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when the joke "a bullet will fix all his problems" becomes a reality *HE's GONE*

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  • when the joke "a bullet will fix all his problems" becomes a reality *HE's GONE*

    Im not really sure why I am posting this. Nothing can really change where I am at right now but I just figured being around those horse people who know the feeling would be some sort of condolence.

    When I was going through the loss of my first horse a few years ago now, my fellow COTHers were a huge help in getting me through it. I feel very unfortunate to now find myself in a similar situation and just need a hug really. I have since moved to kentucky and am away from my family and am really here going through this alone.

    I purchased my current gelding in march of 2008. He was never the horse I wanted. In the time I have had him I can count on one hand the number of times he has actually behaved himself under saddle. He is always a handful, nothing is ever a guarantee with him. He is a big 17h jet black Storm Cat baby and got every characteristic as such. The one for sure thing with him is that he will spook and he will buck. And boy can that horse get some air, his buck is probably his one most mastered and consistent skill.

    Hes hut my hip, my back, bitten me all over, trys to kick anyone and everyone. You cant pull his mane, or body clip him without heavy artillery. He doesnt tie, hes bad to bathe, he loads only when he feels like it, hes bad for the vet, you better hope the farrier can get him done before he "checks out" or youre in trouble, hes bad to lead for most every body (a select few that he has chosen are the only ones he behaves for). He has a big knee from an injury as a two year old. He can in fact do his lead changes without bucking but he likes to animate them anyway. The past three years have been spent by him trying to get me off and me trying to just hang on as all 17h of him tosses little 107lb me around like a rag doll. He lives his life in a routine and god forbid that is interrupted (for instance ... he has lived in the field next to a herd of sheep since August 2010. he walks past said sheep every morning and evening, he grazes next to said sheep all day, but if you take him past them at any point not on "his time" he is terrified). Hes on and off lame for one thing or another. If you piss him off, call it a day becuase he does not forgive and trust me, its not worth the fight. He has bad feet and some serious screws loose.

    So after that novel you are probably thinking why in the world I have him right? I really do not have an answer. I don't know why I kept him. I think mostly it has to do with the fact that I dont think I could get rid of him if I tired. But also, I could never bring myself to actually try that. Maybe its becuase I know how nice of a horse he is if he wasnt crazy. I know I couldnt afford a horse of that caliber without issues. Maybe its becuase I like a challenge.

    Despite his many many downfalls. I love the horse. Hes stunningly beautiful, and I am not just saying that becuase he is mine. He really is a gorgeous guy. Sure hes bad 5 days out of the week, but those 2 days make it all worth it. Hes taught me so many things about hard to handle horses and really developed me as a rider. Im fearless and very well secured in the saddle now thanks to him. I have a lingering love for babies so maybe the fact that he never grew up was what caught me. Whatever the reason, I love him and really do have a great relationship with him.

    Thats why it hurt a bit to get the news I did today.

    I dont have the finances to support a horse needing a bunch of injections and treatments to stay sound. Right now its not even to the point where turning him out without them is an option. Hes just so uncomfortable. He doesnt even want to act up which I know is not good for him. We spent WAY too long today poking at him trying to pinpoint what it was. Like I said before he is not good for the vet so it was difficult to get him blocked and see what was going on. It got dangerous at the end and really was left with not too many options. With injections and such he could go back to work after, but at what cost? I am really not enjoying riding him much anymore, and hes not going to get any sounder.

    Im just sad. I feel like Ive failed him by not catching this sooner. Hes gotten so much worse the past few days, I know hes hurting. I know I cannot afford to keep him pain free anymore now with this. Its a total feeling of failure. Hes not suitable as a pleasure horse, hes not even suitable as a companion if by some way he can stay sound enough for that without injections and I found a situation where someone wanted a 17h crazy companion. I do not want anything bad to ever happen to him, which I know there is a huge chance of. He is exactly the kind of horse that falls though the cracks.

    Sorry for the novel. It felt better to get it all out there and know others that get my feeling.
    True love is taking their pain away and making it yours
    ~rest in peace momma (7/5/08)~
    ~rest in peace thomas (6/2/11)~

  • #2
    Oh honey. Check your siggy. Its really a good one for this.

    Find a good day, let him look at this sheep one more time, and end his pain. And take a bit of his mane to remember him by.

    So sorry.
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


    • #3
      Is there any chance that the pain he is in causes his bad behavior? Another thing is maybe treating him is also not an option due to his bad behavior putting both you and your vet at risk of injury.

