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Retiring my KatyBug (photo added!)

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  • Retiring my KatyBug (photo added!)

    Many of you have read and posted encouragingly along with me as I tried to figure out how to get and keep my mare sound over the last 5 years. After yet another bout of the same type of lameness, unexplained, I have decided we are not going to do this anymore. 4 years of not being sound longer than a couple months straight is long enough, and I'm retiring her. I wrote about it on HorseNation, and they published it yesterday:

    http://www.horsenation.com/2013/01/0...-owning-a-cat/

    I feel relieved to be done w/ going around in circles but sad that I won't be riding her anymore, however little that's been. I've even have had some very kind folks reach out and offer me suggestions for suitable local retirement boarding, which will make this less sad for me, since my other options are hours away at a friend's farm.

    Fun past threads include:

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...(Update-at-34)

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...3-yrs-later-67

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...I-have-learned

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...e-post-46-7-18

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...aty-and-my-mom

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...n-a-field-trip

    and so on.....

    Thanks for all the good stuff, Katy. Now, you can be a full time pasture engineer, and I can find out if I still know how to ride.

    Click image for larger version

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    Here's a photo of us from our one and only Horse Trial in November 2008, which helps me remember that we did actually do a little bit of jumping, once upon a time.
    Last edited by Lori B; Jan. 6, 2013, 01:24 PM. Reason: adding a pic
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


  • #2
    I certainly remember all your trials with your mare. And I'm so sorry it's come to this. I know I'd be devastated if I were in your shoes. But it also has to be a relief, even though the outcome is not what you wanted.

    Best wishes to you and your pretty Katy. I hope she enjoys retirement and you can find a way to lease/part lease another horse and start enjoying riding again.
    __________________________
    "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
    the best day in ten years,
    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

    Comment


    • #3
      Great write up. LOVE the title. So true.

      I just retired my girl (although for different reasons) and am now on the hunt for affordable retirement care since I don't own my own place. It's daunting how much I am still going to shell out a month for a horse that has very little real use... money that could be going towards another horse I will ride. But alas, I took her on as a weanling and 17 years later, I am not just going to dump her. I owe her more than that, even if my riding will suffer because I can't afford two horses.

      I'm sorry you have to retire her. But kudos to you for looking for a retirement home and not an easy way out. You're a good egg.
      Dreaming in Color

      Comment


      • #4
        I remember reading your past threads too. Sorry you had to make this decision, but be glad she can be happy as a sound pasture puff. If you look you'll be able to find reasonable lease options - then you can ease yourself back into riding without the financial burden and being forced to take lessons every time you ride.
        "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
        "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

        Comment


        • #5
          I am so sorry Lori, and I wish I had something more helpful to say. You know I've always been a fan of you and Katy, and have admired how you have handled this roller coaster ride you have been on the last few years. I have been on it myself and I think you will be surprised at how much relief you feel now that the decision has been made. I knew my whole situation was taking a big emotional and financial toll on me, but I didn't realize just how big of a toll until I decided to retire my horse. As sad as I was I also felt free in a way.

          Katy is one lucky girl for sure. Eventually every cloud has a silver lining and I hope you are able to start enjoying some regular saddle time soon.
          www.retiredhorses.com
          Blogging about daily life on the retirement farm: http://paradigmfarms.blogspot.com/
          Paradigm Farms on Facebook

          Comment


          • #6
            As Willem would have said: This it be right.

            The mark of a true horsewoman is putting the horse FIRST.
            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

            Comment


            • #7
              I am sorry to hear about this outcome, but I've been there. The day I decided to retire my perma-lame TB it was like a weight lifted from me. Since then, both he and I have been so much happier. Turns out he was MADE for retirement Good luck to you and Katy. If you're ever in my area and want to drop by for a ride, the offer's there.
              ~Veronica
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thank you all! While I'm very sad, I'm also pretty relieved to be done racking my brain and second guessing every flipping thing we do. She is entirely pasture sound, and intermittently sound for more, but I just can't do the up and down anymore, and it's easier for both of us to just be done.

                I have a few catch ride options right now, and will probably look around for some kind of part lease in the spring as things get sorted out. (available occasional rides right now include a 14'3" appaloosa sofa, a Quarter Horse dressage schoolie, and a 17'2" appaloosa draft X. It won't be boring!)

                (Thanks, ChocoMare. )
                I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                  Thank you all! While I'm very sad, I'm also pretty relieved to be done racking my brain and second guessing every flipping thing we do. She is entirely pasture sound, and intermittently sound for more, but I just can't do the up and down anymore, and it's easier for both of us to just be done.

