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Giveaway horse too old?

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  • #41
    Yes, this horse is too old to be appealing, even as a giveaway.

    Whenever people ask this question I tell them to think of it this way: if you*, the owner, the one who has enjoyed him throughout his younger years, are moving up and on and are not willing to support him in his twilight years it is highly unlikely you are going to find someone who will provide that for him WITHOUT the benefit of the shared history and good times. What makes you think that someone else is going to be willing to take care of him as he ages and develops maintenance and soundness issues, requires more expensive feed, loses his ridability, etc? You sure aren't!

    Yes, it is a possibility that a young, sound horse could colic and die. It is an inevitability that an old horse is going to decline and become high maintenance and low reward (from a riding standpoint.)

    Your friend can try leasing him to a lesson program but I'd be surprised if he held up to that kind of work - much of what may seem like glowing health and a young-for-his-age body is probably that he is thriving on his current routine; light riding, good care, etc.

    I know that this is not what you want to hear but the truth is, 24 years is not an age at which to unload a horse. She's sort of passed the point of no return with him and is likely going to have to make some hard decisions re: keeping him at the expense of her own goals (I understand that her anxiety flares when she rides him, but no one said she has to ride him) or putting him down to enable herself to get something new.

    From a personal (ie anecdotal) standpoint, a friend of mine had the absolute hardiest pony ever growing up. 26 and he was still going strong - aside from getting senior feed he wasn't treated like an elderly horse at all. If you asked anyone at the barn we would all swear that at the rate he was going he would still be in full work at 30-35. The problem is, however, that horses that make it into their advanced years without seeming to age don't generally then begin the slow aging process (a little joint stiffness, dropping a little weight, etc. over the course of several years while you slowly scale back workload.) They tend to make up for lost time and decline FAST. This pony went from full work to unrideable within a few weeks, which is really not uncommon for elderly horses.

    *general "you" - I know you are not the owner in this case
    Originally posted by BAC
    I don't think FF's post was rude (not this one at least).

    Comment


    • #42
      Originally posted by french fry View Post
      Yes, this horse is too old to be appealing, even as a giveaway.

      Whenever people ask this question I tell them to think of it this way: if you*, the owner, the one who has enjoyed him throughout his younger years, are moving up and on and are not willing to support him in his twilight years it is highly unlikely you are going to find someone who will provide that for him WITHOUT the benefit of the shared history and good times. What makes you think that someone else is going to be willing to take care of him as he ages and develops maintenance and soundness issues, requires more expensive feed, loses his ridability, etc? You sure aren't!

      ^^ Exactly this.
      Boss Mare Eventing Blog
      https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

      Comment


      • #43
        Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
        ^^ Exactly this.
        x2

        It's going to be very difficult to find a lifelong safe situation for this horse. Even if a home can be found that isn't going to immediately flip him to anyone (which could be a kill buyer) for a few hundred bucks, how likely is it that they won't just give him away when he doesn't meet their needs? Then where does he end up?
        "Those who know the least often know it the loudest."

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by emilia View Post
          Nezzy, you start a thread, an action, and you get a reaction.

          COTH threads have their dynamics and I am quite surprised, after almost 3,000 posts, you expected different input to this particular topic.

          Yes, the horse is old. Where I live, horses past 15 are very difficult to sell or rehome.

          If you think, your friend is going to sniff out a killer buyer, you might be in a surprise. Yes, I know, he is for free. That would be even better for them.

          I was thinking about selling my own horse, a pleasure animal, not cheap/not super expensive, yet, I took the ad down after two weeks.

          There were highly questionable folks and this horse was not even KB material due to his price.

          It is rough out there and it is even rougher for old and weak. I would not take it on my conscience to try to "re-home" 24 year old.

          I was going to suggest, what others suggested, ie. retirement or euthanasia.

          If she has money for a new horse, she has money for euthanasia and disposal.

          As for her eagerness to get a new horse, well, first and foremost, she needs to address her issues.

