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Rehoming the Difficult Horse

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  • Original Poster

    I just want to show you guys a video of the horse when she is behaving. Here's a link to a video of us doing Training 2 at a schooling show last April: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgEaCvbeuVY . (Please excuse the terrible cell phone video quality, including the brief interlude where my mom filmed the wall for a while) Other tests the next day did not go so well (There was lots of bucking, bolting, and cantering sideways, and the judges comments were "You survived!"), and then the next week she dumped me and I threw in the towel.

    So she's obviously ridable, and unpredictable in when she explodes. I would worry that if I rehomed her as just a pasture pet, someone would try to ride her eventually...


    • #42
      Please be honest with your friend. I don't know your friend, but if I were her, I would want my friends to be honest with me, even if it is not what I want to hear; and if truth be told, I would know if they were lying to me regardless how well meaning they are, and that alone (knowing your friend is not 100% truthful), adds tremendous stress.

      She is a professional; she knows what is at stake; she is sick, not a child. Allow her the dignity that she is included in the decision making of her beloved animals.
      Last edited by Gloria; Jan. 9, 2013, 06:10 PM.


      • #43
        Wow. I'm on the wrong side of the country. I was going to offer her a pasture (no riding) home. I'm sorry you have to deal with this.
        Originally posted by birdistheword View Post
        She's near Portland, OR.


        • #44
          OP, if you decide to euth the horse, I would recommend you not tell your friend
          No. Friend deserves to have the truth delivered with empathy.

          Perhaps she is even reading this thread.

          Have you considered that?


          • #45
            IMHO, euthanize the mare. You say she has bad ground manners so she isn't even suitable to be a pasture buddy. If you rehome her, the likelihood of her injuring or killing someone is high, as is the likelihood of her going to be slaughtered. Would you want any of that on your conscience? Euthanize at home where she is content and happy and recognize that not all horses can be rehabbed. She is 18 years old! Not a spring chicken and any lameness/soreness issues will only get worse as she gets older. Dangerous behavior, older horse, pain somewhere, bad ground manners, and unpredictable all adds up to having euthanasia being the best option.

            I am sorry you are having to go through this. *Hugs and prayers* to you and your friend.


            • #46
              Is there any money from a life insurance policy or aboved mentioned friends that could support the mare at a retirement facility? I have a friend that had two at a retirement place in TN and was beyond pleased with the care they received. Honestly I honk it's the only option fo this mare other than euthanasia. Hugs to you, I am so sorry.


              • #47
                Okay just saw she is near Portland. I might know of a place if you can come up with the funds. Let me check into it.


                • #48
                  I disagree with 'tell the friend' if you think it will upset her further. People, she doesn't "deserve" to be told the truth, she deserves to be made comfortable to die in peace, not feeling like she/her friend "failed" her horse. "Hospice" means the doctors have given up and she is probably not reading this thread because that is not generally an option until the end is getting close. There is no sin in lying to someone to spare them pain. The horse's owner is dying, not the OP, so the OP does not need to unburden her soul.

                  And honestly, unless you can find a place like the one that's come up on COTH before (the 'no-frills' retirement where the horses are in full-time turnout, checked on, but the facility explicitly says they will not take extraordinary measures to save a sick or injured animal), or someone can do a full vet exam with all the trimmings and find what's causing her pain (just because Lyme is rare doesn't mean "nonexistent", and there's always EPM for a horse who's alternately rideable and insane, ulcers, severe arthritis causing pain), then she should be put down. I mean, there is the off chance someone wants a pasture puff who's outdoors 24/7--I was reading the riding behavior and thinking "Might not be so bad", as I'm looking for an at-minimum companion animal, but then I got to the stall and ground behavior and thought "Nope, not even if she were next door." She's 18, so we're not talking about a horse with a long show career if she could be brought sound, she's getting too up there for breeding if she HAD shown anything to make that worthwhile, and even pasture companions have to be handled and in some cases brought indoors. Given the glut on the market of rideable animals who aren't prone to fits of insanity, the odds of finding anyone other than the meat buyer who'd want her are slim to none. The only SAFE transfer would be to a buyer headed directly for Canada or a rendering plant because otherwise, no matter how much you disclose, the mare will almost certainly hurt someone again. If you can't keep her and the two solutions (no-frills retirement board or extensive vetting) are out, the only kind thing to do is put her down while she's still among friends. She has literally no market value even free.
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                  • #49
                    you can promise the owner you will take good care of her until the end and not lying!


                    • #50
                      So sorry!!!

                      I would look to an inexpensive retirement home where you don't give up ownership (guardianship!) rights. Perhaps one of your friends' contacts will know of a good place?

                      Note it doesn't have to be full care or fancy at all. She'll need some type of shelter (trees or other), plenty of food and water, feet trimmed maybe every 2 months, deworming, dental annually. A weekly grooming would probably be sufficient.

                      Maybe someone will do a favor and take her on at cost for awhile.

                      Then your friend can breathe easy that you will make every effort to care for the horse and she will not be slaughtered. If that's for a year or 10 years, well, only time will tell.

                      I agree there's no reason to upset your friend. At the same time you don't want to lie, either. All you can do is your best. You're doing an amazing, kind thing for your friend. And for the mare (who is decidedly not your friend, nut bag that she is).

                      Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                      • #51
                        P.s. I meant to add... If at some point you feel you can no longer afford to keep the mare in retirement, you can euth at that point. It will buy you time and might take some burden off of you at this difficult time.
                        Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


                        • #52
                          Please have the mare checked for kissing spines. Her good history and now abrupt and dramatic outbursts are typical. There are affordable treatment options. If I were your friend you'd be my hero. My hat is off to you.


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                            I disagree with 'tell the friend' if you think it will upset her further. People, she doesn't "deserve" to be told the truth, she deserves to be made comfortable to die in peace, not feeling like she/her friend "failed" her horse. "Hospice" means the doctors have given up and she is probably not reading this thread because that is not generally an option until the end is getting close. There is no sin in lying to someone to spare them pain. The horse's owner is dying, not the OP, so the OP does not need to unburden her soul.
                            I agree with this, EXCEPT if the friend would be comforted by the fact that the mare has a kind end. If she understands that the mare is difficult and a good placement is tough, at best, it may give her comfort to know that someone will give the horse a lovely last few days and a kind end.

                            While my mom was not a horse person, there were a few things like this when she was in hospice. There was stress and concern over them, but speaking about them realistically and letting her know that there was a plan in place was comforting to her.

                            Basically: if it will be good for your friend to know that the mare will never wind up in a bad place, and there is a plan to put her down, then tell her. If it would disturb her, then don't.


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                              I disagree with 'tell the friend' if you think it will upset her further. People, she doesn't "deserve" to be told the truth, she deserves to be made comfortable to die in peace, not feeling like she/her friend "failed" her horse.
                              I know the friend. The friend was my business associate and friend for many years. The friend would want and deserves the truth. The friend would not feel that securing the horses safety and future via a humane passing would be failing the horse if all other possibilites were exhausted.

                              OP, from your post describing your plan on page two, friend has to be very very proud of you, as a person, a friend and a horsewoman. I suspect you are the very best person to be making this decision for her. And I'm thankful you two found each other.
                              "Aye God, Woodrow..."


                              • #55
                                I suspect it's a pain issue, caused by saddle fit. Easily solved; nnot learned behavior.


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by nightsong View Post
                                  I suspect it's a pain issue, caused by saddle fit. Easily solved; nnot learned behavior.
                                  And I suspect you are talking rubbish, or are a troll, but neither of us know for sure do we?

                                  C'mon these sound like folks who have tried their best for the horse, way past what most folks would have been able to do. I have no doubt they tried the obvious things like saddle fit. Duh.
                                  The lack of ground manners alone should be telling you that there is more going on.

                                  OP whatever you decide will be very hard. If you decide on euthanasia one tiny positive is at least you will know what has happened to the horse. The agony of not knowing and second guessing your decision can be agonizing.