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Do you ever just feel like throwing in the towel, and giving up on having horses?

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  • Do you ever just feel like throwing in the towel, and giving up on having horses?

    I have had my COTH Giveaway for over a year now, and although she was sworn to be 100% sound, before I got her, she has never been quite right. I have spent hundreds on her, and although I love her dearly, I am still left with a pony that I can't even somewhat train or ride. She isn't papered, and while she is a VERY fancy mover when sound, I'm not a breeder, I only have Fescue grass, and when I did breed a horse, it was with a proven, papered horse, to a proven, papered horse.

    I'm not trying to make this sound bitter towards her previous owner. I think she just didn't know how to see lameness in a horse, but I do wish someone had told me. My two kids - who just lost their Dad 6 months ago - adore her. I adore her. But I also adore riding, and after loosing my husband, I need it for my mental well being.

    So, here I am, with a lame 3 year old. (and a Mini who I will never part with.)

    I am just so tired of having bad luck, and or being burned, in the horse world, that sometimes I just feel like raising my hands and saying "I give up!" on having anything other then my fat little Mini gelding.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me vent. I'm not sure what else I am wanting from this thread, but of course I am always open to ideas.
    The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/equinewellness/

  • #2
    I feel the exact same way. I got a mare last spring, who is lovely, sweet, sane. And never really sound. I found out this past weekend there is much more to her history than I knew, and I'm just generally disappointed it wasn't disclosed before I took her on. I've spent several thousand on vet bills thus far, and now have a horse that may or may not be sound for work going forward. It's hugely discouraging.....

    I've not had the best luck-- horse before that was one I went looking for with a checklist, did a PPE, invested in a trainer, the whole 9 yards and still ended up with something that had a quirk I wasn't comfortable with. Gave her away with FULL DISCLOSURE.... horse is doing fantastic, now owned by a farrier and his wife, trail riding all over the place.

    Horse before that was a retired, aged TB gelding. I found him standing in a field, nearly dead... and what was I gonna do? I couldn't leave him there. Got him healthy and kept him till arthritis overcame him last winter and I put him down at the age of 25.

    Horse before that was dream horse who died tragically just 3 months after I got him.

    So. Yeah. I'm kind of ready to just throw my hands up.... wish I had some advice, just commiseration....
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

    Comment


    • #3
      Ah, yeah, my vet told me just this morning that I need to tell my horses to stop reading the book, because I do not need to get my entire veterinary education on their watch.

      No advice here either, just more commiseration.

      Comment


      • #4
        I hear ya!

        I have 6 horses, and not 1 that I can take out on a relaxing trail ride


        1 TB, who will be with me forever - but, who is just not "relaxing trail ride" material (dressage/jumper)

        2 donks, 1 of whom i can ride... sort of... you cant steer, or stop her, but, you can sit her just fine

        1 - 3.5 year old Morgan/Muley - who hasnt been backed yet (this year)

        1 lame-ish (ring bone) older MFT Mule.. who will be awesome once her upper ring bone fuses. (rescued from a really bad situation)

        and 1 Kieger Mustang, (who is cool) but belongs to my BF. I cant ride him.. sigh....

        I work full time, and part time, and run my farm......

        and lately, I just feel like all I do is pet, feed ($$$), doctor, trim, and clean up after animals (especially harsh in the cold, darkness of winter)...

        ....... BUT THEN! (da-da-TA!)

        I haul my butt to the barn, and I get that ONE ride in... you know... that ONE that refreshes my soul (THANK YOU BUNNY!)

        IMO - this is why we do it... we are called to it..... unexplainable

        Comment


        • #5
          Can I join the club too?

          My last horse was my heart boy, who unfortunately was a square peg that I was trying to shove in a round hole. After spending a fortune trying to get him sound after a "saddle fitter" wrecked his back, and then another fortune spent in training, I had to give up and realize that he could never be what I wanted, and I was making him miserable.

          Searched for a new horse and after what felt like a million let downs I have finally found what I thought would be my next great partner. However he isn't wanting to play either. I'm on my 2nd trainer with him, and just got the news last night that he feels like there is some sort of underlying issue and he isn't sure if this horse will be able to do the job. I am terrified to go looking for a problem ('cause we all know once you go looking that's when you start finding things!) and I don't have the money to start random tests to try and see if we can find something.

