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  1. #41

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    I really didn't want to post on this but I feel this has been blown way out of proportion. First I want to say to Caylei that I think that is the first post that you have shown great maturity in. I totally agree with you. People try their best to give their all to their horses. Sometimes finanaces are just not available to all and they have to do the best they can. I would like to know how many horses Alysheba has that are retired, washed up or how ever else they would like to put it. If you have many, how is the quality of your life? You say give up smoking, cable ect. Have you done that? Do you go not paying your mortgage over vet bills? Some people are not in that position so they have to make choices. I am sure that it is not an easy decision for them.

    I have a stallion that will be 25 this year, I bought him off the killer truck at NH and he had a broken ankle still in the cast from Delaware Park. The owners did not breed and he would never race again. So they did what they did. We bought him when he was 5 and bred him to our mares and got great babies. He is now a lawn ornament because we can do that. He is in great health and needs a occasional bute tab for his ankle.

    Here is a link to Ryerss retirement home. It will show that this is a hard place to get into. Long waiting list (over 6 years to wait) and very expensive. In our area there is no such thing as cheap board, even field board is pricey. You just about have to give your horses away as a turn out as a babysitter if you can't afford to keep them.

    http://www.ryerss.com/admissions.htm

    So Alysheba, I suggest that you look at the whole picture before you spout off about things. Everyone doesn't have deep pockets and cold hearts as you seem to think.



  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
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    NorthEast
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    25,603

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    In a perfect world...people also wouldn't give up aging parents or throw babies in dumpsters either.
    I fortunately am financially able to keep horses for life if I so choose to, and we have our own small farm. This is going to be up and running as an equine business at some point and I will not take in any more "lifers" whether I have a bit of short term room or not. I will take in rescues that might/can be rehabbed/retrained and then re-sell them. Hopefully more often for a small profit as opposed to in the red due to medical issues that were treated...that's a chance I'm willing to take after proper vetting of new prospects. But if a horse turns up permanantly lame or worse, then for business sake I cannot keep it. If I do keep it, I'm taking stall space and disposable income from a new horse every 6 months to a year that could've been saved and given the chance at a new life. I'd rather save more than chance saving one and taking the space a succession of horses could've had. I'll work hard to find it a pasture potato job if it's easy care and will put the poor dear down if it requires expensive medical attention the rest of it's life. I have my two lifers, they're provided for til death do us part. (if they had their way, it'd be my death, LOL) But other than that...I can't allow long term expenses take over. We're comfortable in income, but not by any means wealthy. I cannot save them all, but I'll do what I can for those I can do something for. And use extra income to continue to donate to those less fortunate. Giving up horses isn't always a black and white issue...and it's sometimes done for the greater good. (hopefully the greater good) Not everyone is blessed enough to be 100% financially independent.
    So while I agree with the reason of not casting off an unwanted horse at a kill buying auction if it's possible to not do so, I can't agree 100% with keeping every horse as a lifer forever-more.

    I started my own business and became financially wealthy at the age of 29. Now I get to spend my days hanging out with my husband, my kids, and my horse.
    From the OP's profile.
    This is great for you, your family and your animals. I'll also probably be checking out your link to your business plan for being independently wealthy. But not everyone has the ability to do the same.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb. 8, 2004
    Location
    Rolling hills of Virginny
    Posts
    6,097

    Default

    I have always gone into horse ownership with the intention that it's for the duration, regardless of future health/mental issues and rideability.

    That being said, if something catastrophic financially were to happen and I had to give up one or both of my horses, I'd hope that people would be understanding of the situation.

    I will do everything in my power to keep all my animals, and wouldn't dream of passing an oldster along just because he's "useless". He wasn't useless for the last 20 years, and he deserves his retirement at home with me, when he tells me it's time.

    There's a difference in being able to afford and not wanting to take care of an injured/old animal, as opposed to being unable to continue to care for them properly.
    Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.



  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb. 24, 2006
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    60

    Default I certainly understand, however...!

