I had to put down when I was 12....1974 I believe, as she was kicked in the shoulder, and it broke many bones.
I was devastated, and to this day remember looking in her trusting brown eyes as she stood in the exam stocks at Washington State University's vet school. I think I remember asking them what they would do with her....and if I remember correctly, at least they were honest. They said they would use the body for research, and see what they could have done about the fracture...and then she would go in a big vat that just eats everything off the bones.
Not a great picture for a 12 year old-nor a 40 year old for that matter......however, like someone else said, I knew her soul was in Horse Heaven, and I had said my goodbyes.
(Ok, now I'm bawling).....but, to those who are lucky to have a place to bury their friends, how wonderful. I don't know what I will do when my beloved Will passes. I found it very hard to see my Chesapeake's body taken away after she was put down. I still am haunted by that. The cat last year was a little better, we have buried her in the front yard with a lovely piece of marble from Colorado (gathered by my husband on 9/11/01)....I like knowing that the cat is in the yard.
If I can't bury the horse, I could live with the fact he is rendered I suppose. Mr LBH would not be too keen on the cremation fee I would be guessing...have to remember their souls are already gone, and it's just the "container" left.
Coreene, good luck on finding a way to talk to the kids about it...being honest works, I always respected the vets for being honest with me. Graphic no, but honest is ok.
We had to put two down on the same day almost a year ago (early December, so actually 11 months). Both were old and weren't going to have an easy winter, so it was the best thing. But what made it horrible was that they were put down early in the morning and the guys to dig the whole couldn't come out until 9 that night. Plus it was cold and raining and a yucky day. Well, the guys did get there at about 9 that night, started digging in the dark, and the machine broke. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] So, it was another two days until they were actually buried. Just having the two of them lying there (with blankets over) for severals days was horrible!
"It's Friday afternoon...do you know where YOUR Chronicle is??????"
Today at work an owner brought his 30 year old mare in to be euthanized and disposed of because a burial at home was not an option. He had owned the mare 20 years and he had seen her rapidly decline recently and he had the courage to let her go while she still had grace.
That 55 year old man cried like a baby as he said his goodbyes to his best friend. His wife had already clipped a locket from the mares mane.....
He left and we attended to the mare and she went peacefully and quietly away to where ever the souls of sweet horses go. That is what counts, to me. The clinic contracts w/ a service which take the remains and they were there within an hour.
The interesting thing is the cost to have a horse picked up is $100, the rendering company's fee, we don't add anything to that fee. The cost to pick up a cow is $25. Go figure.
When a burial is possible I like to line the "grave" with a big pile of fresh straw. Somehow that action puts the "rest" in the final resting place of a special horse.
I've seen two buried on/next to my farm and sent one off to be rendered.
The first one, would have been rendered except it was AUGUST and she died on Friday night, quite peacefully from the looks of things. She was not mine and the owner told me that the number was 1800-DEAD-COW....but, by Saturday afternoon...whew, it was smelly already. Sunday morning we had a neighbor come over and dig a hole.
The pony I had put down, the truck came and it was $50.
The other old horse was a neighbor's. He had had the horse for 23 years and was very sad, he owns 600+ acres next door, and we buried the old boy on the property line.
I have another neighbor who was able to take his horse to a local dairy farmer's "vat". Fertilizer/compost bin. Pretty well gets rid of all of a carcass in a few weeks.
I do not know what will be done with the next one who dies. I'm not particularly attached to the dead body, I am more worried about them while they are alive.
Valley Protein is our local renderer (1800 DEAD COW), and well, for the most part, I think they get turned into fertilizer.
Okay, you guys have made me cry like a baby. We have in the past 8 years lost 4 of our wonderful friends. Three were old (23-28 years old) and one was a 3 month old colt who died of phycomysitis of the intestines. They are all buried (illegally) on our 15 acre horse property in the shade of their favorite trees. My dear sweet Jazz, 23 year old Appaloosa gelding who could, and did, do everythign from western pleasure to eventing, from working cows to dressage, from teaching children to ride to packing my fat butt around a mini-prix showjumping course, developed a chronic hoof degeneration that caused the bones inside his front feet to "drop" causing him terrible pain. We tried literally EVERYTHING to make him comfortable, but after many weeks at the vet with me visiting him every other day, he finally "told" me that he had had enough and wanted to just go home.
I had the vet block both of his front feet and I took him home and hand grazed him in his favorite paddock until the block began to wear off. The vet then came out and put him quietly to sleep. I have never cried so hard in my life. I clipped a lock of his mane and kissed him goodbye and a friend of the vet buried him while I was in the house. I visit him most every day out in his pasture.
I just can't imagine sending them to a renderer (although I do understand that it must be done for some). For those who've had to make this hard decision, I grieve for you and send you my love.
Coreene - You might ask your vet where John takes them. I remember a vet telling me that she had to go out to whereever it is to do an autopsy. It might be Bandini???
As others have said, we often don't have the burial option here in Southern California. I held onto the leadrope when Jive was euthanised, but didn't stay for the arrival of the truck as I was told I really didn't want to see it.
I know you might not expect that coming from me.
But in terms of my own life, I hope that I die a peaceful death - and what happens to my body is not important to me.
It is nice to be able to bury your horse, if you can. But if you can't for whatever reason, I don't think it matters one bit. The important thing is a happy life, well loved, and a painless, peaceful death.
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Me too Fred. I think the manner of death counts, but not so much what happens afterwards. For me, I don't care what happens after I die. I'd prefer my family not spend an outrageous amount on a fancy casket etc. I'd really prefer just to be cremated.
