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Im at a loss of what to do.... I need some help.

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  • Im at a loss of what to do.... I need some help.

    My first and only horse of 8 years is just sucking away money. I cant ride him due to feet issues. Never able to jump again or any hard work. Best bet is a pasture pet. Which I can not afford to keep..... everything around here is a couple of hundred bucks.

    I love the hell out of him. I always promised he would be mine forever...I cant fathom selling him..... I doubt I could anyway as he cant do more then walk around. Hell, giving him away would probably be difficult. Even then I would always worry about him.

    Part of me thinks that the current farrier and vet just arent the right combo for him. My favorite farrier and vet wont travel out as far as he is now. But I have nowhere to bring him to be closer to where I am at for them to give an opinion. Not saying current farrier and vet are bad, they are just new and dont really know my horse as well as the others do.

    The xrays of his feet showed that the bones had shifted due to a really really bad trim (he had no heels at all. Seriously was on his bulbs.... crooked and aojghsahgouweh i was furious.) and then was shipped xcountry. He was in a different state for two months while I moved around and tried to figure out where I was going to live. He was NOT taken care of at all. Who knows what went on up there. All I could figure was the "farrier" and the trip home. He is on anti inflammatories and padded wedged shoes for support. Those are NOT cheap at all!

    He doesnt seem super depressed or in terrible pain. But he doesnt seem to have the same spunk as he used to and doesnt try to run the pasture like he always did. He has his good days and bad days when it comes to his soundness. Future is kind of unknown still except the fact of no more jumping.
    I've toyed the idea of euthanasia....but he is only 13 and doesnt seem like he is ready to give up. (plus he has to be at my future wedding :P) I could just be pointing a blind eye but I honestly dont know if that would be the best route.....not yet anyway.

    What would you do if your heart horse was pretty much retired from working but you just cant afford to keep him. If it wernt for the soundness issues we would be fine continuing with the lease we have right now (he was a w/t lesson horse for a few kids. BO is having to thin out her herd and wont have use for a lesson horse that cant jump or be consistently sound...he isnt the only one having to go)

    I once kept him at a therapy center for kids. Not as a therapy horse but because it was nice and I liked to volunteer. He loved the kids though. He would stand perfectly still when they wanted to groom him (with my careful supervision) and lower his head or even hold his feet up for them! I was just amazed. I think he would love just being pampered but I dont think anywhere could really afford a horse just for grooming purposes. He is 17hh so a bit hard for therapy riding and his trot is very bouncy.... knows split rein and neck rein and is very bomb proof. He is almost perfect for that role.... but I couldnt afford it and I doubt a place like that would want to, either. :/

    Im sorry....starting to ramble now. I just need some help figuring things out with him....it is just making me sick trying to.
    Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!

  • #2
    One idea

    First of all, I'm sorry that you're in this situation! I also had a horse who need to find another "job" after a diagnosis of arthritis.

    Have you reached out to the EAGALA organization? Their therapists use horses, but the horses are not necessarily ridden. Sounds like your guy might be tempermentally suited.


    • #3
      Take a look at these guys..


      I bet they would LOVE to have him for their Adult Therapy riders. He wouldn't be too big for them and he would be a great beginner therapy horse.

      I have donated a horse to this organization in my area and she LOVES her job. Sugar is a very big black grade mare and she tots service men (And children as the foundation separated into two separate organizations and is no longer just for service men) ( Here she is.. http://www.listeninghorse.org/photo-...Sugar.gif/view)

      Look into those kind of options for him and I bet you will find jsut the perfect adult therapy situation and I am sure they will be open to any stipulations you have (Or even having you as a volunteer!)
      Chambermaid to....


      • #4
        i can sympathize, as my horse is now completely retired at only 18, and very suddenly. i moved her to a cheaper place and ride some young horses for free as i can't afford a second riding horse. it sucks but there are sound horses available for free...no way will she ever leave my custody and control.
        My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE


        • #5
          I feel for you-- I have a retired 12 year old. I was able to find VERY inexpensive board for him so I have been able to get a second horse. I just asked around until I found someone who had a good set up (for him) and was the right price. I don't know how high maintenance your horse is, but mine prefers to be practically feral, so all he needs is water, shelter, and grass. Amazingly the semi-feral, 24/7 turnout living situation has improved his soundness dramatically and he is quite rideable now, much to his dismay!