    I was talked into buying a HUGE 3 year old that was just way too much horse for me, not to mention he had a hole in one of his tendons. Mentally he needed non-typical living situation that was not a boarding barn. So I found a great home for him and his new owner, who is a professional with her own quiet barn and tons of turnout. She loves him to death. He will have a long happy life with her.
    I spent thousands and thousands of dollars in professional training, vets, chiro, different farriers, different feeding programs, different suppliments, medications, I even had an animal psychic evaluate him. Hey I was desperate and he was an incredible horse. If I had owned my own place, things would have been very different with him.
    What was I supposed to do with him...board in my part of the country is any where between $400-800 a month. Because of his temperment I could let just anyone take care of him, he was NOT a backyard horse.
    And yes I wanted to get another horse.
    I hope that doesn't make me selfish. I already drive a 20 year old car and shop at Salvation Army for my clothes. Don't smoke or drink and go to movies at the early show for the discounted tickets.
    Wait I think that just makes me cheap.
    www.usedtackshop.com

    "We must stand-up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves."



  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    NorthEast
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    Default

    Wait I think that just makes me cheap.
    LOL...many times owning horses makes us cheaper at everything else. I'd much rather spend money at a tack shop or feed store than a mall any day!
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte



  6. #46
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2000
    Posts
    1,244

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    I agree with the OP. I think in every community (well, maybe not parts of CA!) there are probably very inexpensive boarding situations, you just have to find them. I have a friend who does boarding for $175 a month- horses have their own pens and are also turned out every day. Her place is small and certainly not fancy, but the horses receive excellent care and every one has flourished since coming there.

    I've been there and done that- gave away a "husband horse" when my husband quit riding and we didn't want another mouth to feed. Of course, it strained the budget but we *could* have done it. I found out this horse came to a horrible end, worse than auction (literally starved to death) and I still feel guilty about it.



  7. #47
    Join Date
    May. 13, 2005
    Posts
    1,140

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharma Chick
    You shouldn't be judging people. Not everyone can afford to keep an animal that no longer meets their needs. Many people don't make a lot of money, regardless of the reasons (lack of education, etc.) and absolutely cannot be burdened with an extra expense. Things happen, situations change - that's LIFE!!! We can't save the world. People who give up horses are not selfish. They are doing what's best for themselves AND the horse. I will agree though, that an auction isn't the best route, but that is not for me to judge either. I know your intentions are well-meaning, but this is a free country and people can do as they please, whether we like it or not.
    Sorry, as someone who went without a rideable horse for 8 years to afford my retired boy, I don't buy it. You could afford the horse when he did what you wanted, you can afford him when he cannot. If you are unwilling to make any sacrifices, and you feel your needs are the most important, then it's something you need to at least be honest about--euthanize the horse instead of putting them at risk. And sure, ultimately they can do whatever they want, but it doesn't mean I have to congratulate them for it.
    "If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." -Don Marquis
    **CEO of the TQ "Learn How To Ride or MOVE OVER!!" Clique**



  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2005
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    43°39'N 79°23'W
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    1,074

    Default happy lawn ornament beats euthanized or meat man

    I'd much rather see an owner give the horse away so it becomes a happy lawn ornament than be euthanized or sent to auction because they are not wanted or needed.
    Personally mine are for life. One crossed over age 29 and one was 20. My present is 11 and will be around for many more years.
    *
    One pair of good hands is better than having a thousand different bits.




  9. #49
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Lucama, NC
    Posts
    5,868

    Default

    Well I think theres a lot of sligning going on here that is not warranted! I can see that people simply CANNOT afford to keep a horse as a "pasture pet", and their comes a time to find them a home. I have taken MANY MANY of these, but I cannot give "forever homes" so I don't even answer those people! I can however, spend some time and money to try rehab, and then find a SUITABLE home for the horse, which I have successfully done many times. I ask that those people let me know if they cannot continue to keep the horse but I am not going to get upset if they do not, soemtimes they simply have to move the horse on and I know it. It IS life, a sad part of life but something we must realize. I recently had a discussion with someone about the Amish "disgarding" their work animals at auction when they cannot be used. This person thought the Amish should give them a retirement home. But stop and think about it, they use these hroses as their LIVELYHOOD, not as pets or competition animals, they are NECESSARY to their existance and frankly it is not going to be feasible for them to continue to feed each and every retired work horse! Its like me asking you to just keep, feed, house and give routine maintenance to an old clunker car. We have to examine EACH AND EVERY case on its own merits and not make blanket judgement calls on these things. There is Right and Wrong, but this is a VERY grey area in between



