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Should you OWN a horse?

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        05-24-2010, 09:57 AM
      #91
    Banned
    LoveStory,

    I agree with Barry on most points, but I want to give you some other things to consider.

    First, one pencillin shot isn't much help. In order for antibiotics to be effective, they have to be given at a set dose for a period of time, usually 10 days. Keeping a certain level of the drug in the horse's blood stream for an extended period is what kills the infection.

    Second, an untreated serious wound meets the statutory definition of abuse or neglect pretty much everywhere. I don't know what your relationship is with these people or how awkward it would be; but this is one of those instances where a call to Animal Control is not only warranted but will probably get results.

    Third, more than antibiotics, this animal needs a tetanus shot, and to have the wound cleaned and evaluated.

    Finally, your reaction is completely understandable and you are headed in the right direction. You need to get someone out there to evaluate the extent of the animal's injury and make a treatment decision.

    And in case you're feeling the least bit guilty, don't. The "We don't have any money" is BS - it costs no money to clean the wound and cold hose it twice a day. The horse is in this condition because of ignorance and apathy - lack of funds runs a distant third. Agressive commonsense treatment early on would have made a world of difference.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
         
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        05-24-2010, 11:05 AM
      #92
    Banned
    Just because someone is reluctant to call the vet does not make them a bad horse owner. In emergencies, no doubt I will be the first one on the phone. I just see alot of people on here whos stamped response is either 'call a vet' or 'call a trainer' While I know that there are situations that need to be evaluated by a professional, I am on here for OTHERS opinions, not the vet or trainer. If I posted a thread about a horse bucking I can almost guarantee the first few responses. "Call a chiro, he's in pain" "Try NH, it works on EVERYTHING" "better call the vet, a horse I knew 50 years ago bucked and it had spine cancer" "Dont touch that horse until you call a trainer" While all those responses are well meaning, if I wanted the opinion of a chiro-vet-trainer I would call them...and probably already have.
    My point is, before you judge someone for their resistance to calling out a vet or trainer, suggest that and something else. Its not always about money.
         
        05-24-2010, 11:19 AM
      #93
    Banned
    Corino,

    Without quoting directly from LoveStory's post, the horse was visibly lame from a distance at the walk, and the owner stated, twice, that they hadn't called a vet because they didn't have the money, so I'm standing by my advice.

    More often, when someone posts about abused or neglected horses, my advice is to remind them gently what constitutes abuse or neglect by law, and that what they're seeing, while sad, doesn't rise to that level.

    Given LoveStory's description, I think this does.

    I sympathize with your reaction to seemingly standard responses; but considering that we're giving advice to anonymous people over the internet, frequently that's the only responsible advice to give. And while it may seem obvious to eliminate pain as the cause of a behavior before treating it as a training issue; it's not obvious to everyone, and sometimes the sources of pain are subtle and difficult to see.
         
        05-24-2010, 11:25 AM
      #94
    Banned
    Maura, I have always found your posts to be extremely helpful and value all of your advice. I was replying to the OP, not to LoveStory. Sorry for the confusion, I should have stated that in my post.
         
        05-24-2010, 11:30 AM
      #95
    Banned
    My apologies, too, corino, I misunderstood.

    And I agree with you, I act as my own vet except in cases of real emergency; and am slower than most to pick up the phone.
         
        05-24-2010, 12:04 PM
      #96
    Foal
    I kind of did everything backwards and I am not sure if it is a good thing or bad thing. When I was young, I rode. I stopped riding and have always enjoyed horses and wanted one. After I finished college, got settled and got a good job I started looking back into. I currently deal with anxiety and nervousness so I felt purchasing a horse that I could work with and become comfortable was the best idea. I found a small barn near my home where I take lessons and we started looking for a suitable horse with her trainer. I am no where near knowledage as some of the people on this forum but I felt working closely with my lesson instructor and the horse trainer that I am taking the appropriate steps. I am slowly learning and it has been a very positive experience in my life :) All aside I did know the costs and time involved and felt that making this decision later was the best choice for me. So now I am a proud horse owner and learning as I go with the help of my instructer.
         
        05-24-2010, 05:19 PM
      #97
    Started
    The Heavy Burden of Ownership
    This thread entitled: ‘Should you OWN a horse’ seems to have touched a few raw nerves. The word OWN implies cost and previously I have tried to hint at the relatively high monetary costs incurred by OWNERSHIP. Some of the viewers have taken the fundamental message of the thread to mean that a good reason for denying them the pleasure of OWNERSHIP of a horse is that they might not be able to afford vet’s bills or some of the other little bills which pop up unexpectedly now and again. To a certain extent this is true but in fact money is not the only crucial issue in OWNING a horse. Knowledge is an essential cost element as is Experience of handling horses.

    Now at this point I am not talking about how to ride a horse or even how to train a horse, I am talking about how to manage both the horse and the environment in which it lives. Knowledge and Experience cannot be bought instantly over the counter, unless of course, you are rich enough to be able to hire a professional stable manager. Expertise can be acquired only from knowledgeable horse ‘handlers‘. Think of the ‘handler’ as a trainer who doesn’t necessarily serve his purpose in the training arena. Now if this expertise is available within the family or at the yard where the horse is kept - then great but the acquisition of that advice has to be costed in - even if it can only be accounted for in units of time and not in dollars. However if you live miles from any other horse owner, handler or trainer then you cannot hope to gain access to Experience. This Forum is great for chatting and the exchange of ideas but nothing will ever replace a set of vocalised hands and eyes. A pair of Experienced eyes can often see what novices to OWNERSHIP can’t.

