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Ideas for re-homing a retired horse?

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by Discobold View Post
    Even if what you want to tell the OP that what her friend wants to do is unrealistic, make a little effort to do it in a kind way.

    Why is euthanasia not an option, OP?
    Thanks, Disco!

    Here's the deal. Euth is not necessary. Horsie can live with my friend till the end of his days. I mentioned it wasn't an option because I didn't want a zillion replies shouting 'euth the horse!'.

    But it's not an ideal situation for an old guy. The horse would be happier turned out as a pasture puff. For financial reasons, retirement boarding is also not an option.

    There is no hurry. There is no emergency. To the poster who said it takes a while to find a home...that's not a problem. I'm just asking for advice on finding him a new home.

    My friend is not throwing away a horse because she wants something new and shiny. We are merely evaluating options to give this sweet old guy a happy retirement. Not sure why that warrants a 'you suck'.

    If we can't find a new home, he'll just stay where he is.
    ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by spotmenow View Post
      It's the part about euthanasia not being an option that is getting to people. That's the part that got me. If your friend is not willing to put the horse down, then he/she should be aware of the fact that there are a lot of young, rideable horses being given away right now due to the economy. And he/she may be stuck with the horse for a long time/indefinitely.

      Plus, COTHers routinely come across these poor older horses/ponies who have spent years diligently packing their humans around, only to be dumped when it is time for the human to give back.

      I don't have any more suggestions for the OP as far as places to advertise, but I wish the OP and the horse the best of luck...
      Thanks for your post. My friend and I are aware that there are many horses and ponies looking for homes. She's willing to take care of him through the end of his days. So, euth is not necessary for this horse.
      ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


      • Original Poster

        Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
        OP, the reason you are getting this response is that there are VERY few -- almost no -- homes for horses like these. No one else is going to love this horse more than his owner.

        Having said all that, if your friend want to try to find a spot for him, she should offer him as a free lease to a companion home, and she should pay his vet and farrier bills. This is by far the cheapest way to do it, from her perspective. And it makes the horse a more attractive companion than all the other pasture puffs out there. The companion home has the comfort of knowing that if their circumstances change they can return the horse, plus its bills are paid.

        When (and if) someone like LauraKY has an opening she will be deluged with free horses. I know I was the only time I had a spot -- I had strangers leaving notes in my mailbox, emails, phone calls etc. Say she has narrowed the choice down to three or four equally attractive horses. I would guess she'd be inclined to take the one with his bills paid.

        If your friend is lucky, she could find a pasture home for her horse for a few hundred dollars a year.
        Thanks, SMF. I hadn't thought of the idea of a free-lease with vet and farrier covered. Will definitely have to consider it!
        ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
          Snaffle, you might find a home. One of my boarders had a similar situation...he wasn't sound for riding, but he was easy to manage and a sweetheart. Eventually she decided it was best to just keep him as a pasture puff in boarding because she was too worried about where he would end up. He relapsed with EPM several months later and we had to put him down.

          I loved that horse, poor guy.

          Rescues will take in pasture puffs sometimes. And you never know...one of these days either my horse or the boarder is going to die and I'll be looking for a nice pasture puff. There might be a home out there. Or, she may have to keep him until it's his time.

          Is she trying to dump the responsibility on you or is she trying to rehome him as well. I guess most of us wonder why she needs to rehome him. If it's because she wants a new, shiny plaything, well that would tick me off. If she has other reasons...mostly financial, well that's a different story.
          Thanks for sharing your story.

          I offered to try to find the horse a new home...my friend did not ask. She's extremely busy and doesn't have a lot of time for this guy. I thought it might be best for him and for her if he had a new home. She does not 'need' to rehome him.
          ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


          • #25
            Thanks OP, that's what I thought. You're a good friend. Good luck.


            • #26
              I'm not following how retirement board could be financially infeasible compared to whatever his current situation could possibly be, unless she has him at home. In which case, I still don't get it. Something doesn't add up.
              \"Non-violence never solved anything.\" C. Montgomery Burns


              • #27
                Originally posted by MandyVA View Post
                I'm not following how retirement board could be financially infeasible compared to whatever his current situation could possibly be, unless she has him at home. In which case, I still don't get it. Something doesn't add up.
                the owner wants him off the feed bill.

                but not wanting to feel guilty for killing him....


                • #28
                  Originally posted by snaffle635 View Post
                  A friend of mine is looking to find a new home for a retired horse. I've volunteered to help her out. I've put ads on COTH, Equine.com, TheHorse.com, Craigslist, and IllinoisHorse. I don't expect there's a huge market of people looking for 18YO pasture ornaments though - despite how sweet and adorable this one is.

                  I contacted two rescue organizations. One was kind enough to call back right away saying they are over-run with unwanted horses.

                  Any other ideas? Euth is not an option for this owner.
                  Then she is likely looking at maintaining a pasture pet. There are simply far more horses looking for the companion only homes than there are homes.


                  • #29
                    I, too, am not following why keeping him until the end of his days is totally feasible, but retirement board is not an option.

                    I think what gets me most (and I'm not saying it's the case here, I don't know the owner) is the sense of indignation from owners when homes cannot be found for their (old/unsound/unrideable) horses. "But he's such a sweet guy, he's really perfect, he's so cute, I don't understand why I can't find anyone who wants him..." Really??? YOU don't want him anymore, why should someone else with NO history with him want him???