  10. #50
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2003
    Location
    Land of cold, snow, & bugs, AKA Minnie Soda
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    6,500

    Default I really had to hesitate before wandering in...

    ...but I am going to.

    I see both sides.

    IF someone had not cast off Aero, he would not have come to me. And that, my friends, would have been very sad. He was a very lame horse, with a story not unlike WA's Avery. I could not ride him, but I loved him and did for him what I could. Most of the time I owned him, I could only afford him, and many times, barely. Then I was presented with another freebie horse. (Any one remember Brown? What can Brown do for you? LOL) Now I had two horses, one very lame with huge medical issues, one not lame that was ok to ride.

    However, a time came when I was laid off. NO money coming in. And here I am with two horses-one I would not be able to pay someone to take, not that I would, and another that was sound, but he and I had a personality clash. We would go through the motions, get the job done, but we argued the whole time. However, others were able to get along with him. I tried to sell him, but in a short time the bills were piling up. I knew of a wonderful woman and her daughter who loved him. I gave him to them. He is now fat and sassy in their pasture, being loved on by both of them and living a horse's dream life. (He was not a work-aholic by any stretch of the imagination. While Aero would get sad to see others work, Brown would say "Glad it's you and not me!)

    Does this make me a bad person? I do not think so. I ensured one horse went to a fabulous home and in the meantime fought like hell to make a broken horse whole again. Many thought I was stupid for putting the money and energy into him, because they saw, which I refused to see, that he would never be whole again.

    I understand people having a horse they can not do anything with, whether it be for health reasons or otherwise, and maybe that horse would flourish with someone else. Why not give a horse a chance to get better if someone else is willing to take it on?

    I throw out many a kudos to anyone willing to take on a broken horse. If it works out for both parties, then so be it.

    The horse world is not a cheap world. I can only afford one horse. Period. When emergencies come up, I sweat it out, trying to figure out how to make the finances work. But I do make it work. Somehow. I cannot afford two horses. If I were to take on a second horse, I would have to lease out Rothina or sell her or give her away. And that scares me-she would have to go to a home where I could visit her and know she was being taken care of. I simply cannot have two horses.

    Those who know me and Aero know my committment. I was without a rideable horse for a long long time, because I chose to take him on. And I actually passed on a sound horse in order to keep taking care of Aero. But it was a situation that worked for everyone.

    I commit to my dogs and horses and even the guinea pig. I made a commitment. But, if something were to happen and Rothina did not work out and I knew of someone interested in her and I could visit and trust the person, then I would consider doing a give away. Maybe. In fact, there have been times that I have thought "Man, what did I do?! She and I are just not working out!" And then we have a fab ride and I really start and think about if I were to find her a new home, could I in good conscience do it? No.

    What makes her different from Brown? Because Brown was in the right place at the right time for the perfect home he found. I doubt I could be that lucky twice. And I could not in good conscience swap out another horse for Rothina. Brown was given to me when a girl was having huge financial difficulties and needed to get rid of him fast. So I took him. But did not necessarily WANT him. Does that make sense? But I did not drag him to an auction or sell him to just anyone. He was given to me and I found him a great home-

    I do not know where I am going with this and am a bit disjointed in my thinking. But I see both sides because I have been on both sides.