As for my horse, again, it's the manner of death that matters. What happens to the body afterwards doesn't bother me so much. It's kind of gruesome to think about, but the horse I would have loved would be gone. The body is just a shell at that point.
When my Holsteiner mare, Lena, was put down on November 1, I cut a lock from her forelock, from her mane, and I cut off her tail below the tailbone. I'm going to get a belt made next year with her hair.
The box her ashes came in is about 1 foot wide by 2 feet high. I'll take a picture of it one of these days. It's a beautiful wood box.
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Don't people still donate old horses to the Hunts for the Hounds?
I thought I saw a lame older horse in a paddock at Piedmont a few years ago who was donated to the Hounds.
I know they did that in England.
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my first trainer told me that when she was young and a horse was going to the killers, in order not to hurt the kids her barn owner would say that the truck was taking them to the christmas tree farm. The horses would spend the rest of their days (or be buried) on a wonderful christmas tree farm where they could graze all day underneath the christmas trees. That image has stuck with me my whole life, and though it may be juvenile it still helps bring a little smile through tears when you lose one.
The coyate hunt in Colorado uses carcasses to keep coyotes around so they can have an active hunt. When I lived there and we had to have one put down, I gave permission for the horses to be taken to "the hunt".
I know, I know....sounds just gruesome to some of you...BUT...the body laying and rotting in the ground after burial or the body being burned up in cremation is not the most beautiful/peaceful picture either. Once the horse is gone the disposal really only matters to us.
I personally held the head to my chest and petted each and every horse we had to put down till it was "gone" and then I stayed till the body was picked up. I ALWAYS brought a huge, heavy blanket from my house and covered the horse (even tho it was "gone") cause I didn't want them to get cold....I still do the same thing.
I just couldn't bear the thought of the horses body laying there and the horse getting cold, even tho it was "gone"... I know, a personal quirk but it made me feel better to take the time to be sure the final moments were as comfy as possible. I also made sure their head was laying on a folded blanket and covered too cause I didn't want people staring at their faces...
To this day, every time one is put to sleep I am in tears for days....that is a part of this business I never want to "get used to"....I pray I cry each time over each one of them, they deserve that the way they impact our lives.
GEEZ.....I have to go and run to the bathroom for kleenex...dam'nit...made me cry...... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
Most hunts nowadays don't feed flesh. Sporadic supply and expense and finding people who know how to butcher (tradionally the kennelman's job). Besides which, the horse must be slaughtered, not euthanized. If your horse gets the green needle, the body cannot be used as food.
RE: burial. Burial is great. IF you're going to live there forever. I have 1 horse, 2 ponies, and 4 dogs buried on my farm. I absolutely DREAD moving for that reason. I could leave the one horse, 2 ponies and 2 dogs, but there are two JR's buried just behind the house that I really don't want to be parted from. I may yet have a backhoe take a big scoop for me.
I wish cremation had been an option for them. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]
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OMG what a timely topic for me [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] Yesterday I had to have a favorite old arab mare put down. She had laminitis very severely, that wasn't making any progress. She was in severe pain and colicky yesterday morning so I made the call. This one was really hard on me because she was a special old gal and a delightful personality.
I couldn't let her suffer anymore, so even though I knew the truck wouldn't come till today, I called Doc yesterday. I am always there with them when they go, to say goodbye and comfort them. I told Doc yesterday that he's seen me cry more times than anyone else who knows me, these last few years.
One thing I CAN"T do though, is be there when the truck comes. It's got the big winch and I can't make myself be there. I was totally on edge today until afterwards. At that point, it really isn't my horse anymore anyway, the part that makes her 'her' is gone over the bridge and it's ok. But I still can't watch. Burial is not an option for me either and the knacker man now costs $230 a pop!
At least the company has repainted the trucks. They used to have a logo of a smiling farmer standing next to a cow on it's back, all 4 legs sticking up in the air, with X's on it's eyes [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img] I never did understand that one!
I know a lot of animals (cattle, sheep, horses, dead wild animals) end up at the animal disease diagnostic center. Even if they don't go through necropsy, they cremate them there. Lots of horses go through there since they can't be used for any food products since they have been admisistered so many pharmaceuticals. They'll give back the head,heart and hooves.
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mona:
The boarding stable charged me $75 for it. Anyone else get charged?
I have something to say about that!!
I pretty much run the barn that I am at now, and it is owned by my boyfriend's parents. I take care of all the day to day stuff in exchange for keeping my horse there.
Earlier this year, at the beginning of the summer, I had to take a boarder's pony to the vet because my boyfriend's parents were out of town. He ended up having to be put down at the vet's. I was the only one there, because the owners couldn't make it soon enough.
I cut a lock out of his tail, and I stood there with him stroking his face while the euthanasia was administered in the trailer, and helped the vet to get him to "fall" correctly. I went ahead and paid the associated fees for the vet. I didn't want the owners to get a bill a few weeks later for having the horse put down. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] It was quite an emotional experience for me.
I trailered him back home (we have 100 acres, so he was going to be buried at the farm). My boyfriend wouldn't let me help get him off the trailer, or bury him. He made me leave. At the time, I was irritated, but in hindsight, I guess that was better. A dead horse cannot be gracefully taken off a trailer and put in its grave I suppose. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img] I put a flymask on the pony before I had to leave, so at least he wouldn't get dirt in his eyes.
My bf took care of digging the grave and burying the pony.
When my bf's parents got home, they had the nerve to suggest billing the owners $75. I was the one who was with the horse, and my bf took care of it after. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_mad.gif[/img] I told them that if they were going to bill the owners, to give me the stupid bill, and I'd pay it!! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif[/img] Nothing ever came of it, but geez how heartless!