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Ideas for re-homing a retired horse?

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  • #41
    Make sure your friend knows the risks to the horse going in. See this thread: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...r-Is-this-true for a good example of that.

    Last year I tried to re-home a horse. I got so many calls from dealers trying to disguise themselves as good homes. They would have their kids call, they would tell me they had a pasture and were looking for a companion. They know what to say and how to say it. I have no doubt the horse would have been shipped to Canada rather quickly.

    Unless you know the people personally, the horse will be at risk. No contract is going to protect the horse once ownership is turned over. Sadly, these are just the facts in this economy.

    I hope your friend can find a solution that is right for her and the horse!

    Comment


    • #42
      I"m a horrible hypocrite because I would be trying to "help" too, but trust me when I say that I agree with the poster that said to MYOB the horse is just fine where it is at as opposed to sending it off somewhere to a big pasture.

      We pulled Snort out of a big pasture and he had long feet, long coat full of burrs, was getting beat up at feeding time by the mares and was really thoroughly bewildered about how he ended up like this. He is most happy when he has a buddy of his very own, a pasture of any size with grass to nibble, a spot where he can shelter and eat without being pestered, gets a fly mask, regular clipping and fly spraying and a good scratchy grooming once a week.

      No he is not happy being stalled 24/7 and it isn't good for him. It isn't good for any horse, they go stir crazy, but really it's your friends horse and as long as there is food, water and minimal hoof and vet care it may be the best spot for that horse.
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible

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      • #43
        I am in a similar situation as your friend. I have an older horse, sound and ride able, but who can't do what I want to do. I am willing to keep her in retirement board but I cannot afford 2 horses and MVP said it best...
        Originally posted by mvp View Post
        I may be SOL for another f-ing decade. (It may be longer than that since this horse has had First World Care her whole life and would happily eat her food through a straw when she's 40).
        Basically, I am giving up my riding goals to do whats right for my horse. Does it suck? Sure. But that's life and after 17 years together, I owe her more than just sending her down the line to a questionable fate. I lost my rose colored glasses a long time ago.

        You said she keeps him at home. How is it not feasible to keep him in her backyard for cheap? Is it because she wants another horse to replace him but does not have the money or room unless the old guy goes? I am not one who thinks someone should stay married to a horse for life, but if euth is not an option (and it is not an option for my girl) then the only way to ensure a good future is to do it yourself.

        Originally posted by mvp View Post
        OP, your friend can take a number.
        Sorry, there are just too many unwanted horses out there, but I do wish your friend luck in whatever she decides.
        Last edited by drmgncolor; Mar. 27, 2013, 12:22 PM.
        Dreaming in Color

        Comment


        • #44
          I'm just going to answer the question in the OP and avoid adding my judgments to the mix because others have already covered anything I might say.

          When I found myself in need of a companion equine (I was willing to take horse, donkey, or mule), I talked to my farrier, who has been my farrier for over 10 years. I told him exactly what I wanted and what I wasn't willing to accept (e.g. old horse in good health but not riding sound OK, young horse with serious soundness issues not OK).

          A couple months later, he gave me the name and phone number of one of his other clients who was interested in rehoming a horse. He vouched for the horse, having been its farrier for several years and he vouched for me, having known me for so many years and being familiar with my horsekeeping practices.
          "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
          that's even remotely true."

          Homer Simpson

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          • Original Poster

            #45
            Originally posted by caryledee View Post
            Make sure your friend knows the risks to the horse going in. See this thread: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...r-Is-this-true for a good example of that.

            Last year I tried to re-home a horse. I got so many calls from dealers trying to disguise themselves as good homes. They would have their kids call, they would tell me they had a pasture and were looking for a companion. They know what to say and how to say it. I have no doubt the horse would have been shipped to Canada rather quickly.

            Unless you know the people personally, the horse will be at risk. No contract is going to protect the horse once ownership is turned over. Sadly, these are just the facts in this economy.

            I hope your friend can find a solution that is right for her and the horse!
            Thanks, Carly. I'm really sorry to hear about your experience trying to re-home your horse. Sounds like my friend's horse is best off right where he is.

            For a long time, I've been thinking about how I'd like to 'give back' when I retire (quite a ways in the future). Maybe set up a 'scholarship' for under-privileged kids to ride or something like that. But now I think I have my answer...looks like a retirement home for a few horses might be a nice way to give back to these good souls.
            ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

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            • #46
              Originally posted by snaffle635 View Post
              Thanks, Carly. I'm really sorry to hear about your experience trying to re-home your horse. Sounds like my friend's horse is best off right where he is.

