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Euth Help--

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  • Euth Help--

    I am faced with possibly making the difficult decision to have a horse sent over the bridge-- Here in AZ there are not many options for disposing of a horse, so he will likely need to be buried on our property--

    How big of a hole needs to be dug?- he is a 16'3 hander- so a big guy-- how deep and how wide?

    do most have the hole ready when the vet arrives-- any special things you need to put in with them?

    this is making me sick just having to ask--but the only other option is the county dump-- the only other horse I've had to euth was already at UC davis so they took care of everything.
    thanks for any insight.

  • #2
    I am sorry you are facing this.....it is never easy.

    I have lost three horses in the last two years so I do have some experience with this. According to the Health Department where I live there must be 6 feet of dirt on top of the horse so they usually dig the hole at least 8 feet deep. My cases were not pre-planned so we did have the horses covered overnight and they were buried the next day.

    I didn't do anything at the grave site but I did manage to get some of their tails and mane before they were buried.

    Good luck and I am sorry for your loss!
    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
    RIP San Lena Peppy
    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

    Comment


    • #3
      When I had my mare put down, I used a man my vet recommended. He had done it before so I just let him do whatever. Im sure the hole was a least 8 foot deep. I remember tell him I didnt want anything to dig her up, and he told me not to worry, it would never happen.

      He also put in 6 bags of shavings then was the mare was in he went down and covered her with a sheet for me. That was just to make me feel better.

      Im sorry, its never easy.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am so, so sorry! That is so hard. Eight feet sounds right from my experience at my mom's too. If you can, you can get the backhoe guy to dig the hole ahead of time and wait until the vet is done. We left the body in the field for a bit and the other horse came up and investigated, totally broke my heart. Then they put the body in the hole with the backhoe, a warning, not a real pretty or delicate process (the backhoe guy is just a gem, willing to wait, extremely thoughtful). Shavings in the hole is so nice and covering is very thoughtful. A great time to take mane, tail, whatever, read a letter, have some ritual. We have trees planted over the spot (many others have now been buried in the same area), also helps mark so we know roughly where people are!! Nice that you can have him at your place, with you. Again,my condolences!

        Comment


        • #5
          My sympathies to you. When we were planning on having our mare euthanized on our farm, our plan was 8 foot deep as well. We ended up creamating all of our mares instead. It is never an easy decision to make but one that sometimes needs to be made for the horse's sake I know. Hugs to you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Here, we are not supposed to bury, a light water table in places is a mere 7'.
            Still, some do bury, one a friend that lost her old horse last week.
            The local windmill man has a backhoe and took care of it for her.
            He prefers the owner is not there.
            He said it is no easy way to make the burying a good experience to watch.
            Once she is gone, you may ought to consider leaving the rest to whoever is handling it for you.

            Sorry that you are in that situation now.

            Comment


            • #7
              8' is pretty standard. We've used a plumbing/piping company in the past to make sure the hole is done right. We've either euthed the horse next to the hole and pushed it in with a tractor (kind of morbid, I know), or guided the horse into the hole as it was being euthed. Personally I prefer the latter.
              Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
              My equine soulmate
              Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding

              Comment


              • #8
                I just wanted to add that you might think twice about having the hole dug in one of your pastures. I did that, and the ground there is very unstable. Every once in a while I am horrified to see that one of my horses has put a foot down deep over where the hole was.
                Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have 2 buried on my property. Both times, the hole was dug after the death. The same man came out and dug the grave. He dug with the back hoe about 8-10 feet. He was very professional about it and very respectful. As for being there, I didn't mind that so much. The man carefully explained what he had to do and if I was uneasy with that, he suggested I leave and he would come get me when he was finished. I personally would have more problems walking my horse up to the site or into it to be put down.

