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azdreamride
Feb. 27, 2012, 05:26 PM
I am faced with possibly making the difficult decision to have a horse sent over the bridge-- Here in AZ there are not many options for disposing of a horse, so he will likely need to be buried on our property--

How big of a hole needs to be dug?- he is a 16'3 hander- so a big guy-- how deep and how wide?

do most have the hole ready when the vet arrives-- any special things you need to put in with them?

this is making me sick just having to ask--but the only other option is the county dump-- :( the only other horse I've had to euth was already at UC davis so they took care of everything.
thanks for any insight.

Diamondindykin
Feb. 27, 2012, 05:36 PM
I am sorry you are facing this.....it is never easy.

I have lost three horses in the last two years so I do have some experience with this. According to the Health Department where I live there must be 6 feet of dirt on top of the horse so they usually dig the hole at least 8 feet deep. My cases were not pre-planned so we did have the horses covered overnight and they were buried the next day.

I didn't do anything at the grave site but I did manage to get some of their tails and mane before they were buried.

Good luck and I am sorry for your loss!

Proud To Be Spotted
Feb. 27, 2012, 05:50 PM
When I had my mare put down, I used a man my vet recommended. He had done it before so I just let him do whatever. Im sure the hole was a least 8 foot deep. I remember tell him I didnt want anything to dig her up, and he told me not to worry, it would never happen.

He also put in 6 bags of shavings then was the mare was in he went down and covered her with a sheet for me. That was just to make me feel better.

Im sorry, its never easy.

lilitiger2
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:36 PM
I am so, so sorry! That is so hard. Eight feet sounds right from my experience at my mom's too. If you can, you can get the backhoe guy to dig the hole ahead of time and wait until the vet is done. We left the body in the field for a bit and the other horse came up and investigated, totally broke my heart. Then they put the body in the hole with the backhoe, a warning, not a real pretty or delicate process (the backhoe guy is just a gem, willing to wait, extremely thoughtful). Shavings in the hole is so nice and covering is very thoughtful. A great time to take mane, tail, whatever, read a letter, have some ritual. We have trees planted over the spot (many others have now been buried in the same area), also helps mark so we know roughly where people are!! Nice that you can have him at your place, with you. Again,my condolences!:cry:

clh
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:38 PM
My sympathies to you. When we were planning on having our mare euthanized on our farm, our plan was 8 foot deep as well. We ended up creamating all of our mares instead. It is never an easy decision to make but one that sometimes needs to be made for the horse's sake I know. Hugs to you.

Bluey
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:51 PM
Here, we are not supposed to bury, a light water table in places is a mere 7'.
Still, some do bury, one a friend that lost her old horse last week.
The local windmill man has a backhoe and took care of it for her.
He prefers the owner is not there.
He said it is no easy way to make the burying a good experience to watch.:no:
Once she is gone, you may ought to consider leaving the rest to whoever is handling it for you.

Sorry that you are in that situation now.:cry:

dani0303
Feb. 27, 2012, 08:55 PM
8' is pretty standard. We've used a plumbing/piping company in the past to make sure the hole is done right. We've either euthed the horse next to the hole and pushed it in with a tractor (kind of morbid, I know), or guided the horse into the hole as it was being euthed. Personally I prefer the latter.

ToTheNines
Feb. 27, 2012, 09:50 PM
I just wanted to add that you might think twice about having the hole dug in one of your pastures. I did that, and the ground there is very unstable. Every once in a while I am horrified to see that one of my horses has put a foot down deep over where the hole was.

Mr.GMan
Feb. 28, 2012, 06:15 AM
I have 2 buried on my property. Both times, the hole was dug after the death. The same man came out and dug the grave. He dug with the back hoe about 8-10 feet. He was very professional about it and very respectful. As for being there, I didn't mind that so much. The man carefully explained what he had to do and if I was uneasy with that, he suggested I leave and he would come get me when he was finished. I personally would have more problems walking my horse up to the site or into it to be put down.