              For a long time, I've been thinking about how I'd like to 'give back' when I retire (quite a ways in the future). Maybe set up a 'scholarship' for under-privileged kids to ride or something like that. But now I think I have my answer...looks like a retirement home for a few horses might be a nice way to give back to these good souls.
              When I was a kid I worked for a riding school. At the end of each fall, a few of our old friends got loaded on a truck to the local (then, it was local) meat-man, never to return. To his credit, my boss always stayed while they were "done," to make sure they went no farther.

              The horse who was the "love of my life," with whom I'd done EVERYTHING, far beyond what I ever expected when I bought him, finally had to retire from competition at age 21. There I was with a horse who could only be lightly ridden, who as it turned out was destined to live another 11 years.

              Those experiences were both very much in mind when fate saw fit a few years later to allow me to come into the use of a substantial property. Knowing how many people out there are in exactly this scenario, I started a retiree business which is now 20 years strong and still enabling people to keep their old guy while having somebody new to ride in a full-board barn.

              I am not the only one by far that's out there. Maybe you and your friend need to do some serious networking "in the loop" of local horsepeople and see what's out there. Best of luck!

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              • #47
                My 22 year old perfectly ride able mare is up for grabs free to a good home and no one wants her. Heck we are considering euth. We simply cannot afford her/have the time she wants anymore. There are not that many homes looking for "older" horses. Most people want under 15 so they do not have to worry about the horse dieing on them or paying for a lot of expensive treatments. Euthing should be an option. If a horse cannot find a home, and you cannot afford the money/time/whatever, do it. I would not even want to list my horse on craigslist for some cowboying yahoo (that's what we have here, I am not calling everyone this) to come a try her out. Its hard to put a horse to sleep but it is the kindest thing when all avenues are worn out.

                Comment


                • #48
                  Originally posted by snaffle635 View Post
                  But now I think I have my answer...looks like a retirement home for a few horses might be a nice way to give back to these good souls.
                  You can start with mine, then! He'll give love licks to me, but he can transfer his loyalties to the next person who shows up with mints, too.

                  I appreciate your efforts to help a retired horse get to a good home. And if you are looking at an old horse in a California farmette situation-- horse lives on 1.5 acres of dry lot-- I see why you'd think the BO who does have a place still doesn't have the optimal place for Old Horse. I wouldn't choose that for mine, either.
                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat

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                  • #49
                    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?
                    It sounds like the horse is in a happy retirement home now. What you don't say is WHY your friend no longer wants the horse? Is he useable in any way at all?
                    If he is a horse that can only be a sound pasture ornament as long as he gets his daily meds, then she should call the vet, call the renderer ,find a wild animal sanctuary or take him to an auction. There are too many just like him in the mix already who need homes.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by OBXPony View Post
                      My 22 year old perfectly ride able mare is up for grabs free to a good home and no one wants her. Heck we are considering euth. We simply cannot afford her/have the time she wants anymore. There are not that many homes looking for "older" horses. Most people want under 15 so they do not have to worry about the horse dieing on them or paying for a lot of expensive treatments. Euthing should be an option. If a horse cannot find a home, and you cannot afford the money/time/whatever, do it. I would not even want to list my horse on craigslist for some cowboying yahoo (that's what we have here, I am not calling everyone this) to come a try her out. Its hard to put a horse to sleep but it is the kindest thing when all avenues are worn out.
                      This is just my opinion, worth what you're paying for it. But I DO have a problem with people wanting to euthanize a healthy, viable horse NOT because they are in dire straits financially or otherwise can't keep it, but just because it is older and they want "something new" and more zippy.

                      If that's all you feel for your horse, please, PLEASE get into 4-wheelers or sailboats or hang-gliders or something ELSE after you euth her. She is not a toy or some kind of athletic equipment you just throw away when you get bored with it.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Yes, we've all been approached to take "free" older horses that people don't want (I got an email just this week from a friend who has a friend who has a 30 year old horse and got laid off or some such thing.) There are lots of horses that need better retirement situations than they have.