                  So sorry you have to make this decision, but trust you are doing the right thing. It is always a hard choice to make, even when you know in your heart it is the right thing to do. Big hugs.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't know if a rendering service is an option for you or not. I had a border's horse that needed to be euthanized due to age and she arranged for the rendering service to pick him up. She could not be with the horse while he was being put down, so the vet, rendering man and I worked together to make it as easy on the horse as possible. The truck actually had a lift gate on it to help move the horse and he was put down as close to the truck as possible. I have buried horses as well and would say that using the rendering service was almost easier than burying, plus you don't have to worry about any environmental impact.
                    "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You might want to reconsider having someone haul the body to a dump. I buried my 1st horse here but because of having to wait for the ground to settle, limited turnout and having to restrict use of the area came to the point that the next 2 were picked up and taken to a landfill that accepted large animals. I never thought I would do this however after the 1st horse, I came to realize that the spot held no meaning for me, I am not more comforted knowing she is back there. I loved all 3 horses and frankly once I grieved for them, I did not think about where their bodies wound up but with the distance of time, remember each of them as being alive and flashes of memories that are not related to where they are now but what they meant to me while they were alive.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Horses that die at the vets here used to be picked up by a renderer, but they don't come by any more, so someone takes them to the landfill.
                        It is not recommended horses be buried.

                        An old ranch manager two years ago lost his old ranch horse and, even knowing you are not supposed to bury, he did.
                        He asked the backhoe operator to have the horse rest standing up in the hole.
                        That was done and the fellow himself died a few months later.
                        Never could figure why how the horse was laid in there mattered.

                        I would say that you really don't need to be there when the horse is moved into place, or don't look, it is not a last sight you may want to have of your horse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Composting is always an option.



                          For burial, having the hole dug before the euthanasia is simply a matter of the logistics of your equipment operator. Are they willing to come out twice?

                          The only time hole first works to your benefit is if the hole is dug with a ramp into it and you can walk the horse down there (or you are euthanizing a small pony that you can easily get down there after euthanasia).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                            Composting is always an option.



                            For burial, having the hole dug before the euthanasia is simply a matter of the logistics of your equipment operator. Are they willing to come out twice?

                            The only time hole first works to your benefit is if the hole is dug with a ramp into it and you can walk the horse down there (or you are euthanizing a small pony that you can easily get down there after euthanasia).
                            I've always thought that taking a horse into their grave before they are dead is horrible. You know that's got to worry them. LOL it would me if I were being escorted down into a big hole.

                            The two we have buried here, one died and one was euthed we had the guy with his equipment come out after the horses were dead. I left while he buried them.
                            Just couldn't handle that.

                            If you do bury then I would suggest that you have them mound the dirt. We didn't on one and after a while it does sink so we had to have him back out to add more dirt to the grave.

                            I am so so sorry you are facing this. I think the dreading is as bad or worse than the actual doing.
                            You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Very sorry.

                              And this very thread is why we have 40 acres and a backhoe.

                              Now, the first time, my DH, who had never had any experience with the burial of any animal, let alone a large one, was in charge of digging the hole, since he's the one that knows how to run the backhoe.

                              He loved the horse dearly, and wanted to do it alone.

                              When he asked me to go out and check to see if everything was "okay", I was met by a hole large enough to be a two car garage. God love him.

                              After it was over, he insisted on my vet and I walking down the hill, so we wouldn't have to watch him put Tuff in his grave. He was careful and respectful, and got him in perfectly. He said it was the last thing he could do for him. He did the same thing again when I lost my beloved Haffie.


                              I put fresh hay in the bottom, and buried them in their favorite spots.

                              Do have them mound up the grave though.

                              It's never, ever easy.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                One thing I wish I had known

                                Most likely the horse will not close her eyes so put a fly mask on her first. You do not want to look into your dead horse's eyes.
                                I wasn't always a Smurf
                                Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                                "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                                The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Mine have been buried about 8 feet deep. The vet told me to put a 50# bag of lime or oyster shell flour into the hole to speed decomposition. Have the dirt mounded on top of the hole so that as things settle, you don't have a depression.

                                  I have the hole dug after the horse is euthanized, then I have the backhoe guy move the horse's body with his front loader. I fold the legs and tie them so they don't stick out. They can't always get the body into the hole very gracefully, so it's best if you don't watch the body go in, or see if after it's in. In fact, it can be easiest if you don't watch the whole body moving process unless you are fairly stoic with these things.