So sorry you have to make this decision, but trust you are doing the right thing. It is always a hard choice to make, even when you know in your heart it is the right thing to do. Big hugs.

cutter99
Feb. 28, 2012, 06:34 AM
I don't know if a rendering service is an option for you or not. I had a border's horse that needed to be euthanized due to age and she arranged for the rendering service to pick him up. She could not be with the horse while he was being put down, so the vet, rendering man and I worked together to make it as easy on the horse as possible. The truck actually had a lift gate on it to help move the horse and he was put down as close to the truck as possible. I have buried horses as well and would say that using the rendering service was almost easier than burying, plus you don't have to worry about any environmental impact.

yellow-horse
Feb. 28, 2012, 06:56 AM
You might want to reconsider having someone haul the body to a dump. I buried my 1st horse here but because of having to wait for the ground to settle, limited turnout and having to restrict use of the area came to the point that the next 2 were picked up and taken to a landfill that accepted large animals. I never thought I would do this however after the 1st horse, I came to realize that the spot held no meaning for me, I am not more comforted knowing she is back there. I loved all 3 horses and frankly once I grieved for them, I did not think about where their bodies wound up but with the distance of time, remember each of them as being alive and flashes of memories that are not related to where they are now but what they meant to me while they were alive.

Bluey
Feb. 28, 2012, 07:58 AM
Horses that die at the vets here used to be picked up by a renderer, but they don't come by any more, so someone takes them to the landfill.
It is not recommended horses be buried.

An old ranch manager two years ago lost his old ranch horse and, even knowing you are not supposed to bury, he did.
He asked the backhoe operator to have the horse rest standing up in the hole.
That was done and the fellow himself died a few months later.
Never could figure why how the horse was laid in there mattered.:confused:

I would say that you really don't need to be there when the horse is moved into place, or don't look, it is not a last sight you may want to have of your horse.

trubandloki
Feb. 28, 2012, 08:04 AM
Composting (http://compost.css.cornell.edu/naturalrenderingFS.pdf) is always an option.



For burial, having the hole dug before the euthanasia is simply a matter of the logistics of your equipment operator. Are they willing to come out twice?

The only time hole first works to your benefit is if the hole is dug with a ramp into it and you can walk the horse down there (or you are euthanizing a small pony that you can easily get down there after euthanasia).

pj
Feb. 28, 2012, 10:01 AM
Composting (http://compost.css.cornell.edu/naturalrenderingFS.pdf) is always an option.



For burial, having the hole dug before the euthanasia is simply a matter of the logistics of your equipment operator. Are they willing to come out twice?

The only time hole first works to your benefit is if the hole is dug with a ramp into it and you can walk the horse down there (or you are euthanizing a small pony that you can easily get down there after euthanasia).
I've always thought that taking a horse into their grave before they are dead is horrible. You know that's got to worry them. LOL it would me if I were being escorted down into a big hole.

The two we have buried here, one died and one was euthed we had the guy with his equipment come out after the horses were dead. I left while he buried them.
Just couldn't handle that.

If you do bury then I would suggest that you have them mound the dirt. We didn't on one and after a while it does sink so we had to have him back out to add more dirt to the grave.

I am so so sorry you are facing this. I think the dreading is as bad or worse than the actual doing.

2ndyrgal
Feb. 28, 2012, 10:09 AM
And this very thread is why we have 40 acres and a backhoe.

Now, the first time, my DH, who had never had any experience with the burial of any animal, let alone a large one, was in charge of digging the hole, since he's the one that knows how to run the backhoe.

He loved the horse dearly, and wanted to do it alone.

When he asked me to go out and check to see if everything was "okay", I was met by a hole large enough to be a two car garage. God love him.

After it was over, he insisted on my vet and I walking down the hill, so we wouldn't have to watch him put Tuff in his grave. He was careful and respectful, and got him in perfectly. He said it was the last thing he could do for him. He did the same thing again when I lost my beloved Haffie.


I put fresh hay in the bottom, and buried them in their favorite spots.

Do have them mound up the grave though.

It's never, ever easy.

carolprudm
Feb. 28, 2012, 10:55 AM
Most likely the horse will not close her eyes so put a fly mask on her first. You do not want to look into your dead horse's eyes.

