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I need a good old dose of COTH honesty UPDATE post #42

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  • I need a good old dose of COTH honesty UPDATE post #42

    I have a mare in her late 20's. She's been boarding with a friend for the past 2 years or so, keeping friend's horse company after her other horse passed away. Friend and her husband divorced about a year ago and husband bought her out of the farm- the divorce wasn't necessarily amicable but it wasn't dirty either and things have still been very awkward there. Both horses stayed with the husband. Now friend is working as a barn manager at a nice farm and she is able to move her mare there which is awesome for her. So now I need to move my mare. Here are the issues though- my mare is a lunatic who is sound 3 weeks out of 4 (suspensory issues) maybe. She also needs all day to eat her feed to keep her in any type of decent body condition- this works at my friend's house because my mare is dominant over hers. It doesn't work in my set up at all- I rent a 10 acre field with run in (self care) and when mare is with my group she is low man on the totem pole. I have a stall available to feed her in but she can't stay in there all day (it's not mine) and she won't eat in there anyway because she'd be by herself and she goes nuts to the point of hurting herself. I could look for somewhere else to board her but between boarding prices around here plus her needing to be out 24/7, eat crazy amounts and her manic behavior issues- I think the right situation would be near impossible to find. Even now, when it comes right down to it, I'm paying out more for her than either of my horses who are out there actively competing. Am I horrible to be thinking I should put her down?
    "You'll never see yourself in the mirror with your eyes closed"

  • #2
    No, you are not horrible for considering putting her down. Would you feel better if she hurt herself first? Sometimes it is best to be "proactive". It's never an easy decision, but sometimes the best decision for everyone.
    www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post
      I have a mare in her late 20's. She's been boarding with a friend for the past 2 years or so, keeping friend's horse company after her other horse passed away. Friend and her husband divorced about a year ago and husband bought her out of the farm- the divorce wasn't necessarily amicable but it wasn't dirty either and things have still been very awkward there. Both horses stayed with the husband. Now friend is working as a barn manager at a nice farm and she is able to move her mare there which is awesome for her. So now I need to move my mare. Here are the issues though- my mare is a lunatic who is sound 3 weeks out of 4 (suspensory issues) maybe. She also needs all day to eat her feed to keep her in any type of decent body condition- this works at my friend's house because my mare is dominant over hers. It doesn't work in my set up at all- I rent a 10 acre field with run in (self care) and when mare is with my group she is low man on the totem pole. I have a stall available to feed her in but she can't stay in there all day (it's not mine) and she won't eat in there anyway because she'd be by herself and she goes nuts to the point of hurting herself. I could look for somewhere else to board her but between boarding prices around here plus her needing to be out 24/7, eat crazy amounts and her manic behavior issues- I think the right situation would be near impossible to find. Even now, when it comes right down to it, I'm paying out more for her than either of my horses who are out there actively competing. Am I horrible to be thinking I should put her down?
      Sounds like your mare is not happy in her own skin and adding the soundness issues, well ...

      A nice, kind, slowpoke horse happy no matter what would be a different story.
      A nervous horse that is hard on herself and not about to change?
      Does give pause, requires lots of second thoughts about what is best.
      Makes the caretaker feel bad, because to euthanize is also self-serving, adding a measure of guilt to a complicated decision.

      I would run that thru our vets and see what they think.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Bluey View Post



        I would run that thru our vets and see what they think.
        My vet is okay with it and basically said- it's up to you. She has known this horse and her issues for a long time
        "You'll never see yourself in the mirror with your eyes closed"

        Comment


        • #5
          I would euthanize, with sadness but not guilt.

          Comment


          • #6
            What about a feed bag?

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
              What about a feed bag?
              She's getting almost 15 lbs of grain a day. She would have to have it on for hours (she eats very slowly) and the other horses would beat the snot out of her in the meanwhile.
              "You'll never see yourself in the mirror with your eyes closed"

              Comment


              • #8
                I would not see this as a convenience euth, but as what is probably the best choice for the horse
                I\'m not crazy. I\'m just a little unwell.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would euth and have 0 guilt about it. No sense waiting for her to lose condition or hurt herself before you do it. I also won't put myself out financially for a horse that is unsound of mind and body.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't think I know enough about this situation to give meaningful advice, but I do sympathize you are in this situation and pondering such a difficult decision.