          It is entirely possible, she does not have what it takes to be with horses. Not everyone, who "loves" horses is cut to actually be around them.

          With her issues, the chances are, you will start another "rehoming" thread a year or two from now.

          Very, very few horses tolerate this level of mental dysfunction, mostly, because it goes against everything they are wired for.

          Sooner or later, she will get another horse rattled, too, even, if he will not start that way.

          I am sorry, it is not, what you want to hear, but any half decent horseman is first and foremost an advocate for a horse.
          Emilia, I have to say since you joined the board, I don't think there is one post of yours that I disagree with, or that I could've written better myself. You are very respectful, to the point, and right on with all of my opinions on I think every topic I have seen you post on. Glad you joined, you bring a great addition to COTH!
          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

          Comment


          • #45
            Ok, I'm no sensitive Patsy McFluff, but even I think that some posters on this thread need to dial it down. The OP gets it. Although maybe there is some back history I am not aware of...

            Either way, back to relevancy. OP, you need to have a heart to heart with your friend, and explain it to her firmly. Her horse is 24; in this market, young and sound (FREE!) horses are sitting around with nowhere to go.

            It's simply oversupply and not enough demand. You need to get her to understand the consequences of letting this horse out of her control - she may think she's found a perfect home, but two weeks later the horse could be at auction waiting for the killer. Or starving to death. Or three-legged lame and suffering. It's just the nature of things.

            Is she open to euthanasia? Or retirement? Find out and go from there.
            Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars

            Comment


            • #46
              Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
              WTF are you talking about? who said ANYTHING about kill buyers? Who said she was taking him to auction? WHAT is your problem?
              Your friend isn't wanting to send him to kill, but the majority of people who will take a free older horse are killer buyers. And many of those killer buyers don't show up in response to the ad saying "hi, I'm a killer buyer and plan on taking your horse to slaughter". Instead, they show up with a kid in tow, and say "I really LOVE the horse and want to get one for my 8 yr old son/grandson". We will love him and care for him." Then they get him and head straight for the nearest kill auction, or they take him home where they will load him on a trailer with 35 others and bring him to Mex or Canada to the slaughterhouse.

              THAT'S what they are talking about. Your friend is deluding herself if she thinks she is going to find a good home for a 24 yr old horse that by her own admission, isn't a babysitter type horse.

              Ask your friend what she would do with the horse if he suffered an injury rendering him unrideable. If she would retire him, and catch ride friend's horses/lease something, then that's what she should do. If she would put him down, that's what she should do. But trying to find him a good home is not likely to be safe for him. Look at it this way...If someone who has owned the horse for a while, loves him and had good times with him isn't willing to support him now, why would you think a total stranger with no attachment to him would be willing to support him when he is at an age where retirement/death could be very soon.

              Comment


              • #47
                jetsmom has it right on. I will add as well - I think your friend has her head in the clouds if she thinks he has 10 - 12 good years left. He *might* live that long, but chances are slim to none that he will be usable into his mid-30's. My brick house of a QH is 30 years old and never took a bad step in his life, but arthritis and old age catch up even with the soundest of the sound and he really hasn't been rideable since he was 26 or 27. You're also underestimating the speed at which something can go wrong with an old one and how often that truly does happen. My 20 y.o. OTTB was the picture of health. We went out riding on the trails and had a gallop like one he'd have put in on the track at age 3 or 4. Two days later he dropped dead in the field of an aneurysm. Last spring we lost a 28 year old at my trainer's barn. He was ridden 4 days a week and still showed off his FEI moves here and there. Rode the day before, colicked the next day and died.

                My point with all of this is... The old ones often seem robust and healthy but at that age they go downhill quick and often in an instant. The experienced horse people who would be the ones capable of providing the good home your friend is looking for know this all to well. They understand the cost of care and vet bills for a horse of that age and they will likely not be the ones willing to take that challenge on. The ones that *will* take him will be the super inexperienced one with no clue how to care for a horse, much less an old one or, as many people here have already spoken about, a kill buyer *posing* as that great home of any horse's dreams.

