Dangerous Horse: What Would You Do
Let me preface this by saying that I'm not making any decisions right now...I am giving this time.
However, this situation bothers me on a whole level that I can't put my finger on.
Back story--"Resue" horse that came to my farm not long ago. I'm not a pro but have a lot of experience with difficult horses. But I've never come across something like this.
From day one, this horse has been terrified of humans. We couldn't even catch him in his stall for the first few days to turn him out. We have no history. He's young--around 6 or 7.
Most of the time you think you could slowly work though this. However, I'm worried someone is going to get killed or seriously injured in the meantime. This horse will bolt so quickly with no warning...right over the top of you if you happen to be anywhere in the way. You can barely touch him...we were able to do a little grooming at the beginning but he has progressively gotten worse with that.
We can't handle his feet, do any vet work or health care, can't take the halter off or we'll never get it back on. Any time you do anything besides just lead him or feed him he's dangerous to work with. He kicked me very badly a few weeks ago and almost broke my leg.
I guess what I'm trying to say is this horse really scares me...and that's a bad combination. But I don't know what the options are...no trainer would take him on and I wouldn't put someone in that situation. I don't want to "rehome" him because he could very likely be headed to a bad situation again. He can't even be a pasture pet because you can't do basic, needed care. Euthanasia is an option but many people think you are evil for considering it.
I'm sure this is why the horse was headed where he was in the first place. At least here he has had a chance at a happy life. He now goes out in a small paddock and I can catch him. But I picked up a brush today while holding him and he bolted so quickly that it was a very close brush with getting hurt again. Just the tiniest thing will set him off and he has no sense of self preservation for himself or the people around him. He's lucky he hasn't hurt himself badly with some of the stuff he's pulled.
I feel very sorry for him. He is not "mean," but how can you care for a horse like this? Yes, we can wait a few months to decide (and that's where we are now) but I it takes the fun out of being out at the barn when you are dealing with such an unpredictable animal.
On top of all this, you have people doing the "I told you so" about taking him on, but giving horses in this situation a new chance of life has always been rewarding and we have quite a few rehomed that are very much loved by their owners. You always know going in that it's a crap shoot...this one just has been a lot worse than I ever anticipated.