          • #6
            Can you afford to keep him alive just long enough to be in your wedding? I know weddings are expensive so I'm sure his shoes are taking a bite out of your disposable income right now. It's awful that you might have to provide retirement board for a horse you won't be able to ever jump again. You poor thing.
            \"Non-violence never solved anything.\" C. Montgomery Burns


            • #7
              I've been there. I was pretty depressed about the situation. Thankfully I was able to get a riding horse in the end.
              If therapy programs don't work out, you may want to look into retirement facilities. He could be barefoot and out 24/7. It might save a little $ - hopefully enough for you to lease or part lease another horse?
              My navicular gelding is barefoot and he's now pretty sound again. Going barefoot saves a lot of $ around here.
              I know it's hard. I've been there. Whatever you decide, you'll get no judgment from me.
              Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


              • #8
                I keep mine forever. And pay full board at same barn where my other horse was when Callie was old and infirm. . If I couldn't afford to keep the old or infirm, I'd euth them. (There are things worse than death.) Based on what I've seen of some retirement farms, I would not want mine there. One horse I saw here had been on a retirement farm in VA. The owner was a NYC resident who worked for a publishing company up there. (And had Ford Plantation connections here, so sent horse here.) The horse showed up here with a badly infected eye (had to be taken out by my vet) and with a long shaggy coat, much longer than normal winter coat or even cushings coat, and in October, and skinny as a rail. Horse died from the eye infection. Woman in NYC, the owner, paid a lot of money for that horse's retirement in VA. And hired a horse psychic to contact the horse after his death. Cougar, the horse, needed a horse psychic before he died to save him.

                It's a hard decision to make. But my horses are like my dogs and cats, so they stay forever.

                ETA I'd check with other vets and farriers before deciding. I have a great vet and farrier. Both of whom know when enough is enough. But they also know when to keep working on a horse. And while Callie was stoic, Cloudy calls for the horse ambulance if he gets a tiny scratch or steps on a rock. Horses are different just as humans are. I don't give up till a great vet or great farrier says to.


                • #9
                  Is the question that you truly can't afford a horse, or can't afford this horse if you can't ride? Not judging, just trying to figure out the actual situation.

                  I've mentioned on more than one post that I own a rescue. We've helped place a few horses like this - well loved, still may have some use but a medical issue prevents the owner from riding like they'd want, and to get a new more suitable horse they have to figure out something with their horse. Is that the situation here?

                  You have options, of course. You can try to find a cheaper boarding option; perhaps a rescue that has a sanctuary program that you could sponsor his care - probably much less than board. I've heard of many fabulous retirement boarding places that again, are more affordable than a lot of boarding.

                  You can try to rehome - hard in this economy, but not impossible. Maybe there is a local rescue that will work with you like we do our locals, and help you place him under their contract. He's large, which can make it harder because he sounds like the kind of horse a family with kids would be interested in for learning, but they usually want smaller horses.

                  Or you can seriously consider euthanasia. Horses are stoic - the fact you see a difference in his behavior tells me he probably does hurt, though they try not to show it. If you are engaged and actively planning your wedding, it can't hurt to wait it out until after the wedding and then let him go quietly and loved (unless of course, you are in the first situation - can't afford any horse). He's young, yes, and it's a horrible thing, but giving an end to their pain is the best gift we can give.
                  If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                  ~ Maya Angelou


                  • #10
                    I am a little confused as to what is actually wrong with the horse. Was it just that he had a bad trim job in the 2 months you lost sight of him while moving around? I am having trouble thinking a horse would have boney changes in two months, so thinking I am missing something that could change the options you have available.

                    If the present condition is just temporary, then that really does change the options. Yes, he may never be able to jump, but there are many many people who enjoy their horses and do not jump.

                    Get him as sound as possible, then see what you have and go forward from there.
                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


                    • Original Poster

                      The issue is I cant afford to keep any horse as of now. Not being able to ride just makes the money even harder to justify as if he was sound and rideable, we would be fine and he would be out on lease. I dont plan on selling him or getting another horse after him. I would look for a barn and take lessons as I am able to.