                Comment


                • #48
                  Originally posted by emilia View Post
                  Nezzy, you start a thread, an action, and you get a reaction.

                  COTH threads have their dynamics and I am quite surprised, after almost 3,000 posts, you expected different input to this particular topic.
                  Hear, hear. I am frankly astonished that anyone who reads this board couldn't have predicted the responses the OP received to her query.

                  OP, people have been short with you, but that's because the answer that there is no good answer for this horse seems so obvious. Several posters, especially the last few, have been very kind and have explained at length why your friend needs to give up the idea of re-homing this horse. Please read them with an open mind and realize that these people are trying to help.
                  I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    The OP some of us responded initially seemed to be about a horse owner with mental issues needing to get out of horses and place her old horse because she could not take care of it any more.

                    After more was posted, the story now sounds different, someone with a horse that is not fitting and wants to sell to get one that suits better.

                    Sooo, we have a different problem here than some of us first understood.

                    There are plenty of horse owners that enjoy their horses and trade up and sideways horses, a whole group of lower end horse activities is like that.
                    Many, many playday and trail riding horses belong to those horse owners.
                    Those horses get all kinds of care, from excellent to most adequate to some not so good.

                    In those circles, when a horse is not what an owner wants, they trade it for another that may work.
                    That seems to be what this horse owner wants to do.
                    Some love their horses as much as anyone else may, some not so much, some fall out of any love they had when the horse is not right for them.
                    Some horses end up in better hands and improve, others not so good, as this one may have and so it has issues now.
                    We don't even know how long she owned this horse, may have been years, or months.

                    Older horses in that world do get passed on all the time and yes, kill buyers in some areas do pick thru those for horses.

                    Our old ranch horse was being used by our neighbor's kids to learn to ride, work cattle and in 4H and kids's playdays.
                    The last kid won the all around on him at 25 and needing to move up to more horse, he came here to retire.
                    We had very high offers for him for yet another little kid to use him, but felt that the horse was starting to be tired of that, not quite as happy to go in the arena any more, so we just kept him home.
                    It would have been fine to have another kid take him and have some more good years, both enjoying themselves, but also maybe not, if for some reason circumstances had changed.

                    There are enough horror stories of horses in trouble, although most those horses do well for many years, even trading owners around.

                    What is definitely a consideration is that at 24, that horse is now old and will really need someone that knows that and how to care for a horse that old.
                    Also, if he doesn't has papers, his age is not that clear, he may be "24 going on 30", as our vet tells age on such old horses, meaning no one really knows.

                    When we consider what all is going on here, the horse being old, the owner tired/not wanting the horse/having problems with it and wanting to move on, what anyone on COTH may say is only relevant so far, because many I don't think even understand the realities of that horse world.
                    It is not better or worse, really, just different, horses not used very hard, as horses are in serious competition, but also some not that well taken care of in general.

                    In that world, generally, if the horse is sound and still can be ridden, someone will take it and use it, until it can't be of use any more.
                    It can be a good situation for the horse, or a bad one if someone misused or doesn't care for it properly, but that can happen with a young horse also.

                    That the horse is being offered free and no one is taking it means, well, that they are not finding anyone that the horse fits and/or their market is saturated there for his kind.

                    What is best for the horse and all those others like him going unwanted?
                    We sure can't say from behind a computer screen.

                    The options seem to be, if the owner just absolutely doesn't want it, as it seems, keep advertising it and passing the word and wait until something comes up.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      I'll add one more voice saying, yes, finding someone to take on the responsibility of a 24-year-old horse is practically impossible. I work with a therapeutic riding program and we have a terrible time finding final retirement homes for our older guys that are approximately the age of your friend's horse. Our horses have fan clubs - literally! - of volunteers and families who love them dearly, but when it's time to ask them "do you REALLY love Dobbin enough to adopt him and support him in all the ways he will need support for the rest of his life, which could be as much as 5-10 years?" those fan clubs disappear, fast. Thankfully we do have a staff member with a farm and room for one more - sometimes - and a board member who likes having a pet horse to visit, but we also have two horses in our barn who should have retired last year, and are still hanging out. We will, most likely, have to put them to sleep at some point, knowing it would have been great if they could have spent their last few years in someone's back yard having their manes brushed and being given apples for breakfast. But the reality is, that just doesn't happen as often as we'd all like.

                      Ok, on a positive note: if your friend and this horse just aren't a good team, and assuming it's going to be very difficult to find someone to adopt him, can she change her search strategy and look for that little girl/family who would do a free lease, and spend time with him, ride him a little, and relieve the owner of some of the day-to-day responsibility while she (owner) continues to support him financially? Owner would remain responsible for his expenses and overall care, but someone else would be hands-on, reducing anxiety for both the owner and the horse?

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        I have a 25yo mare. Last summer I would have told you she's got another 10 riding years left. She's never been anything but 100% sound her entire life. Her vet can barely believe how clean her legs are given what she's done (bred for and played high goal pro polo, donated to a university's lesson program then taught to jump). Until last summer, she was jumping 4ft with me and packing kids around jumps. She was a polo and jumping machine. Couldn't ask for a better longe lesson horse either.

                        In August she did something unidentifiable to her hind end, but she's now unridable and may actually get put down in the spring depending how things go the rest of the winter.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #52
                          Originally posted by Countrywood View Post
                          You got your simple answer. He is too old to find a good home, the odds are against it.

                          Your response is all about your bruised feelings, not about that you might consider any of the advice from numerous people here in order to benefit the horse.
                          advise is what i wanted, not flame throwing

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #53
                            Originally posted by french fry View Post
                            Yes, this horse is too old to be appealing, even as a giveaway.

                            Whenever people ask this question I tell them to think of it this way: if you*, the owner, the one who has enjoyed him throughout his younger years, are moving up and on and are not willing to support him in his twilight years it is highly unlikely you are going to find someone who will provide that for him WITHOUT the benefit of the shared history and good times. What makes you think that someone else is going to be willing to take care of him as he ages and develops maintenance and soundness issues, requires more expensive feed, loses his ridability, etc? You sure aren't!

                            Yes, it is a possibility that a young, sound horse could colic and die. It is an inevitability that an old horse is going to decline and become high maintenance and low reward (from a riding standpoint.)

                            Your friend can try leasing him to a lesson program but I'd be surprised if he held up to that kind of work - much of what may seem like glowing health and a young-for-his-age body is probably that he is thriving on his current routine; light riding, good care, etc.

                            I know that this is not what you want to hear but the truth is, 24 years is not an age at which to unload a horse. She's sort of passed the point of no return with him and is likely going to have to make some hard decisions re: keeping him at the expense of her own goals (I understand that her anxiety flares when she rides him, but no one said she has to ride him) or putting him down to enable herself to get something new.

                            From a personal (ie anecdotal) standpoint, a friend of mine had the absolute hardiest pony ever growing up. 26 and he was still going strong - aside from getting senior feed he wasn't treated like an elderly horse at all. If you asked anyone at the barn we would all swear that at the rate he was going he would still be in full work at 30-35. The problem is, however, that horses that make it into their advanced years without seeming to age don't generally then begin the slow aging process (a little joint stiffness, dropping a little weight, etc. over the course of several years while you slowly scale back workload.) They tend to make up for lost time and decline FAST. This pony went from full work to unrideable within a few weeks, which is really not uncommon for elderly horses.

                            *general "you" - I know you are not the owner in this case
                            thank you for being honest without being rude. i appreciate that.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #54
                              Originally posted by Dewey View Post
                              Hear, hear. I am frankly astonished that anyone who reads this board couldn't have predicted the responses the OP received to her query.

