View Full Version : The impossible situation -- Dangerous Horse, and Humane Solution

Apr. 5, 2002, 07:57 PM
really really impossible

I am looking for "head" responses not emotional babble heart responses because of the possible severity of this problem

I have a 5yo wb. i have owned him for 3 years. He is aggressive-and I mean dangerous aggressive. I have had more than 5 different trainers help me with him-including great cowboys. He has moments of semi good and manageable behavior-but the moments are brief and fleeting.

He won't jump and is not inclined for dressage...not a pasture ornament and not a pleasure or trail horse.

He has attacked me, pinned me in a stall, picked me up by my coat and thrown me....he bites, rears, strikes.....

Now he was manageable to ride-but again, would stop at jumps, poles, shut down and if pressed lay down. He has never learned to lunge-attacks, strikes, lays down.

NOW to compound matters he is not sound on 3 legs-2 rear and 1 front....I can't do a lameness workup because he won't lunge or jog....trust me MANY professionals have tried unsuccesfully to get him to do this.

I can pull blood for EPM, lymes,etc but at the end he is still a reall bugger....

I have had him tested and he was gelded properly so not the issue.

What in the WORLD do you do with this situation....he is a risk to have at my farm, a risk to sell, a risk to donate....and no volunteers have stepped up to the plate....

what to do....

Life is too short to dance with ugly men

[Edited to make title more descriptive so those who need such a thread in the future may be able to find this one more easily]

[This message was edited by Portia on Apr. 09, 2002 at 11:47 AM.]

Apr. 5, 2002, 07:57 PM
really really impossible

I am looking for "head" responses not emotional babble heart responses because of the possible severity of this problem

I have a 5yo wb. i have owned him for 3 years. He is aggressive-and I mean dangerous aggressive. I have had more than 5 different trainers help me with him-including great cowboys. He has moments of semi good and manageable behavior-but the moments are brief and fleeting.

He won't jump and is not inclined for dressage...not a pasture ornament and not a pleasure or trail horse.

He has attacked me, pinned me in a stall, picked me up by my coat and thrown me....he bites, rears, strikes.....

Now he was manageable to ride-but again, would stop at jumps, poles, shut down and if pressed lay down. He has never learned to lunge-attacks, strikes, lays down.

NOW to compound matters he is not sound on 3 legs-2 rear and 1 front....I can't do a lameness workup because he won't lunge or jog....trust me MANY professionals have tried unsuccesfully to get him to do this.

I can pull blood for EPM, lymes,etc but at the end he is still a reall bugger....

I have had him tested and he was gelded properly so not the issue.

What in the WORLD do you do with this situation....he is a risk to have at my farm, a risk to sell, a risk to donate....and no volunteers have stepped up to the plate....

what to do....

Life is too short to dance with ugly men

[Edited to make title more descriptive so those who need such a thread in the future may be able to find this one more easily]

[This message was edited by Portia on Apr. 09, 2002 at 11:47 AM.]

Apr. 5, 2002, 08:02 PM
I'm very sorry, LMH, but if the situation is as bad as you say, there may be only one thing you can do. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

There's too much potential physical danger and financial liability involved in having a horse like that around, unless you can make him just a pasture ornament.

I'm sorry. I hope it works out somehow.

Apr. 5, 2002, 08:07 PM

At the risk of sounding heartless, if I had done my best to rule out possible medical causes (which it seems you have done - I am talking about for the behavioral issues, not the lameness) then frankly, I would have him put down.

No horse is worth dealing with behavior that could potentially cripple or let's face it, kill you or someone working at your farm. People do put up with incredibly poor behavior on the ground in cases where there is equally incredible talent/ability/success under saddle... but here I don't see the point. (Nor would I *personally* be willing to keep one I thought was dangerous myself, even if they were World Cup material...)

I am sorry that you are having to deal with this. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be -


"It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that
matters, in the end."
-Ursula K. Le Guin

Apr. 5, 2002, 08:08 PM
I agree with Portia. No horse is worth getting someone killed or injured. Who knows what is wrong with him - possibility of a brain tumor>

Please do what is best for yourself. And, I add my deepest sympathy.

"We ride and never worry about the fall.
I guess that's just the cowboy in us all."
Tim McGraw

Apr. 5, 2002, 08:10 PM
I hate it that you are having to deal with this. I think it is good, though, that you are able to think logically about it. Locally we have a university equine program which requires advanced students be assigned to a "special problems" horse. It is the student's job to work with that horse exclusively to retrain said horse. You might try such a program as a last resort. If that fails, I would probably choose to have him humanely put down. Even if he were not gelded, I would not want to breed a horse of his temperment. I know this must be a tough decision, and hope you all the best. I also know that it doesn't take long to get badly hurt trying to salvage a dangerous horse. Good luck.

Apr. 5, 2002, 08:12 PM
thanks for the quick responses so far---really unless someone has been in this situation you cannot begin to imagine the frustration and guilt involved.

I would firesale him but he won't sell and I feel that could be a HORRIBLE disaster for him or the new owner....while he is difficult to say the least, I would hate for him to be subjected to a life of abuse or being passed around....

Life is too short to dance with ugly men

Apr. 5, 2002, 08:12 PM
Unfortunately, you have two choices. IMO

Put him down and have his carcass hauled off or buried.

Sell him at auction, less coggins to ensure he goes to the "meat man"...or get him to the plant yourself if that is your choice.

Then, do not post your choice to a public board, you will get flamed. You will get some support, but the flames will be there, telling you that you didn't try enough, or didn't do some alternative medicine, or this or that.

Apr. 5, 2002, 08:12 PM
Clarice-that is an intersting option...which university is it??? are there others???

Life is too short to dance with ugly men

Evalee Hunter
Apr. 5, 2002, 08:13 PM
but have you tried chemical behavior modification--I mean Regumate?

He certainly sounds scarey & dangerous. A friend of mine who runs a boarding stable encountered a horse somewhat like you describe--the difference being that this horse, although dangerous to work around on the ground, was a total dream to ride.

The horse was purchased at New Holland (shades of recent rescue/horse slaughter threads!) by a local riding stable & leased to a 13 year old girl. According to my friend this horse was a known biter so they kept a muzzle on him but he was a total dream to ride--this rather inexperienced 13 year old could ride this horse bareback cross country, he was that bombproof.

However, the day came when he managed to grab my friend by the jacket (he slammed his muzzled muzzle against her chest hard enough to grab her through the small hole in the muzzle) & she was TOTALLY CONVINCED he tried to kill her. He was put down.

Your story & your horse certainly fit in with these recent threads & I hope some of the rescue people will give you some input because you have raised an important question:

Can every horse be saved?

Apr. 5, 2002, 08:24 PM
My old trainer went through this with a horse. Like your horse he was handled by a small number of very competent and experienced horse people his whole life and was still an untrustworthy, and very dangerous horse.

She had tried everything with him, even an animal communicator (who said he was delusional and basically insane) but there is a point where there is nothing more you can do.

He is OK in pasture right now and reasonably ok as far as receiving maintenance care but, yes he would have been put down if that had not worked. He will be put down if it comes to him needing any major medical treatment as he will be impossible to treat.

It sounds like you have given this horse every chance and he is an accident waiting to happen.

It's a tough decision to make though

/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Just ot amend my post, the horse I describe was a stallion till he was three. He never showed any sexual interest in mares whatsoever and gelding him made little to no difference to his behaviour. I do believe he was truly insane.

If you had a dog that vicious you would have put it to sleep, you shouldn't feel any more guilty just because he's a horse.