      Please don't kick yourself for not catching it sooner. Some horses are incredibly stoic and don't show pain easily.

      It sounds to me like you know where your limitations are finacially as far as treating this horse and there is nothing wrong with that! It would be irresponsible of you to not acknowledge that this is something you can't afford to do.

      Give yourself a huge pat on the back for dealing with this in a mature way and looking out for both you and the horse! I didn't learn this lesson until much later in life after going through much financial distress that was brought on by my poor decisions. Everyone has limitations and there is nothing wrong with knowing what they are and looking out for yourself!
      "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


      • #4
        I know this may sound like a platitude but you gave him far more love and life than he would have had otherwise. I am sure you mean well, but why would you want to subject anyone else who may not be anywhere near able to handle his peculiarities to this horse? There is no way he can be safe because he has the propensity to cause considerable damage to any number of people from vets to farriers and just plain unknowing people that would have to handle him. You are conscientious and let all people know who came into contact with him what he could be like. Highly unlikely that you will find such a golden soul in the future. You know what you have to do and are just grieving over the decision. It is the right thing and you are a good person. Just remember, the horse does not know what is coming. Do what you know is best for him and everyone else, including you.

        My philosophy at this point in my life is that the individual should not be such a type that I do not enjoy my interaction with them most of the time (horses and people). That gives me a clearer focus when I am choosing a horse that I want as my own personal friend and prevents me from taking in only the difficult and sad cases. Maybe it comes with age. One thing I know for certain, they all have something to teach us and if we ourselves are clear minded enough, we know which is a lesson we need, and which is a lesson already learned.
        Last edited by Calamber; May. 24, 2011, 08:29 PM.
        "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


        • #5
          I'm sorry - I don't have any advice for you. But you have my deepest sympathy for what you are going through.

          Loving these big, fragile creatures really can be heatbreaking.
          Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


          • #6
            So sorry to hear about it. Don't think of it as a bad thing. Think of it as giving him the gift of ending his daily discomfort and ensuring he doesn't fall through the cracks to end up in a terrible place. Let him go peacefully over the rainbow bridge, to a better place where he won't feel any more pain.
            Veterinarians for Equine Welfare


            • #7
              Have you asked the vet about just putting him on something for pain relief, something cheap, for a week or two to see if the behavior changes? It could be pain related (though having met Storm Cat I could certainly see it being just who he is) and if being pain free improves his mood significantly, at least you'd have more information to make your decision.

              I say sleep on it for a night or two and then have a heart-to-heart with the most trusted vet you know.
              "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Gandhi

              -my gelding is a ho clique-


              • #8
                I'm so sorry....these situations just suck. I've gone through times like this with my horse, currently we're in a "good" period (good relative to what his bad is)....but I'm just holding my breath waiting for it to end and wondering what options I have left.

                I don't think putting your horse down would be wrong at all, sounds like the kindest thing you can do for him at this point....falling through the cracks and ending up in the wrong hands/situation would be a far worse fate.


                • #9
                  5, the OP is just looking for someone to listen. We are good at that. You don't have to take part.
                  I had to put a horse down recently that had multiple issues. He was only 9. A very crappy situation to be in.


                  • #10
                    I know you didn't ask for them but I'll Jingle at you anyways. Jingling for your pain, his pain and the days ahead when the decisions you will make will haunt you and rip you apart.
                    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
                    Originally Posted by alicen:
                    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


                    • #11
                      just big hugs and jingles.

                      We know that we only have them for a short time, and even if we are granted 30 years with them, that final decision is the hardest one.


                      • #12
                        Calamber's post was truly spot on. I just want to echo her sentiments.

                        Hugs and jingles. I know this is a hard thing to do but it is the right thing to do. Hopefully knowing this will make the next few days a little less difficult.


                        • #13
                          Hi OP,
                          I had a ottb so was the exact same way!!!!! This animal was stone crazy. Spook,buck,kick,bite, freak out, blow up in any type trailer just because,would not tie. Also had some Storm cat in him he was 17 hands black with 4 whites and a strip wonderful mover, beautiful and thats where it ended. I was young and loved a challenge well that turned into "I cant sell him cause he will hurt someone" ...................well 12 yrs later.........yes 12 yrs.!! Lets see....He kicked me to many times to count just cause he could and once got me in the face....lost 7 teeth. 3 times to the hospital..once by ambulance, destroyed my horse trailer.....well at 16 he finally went to a better place.

                          I feel everything you are......PLEASE do not feel guilty.....dont waist your good riding time on a horse you cant enjoy....I know from experience.


