Here's the website. ;)
Here's the website. ;)
Please consider putting your horse down.
It's very hard to place sound horses, let alone older unsound ones like yours. I volunteer for an organization that works with Animal Control horse cases, and many horses we take on are just like yours. There are some very sad stories, and some that would horrify you.
There is much to be said for knowing what happened to your old friend. I speak from experience and will go to my grave haunted by not knowing what happened to my horse "Patrick." I wish I could go back and hold him in my arms one more time, while the vet put him down. At least I would know he had not suffered.
I sold my large pony when he was at the top of his game. Sadly it seems that he was sold to a beginner who drilled him into the ground and burned him out soon after I sold him(he did best when jumping at shows only, and in different scenarios every week. He got bored and stubborn when doing the same thing over and over). He was donated as a school horse soon after and is lost in the system if he is even still alive.
I WISH I had retired him. I wish I could retire him now (I have turned over every stone, I can't find him). I hate thinking of the years he spent doing what he hated (working over and over again in the same ring) and being punished for his "misbehavior" by people who didn't understand him.
If you can't afford to retire him, put him down. If only to save yourself years of worry as to what became of him.
Back to the topic at hand, I 100% agree with Watermark Farm. If, for whatever reason, you cannot provide this guy a retirement you really might want to consider euthanasia. I have more than one example here on my farm of horses who were given away as companions and wound up in desperate (and I do mean desperate) circumstances. These horses are beyond lucky that good samaritans managed to track down their original owners. If the horse truly isn't useful except as a companion then good, long-term homes will be few and far between. They do exist, they just are hard to come by. IMO there are much worse options for a horse than euthanasia.
You could try your local or state 4H programs, PC and there is a place in upstate near Canadaigua, that general area, not sure where that runs a home for troubled teens and they have an equine program that will take donations on occasion.
I too, agree with euthanasia.
This is going to come off as a bit of a rant, and for that I apologize.
I have been contacted by TOO MANY people who "love" their retired horse, but cannot keep it anymore "because I can't afford two and I already got a new one". I'm not saying this is the circumstance with you, just that it is very common.
Folks, If you cannot afford the one you have, and cannot ENSURE a safe retirement, put it down.
If you cannot afford two horses, deal with the one you have, the one who gave you years of service, the one you COMMITTED to all those sound years ago.
There are very few homes out there for broken horses. Who wants a broken horse? Nobody, thats who. And for that, you have two choices that will leave you on this side of ethical and decent. Once choice is to continue to support the horse in a retirement facility, the other is to euthanize the horse.
Giving a lame horse away is a cop-out a lot of the times. It's hard putting horses down--Ask me how I know. But at least I know that when I euthanise a horse, it won't be mistreated, it wont end up at the killers, and it wont starve to death.
mbp-- I was one of the people who responded to one of your posts on the giveaways board. Quite honestly, you would have a MUCH easier time placing him if he had been in any sort of consistent work in the last year. That's what really scared me off. You really don't know how sound or unsound he is until you get him into work. What I'd be scared of if I was you, is someone getting him thinking he will be sound enough for flatwork and then, if he turns out unsound, they won't want him anymore. Very few people want just a companion. Lots of people (myself included) would be willing to take an older horse with maintenance issues if it will hold up to regular flatwork.
The other thing that made me lose interest in your horse is the fact that he has ringbone, I already have one old man (20) with ringbone and sidebone and it has been heartbreaking. He has good days and bad, and is no longer rideable. I don't look forward to the day that he cannot get around any longer. However, I've had this horse for 10 years and he was always good to me, took care of me, gave me lots of enjoyment and a few ribbons. He's also a total lovebug. I'm fortunate now that I can have him at home, but I struggled to pay full board on him when I could barely make ends meet, because I wanted to ensure that this horse was taken care of until the end. I wasn't able to afford to board another horse so guess what, I didn't have one I could ride for a year or so. Was it worth making that sacrifice? Heck yeah. I smile every morning when I go to feed and he whickers at me... he's my boy. :) And when the time comes, I'll put him down, knowing I did everything I possibly could to keep him happy and comfortable.
I had a really bad experience giving away a mare to a supposed "rescue" years ago and after that, reality set in... if you want to guarantee your older horse a good home, you have to keep it. Not saying there aren't good homes out there, but there are no guarantees.
If you absolutely can't keep him, see if you can find a horseless kid to ride him a few times a week, get him back into shape and see what you've got. If you can get him back into work for a couple months and keep him relatively sound, your chances of finding him a good home will go way up.
Best of luck to you, he sounds like a sweetheart.
giving away a sound, healthy horse is fraught with peril if one wants any peace of mind. giving away a lame horse for someone else to maintain and have to deal with the inevitable is imho sherking one's responsibilities.