Apr. 5, 2002, 08:38 PM
I am a true believer that euthanasia can be a very good thing. In fact, that's what it means "good death".
I was very grateful this past monday that we are able to do this for our friends, my beloved 17 year old kitty Niki was euthanized on Monday. If an animal is that aggressive it is really the only appropriate thing to do. And it also sounds like you've already made up your mind. Do not fell guilty, you would be doing the right thing, not only for yourself, but for him as well.

Apr. 5, 2002, 08:40 PM
I also need to add my two cents as an educator (school guidance counselor). Please, please do not call euthanasia "putting to sleep". It is very, very confusing for children and can do quite a bit of damage. Please call it what it is, euthanasia or put down, but not put to sleep. That is not what it is.

Apr. 5, 2002, 09:03 PM
He may have some terrible problem, like a brain tumour - it is just not normal for horses to behave like this. But behave like this he does, and he is a danger to everyone around him. I think you have tried, and it is only a matter of time. I also think he cannot be very happy either if he acts like this -
but please don't send him to auction or to the slaughter house - call the vet.
It's not a happy situation, but it is a quick and humane death.
I'm sorry for you and sorry for him too.

Apr. 5, 2002, 09:04 PM
I feel that your signature line sums it up best...only slightly alter it to "Life is too short to ride ugly horses."

This animal's ugly attitude is NOT getting better! As a person who has dealt with animals with problems, I urge you to GET RID OF HIM!!! If you ever feel uncomfortable with a situation, get out of it, FAST. Find another professional opinion, if you want. Personally, I agree with the rest...euthanasia is probably what it's going to take to end this problem.

Eventamy, you have a good point about the "going to sleep" issue...

"The frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives." ancient Aztec proverb.

Apr. 5, 2002, 09:30 PM
This is such a hard thing to deal with...it is so incredibly hard to be the one to make a decision to put an animal down. But I do think that putting him down is probably the right choice to make unless he can be a pasture ornament like Portia suggested. I knew of a horse that was very aggressive and was sold to someone for cheap. He ended up pinning this woman in a roundpen and attacking her. Luckily she was okay, but had the horse put down. I think that was the best thing to do, since this horse could have killed her.

visit www.victorianfarms.com (http://www.victorianfarms.com)

Apr. 5, 2002, 09:41 PM

I love horses. There are many horses whom I think are far better than people whom I have the displeasure to have known. But the bottom line is that than no horse is worth more than a human life, and if a horse endangers a human life in spite of every advance of training philosophy and medical technology, then we may have to accept that this is our failure, but so be it...

A University donation may be the best option available.

"You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty. "
- Sacha Guitry (1885-1957) *

Apr. 5, 2002, 10:09 PM
This is an awful (although rather clear cut) situation, but now I'm wondering. Is there clinical evidence of mental illness in animals? Am I extremely dense and obviously not paying attention, or have there been cases or studies on psychosis in horses? Can a horse be 'insane'?

www.foalcams.com (http://www.foalcams.com)

Apr. 5, 2002, 10:18 PM
I have to agree with those who have suggested euthanasia. I'm sorry to say that, but if he is dangerous even as a pasture ornament I think that's the only thing to do.

He's an enormous liability to you, your family and anyone who may come in contact with him regardless of whether you keep him, sell, give him away, or donate him.

The lack of trainability, talent and soundness are only more reasons to make that difficult decision. It sounds as if there is something REALLY wrong with this horse somewhere and the kindest thing to do would be to euthanize. How happy can he possibly be if he's acting like that?

Maybe you can find a university doing post mortem studies on horses with behavioral problems and donate him. That way, some good may come of this unfortunate situation.

www.meandercreekstable.com (http://www.meandercreekstable.com)

Apr. 5, 2002, 10:21 PM
I don't have any further suggestions but I just wanted to say 'Good Luck' with whatever you choose to do. I am sure you will make the right decision.

Bowed tendon: 73 days down, minimum 17 days to go.

Apr. 5, 2002, 10:42 PM
Possibly, yes - I remember reading an article in Equus magazine - it dealt with sales issues and one of the stories was about a woman who had purchased a nice seeming filly from a trainer. Got the animal home and it started charging her, trying to attack her,etc etc and acting like a homicidal fiend. Long story short, she found out that the animal's dam and other relatives were all the subject of a study at the nearby veterinary university because they were all essentially these bonkers vicious animals.

Very interesting - really made me wonder what was wrong with the hard-wiring in these particular animals' heads.

"Stupidity should be painful."

Apr. 5, 2002, 10:56 PM
The thing that scares me about the university donation quite frankly is "What if he seriously injures someone there?". I personally wouldn't be able to live with myself even if I thought that it was a great place, this horse sounds like a loaded gun ready to blow.

There are too many good horses out there, and this one obviously has some terrible problem causing him to be so vicious. At the risk of sounding cruel, I think he needs to be put down so he doesn't hurt anyone else. It's the kindest thing to do, and would save you a lot of heartache and fear in the future. I am sorry. This just must be so disheartening and scary for you-and frustrating too. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif . I wish you the best.

The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

Apr. 6, 2002, 07:05 AM
I second Meandercreek:

Contact your local veterinary teaching hospital/university and see if they could use him for study/postmortem. Something like a brain tumor is very possible, and other horses could benefit from what vets might learn from this guy.

Apr. 6, 2002, 07:30 AM
He would be either donated to the university with a large warning in writing that he is a dangerous animal and what dangerous things he does. He will probably be used as a surgery horse. They will operate on him and he will never wake back up

The other option would be just to put him down plain and simple.

The first option you can at least write off a donation up to 5k and you will not have to pay for his burial.

I would not keep him. He is a large liabilty in many ways

I am sorry you are having to deal with this, it sucks on many different fronts.

Apr. 6, 2002, 07:32 AM
Goodness so many replies....thank you all soooo much for your thoughts and advice.

This is the most difficult decision I have EVER had to deal with in my entire life-at least as far as horses go-

You all have been warm, kind and thoughtful....and even offered some ideas I had not considered that could, in a sense, put a positive turn on a devastating situation....

I can assure you I would NEVER auction him or sell for meat---if I decide to go forward with euthanasia, I will definitely find a place that could benefit from the loss with post mortem studies as some of you have suggested. I had not even thought of that but it does help.

I slept terrible last night and ever since he came back home-as I mentioned the frustration is that he CAN have moments of being "normal"---then without warning (although I do feel I am getting a bit quicker at reacting) he is the Tasmanian Devil.

Again so many thanks....I have so much to think about.

Life is too short to dance with ugly men

Apr. 6, 2002, 07:50 AM
I don't know if I can or should ask this but- I was wondering how you got this horse? Did you know he was a problem horse or was it a surprize?

I am just curious because I have a very difficult horse too (not nearly as bad as yours). He was perfectly normal for the 4 months I leased him but once I brought him home he changed. It was weird.

Bowed tendon: 74 days down, minimum 16 days to go.

Apr. 6, 2002, 07:52 AM
I bought him as a coming 2yo-he was so young and yes was a pill back then. He was also not gelded-and remedied that immediately. But, in all my glory and ignorance thought he was young and could be "changed"....I also did NOT realize the severity of the problem.

Life is too short to dance with ugly men

His Greyness
Apr. 6, 2002, 08:40 AM
I cannot get sentimentally attached to a horse that seriously tries to hurt me. The first horse I bought, that I knew had problems at the time, I ultimately sent to the slaughter house. Neither I, nor anybody I asked for help, could change this horse's behaviour. I had gained a good basic education of the horse business, including dealers, horse auctions and slaughters, at the stable where I first learned to ride as an adult. One message I got from that stable owner loud and clear while learning to ride was that, no matter what the horse, nor how you feel about him, a horse is big enough to kill you.

