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May. 19, 2010, 04:45 PM
May. 19, 2010, 04:51 PM
I'd find a cheaper facility close enough that you can check up on him and give him the time to recover. Then see about doing a free lease as a therapy horse/huband horse/lesson horse. If he goes lame permanently with them, you can get him back and have him humanely euthed if you can't find a suitable companion home for him.
May. 19, 2010, 06:13 PM
Is he bomb proof? Plenty of therapeutic programs are FULL of "serviceably sound" horses, and a lot of them just have to be able to walk. You could free lease him to a program like that. We did that with a pony of mine, and he loved it.
May. 19, 2010, 06:50 PM
It would depend on what group you sent him to, how much maintenance he requires and what they are willing to do. When I loaned my pony out we paid for vet and farrier because it was important to me to have my regular people work on him and they were more $$ than the people the program used. They took care of his board expenses (feed, shavings, hay, etc).
I know that other friends have sent horses to the same or similar places and not had to pay a thing.
Search for a therapeutic program in your area and inquire about their policies when it comes to obtaining horses. Some will only take donations because they are afraid of putting time and training (specific to the needs of disabled riders) into a leased horse that the owner could take back.
May. 19, 2010, 07:06 PM
Keep him until he is sound and recovered from his current injury. Then free lease him out for what will hopefully be many useful years. During that time, stock a little away each month so you can cover his retirement when the times comes.
May. 19, 2010, 07:13 PM
Does he have enough flatwork training to do a decent training level/first level dressage test? Is he good on trails/ hacking?
You might be able to find an adult ammy rider or re-rider looking for a safe horse to dabble in dressage and go out on the trails once in awhile.
May. 19, 2010, 07:25 PM
I would think there would be a fair number of people (ok, mostly middle aged women like me who have no interest in jumping) who are looking for a sane safe well trained horse.
May. 19, 2010, 07:31 PM
There are plenty of people looking for a nice quality horse to do local shows on the flat and such.
May. 19, 2010, 07:39 PM
Will he no longer be useful to you after he becomes a flatwork only horse? Do you still want to own him after he recovers? Do you not want to own a retired one at all?
No judgement. I'm just asking because it might change what you do. In your spot, I might ask my vet if he could do some or all of his rehab turned out in a pasture.
If I wanted to make completely sure he had the best chance at recovery, I'd keep him at his current barn or find another cheaper one that I could get to and do the stall-rest part right. If I knew I didn't care quite so much about the outcome, I'd turn him out and let him heal the old fashioned way.
Since he is broke and safe, he does have a nice shot at getting a lower level dressage home. That would be my first choice for him-- a person who chose him for what he was and felt responsible for him and connected.
The therapy horse life is harder than it looks, and also harder to get into. And not every program is a step up in care for every horse-- especially the showing ones. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just mention this because I was really surprised by all these things when I looked into it.
May. 19, 2010, 07:44 PM
Agree you shouldn't retire him now, but just want to say there are many retirement farms that charge way way less than 1200. I am pretty sure there are retirement farms where you are that would be charging around $450, but you'll have to hunt them out, they don't usually advertise. (Despite not knowing where you are, I'm basing the ratio on where I live, where board at a nice barn w/an indoor is $1000 - $2000; I do retirement board and charge $425 (I'm full, so not trying to get your horse to come here!).
Also, many people send their horses off to farms, some fantastic, like onthebit's (retiredhorses.com), some less so. But the point being, you have lots of options when it comes time to retire your horse.