To the OP - if you can't take care of your horse and can't find anyone reliable & willing to take him on, I don't think it's the worst thing in the world to euthanize. Dying peacefully without pain and with a full belly and your love(d) one(s) with you is a good thing to me. YMMV.
The flip side....
If you can hang in there, you might find someone with a pasture situation who is willing to let you turn out the horse provided you provide feed, care, hay, etc and check in for very little $$ to buy you some time to make a decision, get the horse in work, and find him a permanent home. (IE: not a lot of extra work for them as long as you hold up your end)
Surprised as I am, I got an offer like that regarding my mare from someone just this a.m. I'm still so shocked that I haven't replied.
I kind of was in this situation very recently. Had two; one young and sound, one not much older (8) and not really sound enough to do competitive anything. I can only afford one. The 8-year old has a home for life. He got unsound racing successfully for us; the least I can do is keep him safe. So the younger one went. He's got a future. If the 8yo leaves here, it's hard to say what his is. But it's not fair to anyone to try to rehome him. If it come to having him euthanized, that would be preferable to rehoming, but things would have to go EXTREMELY dire. Otherwise, sacrifices are made and he will stay.
It is very hard to place horses right now. We've got probably 15 or so in the rescue right now who are not ridable. Some of them will be adopted by their foster homes who have fallen in love with them - but others will be in foster homes for quite some time (possibly the rest of their lives). Almost every day we're turning people down who want us to take in their older horses with issues. We just don't have room.
On Tuesday, we took in a herd of 8 horses who had been abandoned. They're reportedly broke to ride (and a volunteer has been on two of them so far), decent weight, some of them are gaited horses (may be Paso Finos). These guys were just DUMPED by their owner, possibly because he/she couldn't find homes for them. And they're nice horses...
I am very worried about what will happen if my husband and I lose our jobs in this economy. We've got five horses and while we might be able to find homes for some of them, we also might have to face the tough decision of euthanizing a horse we cannot afford to feed. I pray that doesn't happen - but I know many other people are already needing to consider that choice.
to the op---i pay 135.00 a month for pasture board at a friend's farm. i am very lucky to have this option. my retired guy is comfortable barefoot so every 5 to 6 weeks he gets a trim for 35.00. he gets no supplements and seems to be fine. there is no budget for anything catastrophic other than the costs of euthinasia and disposal. when that time comes, we will both be at peace.
I can only ditto the posts that say either suck it up and keep him or put him down. Your horse is not likely to find that forever home out there that will pamper him until he dies. He MIGHT but he might just as likely end up on the auction trail. Horses don't tell time, they don't think of the future. He's happy and not in pain now, give him until it starts to get cold and have him peacefully euthanized at home if you can't keep him.
Right now is the worst time to be trying to find a home for a horse. We are being hit hard by all this too (no job losses or anything yet, thank goodness, but reserves are shriveling up along with the stock market) but I realized last night that we cannot sell the horses right now- a year ago we didn't think we'd have financial issues, so who's to say anyone who buys them won't be in the same boat a year from now? Once they leave your hands, even if the person you sell them to is a good home for them, there's no telling where they'll end up.
So being one with two horses, one more marketable than the other (although both very useable), my choice would be to cut costs on both of them by finding barebones boarding situations if the need arises and ride this out. Is that a possiblility for you, OP? If you could find pasture board for both of your horses you might be able to keep both for the price of one, and not be faced with rehoming a horse in this terrible economy.
I especially love on the giveaways how these people (and I don't mean the OP necessarily or all people posting on the giveaways, just certain people) that a "good home is a must and references will be checked." In other words, I'm not willing to provide the good home but by God you had better do what I won't!
Let me tell you what our boarder did...she is young, struggling, and working very hard to get by. She has two horses, one is a 21 year old retired lesson horse that she purchased years ago to ride and show. He is stiff and not sound for any more than tooling around with "pony rides." She also has a TB that she wants to show.
Rather than go to a nice show barn and ditch the old guy, she has been keeping them both at this less than ideal place, with minimal care and no riding facilities. Because she can afford to keep them BOTH there.
We recently purchased a farm and offered her VERY cheap retirement board for the old guy here. Just enough to cover his feed/hay and nothing more. This helped free up some money for her to take the other horse to a place with a ring and just overall a better facility.
I respect her very much for not ditching this guy b/c he got too old and too sore. So, my opinion, rather than kick him out the door b/c he is not useful to you any more (you are keeping the "useful" one, no?) try and find a local place, maybe a private barn, that will let you pay a small monthly fee to let him live out his life. Otherwise, I think euthing is something to consider vs letting him go into the world of the unknown.
Everybody THINKS there is some perfect home out there that wants their lame, old babysitter, but the truth is there are SOOO many of those to go around, the few legit places already have one.
I just wish people, rather than put so much effort in trying to give away the ones that gave them so much, would instead put that effort into finding them a place to retire (and YES that will require some financial responsibility from the owner).