We have 5 all at home! Some are retired and pasture pets, some are younger and learning about being responsible citizens at shows and on the trails. Once one comes into our care, it's understood they don't have to worry about being neglected or passed around again.
My mare was the favorite of good friend who died a few years ago. She had been sold to idiots at a lesson barn, developed a throwing kids problem (she's never been terribly tolerant of people hanging on her face...and they did *something* that all but severed her tongue in half and left her with a nasty scar). She wound up on Craigslist and I bought her from them. I can put toddlers on her in an indoor arena. She doesn't put a foot wrong. Outdoors? God help anyone if she decides to run. She's also phenomenal for longe lessons. She'll stay on that circle for forever and is push button. She's a great confidence builder in an indoor arena or on a longe line.
She loves to jump and has taught several friends to jump in the past year, but in the last couple months is starting to show her age. She did something to her stifle out in the field fairly recently so is now totally retired. She's far too intolerant of treatment to try to do anything about it at this point (she's 25 and has). She doesn't do stall rest. She's rather intolerant of being messed with so treating anything is difficult at best. When she was younger it was worth drugging her and/or just forcing her to deal with it, but these days it just isn't worth it. Her vet agrees. She still acts like herself, eats fine and feels okay enough to run around with her friends, so plan with her is just to keep her comfortable until she has trouble getting up and bossing everyone around. I'll put her down at that point.
My 8yo gelding is with me for life as well. He's just one of those once in a lifetime horses that I could just never part with. He's my buddy. He's up for whatever I throw at him. He's an Arab who would do well on the Arab circuit, though I have no desire to do any of that. We do local stuff, endurance rides, low level dressage, foxhunt, cut cows, chase cans, pulls a cart, etc. Whatever I decide I want to try, he's willing to give it a shot. He's a clown who makes me laugh. He's tolerant enough to trust with beginners, but will challenge cocky people who think they know more than they really do. If he went permanently lame tomorrow, I'd keep him for the next 20 years as a pet. He'll never be sold.
I am riding the last horse I shall ever own - not sure if that is the same thing, probably,
Same here. Stitch is "it" for me. No more horse ownership after him. Once he is retired, I might look into 1/2 leasing something. Not sure yet as I hope to have at least a few more years riding him!
I couldn't sell him anyways. He's got arthritis, coffin spur, dropped hip, had emergency colic surgery, needs shoes all the way around, rim pads and pour ins up front (crappy feet), etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on. He's high maintenance and most wouldn't be willing to take that on and pay for it all. He an expert at doing dumb things so just when I really get him going and working again, he gets "hurt". Sometimes I feel that I spend more time nursing him more than riding him. He's almost 15. I've had him since he was almost 7. But he's such a character and I refer to him as my giant dog. So in reality at this point? He's mostly a pet I putter around on.
As many of you know, we've been through a whole heap together. My plan is to keep him until he passes. And I will do my best to keep that promise. My family also knows my wishes if I were to happen to pass before him. I would rather have him put down than risk him getting into the wrong hands with all his issues.
Like the rest of my animals, my horses are for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. I've never gotten rid of an animal and I can't start now. Being single with no kids, I've offered a niece my house free and clear (I have five years left on the mortgage, but enough in the bank to pay it off, it will have a new roof as of next month, and should have upgraded electrical and central heat and air once it's paid off.) I have a fund set aside for the care of my animals.
Out of my four, two are definite "here forever"s but the other two probably will never go anywhere either.
My 17 year old gelding was our second homebred and we had to put down our first homebred as a two year old due to wobblers syndrome, so he was kind of special off the bat anyway. Then he was injured twice during his two year old year so between his subsequent roaring and fractured navicular bone he's been pretty well useless since then. I tell him all the time it's a good thing he's cute or he'd never have stayed. I don't think he believes me though. He's definitely head of the herd and has more personality than any other horse I've ever met. He's the reason I have to put clips on all my stall latches - he thinks he's hysterical and likes to let himself out to explore. You can see the wheels turning in his little head All. The. Time. I'm pretty sure he's the one who's going to live into his 30s or 40s just to spite me.
My other "lifer" is another homebred - my nine year old gelding. He's the only one I've ever had people approach me about at shows asking if he was for sale and I've always refused. He's one of those "old soul in a young body" and I can't imagine being without him. Last year he started headshaking and he's had arthritic hocks since he was three so it's probably a good thing I never sold him - I hate to think what might have happened to him by now with someone who considered him just a show commodity.