                    My first questions would be: why so much food (complete feed?) Why is it taking her so long to eat (dentition? EORTH?).

                    As is, taking your post at face value and not knowing your history on COTH as a good/knowledgeable horse person, my knee jerk reaction would be that it's not the right set up for the mare or something is missing. 15 lb is a lot unless complete feed, on older horses doesn't make me pause too much, but the taking all day to eat definitely does.
                    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My sympathies. I have a very old horse who takes all day to eat his ration, too. He loses interest, wanders off to have a snooze, forgets where his hay is, all sorts of reasons. He lives in his own space with neighbors, so he can do what he likes without interference. I recently changed his feed and he seems a bit more engaged with it for now, but I'm pretty sure he will get bored with it again soon.

                      I am weighing whether we will go through another winter. If I had to move him and completely disrupt his life on top of all his special neediness, there would be no hesitation in my mind, I'd put him down.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        With my own place? I'd consider the option giving her an mini, or old diplomat, fence her off and make her feed trough higher than mini can reach.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Is it possible to hotwire off a section for her? And perhaps another section that you can use for rotating other horses into that have to stay in her sight?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey, this is Kat in Alabama. I trust your horsemanship to know that if you're considering it, you know your horse well enough. It's okay if it's time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sounds like your mare has had many years of the good life with you. At this point she's unsound, anxious and hard to feed. I'd do it before her buddy leaves to save her a stressful move.

                              Good luck with your decision and hugs to you. It's always a heartbreak
                              One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
                              William Shakespeare

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                You’re not unreasonable at all for considering euthanasia. About half way through reading your post I was already there and scrolling back up to see your mares age as late 20’s (not that it would be less appropriate for a younger horse). It’ll be harder on you than it is on her. If you think it’s time, then I think you’re right.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by MsM View Post
                                  Is it possible to hotwire off a section for her? And perhaps another section that you can use for rotating other horses into that have to stay in her sight?
                                  I have actually tried that before and the way the field is set up there's no where she can be that she can always see others (big hill, too many trees, the way the run-in is situated, etc) and when she can't see them, she will bolt through the electric.
                                  "You'll never see yourself in the mirror with your eyes closed"

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by beowulf View Post
                                    I don't think I know enough about this situation to give meaningful advice, but I do sympathize you are in this situation and pondering such a difficult decision.

                                    My first questions would be: why so much food (complete feed?) Why is it taking her so long to eat (dentition? EORTH?).

                                    As is, taking your post at face value and not knowing your history on COTH as a good/knowledgeable horse person, my knee jerk reaction would be that it's not the right set up for the mare or something is missing. 15 lb is a lot unless complete feed, on older horses doesn't make me pause too much, but the taking all day to eat definitely does.
                                    Yes, a complete feed. Mostly it takes her so long to eat because she is a hot mess. Takes a bite, walks a few circles, takes a bite. If something totally distracts her, it make take her 10-15 mins to go back to eating. She has always been this way- I got her from a weird, semi-rescue situation where she was shut in a stall and not handled because she was labeled dangerous. I have no doubt that a good bit of her hard keeper issues are due to her temperament. She is also grey, so vet and I have speculated a bit about tumors.
                                    "You'll never see yourself in the mirror with your eyes closed"

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by TMares View Post
                                      Hey, this is Kat in Alabama. I trust your horsemanship to know that if you're considering it, you know your horse well enough. It's okay if it's time.
                                      Thank you- you know I value (and appreciate) your opinion.
                                      "You'll never see yourself in the mirror with your eyes closed"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        You know your horse better than anyone, and you've been a responsible horse owner for many years. If your vet has no issue with euthing, you do what you believe is best for your mare.
                                        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.

                                        Comment

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