          I'm ready to just sell and take a break. It has been heartbreak after heartbreak for the last 2 years and I'm not sure how much more I can take. No advice here, just sympathy and cyber ((hugs))

          Comment


          • #6
            Any animal is a gamble really. Taking a " giveaway" even more so. It sounds like you have really had a hard year with the mare's lameness and especially losing your husband. I can't even pretend to know what to tell you as far as advice goes.

            If you can't let her go is there room at your place for one you can ride? Maybe find one you can afford that is ridable and stop all the expense on the mare and just let her be?

            Comment


            • #7
              OP, what do you have to lose by breeding this mare (if you want another pony like her)?

              I have bred one and was very, very conservative like you are. I did that because I needed to know that if sh!t hit the fan in my life, he could be sold.

              But his parents' paperedness wasn't really what made him useful to me. It was their mind and body. So if you want another pony of this mare and have the interest/money/land to breed another one, why not?
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Right now I only have Fescue grass, and although we have a big foaling stall, to be honest, since my husband died, I am trying to keep things as simple as I can. Sure, paired with the right pony, she could produce a cute hunter pony, but as I don't even know what breed she is, it would be a gamble, and not one, I'm willing to take.
                Last edited by Freebird!; Dec. 19, 2012, 06:06 PM.
                The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!
                https://www.facebook.com/groups/equinewellness/

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                • #9
                  I did throw in the towel.

                  After buying a few horses that mysteriously became lame soon after the ink dried on the check I wrote (even with PPEs), I decided to be smart and buy my next horse straight from a breeder. I pored over bloodlines, did due diligence on every farm, and finally picked out an unbroke, untouched 4 year old mare from a herd of about 75 other mares. She was my heart horse, perfect in every way. Then, at the age of 8 I had to retire her due to arthritis. No matter what I tried, she wouldn't come sound. So, I gave her away to a perfect home as a light riding horse. Sometimes I think I was born with a storm cloud of bad luck over my head that follows me around to this very day.

                  Since then, I've only done leases. I can't bring myself to buy one since I seem to be the harbinger of doom and the poor animal will become lame the minute it steps off the trailer.
                  One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Okay, I've a couple of thoughts here and I'm sure you're waiting with baited breath to read them (sarc off...). Full disclosure here: I'm laid up with a major physical problem, I'm in week six of it and feeling (quite) a bit cranky, so cut me some slack, k??

                    Anyway, while I've never done this, I now see a good reason for this. Some rescues will let you take a horse for however long and if the fit isn't right or another reason comes up, you can send the horse back. I think I read where Bluebonnet does that. On one of my FB pages, there is a girl/woman who seems to find real gems, diamonds in the rough, and you can get one but she will take them back if you have to unload. Her horses look really nice frame-wise and seem to have a brain, even though they may not be up to snuff weight-wise because she hasn't had enough time to fit them out totally. There's an idea.

                    Another thing, in my life, when I've over-thunk buying a horse, I have gone wrong nearly every time. When I go by the gut feeling of "Yep, this guy is it.", that's the one who turns out just fine. When I've gone the 'right' way and had a vet look at them and pored over blood and agonized over papers, I can't think of any horse who really worked out for me. When I took a flier and just felt good about a muddy-underweight hairy thing in front of me, I'd say 9 times out of 10, it worked out swimmingly. It's looking in the eyes and knowing that ball of mud will work for me.

                    Of course, I've bought and sold quite a few more horses than most people ever own but my personal horses, the same goes for them too. Quitchurthinkin and start feeling your way with horses...so says Yoda.

                    Or maybe I'm taking too much medication...HA!!
                    GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have had my mare for almost 5 years. (first leasing, then owning) She initially vetted clean, and after one glorious season of showing her, she had a suspensory injury and a series of other problems that I can't even make myself summarize here. Out of 5 years of leasing / owning, I've had about 2.5 years of riding, if you include all the rehab-related walking and restarting after the various injuries and illnesses.

                      If I had land, I would just retire her. But I am a suburbanite who owns 1 horse which is boarded, who is sweet and pretty enough that if I sold her, someone would ask her to do too much, re-injure her, and throw her away. So I keep trying to figure her out and see if she can gently be brought back into work before the next thing goes expensively wrong. But I can't keep doing this much longer.

                      I would never advise an amateur who would have to pay board to own a horse, if they like riding. I will only lease after this. If there is an 'after'. Even if I retire my mare, her retirement board will soak up most of my equine budget.