                        However, since it's not the OP's horse and no sense beating her up about it. I agree with the person who said to mention it to the farrier, and the vet clinics; because there are people who are looking for a companion animal for one reason or another. I have taken two freebies off Craigslist to act as companions in one way or another (ok, ok, one was a companion, but then I needed a companion for her... )

                        I'd probably avoid Craigslist because there is just too much traffic, but it might be possible to find a home via a Facebook group - in my area there is a horse "source" FB page and people often advertise free or "rescue" type situations there -- horse people know other horse people, and it's a fast way to get the word out.

                        If you go that route, I'd get the guy all gussied up like he was for sale - nice pictures, under saddle pictures if possible, and be prepared to offer up all the medical history on him. You might get lucky and find someone looking for a pasture mate.

                        There are people out there, but sorting through the riff raff will always be the difficult part; that's why if you can go through professional channels first (trainers/vet/farrier) you might avoid a lot of tire kickers.

                        Definitely get references as well. I gave references for both my freebies and neither owner checked them. I was surprised; but I was happy to give them, and others might be as well.

                        Good luck; it's not easy. I have a 18 year old TB mare that I retired this past year. In my case I might have found her a "job" babysitting TB yearlings being prepped for sale through someone I know; but otherwise she'll be here until the end....which will probably be forever since we can't ride her.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                          This is just my opinion, worth what you're paying for it. But I DO have a problem with people wanting to euthanize a healthy, viable horse NOT because they are in dire straits financially or otherwise can't keep it, but just because it is older and they want "something new" and more zippy.

                          If that's all you feel for your horse, please, PLEASE get into 4-wheelers or sailboats or hang-gliders or something ELSE after you euth her. She is not a toy or some kind of athletic equipment you just throw away when you get bored with it.
                          I agree! If I had the time and money I would not be getting something new and zippy I would be out trail riding as much as I could or teaching my fiancee who has found he loves horses lessons on her as she would be perfect but i cannot seem to get lucky enough to win the lotto.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            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?
                            because your friend's horse's "happy retirement" should be with your friend...the one who rode it while it was rideable and got all the joy out of it. now that it's not rideable, she doesn't want it? sorry, but i just have zero respect for people who try to give away unrideable horses. i had to sadly retire my horse last summer and i will never part with her...i'd euth her before i let her out of my complete care, custody, and control. so i don't have my own riding horse...so what...there are plenty of horses around that need ridden. your friend needs to do the right thing by this horse.
                            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

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                            • #54
                              This is the sad truth. Your friend's horse is far safer staying with her. If she wants him to be turned out with a herd, then a retirement home might be a good choice.

                              Giving him away as a companion horse -- or even free leasing -- puts him at risk of being sent to the auctions.

                              For some people, the opportunity to turn a free horse into $$ is just too tempting and these are the ones who are lining up to offer companion horse situations.

                              A person I know went through something similar. She wanted to rehome her pony and was all set to give it to "John" who was going to give her a forever home in a beautiful green pasture. She was outraged when I suggested that "John" (who wouldn't give his last name or address) was a dealer and that the pony would send her a postcard from Canada.

                              I finally took the pony myself and found her a home that I screened myself. Then went to check on her.

                              Originally posted by caryledee View Post
                              Make sure your friend knows the risks to the horse going in. See this thread: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...r-Is-this-true for a good example of that.

                              Last year I tried to re-home a horse. I got so many calls from dealers trying to disguise themselves as good homes. They would have their kids call, they would tell me they had a pasture and were looking for a companion. They know what to say and how to say it. I have no doubt the horse would have been shipped to Canada rather quickly.

                              Unless you know the people personally, the horse will be at risk. No contract is going to protect the horse once ownership is turned over. Sadly, these are just the facts in this economy.

                              I hope your friend can find a solution that is right for her and the horse!
                              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                                This is just my opinion, worth what you're paying for it. But I DO have a problem with people wanting to euthanize a healthy, viable horse NOT because they are in dire straits financially or otherwise can't keep it, but just because it is older and they want "something new" and more zippy.

                                If that's all you feel for your horse, please, PLEASE get into 4-wheelers or sailboats or hang-gliders or something ELSE after you euth her. She is not a toy or some kind of athletic equipment you just throw away when you get bored with it.
                                I'd be with you if we didn't allow so much financial BS and *then* "suddenly" showing up in financial straits.

