folks, If you cannot afford the one you have, and cannot ENSURE a safe retirement, put it down.
If you cannot afford two horses, deal with the one you have, the one who gave you years of service, the one you COMMITTED to all those sound years ago.

There are very few homes out there for broken horses. Who wants a broken horse? Nobody, thats who. And for that, you have two choices that will leave you on this side of ethical and decent. Once choice is to continue to support the horse in a retirement facility, the other is to euthanize the horse.

Giving a lame horse away is a cop-out a lot of the times. It's hard putting horses down--Ask me how I know. But at least I know that when I euthanise a horse, it won't be mistreated, it wont end up at the killers, and it wont starve to death.

You said beautifully what I have said many times before on this board. It is unreal how often I am contacted by people who hope I will provide a free retirement for their "dearly loved" :rolleyes: retired horses. They can't afford board, training and shows for their new horse without dumping him, so will I please take pity and take him. I mean, I have a farm, a retirement farm at that, so surely I can afford it. :no:

I especially love on the giveaways how these people (and I don't mean the OP necessarily or all people posting on the giveaways, just certain people) that a "good home is a must and references will be checked." In other words, I'm not willing to provide the good home but by God you had better do what I won't!

/rant

okggo
Oct. 9, 2008, 12:56 PM
Let me tell you what our boarder did...she is young, struggling, and working very hard to get by. She has two horses, one is a 21 year old retired lesson horse that she purchased years ago to ride and show. He is stiff and not sound for any more than tooling around with "pony rides." She also has a TB that she wants to show.

Rather than go to a nice show barn and ditch the old guy, she has been keeping them both at this less than ideal place, with minimal care and no riding facilities. Because she can afford to keep them BOTH there.

We recently purchased a farm and offered her VERY cheap retirement board for the old guy here. Just enough to cover his feed/hay and nothing more. This helped free up some money for her to take the other horse to a place with a ring and just overall a better facility.

I respect her very much for not ditching this guy b/c he got too old and too sore. So, my opinion, rather than kick him out the door b/c he is not useful to you any more (you are keeping the "useful" one, no?) try and find a local place, maybe a private barn, that will let you pay a small monthly fee to let him live out his life. Otherwise, I think euthing is something to consider vs letting him go into the world of the unknown.

Everybody THINKS there is some perfect home out there that wants their lame, old babysitter, but the truth is there are SOOO many of those to go around, the few legit places already have one.

onthebit
Oct. 9, 2008, 12:59 PM
Why apologize FairWeather? You said something that needs to be said.

There are good Retirement Farms out there, you just have to do your research. Go visit, or find someone else who has actually been at the facility.

But Lawndart, you have to pay the retirement facility! Clearly many people looking to dump a companion only horse just don't want to have the financial responsibility, period. (Again, I am not saying this is the case with the OP, I have no idea)

okggo
Oct. 9, 2008, 01:06 PM
But Lawndart, you have to pay the retirement facility! Clearly many people looking to dump a companion only horse just don't want to have the financial responsibility, period. (Again, I am not saying this is the case with the OP, I have no idea)

And there are good non-retirement farms out there that would be willing to take on a retiree for nominal board.

I just wish people, rather than put so much effort in trying to give away the ones that gave them so much, would instead put that effort into finding them a place to retire (and YES that will require some financial responsibility from the owner).

PaddyUK
Oct. 9, 2008, 01:12 PM
I need to place my horse in a new home:( I have tried everywhere the giveaway section other various websites
Hes 17 year old retired eq horse who had a bad injury back in 06 which left him with ring bone and a ever so slight hitch in the walk not that noticeable
He can be ridden but has not been consistently ridden since last fall
This horse means the world to me but I can no longer afford to keep
Does anyone know where I can place ads or donating him some where?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
Please help

If he really does mean the world to you, then do the kindest thing for him.

Have him euthenaised at home, in surroundings he knows.

Every time we buy a horse, we know it is heartbreak on legs. If you cannot afford to keep him, then why risk him going somewhere and being buted up and ridden? The best thing to do is have him PTS.

Owning a horse is like a marriage - in sickness and in health. Either way, we owe it to our horses to do what is right for them, however difficult and heart breaking that decision may be for us as owners.

Paddy

MandyVA
Oct. 9, 2008, 01:17 PM
I am with many of the others. I am sorry to say this mbp but if you really cared for your horse you would put him down at home where you know that he had a great life and went in peace. Many to most of the "give away" horses belong to someone that on the outside looks like they are trying to find a good home but on the inside I feel like they are trying to hand off their problems to someone else or they cannot handle putting their horse down. As someone that breeds and sells horses, I see it as someone pawning off their problem on someone else. This is an old, unsound, possibly hardkeeper (I say this as he is a TB) that will probably have to be medicated in the short term and likely put down in thenearby future due to arthritis and ringbone.

ON A quick tangent...
Just like the rescue organizations that "rescue" 28 year old, thin, lame, sad wornout, foundered horses that have possibly been giveaways at one time and then use donations to pay to feed these sad but useless horses and find them homes instead of rescueing babies, OTTBs, unbroke horses etc. Euthanasia is the best choice for these old, unwanted, poor animals. Not new homes.This is why there is no bottom value on the horse market. People have no where to put their unwanted or unsound or rearing or crazy or unrehabable animals so there is no room for a horse that is worth a second chance. Again leading back to the overpopulation of horses and the rediculous anti-slaughter rule...

*ok I knew i shouldn't go there... Just so you know I am not pro slaughter in by any means but we sure have gotten ourselves into a BIG mess*

Welcome to COTH. FYI, there is no "ridiculous anti-slaughter rule." More American horses are being slaughtered this year than in recent years, they are just being shipped across the border because there are no slaughter houses for horsemeat for human consumption currently operating in the U.S., not because it is illegal federally, but because the states where these slaughter houses used to operate passed state laws prohibiting this practice.

OP, I'm sorry you're in this situation, and I agree with the majority of posters that euthanasia is your best option.

magnolia73
Oct. 9, 2008, 01:28 PM
You have a responsibility to your horse. Realize that euthanasia and disposal of the body is not free. Hay, grain, shavings, vaccinations are not free. You are giving away your horse - for free - but asking people to accept the burden of the highest cost of the deal- the care. The day to day care. I purchased a $3500 horse on April 1st. I have now spent more than her purchase price on shoes and board.

It is a better deal for someone to purchase a sound horse- at the low prices that are out there now, than to take on your horse for free. Oh- you might get lucky, well, your horse might get lucky, but chances are when he becomes an unwanted or unaffordable expense to his new home that they won't be so particular as to where he ends up.

Retire him or euthanize him. There are places that pasture board or retiree board for low prices. Put your energy into finding one and finding the money to pay board. Or give him a nice last few days and have him euthanized.

pj
Oct. 9, 2008, 01:52 PM
This is a bit different but I would really appreciate thoughts on this. I have two horses, one is eight and one is appx. fourteen now. I am 68. I hope to be around for a long long time (am very active, ride a lot, do all my farm chores, etc.) as so far I am very healthy but who knows. If I died my poor husband would try to care for our animals but I'm really afraid he wouldn't do a good job. With things the way they are these days I'd be really afraid of my horses being sold or given away. One tends to be a bit hot and he's small. The other is the perfect horse for me but tends to not like other people so much. No one has ever been on her but me. When I first got her she tended to be really bull headed, stubborn, balky, etc. etc. I can see her being that way again in different hands. My friends are also OLD so you couldn't guarntee a forever home for them there. I'm really thinking about telling my family if I died to have my horses put down even if they were young and healthy...would that be terrible?? The thought of it makes me sick but it makes me sicker to think they could end up being abused or neglected or on the slaughter trail. I"ve no where near made up my mind on this but I've thought about it. Planning on doing a new will soon so it's been on my mind. Would this be terribly unfair? Thoughts?

FairWeather
Oct. 9, 2008, 01:58 PM
Nope, not terrible. A little sad, but I'd rather a little sadness than a life of uncertainty. I have approached people in my life that I love and trust, left money for my horses' care, with instructions on what to do with each of them. If those people could not care for my horses, they would be euthanized.

okggo
Oct. 9, 2008, 02:07 PM
This is a bit different but I would really appreciate thoughts on this. I have two horses, one is eight and one is appx. fourteen now. I am 68. I hope to be around for a long long time (am very active, ride a lot, do all my farm chores, etc.) as so far I am very healthy but who knows. If I died my poor husband would try to care for our animals but I'm really afraid he wouldn't do a good job. With things the way they are these days I'd be really afraid of my horses being sold or given away. One tends to be a bit hot and he's small. The other is the perfect horse for me but tends to not like other people so much. No one has ever been on her but me. When I first got her she tended to be really bull headed, stubborn, balky, etc. etc. I can see her being that way again in different hands. My friends are also OLD so you couldn't guarntee a forever home for them there. I'm really thinking about telling my family if I died to have my horses put down even if they were young and healthy...would that be terrible?? The thought of it makes me sick but it makes me sicker to think they could end up being abused or neglected or on the slaughter trail. I"ve no where near made up my mind on this but I've thought about it. Planning on doing a new will soon so it's been on my mind. Would this be terribly unfair? Thoughts?