Watermark Farm
Feb. 28, 2012, 01:00 PM
Mine have been buried about 8 feet deep. The vet told me to put a 50# bag of lime or oyster shell flour into the hole to speed decomposition. Have the dirt mounded on top of the hole so that as things settle, you don't have a depression.

I have the hole dug after the horse is euthanized, then I have the backhoe guy move the horse's body with his front loader. I fold the legs and tie them so they don't stick out. They can't always get the body into the hole very gracefully, so it's best if you don't watch the body go in, or see if after it's in. In fact, it can be easiest if you don't watch the whole body moving process unless you are fairly stoic with these things.

I'm very sorry, hugs to you and your horse.

didgery
Feb. 28, 2012, 03:38 PM
We hit standing water when trying to dig a 4 foot hole for a large dog, so I'm pretty sure it would be neither easy nor safe to bury a horse/mule here on this farm. In a similar situation, I'd look into euthanizing with a bullet rather than drugs and donating the carcass to a pack of hounds, a local zoo, etcetera. With a deep water table, though, just make sure your backhoe guy knows what he's doing. It should go fine.

Chardavej
Feb. 28, 2012, 04:02 PM
We can't bury here, it's against county and city ordnances, plus our property has a gas line, cable line, telephone fiber optic line, sewer line and fresh water line running in different sections. I bought a easement heavy property but I'm in the city so what do you do?

Anyway, I had an old mare that was time to put her down, she was 29, had heaves and a gimpy little hip. I had to plan in my head weeks before what we were to do, I had to get it set so it wouldn't be so hard or grim by the time the deed was done. I found thinking about it far in advance, while she was still around and bossing everyone around, much easier when the time came. I went into robot mode.

I planned to put her down near a tarp, was hoping on the tarp, but she said nope. :) so the vet gave her a sedative, I went in the barn and sat on a bale of hay and cried while one of our older been-there-done-that boarders held her for me.

They came and got me when it was over, and I found I could deal with it easier.

My plan was to roll or bunch up a tarp to it's halfway point, and put that along her back on the ground, then all of us gently took her legs and rolled her slowly over onto her other side, then I was able to unroll the tarp and she was then laying on the tarp. I then covered her little body with the tarp.

I hooked the small 16 foot flatbed utility trailer to the truck and jackknifed it up close to her and put the ramp down, we then gathered up the ends of the tarp and tied them together and hooked it to the tractor and very slowly pulled her up onto the trailer.

We then covered her more and secured her. We called ahead to that landfill and for $50.00 they will dig a large hole off to the edges of the landfill for you. Hubby and the boarder took her there. They said the backhoe operator was very kind and gentle.

It took a long long LONG time prior to us putting her down to wrap my head around the fact of burying her at the landfill, or dump. But I soon realized buried is buried, and I don't really want a grave to tip toe around, afraid to do anything with and not sure what to do with it anyway.

Some of you probably think this was cruel or mean or disrespectful, and granted it was hard to think about. But when the time came, I had thought about it so much it wasn't hard. Buried is buried, right?

Right?

pj
Feb. 28, 2012, 04:47 PM
We can't bury here, it's against county and city ordnances, plus our property has a gas line, cable line, telephone fiber optic line, sewer line and fresh water line running in different sections. I bought a easement heavy property but I'm in the city so what do you do?

Anyway, I had an old mare that was time to put her down, she was 29, had heaves and a gimpy little hip. I had to plan in my head weeks before what we were to do, I had to get it set so it wouldn't be so hard or grim by the time the deed was done. I found thinking about it far in advance, while she was still around and bossing everyone around, much easier when the time came. I went into robot mode.

I planned to put her down near a tarp, was hoping on the tarp, but she said nope. :) so the vet gave her a sedative, I went in the barn and sat on a bale of hay and cried while one of our older been-there-done-that boarders held her for me.

They came and got me when it was over, and I found I could deal with it easier.

My plan was to roll or bunch up a tarp to it's halfway point, and put that along her back on the ground, then all of us gently took her legs and rolled her slowly over onto her other side, then I was able to unroll the tarp and she was then laying on the tarp. I then covered her little body with the tarp.

