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Making a hard decision (long)

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  • #61
    Originally posted by DeeThbd View Post

    He asked me "Are you willing to lose everything you have worked hard for? Because now that you are aware of what he can do, you are liable should anything ever happen." He included rehoming him in that - that ultimately, if he were to hurt anybody, that would be the case.

    D.
    Um, who is your vet? I have never heard of that before - and I do have $5,000,000 liability on all of my horses anyway - as everyone who owns a horse should have regardless.

    It's not like he attacked and killed a child maliciously - he got in a fight with another horse ONCE.

    Sure glad your vet doesn't know about my attack draft horse

    I know this isn't the help you are looking for - I will leave that part alone now. You know what's best for you. Like others said, it is way better that he is going to be PTS versus being rehomed with someone who may not do well by him - I agree completely there.

    I am a bit shocked at the comments from the vet though - only because I have not heard a comment like that before FROM a vet.... especially about a horse that has shown some aggression to another horse. That's all.

    Big hugs to you during this difficult time.
    Last edited by Firefilly; Apr. 25, 2013, 10:19 PM. Reason: Because after I re-read my post I realized it was a bit too harsh and might be taken the wrong way ;)
    http://www.hammerdownfarm.com

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    • Original Poster

      #62
      Firefilly, Earle is my vet...I've used him for a long time, and when I had my little mare, he was very honest with me (Cushings, founder). I've learned to trust his judgment, which is why I asked him where to go from here. He may see a greater trend than we do as he is out and about more....and thinking about those two horses killed near here earlier in the week makes me very aware of what he means.
      I think part of it is the fact that I am in a boarding situation where I am part of a greater whole of other people and other horses. What if he took exception to a different horse and either that horse or that owner got hurt? That's where his point was, I think. I KNOW that any horse has the potential to act...but when it is sudden and unprovoked and nasty, it is very hard to say that he is fine. Is he wired right? I really don't know. I ask myself over and over...why did I feel unsafe riding him? Is it because I am a chickensh*t rider with no heart or courage, or did I feel something that was sitting under the surface? I would NEVER have thought him capable of what he did...I thought I'd always be able to let him life a happy life as a pasture buddy. I've always had the motto that life is too short for bad horses....only I never thought I'd have to apply it.
      DSO took some pictures...I've counted between ten and fifteen separate bites from that one session.
      D.
      Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
      Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
      http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/

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      • #63
        Sad to hear the new horse isn't working out with your existing horse pairing. I can't imagine what you are feeling or what I would do if I had to put down a horse I'd had so long over an incident like this. I've had serious, vet call type bad introductions of horses before, but always found a way to work it out. I guess I would go through every possible suggestion and see if anything would work in your situation. If anything within reason was tried and failed, then the last resort options become the only options. Sadly, putting this horse to sleep will not only affect you and your partner, but your other established horse as well when he loses his last longtime companion. Hopefully he buddies up to the new horse to help with the loss You've been hit with two pretty rough horse events in a short period of time. I feel for you. I'm sure you and your boyz will find comfort in each other during this difficult time.

        Comment


        • #64
          OP, this may or may not help your decision.

          In college, I boarded at a fairly busy barn that was home to collegiate equestrians. Our "team" was new, and full of green, never-before-sat-on-a-horse riders. Most college teams cannot afford to take a horse with a history or who can only be ridden by a select few.

          A "friend" of mine brought her two horses. One was her super nice gelding, the other a BIG Tb/Perch mare who was pretty, easy to ride/get along with, and seemingly quiet with other horses. She was turned out with one other horse, a super nice 3yo filly owned by "friend's" roommate, who she had known/lived with for years. The TO was plenty big enough for two horses, and both horses had been turned out together previously. Just to be safe, we did SEVERAL test runs in the indoor and in the huge outdoor arena, and never had an issue.