I think it is incredibly wonderful of you to consider this. My husband and I are going to do a will outlining the horses and where they should go. Namely we have some close horse-folk friends that I would want to find them good homes, and help my family to do so.

3horsemom
Oct. 9, 2008, 02:11 PM
pj, i admire your thoughtfulness. we all need to think about an exit stradegy for all our animals. a humane end is the best gift we can give in some circumstances.

cowgirljenn
Oct. 9, 2008, 02:48 PM
What I've done is put together a list of people I would like my family to offer my horses to if somethign should happen to me. They're friends and other family members who I would trust with my kids. I've also listed a couple of rescues. Then I've told my family that if they cannot find them a home, I would prefer they be put down rather than sent to auction. But i would like the family to try finding a home first.


This is a bit different but I would really appreciate thoughts on this. I have two horses, one is eight and one is appx. fourteen now. I am 68. I hope to be around for a long long time (am very active, ride a lot, do all my farm chores, etc.) as so far I am very healthy but who knows. If I died my poor husband would try to care for our animals but I'm really afraid he wouldn't do a good job. With things the way they are these days I'd be really afraid of my horses being sold or given away. One tends to be a bit hot and he's small. The other is the perfect horse for me but tends to not like other people so much. No one has ever been on her but me. When I first got her she tended to be really bull headed, stubborn, balky, etc. etc. I can see her being that way again in different hands. My friends are also OLD so you couldn't guarntee a forever home for them there. I'm really thinking about telling my family if I died to have my horses put down even if they were young and healthy...would that be terrible?? The thought of it makes me sick but it makes me sicker to think they could end up being abused or neglected or on the slaughter trail. I"ve no where near made up my mind on this but I've thought about it. Planning on doing a new will soon so it's been on my mind. Would this be terribly unfair? Thoughts?

slpeders
Oct. 9, 2008, 03:17 PM
Blessings to you who have thought ahead. This summer one of the women that boards where I do was found dead in her garden, apparently of a heart attack. She left behind two ridable horses at our barn and one retiree at another barn. there was a bit of a dilemma getting things settled because at one point she'd talked to the barn manager about giving her the two horses, but I don't believe she'd updated her will. The woman with the retiree offered to take on the other two, but it worked out that the barn manager took one and the deceased woman's trainer took one and I think everyone has ended up happy so far. I wasn't privy to the details, so I don't know if the final 'distribution' was from the will or just mutually agreed upon, but am very thankful that it worked out for the best.
As I prepare to look for my next horse partner, I know I'll need to consider what will happen if I should go first....likelihood is low, but still there.

pj
Oct. 9, 2008, 03:50 PM
Thank you so much to those who responded. It really makes me feel better. I could leave money for my horses to be cared for but to who? As I said my friends are as old and some older than I am. The younger members of my family would mean well but none are really horse people and not only would they not know what to do and when but I think my horses would be a burden on them. There is nothing I would like better than to be with my horses as they grow old, to care for and pamper them through their old age but that really isn't likely to be possible. Your thoughts have eased my mind and I think this is what I will do. <s> If there is something like a rainbow bridge I'll wait til they get there. Thank you all again so much. this makes me cry.

Not So Practical Horse(WO)man
Oct. 9, 2008, 04:22 PM
mpb, you have a pm

gully's pilot
Oct. 9, 2008, 04:56 PM
No, PJ, I think you are being thoughtful and kindhearted, and courageous as well. My aunt recently asked for help finding a retirement home for her gelding, who has health issues and is no longer rideable--since I live far from her I think she was asking in hopes that I'd take him here on the farm. I won't; not only do we not have a stall free, but, more importantly, I sense that she feels very differently about euthanasia than I do, and is much more hesitant to put an end to suffering. I won't have a horse on the farm that I can't put down if I'm convinced it's best to do so.

In a related note, we were given a pony--a small packer with serious but probably manageable health problems--six years ago, for our very young daughter. I was impressed that the owners made me physically say, while looking them in the eye, that I would put the pony down if I couldn't keep him free from pain. Happily we've been able to keep him feeling good, so that even though my daughter's now outgrown him he's very content, but I respected their insistence that I be emotionally able to do it.. (We do share a farrier, who sends reports back and forth, so that they know the pony is doing well.)