This first horse of mine was hard wired for the rodeo, but not even the rodeo stockman wanted him; I asked. Given the likelihood of an unscrupulous dealer filling this horse, a very pretty appaloosa, full of tranquilizer and selling him on to an unsuspecting family for their kid, I decided not to try and sell him. I would be the one who did the evil deed of having the horse put down before somebody else got seriously hurt. I already had enough bruises from this horse.

LMH, I think you need to make the same decision I did.

Apr. 6, 2002, 09:45 AM
Awww, that is so sad. I am so sorry you have to go through something like this. It must be so disappointing, in many ways. Good luck.

Bowed tendon: 74 days down, minimum 16 days to go.

Apr. 6, 2002, 10:28 AM
LMH - So sorry you're having to go through this. I just wanted to add my support to the other posters. I would talk to a University first about possible options within their program(s). But, please do NOT feel any guilt, whatsoever, about the other option of putting this horse down. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Ms. Anthrope
Apr. 6, 2002, 10:39 AM
My father went through a similar experience. He loves horses and used to train racehorses. He bought one that was a beauty, exceptional bloodlines, extremely talented, but only when he felt like it. He had one good month where we got pretty hopeful, he wasn't attacking people, actually did pretty well in his workouts (just over :56 in five furlongs without actually working as hard as he could have). Then he reverted back to his old self, attacking for no reason, pinning people against the wall, etc. My dad tried retiring him and putting him on turnout but he actually got worse, even attacking other horses viciously. he used to jump out of his field to go attack horses, cars, and people. My dad ultimately decided that he had to put this horse down. Sadly, an autopsy revealed nothing wrong with him, his siblings all seem normal, as do his parents. It was heartbreaking because h had so much potential and he truly was one of the most beautiful horses I've ever seen. We had many people try to help him, but nothing and no one was able to help. It's a sad decision, but no horse is worth that amount of danger.

Apr. 6, 2002, 11:48 AM
Rescuemom had a situation like this very recently at Days End Farm Horse Rescue. I don't remember all the specifics but they had a tempermentally unsound mare, that was dangerous for anyone to handle. I think they did end up putting her down. She'd be a great person to talk to for advice on this. I haven't seen her post here lately but may be able to round her up for ya. Hang in there, this is a toughie /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif


Apr. 6, 2002, 12:30 PM
There are retarded people, and people with emotional problems, obsessive-compulsive, etc. Do horses also have problems like this? Are there retarded horses? /infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Die hard member of the JESSE fan club!! :-)
Member of the Disgruntled College Student Clique

Apr. 6, 2002, 12:51 PM
I honestly believe that ANY animal can be mentally ill. Heck! I have a cockatoo who went into mourniing when my last boyfriend left. The bird pulled all his feathers out for TWO YEARS! A saw a clown fish try to commit suicide when his anemone died. We had to shock him to get him to stop. If creatures like those can be deranged even temporarily, then there's no reason to think a horse can't be as well.

It's incredibly sad that you have to go through this. I like the idea of sending him to a vet hospital for study, if there's one nearby who will take him.

Here's a story that might make you smile through the pain . . .

A dear friend of mine, an older man who was a caring horse owner, discovered that his wife had been having an affair. He discovered this when she brought home a trailer load of truly strange horses after a "buying trip" out west that involved a lot of motel bills, if you get my drift.

One horse turned out to be completely blind, and was euthanized immediately. One mare turned out to be pregnant by an unknown sire. He kept her. The third was a badly-wired gelding who spent his days running in circles and into the side of the barn for no apparent reason. He couldn't be caught, ridden, or handled in any way.

My friend realized that the horse had to get gone quickly before he killed someone, so he offered him to another gentleman in exchange for simply trailering him off the farm. It took the new owner and two helpers 20 minutes to corner the animal and wrestle him into the trailer. The trailer door was closed, and the new owner pulled down the driveway.

A few minutes later, the doorbell rang. There stood the new owner. In the driveway behind him was what was left of the trailer, the horse fighting his two handlers nearby for all he was worth. The man told the errant wife, "He needs a shot before I can get him back in the trailer." She called her husband, and they agreed to whatever the man wanted to do. The fellow walked to his truck, pulled out a shotgun, and shot the horse through the brain. He stuffed the carcass in the trailer and left.

The moral? Some horses just can't be dealt with. Move on, and learn from this experience.

Evalee Hunter
Apr. 6, 2002, 01:17 PM
Retardation? Mental illness? Why not horses? What about cerebral palsy?

I have not personally met a horse like the one in this thread but I have certainly met some horses that didn't seem to be "all there".

Some friends of mine had a QH, a nice looking filly. Some days she seemed fine--a trainer rode her & said "she is just green". But she wasn't really rideable or trainable--she just never seemed from one day to the next to respond the same way. (This horse, like the one I wrote about previously, came from NH auction. Buyer beware.)

I have heard of a number of other horses like this.

Probably the best solution, if there is one, is to contribute the horse to a vet college (if one will take the horse). Just be sure he will not be sold on to the public, since that is what happens to some research horses once they are no longer used in research.

There have been threads on horses having panic attacks, which can also be very dangerous to horses & to humans.

Apr. 6, 2002, 08:17 PM
I feel for ya girl, but (reading another thread brought this to mind) what about putting him on Prozac?

I'm sorry, this really isn't funny, but I find that humor can usually clear the clouds enough to see some light.

Hmmm... Seriously though, what about it? I've never had a horse like you've described, and I KNOW you've tried all your resources. Duh, that's why you're here. You'll come to the right conclusion, and you know where you can get support! /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

You have to be smarter than the horse, and since that will never happen, pretend you are.

Apr. 6, 2002, 09:09 PM
Horses certainly CAN suffer brain damage if they are deprived of oxygen for too long during a difficult birth, but I don't know that that would cause this kind of behavior.

Apr. 6, 2002, 09:49 PM
I've heard of horses that had a severe blow to the poll becoming unmanageable and having to be put down.

I would imagine anything that can cause brain damage in a human can do it to a horse.

We had a dog with amnesia- she had no short term memory whatsoever, if she didn't see you for 48 hours (her cut off) she didn't know who you were and had to be reintroduced. She was perfectly trainable but she just couldn't remember people or situations. I don't really remember the details but the girl who got her (from the pound) was a vet student and researched it a bit. Apparently if she had been a human it would have been a classic case. the funny thing was that our dogs who started out very impatient with her started taking care of her and "reminding" her of stuff she forgot -like who to bark at and who lived in the house. It was weird. I don't know if she ever got better..

Another roomate had a brain damaged Border Collie who also had OCD but that is a whole 'nother story......

Apr. 6, 2002, 10:13 PM
and IMO, 99.999% of problem horses are the results of something that we humans did. On the other hand, there is that 0.001% that are really and truly wickedly psychotic killers.

Based on what you have posted, and my own experience with a really, truly, wickedly, evil horse, I believe you have one of the 0.001%.

These horses are really and truly psychotic killers. They will look for that .01 second of weakness and strike for all it is worth. It is what they live for.

Hard as it is to say, I would not sell this horse. I would not auction this horse. I would not donate this horse, unless it was to a vet hospital, with the absolute understanding that this horse is being donated because of severe psychological issues that make him a potential killer. I would euthanise him. The liability issues to yourself if you keep this horse, knowing that he is dangerous, open you up to a huge potential lawsuit.

The horse I dealt with was a QH/Morgan mare. You could look this horse in the eye and see pure unadulterated hatred for all living creatures in this mare's face. You could see her calculating and waiting for the opportunity to strike.

Her nostrils were always wrinkled in a snarl, and her ears were never up, unless she had successfully injured someone. Then the ears went up, and the wicked thing looked pleased.

This mare's final living act was to literally drag two people backwards 50' so that she could corner and kick a kid square in the forehead. Her ears stayed up for almost 30 seconds after that feat. She was shot dead for that final act.