                      CHT, I am not sure what all could have happened either. When I left him he was completely sound. When I got him back he was thin as a rail, dull, covered in fungus, and his feet were awful. Falling apart and so short that our farrier wouldnt even think about putting shoes on him because they would have caused more damage with nailing them in. Once they were long enough for shoes, they would hardly stay on. We finally have a more solid hoof that will hold shoes. His heels grow a LOT slower than most horses would so we are still gettin those to grow out...he was shipped from Oregon to Texas....I dont think the hauler stopped as he got there pretty quickly.... I have no clue if he had gotten hurt or what. His feet were so short that we couldnt tell if there was an injury or if it was just his feet. They were so off you could see one of his shoulders would raise up about an inch higher than the other....
                      I have a 10mo old son now so money is going right into his stomach and out in those diapers >.< The lease we had with him worked great and we could afford it. But now that we have lost that.....well we just cant afford the board in addition to his ridiculous shoes. I have thought about going shoeless but I dont know any decent barefoot trimmers around my area that arent wackjobs. If anyone knows one in my area (Im up around Denton, TX) pm me. Or if anyone knows any good pasture boarding that is cheap.... He would be just fine on a lush pasture with decent hay during the winter. All places around here i know of are about $300 for pasture board... :/ I have my fingers crossed that if I am able to figure things out I could use him in the future for a light trail horse.

                      I will look into those therapeutic organizations. Thank you <3
                      Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!


                      • #12
                        I moved barns this spring. Too far for old farrier. Took some doing going through the first two new ones, and a bad case of poor shoeing - had to wait all summer while his feet grew back . But finally, with many calls and searching (and calling ex vet - a lameness specialist), we ended up with an outstanding farrier who lives just down the road! I mean, I even had a top farrier tentatively scheduled to come from over an hour away, and this guy was right there near the new place. Just doesn't "do" everybody - only serious riders.

                        You never know if you try some more calling, who you might be able to find. Hope you find a solution.

                        PS He has been on a farrier formula, and new farrier has me just putting on good old Fiebing's hoof oil every other day. Has taken time, but... knock-on-wood, has not been off since his feet grew back this fall...
                        But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson


                        • #13
                          well I kept the horse going even though I had to sacrifice. I don't regret a thing


                          • #14
                            You can network like heck and try and find a companion home. If you do this, offer to pay his farrier and vet bills. You'd be paying those anyway, and this gets you out from under paying board. If I were you I'd do this as a free lease situation so you can keep track of him.

                            Finding a companion home is almost impossible; offering to pay his expenses makes him a much more attractive proposition, and may incline someone to take him over the 20 other horses they are being offered for that one companion spot.

                            If you go the therapeutic riding route, find out what the facilities do with the horses once they are no longer useful to the program.
                            Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peonyvodka/


                            • #15
                              I would look for a second opinion from another vet and farrier.


                              • #16
                                I find it unlikely a therapeutic riding center would want him with his soundness issues. The one where I volunteer requires that all horses be sound enough to walk, trot, and canter when they are accepted. The occasional exception is made, but the center doesn't have enough money/space to care for horses who can't work.

                                You're in a tough bind.


                                • #17
                                  OP, it sounds like you are in a really tough situation. What is the prognosis from the vet about his future soundness? Can you hold out long enough to be able to re-lease him if he will be sound again? If he is not going to be sound again will it be a painful lameness or a mechanical one? Will your vet euthanize if you ask?
                                  My blog: Crackerdog Farm


                                  • #18
                                    At first I thought you didn't want to keep him because you can't ride him, so not a worthwhile expense. I'm not personally like that. I do feel I owe them even when they can no longer be ridden.

                                    Reading further, it seems you simply can't afford him, or any horse unless you can at least part lease. And an unsound horse, with big expenses is obviously not an attractive lease.

                                    So, what to do....I would suggest looking for pasture board, close by. Something you can not only afford, but where you can care for him. If that's not feasible, and you can't afford to try and get him better, perhaps putting him down is best? Does he have any really redeeming qualities that might make someone take a chance on getting him well? Is he one of those that is nice to look at and super easy to have around even if he's not rideable? Things to consider

                                    I'm sorry. It's hard. I hope you find the right solution.
                                    I\'m not crazy. I\'m just a little unwell.


                                    • #19
                                      Sent you a pm.


                                      • #20
                                        Also if he has rotation which I think that is what you were saying there is a product out that has a money back guarantee to work. Idk I just started my guys on it but it's called Heiro. Maybe look into trying that a few months to see if it helps.
                                        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole