I just needed to get this out in the open. I am a graduated college student and I am working for my trainer. I get free board for my horse, and I just pay vet/farrier bills. However my horse had to recently retire due to underlying issues (severe arthritis, blown knee,)
I have more than plenty of horses to ride! (nice ones in fact)
I just miss having my "own" personal horse. Of course I still groom, and lightly hack my horse when he is having a good day. I just feel that I am stuck with an old retired horse I can't do anything with. I could never part with him. He deserves every ounce of retirement for being the best Children's/Adult Hunter I could ever have.
I was wondering if anyone is in the same boat as me? Has a lame/retired horse that they could never sell. However, they can't afford another horse?
Well I am definately in the "horseless rider" boat myself. I had a horse for years, but he was a rescue/adoption and was very limited with what he could do. I ended up getting rid of him last summer because I just couldnt afford to keep him anymore, I was no longer using him, and I couldnt keep paying for him, just to avoid saying goodbye. He was a great first horse, and now he can be someone else's great beginner/first horse.
I have been having a ruff time lately with the fact that I dont have my own, and unfortunately its going to be a while before I do. I just cannot afford it. I am heading back to college in the fall,so getting horse is down the road for me.
I do have horses that I can ride anytime I want, they are nice ,and I am 100% grateful to the owners for their generosity....but nothing is like having your own..
I hear you
*We tolerate behaviors in human beings that would horrify us if we saw them in a horse.*
R.I.P El Salvador*
I so understand. I have a aged horse that is like my kid, I so love him he has taught me so much about riding and life, I have had him for 18 years, he is 26. He is the light of my life. I have put my current riding goals and next few years on hold for him. It is not easy but it is something that we must do for our equine friends. If I did not do this for him what kind of person would I be? My guy and I do hack 4 o 5 days a week and I work on my position with him and PT 'physical therapy' with the trainer where I board, he loves it.
To help me grow and move forward in my riding I have been going and riding at a friends on a wonderful well schooled horse. I would love to show but the showing for me is the partnership that I had of the daily rides and working towards a goal.
Having your aged or retired friend is not easy and I so understand but it does define you as the horse person that you are. Hang in there and when we look back these will be wonderful times that we will smile about and know we did something great!
Just a suggestion: Depending on what's wrong with him physically and how calm he is, you may want to look into a therapy program.
My favorite horse at our place is a 17.2 ex show jumper and he truly is a gentle giant.
Look around, he may be a blessing to a therapy program. We even give owners the opportunity to still own their horses so they can be update on care, visit whenever, and be notified if we ever can't use them anymore.
I've also found this can be really good for the horses because a lot of times they only work a couple time a week, it gives them a job, they get lots of love, and it's great for horses with arthritis because they basically get "hand walked" consistently and it keeps them from getting too stiff
Just something to think about. It might be the best option for both of you!
I think that probably the vast majority of therapeutic riding places are wonderful, well-regulated, what they're supposed to be. But if you are considering donating your horse somewhere (anywhere, for anything, really) make sure you check it out thoroughly first. A place where you retain ownership and can check up on your horse and make other arrangements should the need arise as the PP mentioned is ideal. I know I sound like the biggest party pooper in the history of the universe and what kind of evil person would cast aspersions at therapeutic riding, but woefully a joint trafficking under that name lies within my experience. Their CYA is that they state plainly that any horse donated to their program that is "not suitable will be found a good home and any profits will benefit the charity" associated with the program. Right there there's a disconnect because the program and the charity are not the same entity, although they have the same name and most people would logically assume they are connected, i.e. the same pot of money. WRONG. I'm not going to wear you out with all the particulars on this one set of crooks, but - in the recent past at least - this program has been nothing but a front for high volume horse dealing. And what I mean by that is that folks who thought Dobbin was going to live out his life being gently handwalked and grazing in a pasture, instead he got his old navicular problems nerve blocked and crammed on a trailer with 12 other horses and shipped to, of all places, Wellington. I think PP is right, donation CAN be a great option, just like with every thing else, make damn sure you kick the tires first. The horse business will always attract some unscrupulous creeps that blacken the good works of many.