Sneekers
Oct. 9, 2008, 04:57 PM
And I know L.I. There's virtually no place to retire a horse with his issues. It's primarily boarding barns, some backyard barns and a few larger facilities out east. Space is extremely limited. What space is available for horses is very, very expensive.

FairWeather hit the nail right on the head: "If you cannot afford two horses, deal with the one you have, the one who gave you years of service, the one you COMMITTED to all those sound years ago."

However, I agree with those who say that under these circumstances, with his physical issues, either keep him and sell the youngster or give him a peaceful end. Like others, I've been in this situation. I bought by dear old TB when he was 2. Went through some very, very lean times, difficult times and seemingly hopeless times. I worked 3 jobs to keep him. I don't make big bucks and I've lived on L.I. my entire life. He passed away at 29. I made a life long commitment - through thick and thin. Anything less would be a betrayal of my best friend. I've made the same promise to my little mare.

No one here is condemning you for what you're doing - but most of us draw on personal experience and passion. That's why we feel so strongly about this issue. If you can't find a safe retirement home for him, then do the right thing by him and put him down.

Diamondindykin
Oct. 9, 2008, 05:03 PM
I think that I would want my horses euthanized if I were to die and my family couldn't take care of them properly. I sadly know what is out there and I would never want that for my horses.........there are some things worse than death!

Ambrey
Oct. 9, 2008, 05:11 PM
And I know L.I. There's virtually no place to retire a horse with his issues. It's primarily boarding barns, some backyard barns and a few larger facilities out east. Space is extremely limited. What space is available for horses is very, very expensive.

I know a lot of people who do not retire locally, but send their horses to where land is cheap and plentiful for pasture retirement. In fact, I was chatting with someone just the other day who is sending her horse to somewhere in the midwest for $250/month including all regular farrier/vet care.

mbp618
Oct. 9, 2008, 05:23 PM
ok well im not putting him to sleep thats not an option for me I will get a second job before I would do that
thanks for all of your advice
I do have two other horses one is for sale and the sale is pending
So I am just going to look into retirement farms for my guy
thanks

pj
Oct. 9, 2008, 05:32 PM
[QUOTE=Ambrey;3570905]I know a lot of people who do not retire locally, but send their horses to where land is cheap and plentiful for pasture retirement. In fact, I was chatting with someone just the other day who is sending her horse to somewhere in the midwest for $250/month including all regular farrier/vet care.[/QUOT
Ambrey, I know this thread isn't about me and what I would want to do but I have to say this: I would NEVER send my horse out of state or any distance to be retired. I know there are some honest, caring places but you never know. I've heard too many horror tales about people thinking their horses were doing well and being well cared for and in the end they weren't.

meaty ogre
Oct. 9, 2008, 05:46 PM
Ryerss is a retirement home in PA with a good reputation, but it has a waiting list and doesn't take them until they are at least 20. But you could put him in on the list before he's 20. I briefly considered it for my TB but could not relinquish his care, probably like many on this board.

mbp, I respect your inability to euthanize him at this point, but just know there is less shame in giving him a peaceful end than making a decision which could open the door to neglect and heartache. Of course, you can probably find many places to trim your budget to provide a retirement for him if you aren't able to stomach putting him to sleep just yet.

And to PB, I used to take lessons at a barn full of older horses, and the BO/instructor was an older, single woman who lived alone. Out of curiosity one day I asked what would happen to the horses if they outlived her (I know, I admit I'm a nosy SOB), and she said that she had a notarized directive giving her power of attorney the funding to euthanize and dispose of all of them. I respect her immensely for that, knowing that they will not suffer. Yes, there's a chance they could be placed elsewhere, but so much bigger chance that they wouldn't. Better to know, I say.

MSP
Oct. 9, 2008, 06:08 PM
ok well im not putting him to sleep thats not an option for me I will get a second job before I would do that
thanks for all of your advice
I do have two other horses one is for sale and the sale is pending
So I am just going to look into retirement farms for my guy
thanks

You could look for cheap pasture type board to ease your cost as some have mentioned. Not a retirement facility but just find a cheaper place to keep him.

What ever you do don't donate him to a college or therapeutic riding facility thinking they will give him a good forever home. Not all but many are notorious for dumping horses into bad situations.

Just got a foundered pony from a therapeutic facility, you would think taking on a foundered pony with rotation enough but I had to pay for her to boot! I felt bad for her, she is 14 and deserves better and she is wonderful with the kids.

Times are bad, hope you find a workable solution.