                          • #14
                            He's not happy or comfortable in his earth suit anymore. And a bottomless bank account isn't going to ensure his compliance or cooperation, even if you could find his problem and it was fixable.

                            Sometimes we don't get to make tidy decisions.

                            Hugs to you and your handsome fellow, and good luck.
                            Full-time bargain hunter.


                            • #15
                              I am sorry for the place you are in.
                              What about giving him some previcox(firocoxib) previcox is for dogs, but a horse can take a small dose(57mg) or a bit more if he is heavier, and the equivalent is equicoxx, but way more expensive.

                              Also, time off to heal if he needs that.
                              Otherwise, I agree with you and others, its far better to know their fate, then left to wonder.
                              Thoughts to you.
                              You can read how much you love him, so this is not an easy decision.
                              think on it and you will know your answer.
                              save lives...spay/neuter/geld


                              • #16
                                Wow 5, are you just heartless or what?
                                "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."


                                • #17
                                  Fleur, we understand you & support you during this hard time. Doing the right thing at times takes guts. {{{hugs}}}
                                  "Police officers are public servants. Not James Bond with a license to kill."


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by spook1 View Post

                                    I feel everything you are......PLEASE do not feel guilty.....dont waist your good riding time on a horse you cant enjoy....I know from experience.


                                    I know for horse lovers that can seem callous but most of us here are reasonable. Even without the pain, I certainly wouldn't blame you if you chose to euth a horse that was unpredictable, nasty, & dangerous.

                                    Good luck - I hope you feel better reading this thread
                                    \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River


                                    • Original Poster

                                      I really appreciate the kind words. Hes as comfortable as can be now. Right now hes on pain meds for the next 5 days and then reevaluate it, but im not expecting a change. I can see from the xrays hes not sound on that anymore. Hes not too happy about being poked all day and his leg is pretty big from it, but once that goes down im expecting it to be back to no swelling. The vet is involved, although pushing the injections on me right now even though Ive made it pretty clear its not possible. Its only a temp fix and still doesnt solve the problem. They are pretty confident that frequent injections may make him well sound enough to even return to some level of work but I just cannot afford to do that in addition to the fact that I know how bad he is with the vet and things like that.

                                      He is in no danger of being passed on free as a companion of any sort. Im fully aware what would happen and honestly thats why I have him in the first place. I know how bad he can be. I never intended to keep him, but I feel as if he is my responsibility now. I know what I signed up for in getting him. My barn was fully warned as were the farrier and vet too. He is manageable. We all recognize when its too much and treat him accordingly. When he has enough, whether it be the vet, a lesson, the farrier, etc, we call it a day. Ive had him long enough to know pushing him gets us no where when he reaches his breaking point. It took a while, but ive found a farrier that he gets along with and it works for the most part. Hes bad and has an attitude but hes not unmanageable.

                                      Im 100% positive his behavior issues are just that. Hes been seen over and over about stuff and only had issues with his knee until now. He saw a chiro regularly and was actually a decently successful show hunter for a few seasons when he had good days. He just has an attitude.

                                      I guess it would be easier knowing that he had no chance at all to ever be sound. That was the case with my mare. It helped in making that decision to let her go. This is just more quality of life issue. He is not a happy horse just sitting. He may be sound enough with injections, but at what cost? Im just torn between my heart and my bank account. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to have him come with me to college thanks to my parents, and I am so incredibly thankful for that. Hes been so much happier here since we moved south in August. I hate to say it but i almost wish it was something worse so the decision to let him go was overall a better one.
                                      True love is taking their pain away and making it yours
                                      ~rest in peace momma (7/5/08)~
                                      ~rest in peace thomas (6/2/11)~


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by Calamber View Post

                                        My philosophy at this point in my life is that the individual should not be such a type that I do not enjoy my interaction with them most of the time (horses and people). That gives me a clearer focus when I am choosing a horse that I want as my own personal friend and prevents me from taking in only the difficult and sad cases. Maybe it comes with age. One thing I know for certain, they all have something to teach us and if we ourselves are clear minded enough, we know which is a lesson we need, and which is a lesson already learned.

                                        I am reaching that point now. I never intended on buying anything let alone him. He was an impulse buy out of pure pity. He ended up stealing my heart and well I just couldnt fight that part of it. If it turns out the way this is feeling right now, than, although it will be a while before I have another, it will not be one like him.
                                        True love is taking their pain away and making it yours
                                        ~rest in peace momma (7/5/08)~
                                        ~rest in peace thomas (6/2/11)~