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I need serious advice - divorce pending, reducing herd

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  • I need serious advice - divorce pending, reducing herd

    I can't believe it's happening, but it is. My husband asked for a divorce. I am now faced with the hardest decisions of my life.

    I've always said I will euthanize my horses before re-homing because they won't be safe. I am supposed to be the safe, forever home. People sent horses to me, because of my "ideal" life. But being faced with the situation now, pragmatically I know it's what I have to to do, though telling my daughter I may euthanize up to 4 horses , after her dad has walked out on us? The pit in the bottom of my stomach is deep. I haven't been able to keep food down in several days. I've got my game face on, but it doesn't protect my heart or soul.

    One of my horses is a 33 yea old very healthy foster so I've contacted the organization about it (though I haven't heard a peep from them, which kills me). One has cancer and it will be hard, but it makes perfect sense. That will leave me with 5:

    1) 8 year old large 1000lb. golden retriever of a Haflinger, trained to drive and very green under saddle and has a gimp at trot because of a deep shoulder injury. I've tried to place him in TRP but they don't want lame horses. He was a kill buyer purchase so I believe that is how he ended up in the KP

    2) 20 year old 16.2 STB mare. Great horse, extremely sound and healthy, but she's 20 so I don't think anyone would want her. I will do everything I can to try to keep her because STBs are at high risk here. She's very special to me.

    3) 15, 15.1 Appendix mare with a locking stifle and arthritis. Excellent horse in every way, kid safe with instruction but needs supplements and frequent trims and regular exercise to keep sound.

    4) 15 yo Arab mare that I plan on keeping
    5) 14 yo TB mare that I also plan on keeping

    I can afford 3 at most but 2 would be safest financially and then perhaps then I can take on a boarder to help with chores.

    You are my cyber support....if you can, can you help me get my brain around what I can do? Am I an ogre if I euthanize 3-4 horses? It's hard enough that my daughter has to adjust to this major life change, but to have to convince her that burying horses is best, will be harder than explaining the divorce.


    I'm typing through tears.

  • #2
    Big hugs. Your situation really sucks, but in your heart you know what is best for your horses. You would rather see them safely put down now than find them in a bad situation later. NO one will care for your special needs horses like you do..and I firmly believe offering a forever home includes a safe peaceful end.
    Dd will have to learn the financial realities of owning large animals..sad it will be this so early in her life. One day...she will understand your decision was the right one for both humans and horses.
    the NOT!! Spoiled!! Arabian Protectavest poster pony lives on in my heart

    Comment


    • #3
      I would rather you euthanized the unplaceable, or high risk horses, than risk a bad situation for them. Better a compassionate, peaceful end than a nightmare ride to the slaughterhouse, or starved to death in some pasture.
      You can't fix stupid-Ron White

      Comment


      • #4
        Horses don't know about tomorrow, they live in the now. Better to lay to rest with a loving hand and heart to send them on their way than what could happen.
        I've had to make that decision before; I wish I could help you. All I can offer is hugs and tears for you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JanM View Post
          I would rather you euthanized the unplaceable, or high risk horses, than risk a bad situation for them. Better a compassionate, peaceful end than a nightmare ride to the slaughterhouse, or starved to death in some pasture.
          Originally posted by Diamontaire View Post
          Horses don't know about tomorrow, they live in the now. Better to lay to rest with a loving hand and heart to send them on their way than what could happen.
          I've had to make that decision before; I wish I could help you. All I can offer is hugs and tears for you.
          Agreed.

          Really, the horses that are put down will be fine - that's why you've thought ahead to this decision. As you say, they will not have to endure discomfort they don't understand.

          Get counseling to help you share this with your daughter. She needs to understand what the horses face. A counselor can help you with a gradual plan to help her make this decision with you. You are not alone, carrying the burden by yourself, she CAN do this with you. Far better than presenting her with a done deal that is a surprise ... imo.

          So very sorry you and your daughter must go through this ...

          Comment


          • #6
            Big hugs to you!

            How old is your daughter? Are any of the horses hers? How does she feel about this? From your post it sounds like you have facilities for several horses. Can you euthanize the one with cancer and get a paying boarder in his/her place to partially offset the cost of keeping the others? Or can you find a lower cost boarding arrangement for a couple of them, offset by your income from a paying boarder at your place?
            It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

            www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by hundredacres View Post
              I can't believe it's happening, but it is. My husband asked for a divorce. I am now faced with the hardest decisions of my life.

              I've always said I will euthanize my horses before re-homing because they won't be safe. I am supposed to be the safe, forever home. People sent horses to me, because of my "ideal" life. But being faced with the situation now, pragmatically I know it's what I have to to do, though telling my daughter I may euthanize up to 4 horses , after her dad has walked out on us? The pit in the bottom of my stomach is deep. I haven't been able to keep food down in several days. I've got my game face on, but it doesn't protect my heart or soul.

              One of my horses is a 33 yea old very healthy foster so I've contacted the organization about it (though I haven't heard a peep from them, which kills me). One has cancer and it will be hard, but it makes perfect sense. That will leave me with 5:

              1) 8 year old large 1000lb. golden retriever of a Haflinger, trained to drive and very green under saddle and has a gimp at trot because of a deep shoulder injury. I've tried to place him in TRP but they don't want lame horses. He was a kill buyer purchase so I believe that is how he ended up in the KP

              2) 20 year old 16.2 STB mare. Great horse, extremely sound and healthy, but she's 20 so I don't think anyone would want her. I will do everything I can to try to keep her because STBs are at high risk here. She's very special to me.