                                I like being able to know I am doing right by the animal I own. But then again, I'm a sucker for managing my financial life such that I can't "cash in" on the "Oh sh!t, I ran out of money!" thing.
                                The armchair saddler
                                Politically Pro-Cat

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  [QUOTE=Lady Eboshi;6905625]When I was a kid I worked for a riding school. At the end of each fall, a few of our old friends got loaded on a truck to the local (then, it was local) meat-man, never to return. To his credit, my boss always stayed while they were "done," to make sure they went no farther. /QUOTE]

                                  I have more respect for people who send used-up horses on one last truck ride than those who try to pass them along "to a good home!!!" so someone else can foot the bill.

                                  We're spoiled for choice on people offering and selling pasture puffs, lightly-sound, and sound but needing a home horses. If the OP's friend can keep this one, I don't see why they should be trying to shift it. Old OTTB wasn't really rideable for the last two years of his life, but we had a place to keep him and he was comfortable. Selling him off was never even really an option.
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                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                                    ....Those experiences were both very much in mind when fate saw fit a few years later to allow me to come into the use of a substantial property. Knowing how many people out there are in exactly this scenario, I started a retiree business which is now 20 years strong and still enabling people to keep their old guy while having somebody new to ride in a full-board barn.!
                                    This is so great. I have always dreamed of having a retirement place for the oldsters because I have a special place in my heart for them. I'd love to hear more about your retirement facilities sometime.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      I am glad I am in the position and WILLING to care for my old horses. It's the least I can do to provide food, shelter, love and a dignified end, when its time. He certainly took care of me and I'm happy to do the same. Too bad more people don't feel the same.
                                      Come to the dark side, we have cookies

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #59
                                        Originally posted by DieBlaueReiterin View Post
                                        because your friend's horse's "happy retirement" should be with your friend...the one who rode it while it was rideable and got all the joy out of it. now that it's not rideable, she doesn't want it? sorry, but i just have zero respect for people who try to give away unrideable horses. i had to sadly retire my horse last summer and i will never part with her...i'd euth her before i let her out of my complete care, custody, and control. so i don't have my own riding horse...so what...there are plenty of horses around that need ridden. your friend needs to do the right thing by this horse.

                                        My friend never rode this horse. She did not buy the horse. A boarder abandoned it when they stopped paying the bills. My friend has taken care of this horse for several years now. None of this was my friend's idea. It was my idea.

                                        Sometimes I really shake my head at the assumptions made by fellow COTHers.

                                        I am sorry you had to retire your horse. I can completely understand how you feel. I retired my TB at 17 (seven years ago) and sadly had to put him down last summer. I did everything humanly possible for him during the last few years including nursing him through a leg fracture, colic surgery, and a corneal ulcer. Many people would have given up on the guy years ago. Perhaps I was crazy, but I tell ya', the ol' bastard was not ready to go. After 9 years with a horse, you know when they look you in the eye...you can tell when it's time and until last summer, it wasn't his time. But when it was his time, I was there for him, kneeling on the ground, holding his head, and kissing him one last time as he crossed the bridge.

                                        So maybe some of you can stop looking for the bad in all this and just take it for what it is...a nice lady (me) trying to find a nice home for a nice horse.
                                        ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by snaffle635 View Post
                                          My friend never rode this horse. She did not buy the horse. A boarder abandoned it when they stopped paying the bills. My friend has taken care of this horse for several years now. None of this was my friend's idea. It was my idea.

                                          Sometimes I really shake my head at the assumptions made by fellow COTHers.

                                          I am sorry you had to retire your horse. I can completely understand how you feel. I retired my TB at 17 (seven years ago) and sadly had to put him down last summer. I did everything humanly possible for him during the last few years including nursing him through a leg fracture, colic surgery, and a corneal ulcer. Many people would have given up on the guy years ago. Perhaps I was crazy, but I tell ya', the ol' bastard was not ready to go. After 9 years with a horse, you know when they look you in the eye...you can tell when it's time and until last summer, it wasn't his time. But when it was his time, I was there for him, kneeling on the ground, holding his head, and kissing him one last time as he crossed the bridge.

                                          So maybe some of you can stop looking for the bad in all this and just take it for what it is...a nice lady (me) trying to find a nice home for a nice horse.
                                          While I want to believe that the question in your original OP should suffice for a simple answer, if you had included the circumstances from the beginning this thread would have gone in a totally different direction.
                                          Barn rat for life

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