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Giveaway horse too old?

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  • Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
    There are also a lot of therapeutic riding centers who dump them to the auctions like a hot potato the day they burn out or take an attitude to what is actually a very high-stress job for a horse. Particularly a sensitive one. I bought one of these out of such a program when he was on his way to the sale. Read donation contracts very, very carefully before surrendering your horse to any of these foundations.
    The one of which I speak is one of the arguably most famous in the Northeast, but the horse was put utterly at risk of a bad end nonetheless.

    It also took him close to a year to come out of his emotional "shell" after doing that job; the horse had completely shut down mentally and stiffened physically in self-defense to the out-of-control stuff that was taking place on his back, plus the ignorance of many of the volunteer handlers. It must have been pure hell for him.

    It all sounds too sweet, but; Donor Emptor!
    Not all therapeutic riding is the same.
    Our local group doesn't own any horses, but leases horses horse owners provide for them and boards them in a local riding center with a suitable indoor for their work.
    We had two to three horses always ready for their program.
    They took one for two or three months, then would bring that one back and take another.
    They had two therapists working together two days a week, clients came from the hospital therapy program and one of the therapist provided one of her two horses, also rotating them and other people did the same.
    A local trainer was hired to exercise the horses twice a week, so the horses were ridden four days a week and had a stall with a run to live in and turnout also.

    The horses were always well taken care of and happy to go work there and happy to come home too.

    The program's insurance was part of a state grant and that was cut two years ago this month in the budget cuts, so the group had to close, until that is reinstated.

    My point, not all therapy centers use their horses hard, or even own horses.
    Whoever wants to donate to one may find the same in other places.

    Comment


    • You have to look at what special needs an old horse may require. Is the new home willing to stay on top of dental care like nobody's business? Happily pay for extra groceries/ supplements that old horses need? Educate themselves on horse upkeep for old coot horses? Scale down his workload as he needs it? Add water to his senior feed once he can't chew?

      I adopted a 23 year old and he was with me till 31. But I was committed. Maybe I should be committed lol, I don't know. There could be someone out there that fits these criteria. But accept nothing less.
      Last edited by planetlisa; Jan. 17, 2014, 01:29 AM. Reason: Forgot something
      Any time someone talks about their horse in a bar, there's love in the room.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
        It also took him close to a year to come out of his emotional "shell" after doing that job; the horse had completely shut down mentally and stiffened physically in self-defense to the out-of-control stuff that was taking place on his back, plus the ignorance of many of the volunteer handlers. It must have been pure hell for him.
        Lady E, glad he found you and sorry this happened. To be honest, therapeutic riding work would be hell for many horses -- they get handled by a number of people with varying amounts of skill/intuition and in the toughest situations. The horses work incredibly hard to protect students who are out of touch, out of balance, and/or out of control verbally or sometimes physically. Our center would NEVER have sent a horse to sale at auction, but I can imagine that happening at some centers. When we had horses develop behavioral issues as a result of the difficult work, our insurance made us move them off property within days or weeks (I'd say this happened to ~20% of the horses I cared for there). Luckily our center tended to keep all equines in the family, and horses who couldn't cope tended to find homes with staff (I have a TR "flunkee" myself, as do most of my former TRC colleagues). But that is the exception, not the rule. And I can say it took about 3 years for the toll of TR to stop weighing on my drop-out horse. Caveat Donor is correct -- TR is a tough job, not an easy retirement! If you're not ready to take the horse back if things go south, then you should be prepared for a TR center to pass him down the line (which, sadly, doesn't usually lead to greener pastures).
        Evolutionary science by day; keeping a certain red mare from winning a Darwin award the rest of the time!

        Comment


        • Very true there are no guarantees, but it is FAR more likely that a 24 year old will be unrideable soon compared to an 8 year old.
          Any random 24 year old, yes. But if you have a horse that has been in steady work, is 24, and still sound, I'll give you way better odds on that horse than your average 8 year old. (Especially if that horse is under 16 hands.)