                                  I'm very sorry, hugs to you and your horse.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    We hit standing water when trying to dig a 4 foot hole for a large dog, so I'm pretty sure it would be neither easy nor safe to bury a horse/mule here on this farm. In a similar situation, I'd look into euthanizing with a bullet rather than drugs and donating the carcass to a pack of hounds, a local zoo, etcetera. With a deep water table, though, just make sure your backhoe guy knows what he's doing. It should go fine.
                                    My ears hear a symphony of two mules, trains, and rain. The best is always yet to come, that's what they explained to me. —Bob Dylan

                                    Fenway Bartholomule ♥ Arrietty G. Teaspoon Brays Of Our Lives

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      We can't bury here, it's against county and city ordnances, plus our property has a gas line, cable line, telephone fiber optic line, sewer line and fresh water line running in different sections. I bought a easement heavy property but I'm in the city so what do you do?

                                      Anyway, I had an old mare that was time to put her down, she was 29, had heaves and a gimpy little hip. I had to plan in my head weeks before what we were to do, I had to get it set so it wouldn't be so hard or grim by the time the deed was done. I found thinking about it far in advance, while she was still around and bossing everyone around, much easier when the time came. I went into robot mode.

                                      I planned to put her down near a tarp, was hoping on the tarp, but she said nope. so the vet gave her a sedative, I went in the barn and sat on a bale of hay and cried while one of our older been-there-done-that boarders held her for me.

                                      They came and got me when it was over, and I found I could deal with it easier.

                                      My plan was to roll or bunch up a tarp to it's halfway point, and put that along her back on the ground, then all of us gently took her legs and rolled her slowly over onto her other side, then I was able to unroll the tarp and she was then laying on the tarp. I then covered her little body with the tarp.

                                      I hooked the small 16 foot flatbed utility trailer to the truck and jackknifed it up close to her and put the ramp down, we then gathered up the ends of the tarp and tied them together and hooked it to the tractor and very slowly pulled her up onto the trailer.

                                      We then covered her more and secured her. We called ahead to that landfill and for $50.00 they will dig a large hole off to the edges of the landfill for you. Hubby and the boarder took her there. They said the backhoe operator was very kind and gentle.

                                      It took a long long LONG time prior to us putting her down to wrap my head around the fact of burying her at the landfill, or dump. But I soon realized buried is buried, and I don't really want a grave to tip toe around, afraid to do anything with and not sure what to do with it anyway.

                                      Some of you probably think this was cruel or mean or disrespectful, and granted it was hard to think about. But when the time came, I had thought about it so much it wasn't hard. Buried is buried, right?

                                      Right?
                                      I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                                      Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Chardavej View Post
                                        We can't bury here, it's against county and city ordnances, plus our property has a gas line, cable line, telephone fiber optic line, sewer line and fresh water line running in different sections. I bought a easement heavy property but I'm in the city so what do you do?

                                        Anyway, I had an old mare that was time to put her down, she was 29, had heaves and a gimpy little hip. I had to plan in my head weeks before what we were to do, I had to get it set so it wouldn't be so hard or grim by the time the deed was done. I found thinking about it far in advance, while she was still around and bossing everyone around, much easier when the time came. I went into robot mode.

                                        I planned to put her down near a tarp, was hoping on the tarp, but she said nope. so the vet gave her a sedative, I went in the barn and sat on a bale of hay and cried while one of our older been-there-done-that boarders held her for me.

                                        They came and got me when it was over, and I found I could deal with it easier.

                                        My plan was to roll or bunch up a tarp to it's halfway point, and put that along her back on the ground, then all of us gently took her legs and rolled her slowly over onto her other side, then I was able to unroll the tarp and she was then laying on the tarp. I then covered her little body with the tarp.

                                        I hooked the small 16 foot flatbed utility trailer to the truck and jackknifed it up close to her and put the ramp down, we then gathered up the ends of the tarp and tied them together and hooked it to the tractor and very slowly pulled her up onto the trailer.

                                        We then covered her more and secured her. We called ahead to that landfill and for $50.00 they will dig a large hole off to the edges of the landfill for you. Hubby and the boarder took her there. They said the backhoe operator was very kind and gentle.

                                        It took a long long LONG time prior to us putting her down to wrap my head around the fact of burying her at the landfill, or dump. But I soon realized buried is buried, and I don't really want a grave to tip toe around, afraid to do anything with and not sure what to do with it anyway.

                                        Some of you probably think this was cruel or mean or disrespectful, and granted it was hard to think about. But when the time came, I had thought about it so much it wasn't hard. Buried is buried, right?

                                        Right?
                                        Buried is buried and they aren't there anyhow.
                                        You did good.
                                        You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.

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