                    It costs just as much (possibly less) to have a sound and rideable pasture puff as it does to have unrideable one. Guess which horse most people will choose?
                    *friend of bar.ka

                    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


                    • Original Poster

                      He lives at home.
                      ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


                      • #31
                        He lives at home, she doesn't need to find him retirement board as that would cost more than he's costing her now. She simply wants to give him away to be someone else's expense now that he's no longer useful. She doesn't want to send him to slaughter, but if someone else will take him and do the deed, well, as long as it wasn't her.

                        You are a good friend. I'm not picking on you.

                        But your friend smells. If she can afford to keep him until the day he passes or the day he's no longer enjoying any quality of life and needs to be helped across then that is what she needs to do. No passing him off to another home where she cannot assure he is given the retirement he earned. Because odds are good he will go to the meat man or wind up working again even if he's not really capable of working anymore. Yes, she really is moving him along so she has funds for another shiny object. If there's a financial need here, maybe some hay can be bought or whatever the need is can be addressed.
                        If you love me let me go....


                        • #32
                          I know of a retirement home for horses in Montana, swear to honest. For a modest fee they keep old horses until the time comes. I am considering going into the business!

                          This horse needs to be offered for free and then anyone that answers needs to be investigated professionally and followed up upon and even then the horse may not be ok.

                          I have a pasture full of older horses that won't leave my care under those conditions. Times are horrible for horses.

                          I think owner needs to realize she needs to keep him or she needs to put him down but nobody is going to come water it down for her.
                          “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                          • #33
                            OP, your friend can take a number.

                            I have a 20-year-old who isn't sound enough anymore to do what I want to do. I can't afford 2 horses. So I may be SOL for another f-ing decade. (It may be longer than that since this horse has had First World Care his whole life and would happily eat his food through a straw when he's 40).

                            I take it your friend does own a farm but doesn't have acres of pasture. Meh, if your friend has the means to own a farm, she can find a way to support a horse in a pasture.

                            Now that I'm done being pissy, I ask you: Have you guys priced out pastures around the country? IMO, you can find some that are pretty cheap. Depending on your friend's standard of care/horsemanship/involvement with her horse, she can get some pretty good deals. Here I mean enough room, roundbales for a group, so-so fencing, some hoof care and minimal supervision. If that's good enough for her, I think that kind of situation can be had for under $200 per month.
                            The armchair saddler
                            Politically Pro-Cat


                            • #34
                              I have 3 here that are past the age as immediate placement. My 2 TBS'-got Caine when he was 3,got Robbie when he was 7,got Commander when he was 18 -Caine is now 20,Robbie's about 3 m.s' younger,we got Comie' just before Christmas, of last year. And they're still all ride able just not in the same way as they were used.


                              • #35
                                That's why I posted,Im not a rara, but I take care of my horses-our other old guy, was 'Duke'- owner was not truthful about age, we gave a 28 yr. old horse 6 more years of love ,cosseting and when it was time, a dignified death.


                                • #36
                                  Be very, very careful about free-leasing. It's just as risky as giving the horse away. I have a friend that just placed a companion horse in a home that was approved, vet references checked, visited multiple times, and a contract (drawn up by an attorney) signed and notarized.

                                  Friend has called to check on the horse and was told the leasing party had no intention of honoring the contract. They have placed a restraining order on him and until this legal mess is sorted out he or any representatives cannot go to the farm to check on the horse. He isn't allowed to go get his horse, he can't drive by, he can't call the people. Reason? Unknown. The leasers completely fooled him.

                                  I've heard so much of this lately that it's truly not at all amusing. It's been said before and I'll say it again...if you want your horse safe keep it and care for it.


                                  • #37
                                    OP, if owner is happy keeping him and it is you who thinks this horse might be happier in another home as you said in your post -- I would kindly suggest for you to stop thinking that and leave the horse where he is. If he has a home where he is fed, trimmed and gets regular veterinary care, he is *much* better off than he is likely to be if you do "rehome" him. Horses do not need much attention or even much turnout to be happy, especially if they have other horses around. If he has absolutely no turnout, suggest your friend fence in her yard or whatever. That will be a lot less risky for this old man.


                                    • #38
                                      snaffle, you got exasperated responses because everyone on this board has been approached by acquaintances and even friends who are looking for a way to get out from under their responsibility for managing a humane and responsible retirement for their horses. There are no magickal answers, and it gets aggravating answering the same questions over and over again.

                                      We are resentful of folks who expect there to be a no cost no effort no worry solution to the last 10 unrideable years of sweet old Pokey's life. That's the deal.
                                      I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                      I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Alagirl View Post

                                        Rescues were not founded to retire other people's rejects because people don't feel like feeding Dobbins anymore but can't grasp the facts of life.
                                        A rescue is not a free retirement home. She is better off keeping the horse if she can afford him. Next option, is a thoroughly vetted retirement facility and lastly, euthanasia. Very few people want someone else's old crippled horse.
                                        Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by snaffle635 View Post
                                          Honestly, I don't understand why I'm getting a sarcastic response. I am trying to help this horse find a happy retirement. What content in my original post warranted this response?
                                          If the horse is happy in its present circumstance why isn't that enough???

                                          Ownership of any horse conveys benefits and burdens. There is a moral and ethical obligation to be fair in both. I, personally, don't find that sending a horse to slaughter violates any moral or ethical guidelines; it's just another way of recycling. Others disagree (often violently). That's jake by me; everybody gets their say.

                                          What's not OK in my view is using up the horse and then expecting somebody else to be the "dustman." That's just being cowardly.

                                          The owner now must step up and make some hard decisions. They've gotten the benefits; now how will they bear the burdens?

                                          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão