Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Washington State
We've put down a pony this way before after she almost killed the farrier. It was completely out of the blue, with no provocation and it wasn't the first time she had gone after a person - she'd also double-barreled a nine-year-old child. The farrier had just finished with one of her back feet and was gently setting it down when she went after him. Honestly, if our farrier hadn't gotten his arm up when he did, he'd be in the ground right now, as it was his arm was broken and he had to be out of work until it healed. If the circumstances were different, we definitely would've tried to re-train her, but as things are, our horses are out on pasture board that isn't on our property, and we couldn't take the risk that someone would be stupid and bring their kid in to "pet teh purrty pony" and have her attack them, there literally was no rhyme or reason to her going after people - she had no history of abuse, and was well cared for all of her life, she wasn't in pain, and she wasn't provoked.
The person taking the shot was an experienced large-game hunter and he researched shot placement and actually drew the placement lines on the mare's head to best ensure accuracy. He ended up taking a total of three shots - he was pretty sure the first one did it, but he wanted to be 100% sure that she was dead as quickly as possible, so he immediately fired the other two. And then the carcass was moved into a pit that was already dug on a relative's property.
We chose to shoot her instead of having her PTS with an injection mostly due to cost and ease of disposal and accessibility of a shooter vs a vet, and it's a choice that we don't regret - she needed to go right then since she presented considerable danger to both other horses and people and a bullet was more accessible than a shot.