I hooked the small 16 foot flatbed utility trailer to the truck and jackknifed it up close to her and put the ramp down, we then gathered up the ends of the tarp and tied them together and hooked it to the tractor and very slowly pulled her up onto the trailer.

We then covered her more and secured her. We called ahead to that landfill and for $50.00 they will dig a large hole off to the edges of the landfill for you. Hubby and the boarder took her there. They said the backhoe operator was very kind and gentle.

It took a long long LONG time prior to us putting her down to wrap my head around the fact of burying her at the landfill, or dump. But I soon realized buried is buried, and I don't really want a grave to tip toe around, afraid to do anything with and not sure what to do with it anyway.

Some of you probably think this was cruel or mean or disrespectful, and granted it was hard to think about. But when the time came, I had thought about it so much it wasn't hard. Buried is buried, right?

Right?
Buried is buried and they aren't there anyhow.
You did good.

Fairview Horse Center
Feb. 28, 2012, 05:25 PM
If you have someone with a backhoe to dig the hole, and you have heavy chains, with large steel hooks on the end, the bodies can be pixked up and lowered, instead of pushing them into a hole. Just wrap the chains around 2 pasterns (together) and hook back to the chain. Hook the other end to the backhoe bucket. Then you can use a rope on the hind leg or tail to guide them into position.

Laurierace
Feb. 28, 2012, 05:58 PM
The body is a vessel. You get to keep the good part of them in your heart, the rest doesn't really matter to me.

ReSomething
Feb. 28, 2012, 07:13 PM
The body is a vessel. You get to keep the good part of them in your heart, the rest doesn't really matter to me.

That's a good thought.

OP, I've never had to be there when one of the horses I knew went over the bridge and you have my sympathies.

akrogirl
Feb. 28, 2012, 08:18 PM
Sorry to hear about your horse :-( I am also in Arizona and burial on our property is not an option - it is a big no-no in our area, so we used Trail's End when my wonderful old broodie passed away of old age a few months ago. They offer a burial option, which is the way we chose to go. The man from Trail's End came out promptly and handled everything very professionally.

Zu Zu
Feb. 28, 2012, 09:28 PM
I'm sorry ````

thoughts and prayers and huge hugs for you ```

ACP
Feb. 28, 2012, 11:03 PM
I am so sorry for the loss you are facing. Please remember that this is the last kind think you can do for your horse.

I don't know if you have ever been there before, or not, when a horse was put down. If not, you need to be prepared for the fact that a large animal's death is more dramatic than a small pet like a cat or a dog. I hope your vet with trank the horse first. Many animals who have not been tranked will have a wild leap of reaction as the drugs hit them. Or they will go down hard, and fall into a bad position. I know dead is dead, but seeing them lying on their side as if asleep is easier than seeing them in a heap, after toppling over or crashing to the ground.

If you have anyone who will help you, then walk the horse out and tell it goodby, and that you hope to see it again someday. Feed the treats, scratch the itchy spots, whatever little routines you have shared. Then, let your friend hold the horse while you go in the barn and wait. When things are over, you can go back. That moment when the light goes out of their eyes is a hard thing to see and a harder thing to forget. I've done it, and it never gets easier.

I would also urge you not to watch the horse's body be put in the grave. It isn't like a cat or dog that you can gently pick up and then nestle down into its grave. Often watching them bury the horse is not a good idea.

I'm sorry if I am giving you images that will trouble you.

SGray
Feb. 29, 2012, 10:09 AM
I have had good results with composting

{{{hugs}}} for you and your horse

StGermain
Feb. 29, 2012, 12:44 PM
Arizona

State Veterinarian: Dr. Richard Willer
USDA Cooperative Extension Service

State Regulations:
Deceased Animal Disposal Laws: Ariz. Admin. Code 18-13-311. Disposal; General
A. Refuse shall be disposed of by a method or methods included in these rules and shall include rodent, insect, and nuisance control at the place or places of disposal. Approval must be obtained from the Department for all new disposal sites and may change in the method of disposal prior to use.
B. Carcasses of large dead animals shall be buried or cremated, unless satisfactory arrangements have been made for disposal by rendering or other approved methods.
C. All public "dumping grounds," provided in compliance with A.R.S. Ā§9-441, shall be maintained and operated in accordance with the requirements of these rules.
D.Manure shall be disposed of by sanitary landfill, composting, incineration, or used as fertilizer in such a manner as not to create insect breeding or nuisance.