Much as I hate to say it about any living creature, IMO, it didn't happen soon enough. The mare was Pure Evil.

~*~Come on, try a little, nothing is forever. There's got to be somewhere better than In The Middle...~*~

Apr. 6, 2002, 10:37 PM
There has to be *something*. I'm not suggesting that you try to deal with him yourself, but plase don't think euthanasia is the only option. At least give him a couple weeks. Seriously, I'm willing to try to help you find a place for him. A horse whisperer type looking for a project? Some big acreage you can stick him in for a year or two? Equine Behaviourist researcher looking for a case study?

You could contact some horse magazines (they always have those features about "bad" horses), that University sounds interesting..

Call me a hopeless optimist, but I believe all horses can be "saved." It's totally understandable if you don't want to deal with him, but please give it a lot of thought before doing anything--you're dealing with a living creature here.


Apr. 6, 2002, 11:03 PM
I once worked with a filly that was pure evil, born evil, stayed evil. She got very sick and I was one of the unlucky ones to deal with her, let me just say I prayed every day for her to die. I was terrified by the thought of this baby full grown. There were no environmental or genetic reasons anyone could see for a 3 month old to be so bad, but she was. This horse was certainly hard-wired wrong.

LMH, IMHO the only choice you have is euthanasia.
There are just too many nice horses out there. Why risk the possiblity of serious injury? Isn't horse ownership supposed to be fun?

I would not suggest a University unless they have a specfic behavioral study to use him for. I guarantee that none of the employees would appreciate having to handle this guy.

Good luck with your decision, it must be heartbreaking.

Apr. 6, 2002, 11:32 PM
I wasn't going to get involved in this topic but after reading a few comments, I had to post. At first, I thought the original post was a joke but soon understood that it was real!

I totally disagree with Tosca's statement of "All animals can be saved" BUT, it is my opinion. Although, it's a wonderful statement and I wish it were true, with all my years in animal behavioural studies, unfortunately for some animals, it can't be done - humans included.

Do you think a Ted Bundy, Jeffery Dalmer or a Paul Bernardo can be 'saved' and put back into society at some point - NO. No different than an animal that has suffered years of abuse at the hands of humans and never learns to trust again or an animal that has lost it's lifetime mate, many to never mate again. Sometimes animals are capable of rehabilitating and sometimes it's just not possible.

LMH has already been through 5 trainers and it sounds like she's definitely tried her hardest and come from all angles on trying to fix this one and I give her credit for trying as hard as she could. I don't know that I would have stuck it out for three long years! How many more tries is she supposed to give him? How much more money does she have to put into this horse before enough is enough? My opinion; enough is enough.

I'm also trouble by the statement "If I decide to go forward with euthanasia". There should be no 'IF' in this statement, only a 'WHEN'.

The horse is lame on three legs, no doubtedly sore, frustrated with the world, he won't jump, no dressage, can't be pastured, etc., etc. and is obviously a danger to anyone and everyone. I myself, like everyone, else hates to hear and see the day a horse has to be put down but there is NO choice in this matter. He HAS to be put down. If not for the safety of others then for the safety and the well-being of this horse. Can you honestly say this horse would be happier being alive then put out of his misery?

I definitely agree that it is more than probable that there is some kind of brain injury or disfunction. This is one of those instances where we all wish horses could talk. I wish you nothing but the best of luck on making the right decision - for you - and know that nobody would frown upon you for making the decision to put him down. You HAVE done everything and all that you could do to try and save him.

In posting this topic, you may have initally thought you were looking for an answer or a last minute pardon but deep down, I think you're looking for approval on a decision that has already been made. Based on the other posts, we all approve and you shouldn't feel bad at all because you tried much harder than most would have!!

Apr. 6, 2002, 11:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>There are just too many nice horses out there <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think that sums it up quite nicely.

Apr. 7, 2002, 08:27 AM
Another vote for euthanasia.

I would not let this horse leave my property alive. Why? I would want to be absolutely sure he would not end up in some unsuspecting person's hands. If he ended up seriously injuring someone, or even killing someone, I would never recover.

If you decide to donate him to a Veterinary College for post-mortem studies, go with the horse and be sure he is put down.

You have given this horse every chance, you have been a good and proper caretaker. Please don't feel guilty for having to make this decision. You must do the right thing, and in my eyes there is only one way to go.

Good luck. Please let us know what you decide.

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship."
-Louisa May Alcott

Apr. 7, 2002, 09:00 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Daventry:

Can you honestly say this horse would be happier being alive then put out of his misery?


I think this is the key right here. The horse is not happy, he's not happy with himself, with his life and with his job, you've tried to fix this and kudos to you for sticking with it but their are something we just can't fix.

This horse has had the best life he could of had, he doesn't know it and probably will never know it but he's been given more chances than most people would have given him. Something like this has to be physcological, you've explored everyother option and aside from keeping him drugged to the gills for the rest of his natural life I think there is only one thing to do.

You have my complete support with what you decide. No matter what we say it is truely your descision for what is best for the horse.

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then give up. No use being a damned fool about it" -W.C. Fields

Tannenwald Trakehner
Apr. 7, 2002, 10:54 AM
I agree with all of the other posters who say there is only one choice for this horse, and that is to end his life.

Are animals capable of having pathological mental illness? I think so. Without getting into a fundamentalist Christian argument, we are all cut from similar cloth and it certainly is possible in people.

Yet, to my knowledge, no one is treating horses with medications for mental illness (I never even heard of one getting Prozac, although dogs do, let alone mind-altering drugs). No one is doing electro-shock therapy on horses. Treatments for behavioral abnormalities include hormone therapy, and maybe Regumate would be a last ditch thing to try. However, even if that worked, it is almost certain to be required for the horse's whole life.

I think the path is pretty clear, but there may be options for how to go about it. I cannot recommend sending a horse to a slaughter house. It may be a bunny-hugger viewpoint, but I cannot see putting a horse through that situation. I admit I am not a vegetarian, but when I think about it enough, I think I should be. In Europe horses are very often sent to slaughter; they haven't the space to be burying horses everywhere and that is just what is done in that society, but it sickens me to purposefully end a friend's life in any but the fastest, most humane way possible, and preferably without causing them the discomfort of leaving their home.

One thing I would suggest investigating is whether a vet school is interested in him for study. While I was at the MSU clinic, another lady told me she decided to put her horse down after she had it examined there, and MSU offered to euthanize it and cremate the remains after body was used in classes. That may be an option, particularly in light of the behavioral abnormality, as there may be neurological facets to explore. Anyway, I guess that lady's expenses were about $100 and she was able to pick up the cremated remains. I know that having a horse euthanized and buried at home hits in the $200-$500 range, so that option was good for the lady and gave her horse's death a purpose, as it were.

Good luck to you in whatever you decide.

Apr. 7, 2002, 11:25 AM
I am very inclined to agree with the majority here. I also think donating him to a University Vet School for study could prove to beneficial for all of us. Perhaps they could dissect his brain and learn something.

I also think you should contact his breeder and tell them about the problem and find out if any others with his breeding share it - perhaps they should not match that mare and that stallion again. Regardless, they should know - just for the future.

Good luck.

Evalee Hunter
Apr. 7, 2002, 11:32 AM
& butcher him to feed the hounds? I know that can be done in this area. One possible way to make a use of him even in the end.

Apr. 7, 2002, 12:09 PM
Thanks one more time to everyone...I am pleasantly surprised at the thoughtful discussion on the topic--I was afraid my question might stir up arguments and accusations and am pleased it did not.

I have found a solution that is correct, decent and I am comfortable with it....

Hard hats off to all the wonderful advice.