          One night, before feeding (both horses were stalled at night, turned out in daytime) the BO was checking horses, and he found the filly with a shattered leg. The location of the break and the location of the blood on the ground pointed to the older mare pinning her against the fence and kicking her in the same spot, over and over again, until the leg shattered. Both women were horrified. One had a very promising young filly that had to be immediately euthanized, and the other had a horse that maliciously did the damage. She called the owners, and found out the mare had done the SAME THING to not one, but TWO other horses, and yet when she took the mare on a lease, this information was not shared.

          If you are able to rehome him, of course YOU will be upfront about his issues. However, there is still the possibility he will be passed on at some point, and you could be hearing second hand that he maimed or killed another horse, even if its years later.

          I support your decision to euthanize, and I feel you are being extremely responsible. Kudos.
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          Horse Junkies United guest blogger

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          • Original Poster

            #65
            Originally posted by jengersnap View Post
            Sad to hear the new horse isn't working out with your existing horse pairing. I can't imagine what you are feeling or what I would do if I had to put down a horse I'd had so long over an incident like this. I've had serious, vet call type bad introductions of horses before, but always found a way to work it out. I guess I would go through every possible suggestion and see if anything would work in your situation. If anything within reason was tried and failed, then the last resort options become the only options. Sadly, putting this horse to sleep will not only affect you and your partner, but your other established horse as well when he loses his last longtime companion. Hopefully he buddies up to the new horse to help with the loss You've been hit with two pretty rough horse events in a short period of time. I feel for you. I'm sure you and your boyz will find comfort in each other during this difficult time.
            You've known me long enough to know that if I am doing this, it is the only right solution I can see. Comparing our situations, you own your own property where you have complete control over who handles your horses, and multiple paddocks to choose from. The fact that there are other people and children there regularly is another difference. If I were to keep hoping it were a one-off and would never happen again, and someone got hurt, I would have to live with that. Seeing Heart so terrified by what was happening that running through the pond seemed his best bet was very telling as well.
            If I were ever to have to move into another boarding situation...what then? The "fun" I had trying to find somewhere to put one horse solo for one month tells me that it would be difficult. In fact, this is the first time in almost twenty years of boarding where I have had my own turnout - even with three horses.
            Out of all of this I am most heartbroken for Heart...he is the one who is going to have the biggest life change over it.
            This is not JUST about Grizz - it is about every other horse, human and animal he encounters. He showed NO regard for my DSO by dragging him facedown over ten feet backwards through a doorway and then going back for more. There are enough other posters who have regretted giving that one more chance and suffering for it. I have cried myself out over this, and come to the same solution each time. I value each person's ideas....but each person who wants me to try different things has his or her own property where there is the luxury of being able to make his or her own rules.
            And if I DID try every other measure, and he did hurt someone or another horse....what exactly should I say to them?
            If you truly doubt my judgment, feel free to contact my BO. She is probably on your FB, and she was there for the whole thing. You can't get more objective than that.
            Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
            Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
            http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/

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            • #66
              Dee, I just wanted to offer hugs and support. You've put amazing thorough though and effort into your decisions and I will chime in that I agree with them. I am so sorry you've gotten stuck with several rough horse events in a short period of time, I know that is so hard.

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              • #67
                Offering complete support. You are doing the right thing. (((Hugs)))

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                • #68
                  OP, you are in a tough situation no matter which way your turn. I know you are not taking this lightly and putting a lot of thought into your decision. Sometimes the right thing to do is not the easiest thing to do.

                  {{Hugs}}

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    I would go find a huge grumpy draft horse and put him in with that one.

                    If you can afford board for him at the current barn, is there no other barn you can send him to that might have a suitable situation for him? Or the new horse can live at a different barn and get ridden there?
                    The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Firefilly View Post
                      It's not like he attacked and killed a child maliciously - he got in a fight with another horse ONCE.