    I am disgusted that horses get thrown away after they are broken, but each story needs to heard. Is the horse really being thrown away, or given an opportunity to try to get whole again with someone who has the means?
    Co-founder of White Trash Dressage (WTD)
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    also available on Amazon.com
    http://www.cafepress.com/wtdressage



  11. #51
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2001
    Location
    Cullowhere?, NC
    Posts
    8,781

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    Quote Originally Posted by saratoga
    I agree with the OP. I think in every community (well, maybe not parts of CA!) there are probably very inexpensive boarding situations, you just have to find them. I have a friend who does boarding for $175 a month- horses have their own pens and are also turned out every day. Her place is small and certainly not fancy, but the horses receive excellent care and every one has flourished since coming there.

    I've been there and done that- gave away a "husband horse" when my husband quit riding and we didn't want another mouth to feed. Of course, it strained the budget but we *could* have done it. I found out this horse came to a horrible end, worse than auction (literally starved to death) and I still feel guilty about it.
    And that's the problem. For every nice place like the one your friend runs, there are dozens and dozens of situations where the horse will meet a bad end. It isn't that *simple* to find such a situation, and you certainly can't ask someone else to be "checking up" on it; everyone has their own standards. All those "bad ends" that horses come to aren't bad ends to the people who engineer them--they're just the (low) standard that those people have for horse care.

    This is not a simple issue. I don't enjoy seeing ads or posts in which people are trying to find a retirement home for a no-longer-suitable horse; the slipery-slope potential of those situations makes my toes curl. But everyone is entitled to set their own rules and values for the things in their own life. We don't have to agree with their standards and we don't have to like the results. But it's up to each of us to decide what our own standards are, do our best to make sure the animals who are lucky enough to enter our lives are maintained to our standards, and do what we can for those less fortunate. But the brutal bottom line is, we can't save them all.
    "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

    Spay and neuter. Please.



  12. #52
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2003
    Location
    Our True and Naked Land
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    504

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 411
    To me owning a horse is a commitment we make for the life of the horse and if you aren't willing to make that commitment maybe it would be a good idea to explore other options.
    Bang on.

    Many people purchase horses without thinking "What if?".

    Horses are a risky purchase. At some point every horse will experience time off due to an injury, regardless of the perfect vetting that you got done just yesterday. A responsible owner would think about this beforehand and have a plan. But, as optimists, we do not think this way at the time. We assume our horse will be sound and happy and life will be perfect forever.

    So one day, horse shows up lame, and after some vet visits, the results are inconclusive. Owner, because they aren't made of money, forgoes any further treatment, and gives said horse time off. But, in the meanwhile, they need to ride and excel! They can't afford to treat the lame horse, so opt instead to purchase a NEW mount. Another PERFECT mount who will be SOUND forever! Yippee! Old horse is rejected, dumped off, outgrown, whatever, and at some point sold to whoever without thinking twice, like an old couch. Look at the $1000 mare that was pawned off to the above poster! Where is she going to end up?

    It comes down to money. It always does. If you can't afford to buy a horse, and keep a horse, and pay for the vet when something happens to horse, then DON'T buy the horse. You should also include extra money in there, in case your horse does go lame, and you do have to pay for retirement board and lease fees or lessons to continue riding in the meantime. I truly think that people think that horses are affordable on a poverty level income. THEY ARE NOT.

    If you can't afford it don't buy it! I believe that it is JSwan on the board who always says that we have created the horse overabundance and "get rid of em" attitude ourselves. I agree. North America is the land of debt. We think that we can afford, even if we can't. Take responsibility for your living and breathing thing that has a lifespan of 25-30 yrs. Educate yourself before purchasing. Don't make impulse decisions. Lease if you can't afford a lifetime purchase. Life isn't disposable, but I guess horses are an exception?!?!?!? Sorry - but this whole attitude gets me. It exists in every horse discipline. Ride it, break it down, pass it off.



  13. #53
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,176

    Default

    Yes, the world is a cruel place. Not every horse will have a good home "forever" no matter how hard you try.

    The father of a friend of mine (many years ago) was a horse dealer. Dozens of horses came and went from his barns. Oddly enough, the local residents became suspicious when "accidental deaths" of the horses started to occur, not to mention in the "new homes" of the show barns they were sold to.

    Basically he would buy select horses, give them mortality insurance, and then electrocute them in the wash stall calling it an accident. He had friends in on it too. They would purchase a fancy showjumper and then zap it six months later.