Life is too short to dance with ugly men

M. O'Connor
Apr. 7, 2002, 12:13 PM
dangerous behavior such as you describe, it is no picnic!

Speaking from personal experience, there are few rewards in having a horse such as this in the barn--when I was grooming, we had one as dangerous as I'd want to have anything to do with, and for several years, the trainers and staff at the barn I was working for did manage to deal with this horse and keep him competitive as a just below top level Grand Prix jumper. But it took every bit of expert effort and knowledge on the part of those handling him (and you couldn't find a more expert or knowledgeable situation in which to place a difficult horse) in order for any of us to emerge from the encounter unscathed. He seriously bit or kicked nearly every member of the staff--from inside his stall, he even managed to injure his groom, who was outside the stall, badly enough to land him on crutches for weeks by somehow kicking UNDER his stall screen. Even with all the expertise our barn had to offer, this horse was not safe to be around.

With a dangerous horse whose soundness is questionable, and who is unwilling to go to work even if he is sound, I think there isn't any question about what the right course of action is. It isn't having any fun--life is not a pleasure...and it's dangerous for those who look after him. I would never consider donating a horse of this type to a college--we had all we could do to handle the one we had and we were in one of the top barns of all time--there is far less expertise to go around in even the best staffed college program, and there will always be someone around without enough experience and judgement to realize that they can't handle the situation...that's serious trouble just waiting to happen. Sorry to say, I agree with the majority of posters here about the best solution to this problem.


Apr. 7, 2002, 05:01 PM
This sounds like such a difficult situation for you to go through and kudos to you for trying your best and putting up with everything for 3 years. Although I agree with the majority on what to do in such a situation, I have a question. Is he dangerous and mean because he is unsound on those 3 legs and in pain? I'm sure you have had everything possible checked out, but you didn't say if this was a possible situation. I also agree with Weatherford's idea of contacting the breeder to find out of an abnormalities in his parents or siblings. If there is, then at least you can be comforted by the knowledge that there was nothing you could have done for him. I have encountered some nasty horses, but none as dangerous as he sounds. As sad as the thought is, he is vicious and should be humanely euthanized in his home environment to avoid any potentially dangerous situations. In response to those who were wondering if a horse could be mentally deficient: Obviously I am no expert but it makes sense that if there can be vicious domesticated dogs, then why couldn't there be vicious domesticated horses? Maybe something negative happened to him before you got him (not sure if you know his full history), or maybe he's just missing a few important screws, but I wish you well in your decision. Good Luck. It's not easy to put a horse down, especially under these circumstances. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

~Just My Luck~
~Silver Edition~

Apr. 7, 2002, 05:52 PM
Elli Baby

To answer your questions-no is he not like this because he is lame. He has been sound his whole life until about two months ago-he came up with a hitch in his getalong that comes and goes-he appeared to be getting weaker....this concern was really not the lameness itself other than the fact the his behavior prohibited a lameness evaluation to determine what was wrong with him.

A few other fascinating stories....

3 years ago, barn help was bent over scrubbing a pasture bucket... he was in the corner of the field. When he saw her he "attacked" her from behind, reared up and landed with both front feet in the middle of her back. He knocked her down in the mud by the bucket....she was briefly knocked out and her 9 month pregnant daughter had to pull her to safety.

I was trying to teach him to longe in a round pen. He would not back off me... I tried to shoo him...encourage with a whip (not beat mind you) and he became so angry that he reared struck and came down on my foot as he charged me with his teeth....because he landed on my foot and i went to back off him and fell backwards---thank goodness because he missed my face with his teeth by inches. He then trie to trample me when a friend jumped in the pen and got him off me.

I was going through his pasture to get a horse to ride one day....walked by him and petted him. He seemed fine. After I passed him he grabbed me by my hood, picked me up and slung me like a ragdoll.

Barn help had countless countless bruises from his bites-granted the man was older but IMHO should not be subjected to this.

I was picking his stall one night and tried to move him by bumping him over with the fork (easy again mind you), he turned faced off to me and boxed me in the corner of the stall...when I moved one way he would jump that way---think of a cat cornering a mouse....

If you worked with him with a longe whip and whipped it back and forth fast to keep him off you he would hunker down and watch the tail of the whip---he would catch the tail in his mouth then square off at you, squatting like a cat ready to pounce.

These are just the hilights of the last 3 years....pretty dang fascinating huh??? /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

I sent him off the first time for 30 days-within 2 weeks of being home he was "back" to this behavior.

Second time to a cowboy for five months

Decided home was a better place so he would learn to deal in this environment....still no predictable behavior. had two or three trainers try with him over several months.

Sent off last time for five months again.

Truly an amazing list of events.

Life is too short to dance with ugly men

Apr. 8, 2002, 08:34 AM
he does sound like he's just 'not right'.

a lot of folks will have a hard time understanding that, he is fortunately a very rare find. in my lifetime with horses i have only run into one other like this, so i know what you are talking about.

this gelding belonged to my great uncle and my grandfather brought him in for me to work with. after he settled in i tried for a month, he didn't respond to anything, and i'd handled stallions at this point. i'd successfully worked with (wonderful) full siblings of this horse. after some pretty close calls and bruises, i told my granddad, forget it - this horse was going to kill somebody. he brought in a professional trainer, i gave her a full briefing (which she rolled her eyes at) the gelding broke her arm, nasty compound fracture and cracked 6 ribs.

we had him humanely put down, this horse wasn't an accident waiting to happen - there wouldn't have been anything "accidental" about it. broke our hearts to do, but it was the right thing.


Apr. 8, 2002, 08:57 AM
LMH, I know you've gotten a lot of responses, and it sounds like you have already found a solution. But you might consider changing your subject line to include something about "dangerous, aggressive horse" or something like that.

There are some vets and other very knowledgeable types who just skim the boards and probably wouldn't click on this topic without knowing what it's about. This is such a difficult and interesting topic, and I'd be interested to hear if anyone knows about what physical problems could cause this.

Dementia 13
Apr. 8, 2002, 09:10 AM
LMH - I am so sorry you have to deal with this. I can't even imagine what you are going through. Good luck to you.

"What lamp has destiny to guide her little children stumbling in the dark?"

Sandy M
Apr. 8, 2002, 09:21 AM
Just a comment on someone's earlier story about the horse running in circles and into the side of barns and being otherwise totally "loco." THAT horse (and not the horse presently being discussed) might well have been LITERALLY "loco" - he may have gotten into some loco weed. If he'd reached the stage of running into things, he was beyond help so the fact that he was shot was probably a mercy.

Apr. 8, 2002, 09:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LMH:

I have found a solution that is correct, decent and I am comfortable with it....

Would you be willing to share what your decision is?

Apr. 8, 2002, 09:33 AM
LMH, having ready your follow-up posts about his behavior over the years, you've done all you can do, and from the sound of it, taken too many risks already. I understand, believe me, having been in a similar situation, and it's a horrible, horrible decision to have to make. But there is only one thing you can do -- Put him down or have the vet school put him down for post-mortem study.

From a legal point of view, you cannot continue to have the liability of having this horse around. Not only could he seriously injure or kill you or someone else, but he could devastate you financially when the person he hurts sues for damages. Although most states have equine limited liability acts, you would be very likely be held liable under the exceptions for having a horse with a known history of very dangerous behavior.

Please, try not to feel guilty (though I know that will be very difficult). You have done all you can do, and you need to treat him the way you would any animal friend who is no longer comfortable living on this Earth and who cannot be helped.


"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money." Sen. Everett Dirksen

Apr. 8, 2002, 09:50 AM
I wouldn't hold it against you if you chose to have this horse put down. Not being interested in domestication is one thing, being dangerously agressive towards well-meaning bipeds is another.
Selling him would probably only prolong his misery -- and create a lot of misery for someone else.