Euthanasia Programs:
University of Arizona
Arizona Department of Animal Sciences, Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory
P.O Box 210038
Tucson, AZ 85721-0038
520-621-2356

Equine Crematory Services:
All Cremation Service
5646 W. Bethany Home Road
Glendale, AZ 85301
623-842-0908

Ashes to Ashes Pet Cremation (serves the Continental U.S.)
22331 590th Street
Pomeroy, IA 50575
712-358-2600

Memorial Pet Care (serves the Continental U.S.)
654 E. King Street
Meridian, ID 83642
208-887-7669

Rendering/Carcass Disposal:
AAA Large Animal Removal & Disposal by T & L Maynard
31711 N. 167th Avenue
Surprise, AZ 85357
623-521-8417

Baker Commodities Inc.
3602 E. Elmwood Street
P.O. Box 6518
Phoenix, AZ 85009
602-254-5971

Maricopa County By-Products
3602 W. Elwood
Phoenix, AZ 85009
602-275-3402

Tucson's Original Recyclers
3928 Fairview Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85705-2631
520-887-00440

Landfills that Accept Equine Carcasses:
* Waste ManagementĀ® accepts equine carcasses at some, but not all locations. To find out if your local Waste Management location will take horse carcasses, please contact them: 800-963-4776

Burbank
Feb. 29, 2012, 01:06 PM
I'm sorry

when we put Burbank down we buried him in the far edge of the riding ring that isn't used and where part of the ring had been dug out of the hill so there was a wall of dirt to pull from to add on top of the grave

we had to go there b/c in the pasture it is to rocky as we are on the top of a mountian and it was one of the only clear enough areas that didn't have much in the way of rocks

we had the vet and backhoe operator come at about the same time and dug the hole, parked the truck infront of the hole and put him down next to the truck where he couldn't see the hole, then moved the truck and using tow straps lowered him into the hole

My3Sons
Feb. 29, 2012, 02:48 PM
sorry for you:( As a horse lover I have been thru this myself.

Just know no matter what happens to the 'body' it's a shell..my feeling is your horse is in heaven and with you.

Cherish your horse's life & memories!!! Celebrate your lives together!

We are so fortunate to have had them in our lives! Sounds like you are an amazing horse owner.

azdreamride
Feb. 29, 2012, 03:48 PM
Thank you all for the info--what a hard thing. I called the only facility in Tucson that does rendering, and it would be 450 dollars to pick up the horse and take him there..is that on par with what a typical cost is?? we are south of Tucson by about 2 hours and I can't find anyplace locally. So at this point burial may be our only option....or having someone take him to waste management.

thanks for all of your kind words of support-- my vet usually has an assistant that holds the horse--so I would be free to go in the house until he was laying quietly.

LetsGoSteady
Feb. 29, 2012, 06:42 PM
Are you in Maricopa county? I know there are renderers that will come here.

Not sure about the other counties or really rural areas...

Edit: just read your location. Look on Craigslist? It's a long shot but sometimes you find one there.

Tucson Tallow at 520-887-0440 ?

azdreamride
Feb. 29, 2012, 06:50 PM
thanks, I'm in cochise county-- I have a feeling they won't come this far--we are about 3.5 hours from Maricopa co. I have a call into the county...I think they might provide removal services with prior arrangements..

yes, I called Tucson Tallow--and it was 450 dollars for removal--YIKES!

Burbank
Mar. 2, 2012, 07:45 PM
around us 250 is around the norm for getting a hole dug with a backhoe

Bluey
Mar. 2, 2012, 08:38 PM
My friend just buried her gelding last week and it was $300 for the backhoe.