          The real liability with a horse isn't that they'll drop dead. It's that they won't. That at age 8 or 10 they'll go blind or get some horrible unfixable or expensive lameness... and now you are looking at 15 years of pasture ornamentation.

          Certainly I agree with the sentiment that you can't expect someone else to take on your horse's problems. But if the horse is steady, fit, and sound, the horse is a gem and has every chance of winning over new owners. It may even be better for that horse than staying with the old owner who has financial or health or time problems.

          Not all older horses are gems. But those that are are totally worth the effort.
          If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

          Comment


          • Originally posted by RubyTuesday View Post
            And the places that are the real deal also have people trying to dump horses on them that are completely unsuitable so they can get a tax write off.
            Don't get me started on the tax write-offs. The people who left voicemails asking me to take their old, lame horse no questions asked and to give them a receipt from our 501c3 for several thousand dollars of value were really the ones who inspired some head-desk moments.

            ETA it was usually the person with the 25 y.o. horse with "10 more good years to give" that wanted a tax write-off!
            Last edited by x-halt-salute; Jan. 17, 2014, 02:18 AM.
            Evolutionary science by day; keeping a certain red mare from winning a Darwin award the rest of the time!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
              SHE is NOT going to EUTH him. If he cannot be rehomed to a GOOD home she is going to KEEP him. He will still have all the great care he has had since she got him. JEEZ!!!
              that's great nezzy!
              so, yes I think her horse's age is the issue. well one of the issues anyway.

              fwiw I bought my mare when I was 40 and she was 8.
              I learned the first day that she was WAY TOO MUCH horse for a raw beginner(despite nearly memorizing all of the black stallion, chincoteague and blaze books I still was clueless--go figure!).
              but I WANTED to ride HER so I found a more mellow horse to ride and learn confidence on while I kept her and used her for my more experienced friends.
              sure enough one day I felt bored on the mellow horse and got back on my now 12 year old mare with great results.
              she's now in her early twenties and we've been a great team now for a long time, thank goodness.

              I tell you this in hopes that maybe your friend can find a way to work on her medical issues with the goal of getting back on her horse. in the meantime she keeps him in the style to which he is accustomed and their bond need not be broken.

              maybe she can find a free lease of her own to ride until she is well enough to ride her own guy again.
              I hope this makes some sense and can be considered as an option for her and her pony.

              Comment


              • I don't get it...if the owner doesn't HAVE to give away (she is keeping him if he doesn't find a new home) then why is she trying to dump him in his old age onto someone else? She doesn't want to deal with his old age issues...or deal with the sad day that will come in the future?

                Sad.
                Fillys By Vibank - 2017 Road to RRP
                https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

                Comment


                • Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                  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!
                  Yes!

                  Also want to repost what someone else has mentioned:
                  if he is sensitive and reactive: i.e.: not a suitable beginner horse, then he really isn't going to find a different home that is going to give him a great quality of life. If he was bombproof, steady, but just didn't work with her due to her issues, (and that's a sign she really needs to get herself figured out before getting another horse: she will set any of them off. Just a fact.) he could possibly be donated to a riding program or hippo therapy program. However, with the sensitivities he has for me, I doubt he would make an appropriate candidate.

                  Your friend really needs to rethink her decisions with him. Either retire/euthanize/ rethink her meds, let him sit in the field, and then come back to him and try new things: start over from the ground. Teach him 'new' tricks. Do something different with him. She owes it to her older horse.
                  "That's not how it works. That's not how any of this works."

                  Comment


                  • I'm going through a divorce and losing my home/farm and am trying to rehome my 21year old mare who acts 10. If I don't find the absolutely perfect home for her, she will be PTS. It's not going to be easy, as she's not the first one to be PTS...but it's all part of horse ownership. It doesn't hurt to try to find the perfect situation, but be prepared to accept the fact that your problem isn't anyone else's. It sucks, but it's the right thing to do.