Brave2Xrails
Oct. 11, 2008, 08:27 AM
I would NEVER send my horse out of state or any distance to be retired. I know there are some honest, caring places but you never know. I've heard too many horror tales about people thinking their horses were doing well and being well cared for and in the end they weren't.

Sure, there are terrible moronic fools out there who will try to swindle people by claiming to be a good retirement facility when, in reality, they are neglecting the horses. This is where continuing to be a responsible owner comes in - retiring a horse is more than just taking out your check book every month. (I know, sometimes it is hard enough to get people to even do that much...) Research needs to be put into finding a reputable place and then continuing to monitor your horses care to the best of your ability.

My experience with the out of state place I retired one of my guys has been fantastic! In fact, last spring I considered bringing him back closer to home - the shipper had been scheduled and the vet had already come out for the coggins - but decided against it at the last minute. I felt he was too happy and too integrated with his herd mates to do that to him.

For every one "horror story" I have heard about a horse going into retirement far away, I have heard two "success stories". The difference being that the owners in the success stories had great references before they shipped the horse to the facility and kept in close contact with the BOs, which included visits when possible.

There are many, many reputable retirement places for horses that are also affordable. I think it would be a disservice to frighten people away from this option.

lawndart
Oct. 11, 2008, 09:29 AM
Sure, there are terrible moronic fools out there who will try to swindle people by claiming to be a good retirement facility when, in reality, they are neglecting the horses. This is where continuing to be a responsible owner comes in - retiring a horse is more than just taking out your check book every month. (I know, sometimes it is hard enough to get people to even do that much...) Research needs to be put into finding a reputable place and then continuing to monitor your horses care to the best of your ability.

My experience with the out of state place I retired one of my guys has been fantastic! In fact, last spring I considered bringing him back closer to home - the shipper had been scheduled and the vet had already come out for the coggins - but decided against it at the last minute. I felt he was too happy and too integrated with his herd mates to do that to him.

For every one "horror story" I have heard about a horse going into retirement far away, I have heard two "success stories". The difference being that the owners in the success stories had great references before they shipped the horse to the facility and kept in close contact with the BOs, which included visits when possible.

There are many, many reputable retirement places for horses that are also affordable. I think it would be a disservice to frighten people away from this option.

Yes!! Just like any equine operation, there are good and bad among us. Do your investigation of a retirement farm just like you would a boarding barn in your backyard. GO VISIT. Any reputable farm will welcome visitors, and show you anything you want to see. Just looking at photos on the net is not enough. Get references from other current or past boarders, and make sure you are on the same page with level of care. There are farms that just do rough board, and farms that do full board.

It really is not hard to send photos via e-mail these days ;) If a farm says it can't be bothered, or has no one to do that, keep on walking. If they can't send updates, or itemized bills, keep on walking. Ask how many are turned out in a herd, if its 20 horses in a 5 acre field, keep on walking. Equine retirement is a business like any other, and should be run like one. :winkgrin: That said, I will admit I treat my boarders like my own horses. I get seriously upset when one is sick. Not business-like of me I know, but I get very attached to them. And I mourn them when they pass on. :sadsmile:

You know your horse best, and what he/she requires. Its your duty toward that horse that gave you the best years of its life, to give him the best retirement for the rest of his life. :yes:

ddashaq
Oct. 11, 2008, 10:36 AM
When my husband's horse was ready to be retired, I was able to find him a wonderful home through word of mouth. A lady that I knew through a friend was looking for some horses for her mom who had lots of land and had lost her last very old horse a couple of years earlier. He went to them to be a 4H horse for the grand kids and to give grandma a horse to love and look after. He lived the life of luxury in a huge pasture with his own band of pony mares to boss him around and he even became grandma's riding horse as once she rode him she refused to share! (Hence the ponies.) He died in his sleep in his field this spring after 5 years with them. This fall one of my friends realized that it was time to find a home for her gelding because he needs a home where he can slow down. She contacted the same family and it looks like they want him and I KNOW that he will have a wonderful life with them.

The thing with these two is that they were/are perfectly rideable and we knew that they would hold up to 4H fair once a year and the occaisional trail ride. OP, you should get your guy back into work and see if he is going to hold up to light riding. He will be much easier to place if you can let people know that he is rideable. I would also spread the word around your local horse community as you never know who is looking. Best of luck to both of you.

TouchstoneAcres
Oct. 11, 2008, 12:02 PM
If he is rideable check with therapeutic riding programs, free lease with proivision for euthanasia when no longer able to be kept there.