    I'm sure all nice horsepeople would like to be able to save and take care of not only our horses, but all the neglected and suffering ones too. Wouldn't that be great. Unfortunately, the reality is that horses are a commodity to many that CAN be bought and sold at will.

    I think the poster with the lame mare did something most would do. She cared for the horse as much as possible, but limits are limits. She didn't say "Hmmm, this horse is worthless, time for her to go!" I know at least three farms where the owners have money and time, and take in all kinds of crippled and old horses simply because they can.

    I'd like to think that every horse sold (including ones I have sold, that were no longer suitable for competative riding) goes to a good home and winds up loved and cared for. Judging from the amount of horses that eventually end up for slaughter, unfortunately that does not appear to be the case. However, people sell horses that are athletic champions/appear healthy but are drugged/unsound every day. As we've seen from TB racing, not even the healthy athletes are guaranteed a good end.

    I applaud those who are able to help, operating rescues and taking in horses who are no longer loved or cared for. However, I feel it is unfair of people to judge others who simply cannot (for personal reasons, financial reasons, etc) afford to keep or properly care for their horse anymore. It's unrealistically idealistic to expect every horse be cared for wonderfully from birth to death, considering their expense and life expectancy.

    If you're worried about horses to suffer in slaughterhouses, perhaps time better spent would be on movements that change legislation or to rally for improved regulation and standards for pre-slaughter conditions. It seems to me like playing the morality police and berating someone for their equine decision-making seems a lot less likely to improve the situation.
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  14. #54
    Join Date
    Mar. 21, 2006
    Posts
    1,090

    Default

    I've been on both sides, however I keep mine or on rare ocasions get a horse in that I know I will be moving along but the horse is in such dire straights that waiting for someone else to take it is not an option, I might take one of those knowing I can't afford it long term but I also know it's the type that can move along. One time I toke 2 old horses in because the owner had died and the family was taking them to an auction, I wound up putting one of them down but my hay guy took the other.
    I used to board 2 horses, I got a weanling and had both horses on pasture baord, when the younger was 4 and just started traning, she broke her leg, her career as a show horse was over. The older horse, well got old, so at a point I had 2 horses that were not meeting my needs. I kept them both but got laid off 4 times during a 2 year period, I looked into recues and found one tht would take one of the horse, I went up and looked at her place and saw the NH horses she rescued and though, I can't take up room that another horse needs, I mean I was broke but I'm not an idiot,so I got another job and also found a wrok in exhcange for board situation. I did that for a number of years. It was hard, I worked all night and then worked all day, I rode alot. The other thing I did was since I didn't have 100% riding horses anymore, I rode other people's horses. Usually at any place that I worked there was always somebody that wanted their horse rode, i got lucky for a year and had 2 to ride when the owner was overseas. I also made up my mind that I would not have another horse I couldn't afford, so I moved out of state so I could afford to buy my own place, I couldn't afford it in NJ, so I moved to the middle of nowhere va. So anyone could do some of these things, not get another horse so you can afford the one you have, work in exchange for board, get an additional job, ride other peoples horses\opne place i worked at was a retirement barn, some of the owners hadn't been there in years just sent a check, it was kinda funny, they sent their horses thinking the horse was ready to die and 5 years later it was still alive. They did not get the care of a show barn, but they got what they needed. It was a nice place, looked like the clampetts owned it but the horses did well.
    It was funny when I got my place, a modest place, but something I had really worked hard for all kinds of people i knew tried to dump their horses on me, no kidding I had friends with million dollar homes try to dump a horse on me, people I had known for years and worked for on their big farms.It was disgusting.
    I have a young friend I've known for years, I met her when she was 12 and got her 1st horse, the horse got heaves 4 years later, the kid was quite a nice rider, her parents had a good income but they told her they were not going to dump her first horse, that it was hers and she had to figure out how to afford 2 if she wanted another, I think for a 16 year old she came up with a great solution, she pasture boarded the sick horse and worked in exchange for her board and leased another horse. it was a good solution. she owned that horse until it died and didn't buy another one until then, she kept with the leases until she could get another horse.