                              OP, people have been short with you, but that's because the answer that there is no good answer for this horse seems so obvious. Several posters, especially the last few, have been very kind and have explained at length why your friend needs to give up the idea of re-homing this horse. Please read them with an open mind and realize that these people are trying to help.
                              your reply was not rude. I don't understand why so many people on this forum think being rude ever works. Just explain why you( in general) feel the way you do, and be kind about it. There is no need for people to be jerks just b/c they are not face-to-face with someone.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #55
                                i want to thank those of you who explained how you felt about the situation without making accusations and assumptions.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  I don't think people were throwing flames at you. They were just blunt and to the point. I think some posters were just frustrated that both you and your friend do not realize the implications of trying to rehome an older horse. They are merely advocating for this horse, it is the humane thing to do.
                                  There are many, many experienced horse owners who have chimed in to this thread and they have offered excellent insight and advice.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #57
                                    of course we know about the implications of rehoming an older horse. that does not mean it cannot be done. And the way i was spoken to was incredible rude. It happens all the time here. All i wanted was a simple answer. i got it. But i did not need the BS that came with it.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                      The OP some of us responded initially seemed to be about a horse owner with mental issues needing to get out of horses and place her old horse because she could not take care of it any more.

                                      After more was posted, the story now sounds different, someone with a horse that is not fitting and wants to sell to get one that suits better.
                                      OP specifically stated, that the horse was great, when a) other people were riding him b) the friend was medicated.

                                      This suggests that hardly any other horse is going to be a good match.

                                      It is also the reason, I wrote that the friend should consider to deal with deep anxiety issues or change her approach in dealing with them before getting another horse. Anxiety so severe that it needs to be medicated is not a little bump on the road. It is a major obstacle.

                                      This is not directed to OP or the friend, but I have seen plenty of people, who insist on being with horses and simultaneously go through them as if horses were socks, because they just do not seem willing/capable to address the main obstacle and that is their own temperament/personality.

                                      I am not writing all this "sitting on my high horse." I am a typical Slavic woman- sensitive, slightly insecure/doubtful, and anxious.

                                      I know, how this kind of temperament acts on horses and I have never needed medication at all. Life long meditation and aging do quite well for me.

                                      I have mellowed/become more stoical with age and noticed a great improvement in my horse handling and the way they respond to me, but I have to repeat, I am a "mild" case.

                                      Whatever she decides to do, just, please, encourage her to act in the best interest of that guy. She owes it to him.

                                      SuckerForHorses, thank you for your kind words.
                                      Last edited by Emilia; Jan. 16, 2014, 03:38 PM.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        OP-

                                        1. LISTEN to Cottonwood. They are absolutely correct.

                                        2. Are you actually the "friend"?

                                        3. Just because you're getting answers you don't want to hear doesn't mean that the people giving them to you are wrong, full of BS, or are insulting you. Stop being so damn defensive and LISTEN... you asked, we're responding honestly. I realize the truth is more often than not very hard to hear; but such is life. Quit fighting the truth. For yourself and for your "friend;" but most importantly, for the horse in this unfortunate situation.
                                        Originally posted by Martha Drum
                                        ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
                                          What are you all talking about???

                                          I said the horse is healthy. VERY healthy. you would never know he is 24. My friend is trying to find him a good home, she is not taking him to auction. She wants to get herself a different horse who is better matched to her. Why is this such an evil thing? Oh no, i guess we should all keep horses that are not right for us. What i am asking is- is it his age that is keeping people away? ANY horse can colic and die, at any time. There are no guarantees. But this guy is very healthy at 24.
                                          Personally I see nothing wrong with trying to find the right home for a healthy, ridable horse. At 24 he is old but I wouldn't pass him by because of his age if I were looking.
                                          The problem isn't your friend, it is the way so many people view horse ownership these days. Once you own it you MUST keep it forever.

                                          I know a number of people who take on older horses to teach their kids/ grandkids to ride. When they are outgrown they are used by friends who have kids. The horses are treated very well and if they become unsound or need to be put down they are. Maybe it depends on where you live.
                                          The bottom line is this horse is well broke and usable. Many giveaways aren't.
                                          Last edited by candyappy; Jan. 16, 2014, 02:24 PM.

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