                  I have a few catch ride options right now, and will probably look around for some kind of part lease in the spring as things get sorted out. (available occasional rides right now include a 14'3" appaloosa sofa, a Quarter Horse dressage schoolie, and a 17'2" appaloosa draft X. It won't be boring!)
                  (Thanks, ChocoMare. )
                  I could have written this practically word for word a little less than a year ago. I'm now doing a half lease and while it's a big change from riding my own whenever I want, it's the best solution for me right now. Besides, for the prior year I had essentially been only ride-walking my lame one, so riding a sound one three days a week while knowing mine is happily retired is an improvement.
                  Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm so sorry, Lori. But you are doing the right thing for both of you. I could not say it better than On the Bit said it, and therefore won't try. Much peace to you and to Katy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sad, but probably the best for you both. Hope you are able to find some satisfying rides in the short term, at least.
                      "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                      Spay and neuter. Please.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I admired you for trying so hard to find out what the problem is, but I admire you even more for making the decision to retire her and let her be a happy pasture ornament.
                        We did that with our mare in 2004! Since then, she has been mostly eating grass and hay. We still pay full boarding, but we are at a cheaper barn, no arena, mostly young or retired/trail horses. My then 16 yr old daughter told me "she would prefer to put her riding on hold and have her mare alive and loved than not have her at all." Last year, she finally started taking lessons again and is now in the process of getting another horse. But she still makes the 200 km trip once a week to visit/groom/hack a little (thanks Previcox) with the love of her life!
                        Once these horses get a hold of your heart... they do not let go!!
                        Good luck. Enjoy retirement Katy. And Lori, enjoy your stress free life too!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm sorry for you Lori B, but happy for Katybug. She sounds like a horse that tries her best to please, and those are often the kind to work even when in pain.

                          I know 11 is young, but rest assured she is not alone. The youngest retiree here is 7, and I also have one that is only 9.

                          I admire you for commiting to her future, however long that might be.

                          Enjoy Katybug!
                          Facta non verba

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I also have a young retiree here-she is only 5. Her owner adopted her from a rescue and later found out she is not going to be sound for the long term. She has made the very admirable decision to retire her and let her live out her years as long as she is comfortable. I really respect that.

                            I know it was a hard decision and I applaud you for doing the right thing for your mare and yourself. It is so disheartening to ride a horse that is NQR or progressively getting worse. To be able to finally let go of the pressure to find the "solution" must feel like a weight has been lifted.

                            I think that many of us that board retired horses do realize the financial burden it puts on the owners and we respect those who have made that sacrifice to give their horses a secure future.
                            http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I wish you and Katy nothing but the best. I know how hard you have tried and how much you love her. May she enjoy her retirement and you enjoy more riding.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Oh Lori, you know how I feel! You have been my hero in your sensible, steadfast, thoughtful approach to her lameness issues. Every horse should be so lucky to have such an intelligent, caring owner.

                                I'm glad you will be able to pursue other riding opportunities, and I hope she enjoys retirement (I'm sure she will!)
                                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Last night I got on Katy for probably the last time, walked around the big field a few times, and then we were done. Today the farrier came out on his regular schedule, and I had him pull her shoes. She seemed pretty stiff, and I still have to figure out if she's becoming arthritic, but it wouldn't surprise me. I haven't decided where I'm going to move her for certain, but it won't be for a couple months, because I'd like to see her feet grown past the nail holes before the ground gets hard and they start stomping flies.

                                  Also, I added a photo to the original post. :-)
                                  I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                  I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Ah, Lori, what a heart-breaking decision. This thread caught my attention because I call my young mare "Katie Bug." I immediately thought of mkevent's farm, where I board my 26 year-old. In addition to the young mare that just arrived there, mkevent also has a former race horse that was retired at a very young age though he's now close to my old mare's age. Those horses are happy. When I start to wonder if there are only bad and selfish people in the world, I just have to think of all these people who have made the difficult choice to retire a horse. Best wishes for you and Katy.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                                      Last night I got on Katy for probably the last time, walked around the big field a few times, and then we were done. Today the farrier came out on his regular schedule, and I had him pull her shoes. She seemed pretty stiff, and I still have to figure out if she's becoming arthritic, but it wouldn't surprise me. I haven't decided where I'm going to move her for certain, but it won't be for a couple months, because I'd like to see her feet grown past the nail holes before the ground gets hard and they start stomping flies.

                                      Also, I added a photo to the original post. :-)
                                      Obviously definitely keep an eye on her feet, but hopefully you'll be surprised. My lame & arthritic QH had his feet pulled before being retired, and was actually ultimately more comfortable for it. He had terrible QH feet - front pads, then eventually bar shoes, shod all around, the whole nine yards. He was actually far more comfortable barefoot, luckily the lady who I took him to for retirement board worked with a qualified barefoot trimmer. Ultimately he became pasture and was VERY lightly ridden sound by tiny beginner kids initially, which also helped keep him sane. He liked work and would stand by the pasture gate while the other horses were taken out if he didn't do something.
                                      "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                                      "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I am very sorry for you Lori! I have followed your Katy threads for years now and hoped that she would come sound for good. I also have a young retiree and actually, finally realizing this is just how it is going to be and letting go of all I hoped to do with him was a huge weight off my shoulders. He is now 2.5 years into retirement and is sound enough that I can hop on and hack him once in a while. I hope that she enjoys her life of leisure and that you have some great riding experiences ahead of you.

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