I also have his older, homebred half-brother (he's 11) and a four year old that a friend gave me to play with. The 11 year old is currently leased out to a friend's daughter to show but I guess he's got a stall for life with us too. I'd never forgive myself if he were sold and ended up in a bad spot. I'd probably consider selling the younger horse to a good show home but it would be hard. Thank goodness we have our own place! I'd never be able to keep all of them otherwise.
It's not about the color of the ribbon but the quality of the ride. Having said that, I'd like the blue one please!
I have three that aren't going anywhere if I can help it. One is 24 and I've owned him since he was 6. Another is 16, and I saw him born. The third is just 5, and I've known him since he was a week old, but bought him as a yearling.
They are all sweet, well-bred, well-trained horses, the older ones with nice show records, but all three have "special needs" too (don't most horses?). They're family members.
A couple years ago I gave a little gelding I had raised away. He was such a neat little horse, very sweet and could jump around a small course and do flying changes. He was too cool to sit in my pasture while I concentrated on the new youngster (now 5). So I decided to give him to a nice lady who used him in some lessons and for her young daughter's personal horse. He had been the healthiest horse I'd ever owned. Never lame, never sick, stayed fat and shiny on air. Very low-maintenance/easy-keeper.
After 6 months at his new home, he'd lost a ton of weight and his haircoat was horrible. I saw him at a show and didn't recognize him. He looked terrible. The lady assured me they were working to get him fixed up. He improved slightly, but had chronic ulcer and colic episodes. I got the call thus past March that they had to put him down. He was 10 years old.
That experience has been enough for me. If I care about a horse, it's staying right here. Some don't earn that luxury. I'm not rich, and I won't feed something aggravating. I would never have let my little gelding go if I had known what would happen to him. He simply did not thrive in his new home. Still fills me with guilt.
I have two that will never leave. My TWH (he's 12, maybe 13? Would have to check papers) and my daughter's Morgan, he's 17. They are two of the most honest horses I've ever met. The Morgan has his quirks but he's 100% up front about them ;-) and I've trusted him with my daughter since he decided she was his person, he would do ANYthing for her. The TWH isn't the smartest horse on the block but again, honest as the day is long. Vet could come tomorrow and say both are unrideable and they would stay right in my backyard and be cared for the same as they are now. I'm not "mushy" about my animals but they really are part of the family. http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b2...ps03a91037.jpg
I used to have three horses until my 30 year old mare crossed the bridge in June of this year. The remaining horses, the 28 year old gelding I've owned for 21 years and the 12 year old home bred gelding I wouldn't expect anyone else to have to put up with (he's an asshole), both have forever homes with me, at least until one of us dies. The donkey, Hank, will be with me forever too. While I have sold a few horses in the past it was always within a few months of acquiring them. I kept them just long enough to realize that they would never suit my purposes and sold them on, all others have or have had forever homes.
"My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."
My mostly-retired horse that I did in the adult amateur hunters eons ago that was supposed to be a sale horse. I say retired because his competition days are over, but he still does a couple lessons a month and goes for quick hacks.
He ain't going no-where.
He may lease to a ruthlessly vetted home in order to impart his considerable knowledge and bottomless kindness to the next generation, but home is with me, forever and always.
I keep meaning to clicker train him to do random stuff and make youtube videos to Enya. This obviously justifies the fact that he is nearly twice as expensive to maintain as the horse who actually works.
Until there is forever marriage, forever great job, forever super health there will never be a forever home.
We can try as hard as we can and have the best intentions to provide a forever home, but life has a way of being something we can't control 100%. Instead of having a " forever home "mentality, I give them the best care and love I can while they are in my life. Who knows, it may be forever.
I have 4 pure Shires: 2 retired broodmares (15 and 16 years old) and their 4 year old gelding sons. They are neither ridden nor driven. One of the mares was a Shire Horse of the Year finalist (before I acquired her), and the other one was a country show champion. The pleasure I receive from them, despite the prodigious amount of work it takes to keep such massive animals, is incalculable. In the world of Shires, the majority of owners/breeders are farmers. Their husbandry practices are more akin to that for non-equine livestock (that is not an indictment, simply a statement of fact). Some of the problems my horses have would not be treated by the aforementioned owners/farmers. My most treasured mare has arthritis in two pasterns which has required joint injections, treatment with Cartrophen (Pentosan), and daily doses of Danilon for the rest of her life. One of my boys has had surgery on his hock as a result of OCD (completely successfully, btw). These horses are part of our family. They will NEVER leave our farm. Knowing the horror stories that exist daily on these forums and in the world media, I take the extreme attitude of trusting no one. I realize just how cynical is this perspective. Reading the heartbreaking stories of horses changing hands in atmospheres of optimistic hope, and then learning the unimaginable truth when things go very wrong, I just couldn't allow that to happen to my "friends." Even if all of my horses were in the peak of health, I still wouldn't chance it. Shire horses are enormous (3 of my 4 are over 18h1") and their requirements are quite different from "normal" horses. They eat considerably more forage; need more space indoors (mine are housed in the winter in a massive pole barn); require higher doses of wormers and meds; need fencing that is higher and must be substantial, as well as very large field shelters; most tack is bespoke; dung is ginormous and its collection and removal a task that must be adhered to if areas of grazing are not to go sour. Many horse owners just won't take on such a commitment. And many who might do, won't give my horses a life to which they have become accustomed. As such, my husband knows that, in the event of my demise, the horses will be humanely pts.