              3) 15, 15.1 Appendix mare with a locking stifle and arthritis. Excellent horse in every way, kid safe with instruction but needs supplements and frequent trims and regular exercise to keep sound.

              4) 15 yo Arab mare that I plan on keeping
              5) 14 yo TB mare that I also plan on keeping

              I can afford 3 at most but 2 would be safest financially and then perhaps then I can take on a boarder to help with chores.

              You are my cyber support....if you can, can you help me get my brain around what I can do? Am I an ogre if I euthanize 3-4 horses? It's hard enough that my daughter has to adjust to this major life change, but to have to convince her that burying horses is best, will be harder than explaining the divorce.


              I'm typing through tears.

              It sounds to me that the STB mare and they appendix mare might be good candidates for a hippo-therapy program.

              I can tell you just going through the drama I am right now with my own former horse that we placed in what should have been an great home and is now in now in poor shape in a supposed excellent rescue. I would euthanize any horse deemed to be high risk from this point forward. I will never willingly or unwillingly put another horse through what has happened to him.
              "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

              Comment


              • #8
                I've never understood why people feel the need to get rid of animals just because their SO walked out? do people get rid of their kids when the SO walks out? hardly ever. So why the animals?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wendy View Post
                  I've never understood why people feel the need to get rid of animals just because their SO walked out? do people get rid of their kids when the SO walks out? hardly ever. So why the animals?
                  Really ? How about the massive financial changes that occur? I hope you never find yourself facing the choice between food and shelter for your human family and buying hay for a horse.
                  "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm so very sorry, OP. I would do the same.

                    Wendy, I have no words other than animals are not children. I take it you do not have children.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wendy- That's not fair. When parents divorce they are both responsible for the care of the children. There is no such thing as "horse support" payments. I think it's fair to assume that when the horse load was calculated- the prospect of divorce was not factored in.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thank you all. The input is helpful.

                        Wendy, I am going from 2 incomes, to one. I have 7 horses. I'm not a doctor, I don't make six figures. The horses will need vet care that I will not be able to afford, and I always have emergency funds for my horses, and that will be divided up during this divorce. I know that on my income I can afford 3 at the very most, why is that so hard to understand?
                        I have something else I could say to you but I think they would edit it, and ban me.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          My daughter is 14. The pony with cancer is hers and she knows he would eventually be put down and has come to terms with that. The Appendix is technically hers, but she has moved on to marching band and doesn't ride - horses haven't been her focus for a while, so I have assumed all care because it's just not her thing and she excels at other things. She loves ALL of the horses though.

                          We also have 4 aged large dogs. All will need regular vet care as time goes on.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            No advice, just (((hugs))). So sorry you are going through this.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Lynnwood View Post
                              It sounds to me that the STB mare and they appendix mare might be good candidates for a hippo-therapy program.

                              I can tell you just going through the drama I am right now with my own former horse that we placed in what should have been an great home and is now in now in poor shape in a supposed excellent rescue. I would euthanize any horse deemed to be high risk from this point forward. I will never willingly or unwillingly put another horse through what has happened to him.
                              This is exactly what I want to do. I'm sorry you had to go through something bad placing your horse...I really don't know which would be worse, living with
                              putting them in a bad situation, or burying them.

                              My god, the thought of it all happening is so damned hard. I suppose I need to call my vet and discuss this with him as well.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Hundredacres - this obviously has come on as a huge surprise and hit you like a ton of bricks. I am so sorry...been there...have the T-shirt.

                                Tough decisions have to be made, but the horses had a wonderful life while they were with you and frankly, if they are 'special needs' horses I would put them down before relying on someone else to care for them as you have.

                                Lynnwood's horse Max is at Mill Creek, a place that LOOKS like eutopia for retired horses...Max is not thriving and Lynnwood can not do anything but plead for them to improve his situation. If I remember, you posted beautiful pictures of fat seniors in a field.

                                Get some counseling for YOU AND YOUR DAUGHTER. Telling her you have to put down the horses because DH is leaving...ugh...tricky... as it could appear to make him the bad guy.

                                My prayers are with you...

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  I didn't connect Max's story with Lynnwoods post. I'm in such a fog..... I'm so sorry

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I completely agree with euthanizing horses if they can't be placed with very trusted, local friends or friends-of-friends.

                                    That the daughter has moved on from the horses kinda removes her from the core of the decision. Yes she'll be upset but it doesn't sound like it will be a huge emotional loss for her (as opposed to if she were crazy in love with the horses and out there grooming and riding them everyday). +1 to the poster who cautioned against communicating this to your daughter in a way that makes it your husband's fault. It's just a sad necessity because they're elderly horses nearing the end of their lives anyway, and your economic circumstances dictate that you take care of their needs now rather than later.
                                    I'm so very sorry for what's happened to you.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                      I've never understood why people feel the need to get rid of animals just because their SO walked out? do people get rid of their kids when the SO walks out? hardly ever. So why the animals?
                                      Really ?!?!? What the hell kind of question is that ?!?!? This persons life just fell apart .. she may have to worry about keeping a roof over her kid's head .. Her freaking heart is breaking . Would you rather she Euthed the kid ?!?!?? Get real !!!!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                        I've never understood why people feel the need to get rid of animals just because their SO walked out? do people get rid of their kids when the SO walks out? hardly ever. So why the animals?
                                        You are off your rocker!
                                        Originally posted by BigMama1
                                        Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                                        GNU Terry Prachett

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