                      Edited to add: this situation is all the more gutwrenching because this horse will do anything you ask her to when she's sound. She has a $50K brain and a $2 constitution. (but perfectly nice conformation, of course)
                      Last edited by Lori B; Dec. 19, 2012, 09:17 AM.
                      I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                      I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by goneriding24 View Post
                        Another thing, in my life, when I've over-thunk buying a horse, I have gone wrong nearly every time. When I go by the gut feeling of "Yep, this guy is it.", that's the one who turns out just fine. When I've gone the 'right' way and had a vet look at them and pored over blood and agonized over papers, I can't think of any horse who really worked out for me. When I took a flier and just felt good about a muddy-underweight hairy thing in front of me, I'd say 9 times out of 10, it worked out swimmingly. It's looking in the eyes and knowing that ball of mud will work for me.

                        Of course, I've bought and sold quite a few more horses than most people ever own but my personal horses, the same goes for them too. Quitchurthinkin and start feeling your way with horses...so says Yoda.

                        Or maybe I'm taking too much medication...HA!!
                        Maybe I need your medication, lol! Love your advice.
                        One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mrs.smith View Post
                          Maybe I need your medication, lol! Love your advice.
                          Lemme tell ya, it's good stuff. Thank you. Learned in the school of hard knocks.
                          GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So Freebird! what did the vet say when you had the PPE done? I suspect I'll hear crickets.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What unsoundness issue does she have?
                              I see no reason to bring another grade horse with potential health issues (lameness could be hereditary?) so applaud you for not wanting to breed.
                              "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                About once a week.

                                I bought my guy 2.5 years ago. Seems like I have some sort of issue once a month. Then something really good happens. Then bad...etc.

                                Currently he has some sort of 'offness'. He isn't lame but he isn't right. I can't afford to have the vet out, especially when we can't pinpoint anything. A bit of bute seems to help but I can't bute him forever. I have no freaking clue what to do. He has so much potential it's horrible to waste.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Yep, sometimes, just get the "I'm over it" blues.
                                  Despite safe property. Proper management etc, shizut happens.
                                  And sometimes its overwhelming.
                                  But reality is, I love them so much that I can't imagine getting up in the mornings and not having them.
                                  I\'m not crazy. I\'m just a little unwell.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Uh yeah...I'm typing on my phone so hard to give lots of background, but let's just say: horses have caused me to be broke, get ulcers, and I'm talking to my doctor on Thursday about starting anxiety medications again...

                                    And, now my get & Farrier highly suspect my gelding has a keratoma that will need to be surgically removed...

                                    FML!
                                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by PrimoAmor View Post
                                      About once a week.

                                      I bought my guy 2.5 years ago. Seems like I have some sort of issue once a month. Then something really good happens. Then bad...etc.

                                      Currently he has some sort of 'offness'. He isn't lame but he isn't right. I can't afford to have the vet out, especially when we can't pinpoint anything. A bit of bute seems to help but I can't bute him forever. I have no freaking clue what to do. He has so much potential it's horrible to waste.
                                      About the Bute, have you tried the cats claw stuff?? Bute-less, I think?? I knew someone who's youngish horse couldn't be on the Bute forever so went with the cats claw and it worked as long as I knew of the situ.
                                      GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by BEARCAT View Post
                                        What unsoundness issue does she have?
                                        I see no reason to bring another grade horse with potential health issues (lameness could be hereditary?) so applaud you for not wanting to breed.
                                        This horse was the subject of a thread by OP a while back. Some of us suggested getting a good vet and getting a farrier to see what was wrong with a hoof. I think OP thought it was an abscess or something like that? While I am sympathetic to anyone who has spent $ to try to resolve lameness issues (btdt many time with 2 horses), i don't think that OP has gotten professional help to try to find out what was wrong with this horse. Correct me if subsequent to the contentious thread, you got X-rays and a farrier, OP. You cannot let issues go and then say that you don't know what is wrong and that there must have been something wrong when you got the horse. First you said she was fine, then later she developed something which you did not have treated professionally.

                                        To those who have spent the thousands on hooves and legs, it is disappointing when it is hard or impossible to resolve a medical issue.

                                        And I too agree that a horse as OP herself has said this one is, should NOT be bred. Especially as you do not know what is wrong with her? And her conformation isn't, well, it isn't. (N.B. I chose NOT to bread my tb mare with great conformation, and I choose now NOT to breed my ATA with less than good conformation.)

                                        There are many free horses in the area that OP lives in. If she wants another horse. No need to breed that little horse.

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