    The other probability is that you will not have ‘Judgement’. One day the need will arise to make a decision on some important aspect of horse welfare but you won’t have the knowledge, experience or wisdom to make the right choices. It is not always knowing what to do which counts; sometimes it is all about what not to do.

    An OWNER is responsible 100% for the well being of a horse. He/she will have the power of life or death over another living creature and for sure at various times he/she will be asked to make a Judgement call. The question then arises whether he/she can make the right call - with or without outside advice. Too often a horse will suffer for the OWNER’S unwillingness to accept the pain from making the right decision. Emotion can be a powerful barrier to good Judgement.

    As an example of what I am try to say is to be found on another post. A seemingly caring young lady has recognised that a horse is in deep trouble. If the scenario is indeed exactly as she has described, then in view of the circumstances the best thing for the horse would be for it to be shot and as soon as possible. In some parts of the world bullets are cheap and they represent a very cost effective way of bringing a miserable life to an end quickly. However I did not express this opinion to her. I chickened out. I cannot possibly presume to judge a horse’s predicament over the internet. I told her to call out the vet and to plead for on the spot advice. Luckily the young woman is not the OWNER, she has no power of life or death and in this instance I am very pleased she doesn’t. It is not incumbent upon her to make the choices. Maybe one day she’ll be ready and perhaps this episode might help her be a good OWNER. I do feel her anguish but I can‘t help from the other side of the world.

    Tonight closer to home, I watched a beautiful shire mare be shovelled into a deep hole in the ground. Just a few hours ago I was feeding her carrots, washing her face and combing her hair ready for the big event which, thankfully, she did not know was to be her ‘funeral‘. She too had been caught in fencing wire and the obscene wounds on both hind legs had long turned septic. She had developed a condition akin to gangrene. The caring OWNERS had spent $12,000 trying to save her but it was all in vain. In hindsight she should have been put down weeks ago. Over the intervening weeks, I could feel the horse’s agony as she stood on three legs in a stable. Oh My, did that Girl exhibit stoicism. She took her Bute in her feed and then took the pain of supporting her hindquarters on two fast decaying legs. If she had gone down in the stable, we would never have got her up. The key decisions were never mine to make, for I was not the OWNER. She, a very nice woman, just didn’t have the experience to make the call when she should have done. She put her faith in the expertise of the vet and her earnest hopes for a miracle. Her husband, did a marvellous but inevitably futile job in changing the bandaging each day. He too believed in persistence. The four boys had stood by and watched. The obscene wounds were raw, bloody and smelly. To me, the writing had been on the wall from a few days after the accident. I, an old man, confess that I cried at the ’funeral’ when a tractor dug a hole and nudged her lifeless carcass into it. At least she did not wind up as dog‘s meat and her bones will lay in that grave for ever.
    I won’t need to take the carrots up tomorrow.

    What I am trying to hammer home to all the prospective horse buyers out there who may be reading this thread is that there is more to OWNING a horse than knowing how to ride it or even having the money to support it. If you take on OWNERSHIP then you take personal responsibility for a living creature until either you sell it or it dies or you have it put down. And that is no light burden to take on. At times you’ll need all the help and support you can get.

    The big question must be: Are you ready for it?

    Barry G
         
        05-24-2010, 10:52 PM
      #98
    Green Broke
    I almost started crying when I read your post barry.
    Honestly, I was taught at the very beginning about dealing with decisions on your horses life or death, about two monthes after my mom and I picked out my first horse, he colicked really badly. I was only about....11 then, I walked him around the arena from 6pm to 2 am, finally, we called the vet a 3rd time and told him he wasn't getting better (this was after the vet came out and gave him a gallon of oil) so while we were trailering him to the vet my mom talked to me about how were not going to put him through the surgery, she just didn't see a point in putting a horse through that.(my mom grew with horses) it was tough, but I accepted it. After two days he got better and we took him home. Other people mightve been taught differently, but I have always been taught that there's no excuses for making a horse suffer, and that it's selfish to put a horse through something that it might never fully recover from. The stable owner that we board at even told us that if her horse (who is an *hopefully soon to be Olympic horse) she wouldn't put him through the surgery.

    I guess some people would and some people wouldn't, but everyone should understand when it's time for a goodbye.
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        05-25-2010, 07:10 AM
      #99
    Banned
    Excellent post, Barry.
         
        05-25-2010, 08:08 AM
      #100
    Yearling
    Excellent Barry. You hit the nail on the head! It is absolutely not all about finances, although we must certainly recognize the needs that come along with horses often come along with big bills. It's the willingness to learn, make the right decisions, and keep the horse's well-being first.

    I also applaud Mandiemayus for knowing up front that she needs assistance in learning how to care for her friend. It sounds as though you are a wonderful owner and your horse is very lucky to have you! I often wondered how many times pride is the real culprit, when people believe they are so knowledgable about horses that they don't need outside help.
         

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