I 100% agree with mortebella... Unfortunately there are a lot of bad programs out there. But there are a lot of good ones too!
If you end up deciding to investigate this route a little further, it's good to get some help and always ask the "hard" questions. It's not a decision that should be made quickly and there's a lot of thought that must go into it.
If you think this might be something to look into, feel free to PM me and I can help give you some "insider tips" on what to look for.
BTW, mortebella: You're saying they SELL DONATED horses for a PROFIT? What the...? All our horses have a home for life (unless they go back to their original owner at some point). And if we were to ever close, they would be given to well investigated homes to retire. Never to SELL. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard! OP: Run far far away from any program that would ever sell any donated horse.
Thankyou for all your advice about therapeutic programs. I have volunteered at a few in my area with people that I know personally. I would donate him there, however I know my horse is not suitable for the program.
He is a 16.2 hand thoughbred ex-race horse who doesn't understand why he is retired. He can still be full of himself and act like three years old. It just breaks my heart that his legs arent sound enough to do what he still "thinks" he is capable of doing. He is only 18 years old.
I know exactly how you feel. I had to find a home for my first pony in order to afford my 2nd horse, a Thoroughbred mare. I was in tears over retiring my pony, but he'd definitely earned it and when he was diagnosed with navicular (after having arthritis) we knew it was the right decision. I actually gave him to a family friend who ran a very small (weekend only), beginner riding lesson program. I worked for her, so I got to go and see him a lot. It was a perfect situation for all involved, he was a solid lesson pony and great for the kids. I would still get on him bareback and trail ride him. He's now fully retired and will be able to stay there forever. I'm sure if you keep your eyes open you'll be able to find a similar situation for your horse. Don't completely discount lesson barns, but obviously scrutinise them VERY carefully. Maybe you could find a small family farm type situation for him, horsey parents who want something sound and quiet for their kids to learn on. Good luck!
I also know how you feel about wanting your own horse to ride. I am working on a ranch this summer, riding full time for the first time since I sold my 2nd horse. I absolutely love it, and the horses are great, but it's rough not having my own. Especially because a few are for sale (they are very fussy about where they go to, which is good obviously...) which I would love to buy (so cheap!), but I have to keep reminding myself I live in another country...
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
It's difficult sometimes not to have your own rideable horse to have autonomy over and to set goals with. I understand that. But I would also bring up the wonderful positives to your situation. Even if you are not able to place your horse, the fact that you have other horses to ride, for whom you are not responsible, is a great opportunity. I know responsibility goes hand-in-hand with autonomy, and it is nice to be able to make all the choices regarding a horse you have partnered with. But let me tell you that as the owner of two should-be useful horses, one which is older but still pretty useful for small stuff and my supposedly up and coming mare, both of whom are otherwise very sound horses but have issues at the moment that render them pasture ponies, I am sometimes exhausted by horse ownership. I think that if anything happened to one of my two I would NOT purchase another horse for awhile. The stress when your second horse has unforeseen medical issues or expenses is exhausting, nevermind the first one, as you know. If it's leased, you can return it to its owner. If you want to move up, you can find a new horse that is better suited for your goals. In the current economy, there are thousands of people who cannot sell their horses but need to for a variety of reasons. I count myself lucky right now that I don't need to/have no intention of selling either of mine. I guess my point is that while it's perhaps difficult emotionally, this is a great opportunity to set personal goals (ride as many horses as possible, do a new level with a seasoned horse, take lessons on a variety of mounts, etc.) and enjoy different horses without all of the responsibilities that go along with horse ownership.
Gentleman J - "Junior" - My been-there, done-that jumper
Send Your Love - "Serena" - Aug 10th 2009, Rest in Peace
Yep, Wonders, they do indeed sell them.They make this look legit by having a disclaimer that says they're finding the horse a "good" home, and the proceeds are benefiting the charity. They present it as a win-win. Well, it was a big fat front. This particular gal did get run off finally. But what's going on there now is really far from transparent. Don't want to hijack this thread any further with a bunch of off topic details; this was just to say to folks, if something red flags for you, if it's the future of your horse that's involved, keep looking. Just because it's positioned under the name of something altruistic doesn't mean it can't be a scam.