                    Comment


                    • Finding a new home is not always dumping

                      I still remember how mad I was at a guy in our driving club when I heard his steady-eddy older gelding was being sold. The horse had done everything the guy and several friends had wanted up to and including learning to drive and competing at early CDEs. What I was hearing was the horse wasn't up to the level of driving they now wanted to do so was being dumped in his mid 20s.

                      Turns out we had it wrong. YES, he was looking for a home for the horse and YES he did end up selling it, but like the OP's friend here, he was willing to keep the horse if need be.

                      What he was looking for - and found - was a family who could give the horse the attention he craved doing the kind of riding and driving he excelled at - trails, pleasure and maybe some local small shows. He found that family and the horse went from being no longer as happy competing at a level a little above his skill set to being loved by a family and it's kids for the rest of his life.

                      So while I am often in the camp of - you owe the horse a good life if he's been a partner for a while and that you don't ask someone else to take on your problems - I also don't have a problem with deciding euthanization is better than many alternatives - I wouldn't rule out trying to find the horse a new home either.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
                        i have had enough BS for one day. I started this thread to ask if 24 was too old to expect to find a good home. The answer was Yes. Thanks to those of you who were kind enough and polite enough to be respectful. The horse in Question has been on the giveaway forum for a few months now. No, i am not the person who owns him. If i was, i MIGHT have used an alter to ask my question. And now i know why so many of you use alters. I think i might make myself one from now on. I do not understand all the drama that the question presented, but i'm done here. Had enough of childish BS.
                        And advertised elsewhere as well?
                        I just looked at the post in the Giveaways... you posted that ad. on Nov. 8th.
                        It's gonna' take much, much longer than a couple months to successfully find someone, if you ever do.
                        Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                        http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by candyappy View Post
                          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.
                          Amen.

                          I had some friends looking for just this kind of horse for their kids to learn. It wasn't easy to find. (Sorry, not in your area)

                          Sometimes getting one that only has 5-10 years left looks better than one that has 20 in front of it.
                          Visit my Spoonflower shop

                          Comment


                          • From the OP in the Giveaways thread
                            I feel he was used as a sport horse as he is very quick,willing and agile. He needs and intermediate, confident rider as he can be a bit forward at times.
                            OK. Now I agree that it is his age that's the issue. Intermediate confident riders who can handle a quick, agile, forward horse aren't looking for a 24 year old.

                            If he were a 24 year old packer, I think you might get some takers. Somebody who wants a husband horse or something for an older novice rider.

                            But he's not.
                            I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                            Comment


                            • When I had a sound, beginner-safe, reliable 24 year old horse people were lining up to lease him. Perhaps she could try a free lease? Many people are not comfortable taking in a horse of that age forever, but are thrilled to find something well trained and sound to ride. Or if he is quiet enough maybe a therapuetic riding center/riding school program?

                              Mine lived to be 32 and I did eventually end up retiring him, but I don't think finding a lease for a 24 year old is unreasonable. I guess I've just been around a lot of horses that lived a long time because I don't see 24 as being ancient.

                              Comment


                              • Ok my $.02 which might be what it's worth.

                                I have a 29 year old QH gelding that belonged to my ex husband. I tried in his early 20s to do the giveaway thing because frankly I could afford 1 horse at the time and this horse was never mine and even though he is technically mine....I have no connection other than obligation. When he was still in ridable condition, I half leased him to a kid who spoiled him, painted his toes with glitter, jumped him over little cross rails and learned to ride a school master who could have sensitive moments. You know what? I got more out of him when the kid was riding him than I ever have myself because I was so enjoying their enjoyment of each other....and having half his bills covered allowed me to buy something that I was happy with. We all know it's not the cost of the horse itself but the upkeep.