  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
    Posts
    18,472

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    My question to these people is - have you considered euthanasia?

    My BO has an appointment for Thursday to have a neurologically damaged horse put down. It's the right thing to do.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2003
    Location
    Our True and Naked Land
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    504

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    Quote Originally Posted by yellow-horse
    I have a young friend I've known for years, I met her when she was 12 and got her 1st horse, the horse got heaves 4 years later, the kid was quite a nice rider, her parents had a good income but they told her they were not going to dump her first horse, that it was hers and she had to figure out how to afford 2 if she wanted another, I think for a 16 year old she came up with a great solution, she pasture boarded the sick horse and worked in exchange for her board and leased another horse. it was a good solution. she owned that horse until it died and didn't buy another one until then, she kept with the leases until she could get another horse.
    Kudos to the parents. Awesome story and example. Get your butt out there and figure it out. I imagine this one experience has had influence on all other aspects of this child's life. Work hard and take care of your responsibility!



  17. #57
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2000
    Posts
    1,244

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    Quote Originally Posted by monstrpony
    For every nice place like the one your friend runs, there are dozens and dozens of situations where the horse will meet a bad end. It isn't that *simple* to find such a situation, and you certainly can't ask someone else to be "checking up" on it; everyone has their own standards. All those "bad ends" that horses come to aren't bad ends to the people who engineer them--they're just the (low) standard that those people have for horse care.
    This is very true. Certainly, I would never just leave a horse at a boarding facility and never come to see it again (though some people do). That would be asking for trouble.

    If I were in the situation again of having an unusable horse and I could not keep it at my own place, I would find, through word of mouth, a cheap but good boarding facility, talk to the owner, and their vet, extensively and the other boarders, and then come to check up on the horse as much as possible (at least once a month.) If everyone committed to doing this, the world really would be a kinder place for the animals. I know you can't save the world, but honestly, I believe that most horse owners *could* do this.



  18. #58
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,207

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer
    My question to these people is - have you considered euthanasia?

    My BO has an appointment for Thursday to have a neurologically damaged horse put down. It's the right thing to do.
    At what point I can no longer personally afford the Pony she'll be euthanized. It's just not fair to her because most other people aren't going to pour money into a lame horse. She might/might not be sound, but she's my responsibility and I certainly don't want to pawn her off.

    If another COTH'er in the surrouding area where looking for a pasture pal I'd be happy for her to go live with them, and I'll pay her bills/board/vet/supplements and when they no longer need her she has a forever home with me.

    I board and still pay full board on her. Thankfully I have a coach with 2 schoolmasters and one competing GP Dressage horse and my parents have 2 horses, so I do have horses to ride!

    Steph



  19. #59
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2002
    Location
    ontario, canada
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    2,798

    Default Frankly...

    I take issue with individuals that feel they can moralize for the rest of us. Some feel that a horse is a lifetime commitment, others are not so inclined and will buy/sell depending on their needs or situation. Neither is right or wrong.

    Those that see the issues as black and white need to take a better look at reality, imo. You simply cannot determine that their is only one solution to every situation.

    Instead of berrating people for their choices and pressuring them, or trying to guilt them into seeing things your way, shouldn't the focus be on responsable ownership? Responsable ownership is different depending on the situation, and can mean everything from euthanasia, to selling, to placing in a (free) good home to finding a retirement farm. So feel free to talk about the options available, but step away from the soapbox. You aren't privy to the details of the situation and it is irresponsable to suggest that their is a one-size-fits-all answer.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Mar. 21, 2006
    Posts
    1,090

    Default

    another idea for boarding in far away places is could the vet who comes out give you updates, that would take care of the twice a year visits, also could you hire a pet/horse sitter to come out once a week even to check on the horse. I used to do that when i boarded and was on vacation, I had a pet sitter come out.



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    By Drive NJ in forum Off Course
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    Last Post: Dec. 24, 2009, 11:09 PM

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randomness