                      Sure glad your vet doesn't know about my attack draft horse
                      What is scary with horses that show such violent aggression is the sudden onset of it. Say the horse is kept or re-homed and he takes a sudden disliking to another horse while being led, ridden, whatever and there are people in the way? It might never happen again, but it might and some one may be seriously injured or even killed. That is what I believe is bothering the OP.

                      I do hope you are on guard full time with your horse.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by candyappy View Post
                        What is scary with horses that show such violent aggression is the sudden onset of it. Say the horse is kept or re-homed and he takes a sudden disliking to another horse while being led, ridden, whatever and there are people in the way? It might never happen again, but it might and some one may be seriously injured or even killed. That is what I believe is bothering the OP.

                        I do hope you are on guard full time with your horse.

                        On guard? My horse does not just randomly attack other horses for the heck of it. He is a herd leader - not a good leader - but a leader none the less.... and when new horses are introduced to the herd - his herd - he has a VERY aggressive way of dealing with them. Should I put him down then because he is dangerous? This horse has been to shows - does not do a thing to other horses. Now if a horse ran into him, I am sure he would kick or something - but so would 95% of the horse population!!!

                        So are you saying that ANY horse that shows violent aggression to other horses should be euthanized then?? Because I know a lot of horses that would suddenly not be here anymore.... not just my horse. I have worked at many different farms over the years and have met lots of horses that do not get along with other horses - and some of them are quite nasty.

                        But don't worry - I am on guard with my horse. He is just fine and he knows not to step out of line when I am with him. He rides and drives, both single and in a team. He is just fine. He will not be put down because he is a jerk and beats up other horses on turnout. Not when he is owned by me anyway.
                        http://www.hammerdownfarm.com

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                        • #72
                          Thinking of you, OP, and believe your decision a good one. Watched a horse savage another in turnout when I first moved to Colorado...he chased the other one around and around the turnout area and had it down on the ground, going in for the kill before barn help got to them. Fortunately, for my horse, he was no longer in that area as I had moved him from stall board to pasture board.

                          If I ever saw one of mine doing that, I'd probably be going down the same path as you.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #73
                            Originally posted by Firefilly View Post
                            But don't worry - I am on guard with my horse. He is just fine and he knows not to step out of line when I am with him. He rides and drives, both single and in a team. He is just fine. He will not be put down because he is a jerk and beats up other horses on turnout. Not when he is owned by me anyway.
                            Two key points, Firefilly...many horses are good when their owners are with them, which I cannot be every moment of the day - I don't live on the property where they are kept...is it fair to ask me, or my barn owner, or the owners of the other horses to take the risk that he does something when nobody is around? A second, and key difference....you own the property where your horses are, and every horse on it. I am in a boarding situation where I am not the only person who has horses there, or who might come in contact with my horses. I cannot think of many barns that would welcome a horse who is aggressive in turnout.
                            Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
                            Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
                            http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by DeeThbd View Post
                              I cannot think of many barns that would welcome a horse who is aggressive in turnout.
                              I 100% agree with you there. I do, I really do.

                              But I don't think it's fair that a horse suddenly is deemed too dangerous to have around over one single incident. Some horses don't get along, just like some people don't get along. If Grizz started attacking Heart as well - then absolutely - something is wrong and the best thing would be to put him down. But he gets along just fine with every other single horse - you said it yourself. I just feel he is being unfairly painted with the "dangerous and a liability" brush a bit too prematurely.

                              But I totally understand how expensive boarding is - and add to that a horse that you can't ride so he's just a pasture puff.... who happens to hate your new horse that you can ride.... well that does make it difficult. Horses are very expensive - and we can't keep them all even if we wish we could.

                              I'm not trying to argue with your decision btw, I was just sticking up for my own horse in my previous post
                              http://www.hammerdownfarm.com

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                              • #75
                                A suggestion. You don't really know your new horse. If I understood the original post, you've had him for a month. He came from a kill pen. He was out alone at another farm. You brought him "home" last Sunday.