The university program sounds like a good idea if they'll have him -- at least you know he'll be well-cared until the end of his days, whether or not can be "rehabilitated."

Longshot: There is also a huge animal rescue near the Grand Canyon called Best Friends (they're on the Web) that takes a lot of animals (e.g. feral dogs, cats with palsy) that no one else will. If this horse does NOT display agression towards other animals, maybe he could apply to their herd.

PS: Are animals insane? I once had a fluffy house kitten who inexplicably turned into a biting, scratching, killing machine at about six months of age. (Yes, she was neutered, but that didn't help.) We donated her to a feed mill -- as a ratter -- after she gleefully shredded several wild rabbits and still-alive birds in the front yard, screaming all the while.

"It is by no means the privilege of the rider to part with his horse solely by his own will." -- Alois Podhajsky

"Go on, Bill... This is no place for a pony."

[This message was edited by InWhyCee on Apr. 08, 2002 at 01:31 PM.]

Apr. 8, 2002, 10:19 AM
I have been in your situation before, and agonizing as the decision is to euthanize, and hard as the day is when it comes, it is the right answer to situations like yours.

Please email me if you want. It's a very difficult thing to do.


Apr. 8, 2002, 05:26 PM
The decision

I was very hesitant to share my choice because I was/am so fearful of ridicule....however with so much warm support I will do so....

Also I don't think it is healthy to hide my choice in that I thought about it-for 3 years now and hope that my decision may help someone else in my situation.

yesterday he was placed at a local veterinary school with the complete understanding that he is dangeous.

In this program the horse is put under and an intern is permitted to perform a "mock" surgery while students observe and learn. He is then not brought out of the surgery.

This surgery took place this afternoon.

The intern that performed surgery on my two year old to remove bone chips was able to practice a surgery that he will need once he is full practice. The students on the team that took care of my horse were able to observe.

If possible he will then be used in a post mortem study.

I feel this was the best choice in that he was able to contribute to the future well being of other horses.

Once I realized that some horse at some time in some place was likely used for the surgeon to learn the bone chip surgery performed on my young horse, I was able to find peace in this decision.

Resolute March 23, 1997-April 8, 2002. May he find the peace in his death that he could not find in his life.

Again heartfelt thanks.

Life is too short to dance with ugly men

Apr. 8, 2002, 05:36 PM
LMH, I applaud you for making a thoughtful, well researched decision that was, I'm sure, not easy for you emotionally but from what you've written sounds like the best possible one in this situation. It is exactly what I would have done myself. Any horse that acted like this one has, despite good care and training and second and third and forth chances, must be so tormented by living in captivity that the life has become literally a torture to him. It takes a good horseperson to meet the situation head on and relieve the horse from a situation he was so poorly suited to. And it was responsible and right that you ensured that animal you knew to be dangerous was not sent off to be someone else's problem, but instead the end of his life was used to help other horses in the future. I know this must have been a really tough time for all involved, but you have my respect and admiration for the way you handled a tough situation.

And by posting the story on a public forum, you have made others aware of some of the options available if they are ever faced with a similar impossible situation.


Apr. 8, 2002, 05:47 PM
My hat is off to you for a wise decision. I never thought of that type of "donation" - it makes wonderful sense!

You did all you could for this poor animal, and you allowed him a peaceful and dignified end.

Good luck to you in the future.

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship."
-Louisa May Alcott

Apr. 8, 2002, 05:48 PM
LMH, I think that was a wonderful decision. I'm sorry you had to go through such a sad, frustrating ordeal. At least some good came from it. My cousin is in vet school now: I can assure you those students work very hard and care very deeply about what they do, and I am sure they were grateful for the opportunity to learn so that they may help numerous horses in the future. Best wishes to you.

Apr. 8, 2002, 05:51 PM
This story could not have a happy ending, but it also could not have had a better one.

My sincere thanks for your generous contribution to the education of future vets. You have my respect, admiration, and sympathy for this difficult and unfortuante set of circumstances that you have handled so well.

May you be feeling the peace that you richly deserve.

Apr. 8, 2002, 05:55 PM
I'm soooooo sorry about your loss! But i agree you made the right decision and i'm sure that doesn't make it any easier for you right now. But in future time, the pain will ease.
I don't know what else to say but that, you have made the right choice, and regardless, it is NEVER easy.
Best luck to You!

Apr. 8, 2002, 07:05 PM
I can only wish if faced with the same situation, I can do the same thing. You have my full respect, admiration and support (as always).

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then give up. No use being a damned fool about it" -W.C. Fields

Apr. 8, 2002, 07:49 PM
I feel like a broken record but I can't help but keep saying how wonderful the support is.....

I would never wish this on any horse or animal owner. I am so grateful though for as forum as this to generate support and before that clear advice in the road to reaching a decision.

It is wonderful that this post can remain a part of the archives....should anyone ever face a situation like mine, they now have a place to turn....and in the future, I offer any contact from anyone suffering from a decision like this put before them.

Life is too short to dance with ugly men

Apr. 8, 2002, 08:12 PM

Sadly it sounds like there is no other options but to send him QUICKLY to horsey heaven!!!

The problem with trying to do the "pasture ornament" thing is that there still has to be people involved in caring for him off and on...such as a shoer and a vet. He has to keep up with shots and worming and its inhumane not to trim his feet at least.

All of those sceniro's include access to humans that he could very definately hurt really badly since he would not be handled daily. Someone could really get hurt!!!!!!!!!!

Also, no matter how perfect or secure the pasture, there are circumstances beyond your control that could get someone REALLY hurt and you hung out on the line legally...... IF a child or young adult or anyone was out walking and stopped to walk in the pasture or even reach in to pet him,,,,,the phirana could attack!!! Also....what in the RARE instance something gets him out of the pasture (broken gate or fence, etc) ..your on the line again as is anyone he comes in contact with.

It is so hard to do this kind of thing BUT there is never a reason to put people at risk...
/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif I feel so bad for you!!! /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Apr. 8, 2002, 08:15 PM
I agree with all the other posts saying to put this dangerous horse down. What is the point of him and you being miserable? You have done everything that you could for him and you should take pride in yourself. To me its a no brainer situation. Continue to be responsible and do the right thing before he has the chance to harm anyone. Both of you will be better off. I'm sorry you have to go through this. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Apr. 8, 2002, 08:54 PM
Obviously I posted before the outcome was read. Thank you for sharing your story so that others can benefit from it. Best wishes to you. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Apr. 8, 2002, 09:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tin:
I can only wish if faced with the same situation, I can do the same thing. You have my full respect, admiration and support (as always).

Faced with an unbelievably difficult situation, you made a wise and, yes, extremely humane choice. Big hugs to you.

"When I can't ride anymore, I shall still keep horses as long as I can hobble about with a bucket and wheelbarrow. When I can't hobble, I shall roll my wheelchair out to the fence of the field where my horses graze, and watch them." -- Monica Dickens

Apr. 8, 2002, 09:25 PM
I have followed this thread in the past few days, and am impressed with the support you have received, and duly deserved, during this difficult time.

You made absolutely the right decision, and like the other posters, my hat is off to you.

I am interested in hearing any follow-up that the vet school might have on his autopsy?

Again, you did a wonderful thing. From one responsible horse owner to another-bravo!

Apr. 8, 2002, 09:29 PM
and I, too am interested to know if/when they find anything out in a necropsy.

Apr. 8, 2002, 09:45 PM
I am sorry for the lost of your horse, but pleased that it was not all in vain. He is now over the Rainbow Bridge where undoubtedly he has resolved his issues and is happy again.