                                You are at a trail barn and I am sure someone there has a kid or a SO that would like to ride but is not committed enough for their own horse. Might I suggest a partial lease? Your friend would still have control and the horse would get a new person to spoil him randomly. And as a part lease (most important part to me) she would still have control of his feeding program and medical care. My old horse at this rate will outlive me. But the neighborhood kids have adopted him and the barn owner where he is retired would probably have him in the living room if he were to ever get sick......he earned his retirement to me when he spent a couple years packing teenager around.

                                Hopefully that could be something that your friend might consider.

                                Comment


                                • OP. I know of one person in recent years who sucessfully managed to rehome and 20-something horse. By successfully I mean the horse went to a genuine family with good horse knowledge and he is wel taken care of. In all honesty though, this case is very much the exception to the rule. By all means try to rehome the horse but be VERY suspicious of potential buyers. Also, I don't think listing the horse for free does any good. Give the horse a price, show that it has some value.

                                  Also remember this, shoulf the horse go on lease and your friend buys another, she may/will one day have to take the horse back. Can she afford to keep two horses? If so, why not just keep the horse and buy another to ride?

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                                    From the OP in the Giveaways thread

                                    OK. Now I agree that it is his age that's the issue. Intermediate confident riders who can handle a quick, agile, forward horse aren't looking for a 24 year old.

                                    If he were a 24 year old packer, I think you might get some takers. Somebody who wants a husband horse or something for an older novice rider.

                                    But he's not.
                                    The description can matter somewhat too. 'Intermediate' is something that we all define a little differently. The horse might not be right for a dead beginner but safe for someone who can already walk, trot, and canter confidently, and I think perhaps find a home as someone's first horse or as a lease horse after they've had some time in a lesson program.

                                    If the horse isn't spooky and doesn't buck and is safe on trails, or if the horse is safe and sound to jump, such a horse is still placeable.
                                    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                    Comment


                                    • The age probably will put many people off, as most people simply aren't willing to risk having to pay retirement on a horse that could come in 5 years or next year. Since he is healthy and still going strong now, if he were mine and I was in your friend's shoes, I think I would find a good free lease - either to a small lesson program or to a kid who is learning and needs a confidence builder.

                                      Yes, there is the risk that at some point he will come back and still have to be retired or euthe'd somewhere down the line, but in the meantime, she gets him off her balance books and he is enjoying a good life with someone who can enjoy his final riding years, while you're friend can know that he will be humanely taken care of when his riding years are over.

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by 4THEHORSES View Post
                                        Also, I don't think listing the horse for free does any good. Give the horse a price, show that it has some value.
                                        This is very much on point. When I could no longer event my 18 year old, very sound (but one-eyed) horse, I actually was approached by someone who wanted to purchase him even before I had made up my mind what I was going to do about him. (I was 36 at the time and definitely wanted to keep eventing, but I would have kept him, and him alone, i.e. one horse at a time, if there were no takers). He was about 16 hands and a stoutly-built 1,300 lbs. What I did was price him about $300 above what he would be worth "on the hoof" to the (then operating) kill buyers. No profit in that for them. The purchasers happily paid my asking, and a few years later when they moved out of state invited me to say goodbye to him, keep me informed (with pictures) over the next 7 years of how he was doing (wife hunted him, husband hacked). He died at 25. And selling an 18 year old is easier than selling a 24 year old.

                                        Comment


                                        • It's hard to giveaway (or sell) even a young healthy horse, much less a horse who is 20 or over. I acquired Cloudy's "wife" because my former BO/mare's owner could not sell her. she was for sale before I moved to that barn when she was 9 yoa. Price went down and down, then she was a giveaway. While I was not in the market for an ATA, a small mare, or anything but what I've always loved (european WB and/or 16 hand TB mare), I got Hattie for $1 because she's the best thing that ever happened to Cloudy. A daughter of Impressionist who could not be sold. And she'd been dressage trained back in Minnesota. It's tough all over for horses. And for old horses, it's very tough. I'd put mine down before I'd give either of them away.

                                          I wish someone nice would take hundredacres' old horse.

                                          Comment

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