We also own 2 very rare Baudet du Poitou donkey jennets. They will go back to the conservation herd from which I acquired the younger of the two, or to the older one's previous owner, when I kick the bucket.
I lost my beloved mare of 27 years in March. She was mine from the time she was four months old (I was 12 years old), and there was no doubt that she would be mine forever. I was lucky to have an equine soulmate, that horse that is so much more than a horse...there will never be another like her. You can't put a price on that, and I never tried.
Babe, our Clyde x mare, is not going anywhere. We have had her 13 years, known her since she was 7 and she is now 21! She is my DD's heart horse and is retired from her jumping career due to ring bone. We actually have owned her longer retired than active! She has the best ground manners and, with age, she has mellowed and is showing affection to her humans! She is still pretty aloof with other horses.
Cool is 20 yo. He had been at the two barns we were boarding and his owner was totally out of the picture. But the bills were paid by her dad... we looked after him for almost 6 years, grooming, buying him treats, blankets, fly masks, etc. My DD got permission to ride him. We loved him as our own. Last year, his owner reappeared and a few months later, decided to take him back closer to her. My DD was devastated but continued to visit him. Fast forward 6 months and we find out, he needs a new home as dad has stopped paying bills and owner cannot afford him! We bought him for $1.00 and he came "home" to the boarding barn. He is not going anywhere either. He is also mostly retired, just the occasional hack which he loves!
In the meantime, my DD had bought another horse to train/ride/jump. A 6 yo Belgian x gelding. I am sure this one is never going anywhere either, but you never know.
I feel confident that between my DD and myself, they will be well looked after!
Count me in too....
I was talking horse stuff to a non horse friend and used the term "heart horse". My friend Melanie asked what that meant.
I tried my best to explain it, in a way she would understand. (she's watched horse movies with me now and then, and clips of the Olympics etc etc) I said Mel, for me it means that all those things you've seen in movies... the galloping down the side of a mountain (Man from Snowy River) playing on the beach (The Black Stallion) the huge jumps and the fancy steps (Evening & Dressage in the Olympics).. It doesn't matter to me if he's only sound for light work.. We've already done ALL that in my head & heart. I think she "got it".
I have two retired polo ponies that are not going anywhere, age 24 and 25. Not for sale at any price. Despite ringbone and lots of miscellaneous wear and tear, they are very sound and are ridden regularly.
I also have an eight year old that is not going anywhere but that I
really hope decides to be consistently sound one day since that is a lot of years to feed something that is not :-)
My heart horse passed away in 2011 at age 31. We had been together since she was 5 and I was 17. I don't think I'll ever have another one quite like her.
Spooky (18) and Wolfgang (17) stay forever. I sold both at one time, and within 2 years, bought both back. I've been offered trades and money for Wolfgang more than once...no way.
I've decided that I am not a horse seller. I have two young horses that I sold once they were started, very sound, nice types. They have stayed sold and I am happy with where they went...but if I saw them advertised, they'd come back too. My husband is aware of this, and so he puts our "official horse count" at 6, not 4. This affects the acquisition of further horses.
Warrior and Zora are my younger (aka more useful) horses, and they aren't going anywhere either. I bred Zora, so I feel tremendous responsibility for her, not to mention a huge emotional attachment. Warrior is not the type of horse who is easy to sell. Very pretty, talented, young, sound...but a more complicated ride than most people have the patience for...and not so talented that he's worth the effort (for most people.)
Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior
I've got 2 that have forever homes, 1 additional has a forever home unless I'm offered and obscene amount of money for him.
Originally Posted by Fairfax
Until there is forever marriage, forever great job, forever super health there will never be a forever home.
Which is why I do not rely on my husband to support me, I have a will, I have someone who has agreed to be their "owner", and enough money to take care of each of them for an additional 10 years directed to go to their new "owner" should I experience my unfortunate demise before I plan to do so.