I, too, would be interested in the PM, just because I've always wondered what might make a horse, a normally passive and lazy animal, go to such extremes to be aggressive. It simply isn't their nature. Having dealt with the one animal (who was shot so no necropsy/PM could be performed) who seethed anger, I've always wondered what might have caused her to be so evil.

My sincere sympathies for your loss and my utmost admiration for having the courage to make a very difficult, but ultimately correct, decision.

~*~Come on, try a little, nothing is forever. There's got to be somewhere better than In The Middle...~*~

Apr. 9, 2002, 07:00 AM
You have my utmost admiration, LMH. Thank you for providing a wonderful example of how a truly caring and thinking horseperson should act.

I know you must be dealing with quite a bit of pain, from this decision. I am sorry for that, and wish you could be spared. But then, you would not be the person you are, if you didn't feel that pain.

"We ride and never worry about the fall.
I guess that's just the cowboy in us all."
Tim McGraw

Apr. 9, 2002, 08:30 AM
I have been following this thread since the start, and I want to add my sympathy, hugs, and admiration for you, LMH. You found the absolute best solution to an awful situation, and my hat is off to you.


Apr. 9, 2002, 08:49 AM
You made the right decision and I you are a strong person to have been able to make that decision. I only hope I could be so strong if faced with a similar situation.
When my filly was born ( out of my jr jumper mare that I had had for several years and who was very affectionate towards us even after the foal's birth) we could not imagine that a horse could be born this evil. That is what we called her at the time "evil baby" ( we had another filly at the same time called "angel baby"). From the moment she hit the ground she was "out to get us", at a week old if you simply walked into the stall she would charge at you, kick and bite, her ears were always pinned. Once she got to being about 6 months old no one was allowed in her paddock other than me and my mother, she was so unpredictable I kept saying to my mother what are we going to do with this filly, she will kill me one day, how in the world will I ride her? I did a lot of ground training with her, go trampled, kicked with both barrels, smashed against fences and gaites. At the age of three everything changed, she is now a sweetheart, she is a pleasure to ride, is loaded with talent, gorgeous and on her way to being a wonderful jumper (she is however a workaholic, she hates to not work and will get "grumpy"!). I have no idea what I would have done had she stayed "evil", I have no idea why she was "evil", he had been well handled since birth.
You gave your boy more than enough chances, he was lucky to have you. I am sure he is at peace now in a large green pasture, and he helped other horses in the process what better thing could you have done for him?
I feel for you because my dog of 6 years was put down a month ago because she attacked children for no reason... some decisions are hard to make but are the only fare solution.

Apr. 9, 2002, 09:11 AM
LMH, I applaud your courage, not just in doing the right thing for your horse, but in posting about it. I've been through the same thing with a rescue horse this year. We'd done all we could do, given her time and patience and everything else we could think of. Nothing worked. Our vets refused to get near her. And we were exceedingly lucky that no one was seriously hurt while she was with us. Necropsy results gave us no information on why she was the way she was.

I'm sure this wasn't an easy decision for you to make. But I think it is shows exemplary horsemanship that you handled the problem the way you did.

Just in case you need one: {hug}

Apr. 9, 2002, 09:34 AM
Been offline for a while birthing babies and just found this thread. I, too, wanted to add my admiration for your ability to make a very tough decision with care, love and thoughtfulness for your horse and others around him. You did the right and only thing you could have done for him. May he rest in peace.

"Find something you love & call it work."

Apr. 9, 2002, 09:36 AM
The results

I spoke to the intern today and, as promised, here is what I learned....

He was VERY appreciative of the opportunity to work on my horse-they were able to practice several procedures....thank goodness in that it gave some purpose to the whole impossible situation.

Unfortunately nothing was discovered from what they were able to see....he did not have a hidden testicle or anything like that....I did have him tested for this but you always question until you know for sure...

I believe that is about as much closure as I am going to get-

Life is too short to dance with ugly men

Apr. 9, 2002, 09:39 AM
LMH, you are a caring and thoughtful person, and a brave one for facing this situation head-on and making the best possible decision.

You did a very good thing by turning an "impossible situation" into something from which good will come, and I sincerely hope you find comfort in that.

May Resolute's soul rest in peace now.

Apr. 9, 2002, 09:46 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LMH:

It is wonderful that this post can remain a part of the archives....should anyone ever face a situation like mine, they now have a place to turn....and in the future, I offer any contact from anyone suffering from a decision like this put before them.


LMH, I hope you don't mind, but I took Erin's earlier suggestion to change the title of the thread to something more descriptive. This way, when people in the future who may need this thread are searching, they will be able to find it more easiliy. If you don't like the change, please feel free to change it back.


"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money." Sen. Everett Dirksen

Apr. 9, 2002, 12:23 PM
No problem portia--to be very honest it just slipped my mind.

Life is too short to dance with ugly men

Apr. 9, 2002, 12:39 PM

A belated note to say I'm sorry for what you went through - certainly you did the right thing. What a good idea to offer the vet school an opportunity to benefit in the process.

I know it can't have been easy (why are the right things so hard sometimes?) but surely now he is at peace.

We are all around if you want to go have a beer or some margaritas to commiserate...

"It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that
matters, in the end."
-Ursula K. Le Guin

Apr. 9, 2002, 12:54 PM
So very, very sorry because I can't imagine the frustration you must be feeling.

I am another vote for humane euthanasia.

Apr. 9, 2002, 12:54 PM
You found the best possible solution.

When I had to have my horse put down, there was much comfort in the thought that she was training new vets to treat other sick horses. Her death meant her life wasn't wasted.

Apr. 9, 2002, 01:14 PM

I'm so sorry that you had to go through this! I'm certain that you did the right thing.

I too have seen only one horse that I would classify as "dangerous" and he was put down after severely injuring 3 professional horse trainers (and I don't mean the type that puts an ad in the paper and says they're a Pro.)

Thanks for sharing your experience and decision with us!! You have a lot of courage and the brains to keep a bad situation from becoming worse!

Apr. 9, 2002, 01:17 PM
LMH- Hugs to you for doing the "hard thing" which was the right thing. You spent a great deal of time and money trying to make the horse right and you should have comfort in that knowledge.

Again, hugs my friend.

"It is I."

Apr. 9, 2002, 01:20 PM
Thanks for doing the hard and right thing, and not foisting the problem off on someone else.

Apr. 9, 2002, 01:31 PM
LMH, I can add nothing to what has already been said. The situation was unbelievable and put a tremendous amount of responsibility and expense in your hands. The outcome is tragic but your action is to be applauded. I'm so sincerely sorry.

Apr. 9, 2002, 01:52 PM
Just wanted to offer my deepest sympathies. What an unselfish and brave thing you did.

I truly believe that Resolute is in a better place. And through his pain and yours you both were able to help someone, perhaps many, in the process.

May all your days be happy and may there always be a happy horse to share them with you.

Apr. 9, 2002, 02:04 PM
When an animal is that unpredictable and dangerous to wrok around, despite professional training and all other problems have been ruled out & no options are left, then indeed it is the humane thing to do. Sounds to me like there has to be something seriously wrong going on with the horse, like someone mentioned, maybe a brain tumor that is just firing off and making him unstable. Best thing for all involved unforunatley is to put him down~ it's too much of a risk to others to keep him around. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif I heard of a case here in SC just last year where a horse got out of it's paddock and pinned the owner up underneath his front porch, went down to it's knees and was still trying to attack it's owner. /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif Scary stuff.... /infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif SUZ

Proud member of the following:
***Rust TS Clique***
***SC'ers Clique***
***EBayers Anon Clique***

~~~Do you think the JUDGE saw it???~~~
~~~Flying an airplane is easy: You pull the stick back, the houses get smaller, push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull & hold the stick back, the houses get smaller, then REALLY bigger!~~~

Apr. 9, 2002, 02:09 PM
Though it may have been the 'obvious' decision, I can't imagine it was an easy one. How unbelievably sad and tragic.