                                Does the BO have another horse, or group, that the new horse could go out with? Temporarily. Wouldn't it be crushing to put down the horse you've had for so long; who has been out with multiple different groups and who is your middle gelding's established pasture buddy -and then discover that the new guy, who is still getting his bearings, is not a great fit?

                                The one eyed horse dragged your SO because he got halfway in the barn and then realized his buddy was still back in the pasture with the new guy. That was a terrible, a dangerous, thing for your SO. But, it wasn't inexplicable.

                                Only you can decide what to do. Best of luck whatever it may be.

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  What a tough decision.

                                  Just quickly, my OTTB can be a PITA - not aggressive, but a nudge. Gets himself into trouble by pushing others. He can be in a mix, but is best either alone next to others, or with only one other as he gets to bothering the rest.

                                  This past year he has been in with a mini. Big difference. They are great pals. My guy is 16.3. Thinking about that, and about goats at the track, I wonder if you've thought about a mini or goat in with him since he can't be alone. Just a thought.

                                  Best to you whatever your decision.
                                  But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all. H.C.Anderson

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                                  • #77
                                    I think you've made the right decision, as hard as it may be. (((Hugs))).
                                    Caitlin
                                    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
                                    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

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                                    • #78
                                      I don't know your situation and what other factors play into your decision (finances, etc), but it seems REALLY unfair to me to put a horse down for being a horse. To end an animal's life because of one incident, albeit a dangerous and scary one, is not something I could live with. If this was a regular habit of his, I might say otherwise, but it sounds like you've had him for eight years and he's never done anything of the sort. To be perfectly honest, it seems like the lazy man's way out to not exhaust your other options first. I have seen similar behavior in one horse myself. In his case, he'd just never been turned out with anyone and ripped the other horse he ended up with to shreds. It was the most terrifying thing to see and I can understand being rattled by your own horse doing it, but I think you're making a rash decision based on emotions that are still running high. Just keep in mind that euthanasia is not a decision you can take back.

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Originally posted by olddogs View Post
                                        The one eyed horse dragged your SO because he got halfway in the barn and then realized his buddy was still back in the pasture with the new guy. That was a terrible, a dangerous, thing for your SO. But, it wasn't inexplicable.
                                        This is a really good point actually. This was also the first time your horse ever did anything like this as well, correct? I bet when your SO fell to the ground, it scared the horse - even though he may have been the cause of the SO's fall in the first place. Most horses get pretty upset and want to run away when something suddenly falls to the ground and then starts "following" them at the end of the lead as the horse backs up. I think both my SO and myself have wiped out a time or two over the years because a horse ran backwards for whatever reason. And usually when the person falls, the horse looks at you like you just grew three heads and now they REALLY want to get away from you. I always told my students when I used to teach "Let go! Don't get yourself dragged. No one needs to be a super hero here!"

                                        I am only re-addressing this particular comment because a previous poster said that if their horse had ever dragged them that would be it for them as well. I just like the fact that olddogs had a good reason as to why this most likely happened. Something to consider. I highly doubt the horse's motive had anything to do with actually intentionally hurting your SO. But I am sure him falling and not letting go right away only caused more fear and panic in everyone - including the horse.

                                        Just a whole lotta bad circumstances. And some days when we play with horses, things just go sideways.
                                        http://www.hammerdownfarm.com

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                                        • #80
                                          I really feel for you Dee. I am not going to tell you what to do. It is your decision and you have it well thought out. I am just curious though. Since this incident, where is the aggressive horse? Is he back with his buddy? Is he showing aggressiveness towards the other horse across the fence? How did his buddy react during the attack? How is Diamond now? Is he healing?
                                          It is such a sad situation and I really am sorry. Hugs to you. You will do what is right, I don't doubt it. And you know that horses live in the moment. They don't know what will happen. I hope that the other two will become good friends.

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