Kudos to you LMH for your courage, perseverance and strength.

Apr. 9, 2002, 02:13 PM
Sorry. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

*Pony Rock*

Apr. 9, 2002, 02:16 PM
I have now gone back and must say how very moved I am to read of such a noble end for your horse. How wonderful knowing that others will be helped later because of Resolute. I am sure that the interns who were able learn from him will never forget you.

Apr. 9, 2002, 02:26 PM
Simply wanted to add to what so many others have expressed. What an admirable, ethical decision you made. Resolute was fortunate to have an owner who was able to act so courageously and unselfishly in the face of an incredibly difficult situation.

Apr. 9, 2002, 02:31 PM
I am so sorry for the loss of your horse and what you went through. You sound like a very caring horse owner. You can be proud to know that because of your difficult decision, something good may come out of it because of the "mock surgery". There are some horses that do not have a place here on earth but still deserve to leave it with dignity and I feel that your horse not only left with dignity but also with meaning.

*Behind every good woman lies a trail of men*

Apr. 9, 2002, 02:31 PM
Just another person adding her admiration for your decision and how you came to it. Sharing your decision with the BB and your horse with the vet school provides an education on several levels.

Apr. 9, 2002, 02:33 PM
I'm so sorry!

Wonder Why
Apr. 9, 2002, 02:47 PM
LMH, a very brave and humane thing to do for this horse.


Apr. 9, 2002, 02:54 PM
Take heart. Know that you have tried to do your best by this poor horse, and you have had to make a really tough choice. Your not alone.

Apr. 9, 2002, 03:04 PM
I know I am only repeating what everyone else has said. You made a kind and thoughtful decision that would be hard for anyone to finally come to doing.
You have my deepest sympathy at having to make that decision and also deepest admiration for being a very caring owner.

Apr. 9, 2002, 03:10 PM
What a difficult decision but you did the right thing!


House hunting on Long Island....we're looking at cardboard boxes..since that's all we can afford in a nice area....:)

Apr. 9, 2002, 03:54 PM
A year or so ago, I had a decision to either put my horse down, or send him to the vet school. I was so upset about this decision, I could not be there when the vet came to pick him up.

The girl that sent him off for me, well, she kinda "talks" to the animals. She told me that he was going to miss me, but that he was going to work at the university, that his job here was done, and he had another job he needed to go to.

I doubt he's still alive now, but I hope that someone learned something from his complications.

I fully support your decision, and I know you tried for so long to help him.

Apr. 9, 2002, 04:03 PM
LMH, you could have not have made a better decision in this case. Happy to see so many people agree, and I hope this thread is left up for a very long time to inspire others.

I lost my first horse to cancer. He spent several days at a state veterinary school before we brought him home for the last time. In retrospect, I wish I had the forsight to have donated him to the school, as you did with your horse.

"It is by no means the privilege of the rider to part with his horse solely by his own will." -- Alois Podhajsky

"Go on, Bill... This is no place for a pony."

Apr. 9, 2002, 04:28 PM
I can not even imagine being around a horse as dangerous as this. We have the cutest mare here, looks like a sweetie, but she is evil, and she is scary.. BUT she respects when enough is enough. As I said, I can't imagine anything worse than THIS type of behavior. I think (for all parties involved), euthanasia might be the answer. Is it worth it to put yourself (and others) in harm's way? Is it worth the expense if there is basically no hope that he will "turn around"? Sounds like he is getting worse as he gets older. As far as donating him, that would be very risky, especially to a school. Would you want students with limited behavioral experience (no offense to any Equine Majors ...) trying to "re-train" him? Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Seems as if the cons outweigh the pros /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Apr. 9, 2002, 07:05 PM
LMH, I think it was the right decision based on the circumstances, and honestly, I have to say that if I have a euthanasia case in the future, I will probably consider the same route that you took.

It is no different from a routine euthanasia, except for the knowledge and learning that is imparted. And you know what? My driver's license has "donor" written on it... Why is this different?

"You can pretend to be serious; you can't pretend to be witty. "
- Sacha Guitry (1885-1957) *

Apr. 9, 2002, 09:19 PM
You certainly deserve the respect and admiration of your peers.

In dogs, there is something called "Rage Syndrome" It is documented, it can run in certain lines, and almost always ends with someone being badly hurt before the dog is euthanized. Sometimes, spaying a bitch will trigger it. It is hypothosized that it may be occur when a dog has an abnormally high testosterone levels and the removal of all estrogen leaves a double dose of testosterone.

"Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo"

Apr. 9, 2002, 10:53 PM
Good for you, LMH! I've never really wished a horse to die, but understand that there are circumstances where it is inevitable. You made a tough decision with grace.

Thanks on behalf of all my pre-vet friends, who are the recipients of donations like yours. They wouldn't be able to do the excellent job they do in the real world without that hands-on experience.

"The frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives." ancient Aztec proverb.

Apr. 10, 2002, 05:51 AM
LMH - I too agree that you did the right thing and in such a way that everyone benefited. Good for you to make such a decision. What a scary animal - smart and angry - he and everyone else are way better off.

Kryswyn - Rage syndrome - how interesting! I never heard of that before. Will have to do some research now. I wonder if anyone has done any research on that kind of syndrome in horses?

"Stupidity should be painful."

Apr. 10, 2002, 06:28 AM
You made a good decision.

[This message was edited by FairWeather on Apr. 10, 2002 at 08:38 AM.]

Apr. 10, 2002, 06:43 AM
You made the right decision....hats off to you for having the heart to do what was humanely best for your horse. SUZ

Proud member of the following:
***Rust TS Clique***
***SC'ers Clique***
***EBayers Anon Clique***

~~~Do you think the JUDGE saw it???~~~
~~~Flying an airplane is easy: You pull the stick back, the houses get smaller, push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. If you pull & hold the stick back, the houses get smaller, then REALLY bigger!~~~

Apr. 10, 2002, 06:55 AM
I just want to add that this thread should be put on the "required reading" list. Though we are all united in our love for these splendid animals, this is a sober reminder that they CAN be dangerous, and some of them cannot be saved.

LMH has done us all a great service by sharing this experience, and I for one feel a great deal of gratitude towards her.

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship."
-Louisa May Alcott

Apr. 10, 2002, 07:08 AM
So I guess LMH is officially out of the Invisible Posters Clique. /infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Seriously, though, I know LMH and I know how well she cares for her horses. My heart goes out to her at what I know is a difficult time.

(lifting up my beer:) Here's to Rezzy. He couldn't have had a better life when he was here.

Apr. 10, 2002, 08:53 AM
LMH that was a tough and brave decision! And I'm glad you did it.

good luck!

www.boreashorses.com (http://www.boreashorses.com)

Apr. 10, 2002, 11:17 AM
I had a very similiar situation with a dog. Her periods of aggressiveness were interspersed within a calm and loving personality. After going through much of the same agony for 2 years, the vet, the trainer and I reached the decision that something was just not right in her brain and it could not be fixed--not her fault but as others said, I had no choice but to put her down.

I loved her and I still miss her but I am comfortable that I made the only decision I could as I believe that you made the only decision you could.

Never doubt yourself--you did what had to be done and I know how painful the decision was.

Whenever I find myself rehashing the decision or saying "what if I had tried ....." I stop and imagine having to tell someone's parents or spouse that my animal has permanently maimed or ended their loved one's life--then I find comfort in my decision once again.

Apr. 10, 2002, 12:40 PM
Thank you, LMH, on behalf of myself and my colleagues. You helped students in Georgia directly, and you will probably never know how many other people will consider donating their horses just because they read your thread. You made an excellent choice.