rescue v. retirement??? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
View Poll Results: where would you want YOUR donation money to go?
to pulling a horse from a bad situation such as auction/slaughter/broker/abandoned horse, etc. 3 33.33%
to feed /care/vet/farrier/dental etc. for horses already at the rescue? 8 88.89%
towards a retired/unrideable horse surrendered by owners with other horse(s)? 0 0%
for farm maintenance and repairs to allow for more room for additional horses to be taken in 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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post #11 of 13 Old 03-26-2010, 02:04 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Pickton, TX
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Originally Posted by CJ82Sky View Post
my question is this - if you feel that your older retired horse deserves to live out his days in peace even though he can't be ridden, who's responsibility is it to pay for that? yours or the rescues? and while if we/you can find a pasture companion home for that horse, then it's a win-win, yes, who is responsible for the cost and care of the horse until that home is found? the individual or the rescue?
I agree with you there. I would say it is the owners responsibility.
I personally have to have a purpose for every critter I have. I am not against slaughter, putting my critter down, if I can re home than Ill try to rehome. I just dont have the land and resources to keep a critter that doesnt.

Last edited by Crimsonhorse01; 03-26-2010 at 02:09 PM.
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-26-2010, 02:45 PM
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I also say consulting with you is the most reasonable route. Most people just dump their horses at auction or put them up on craigslist. But the responsibility falls with the owner for upkeep...I'd personally want my donations to go toward feed/care/etc.. of horses already present. Do the best you can for those you can. We can't rescue all the horses in the world but at least we can make a difference to a few. But if every rescue took in every single "useless" older horse that the owners just no longer wanted to keep around, then there'd be no room for the animals that truly need rescuing. If you can afford to and have the space and money, great, by all means help give these old souls a chance. But that is just not the reality for a lot of places.

IMO, the fate of an older horse should unfortunately lie solely with the owner. You (hopefully) buy a horse knowing it could live upwards of two decades and might not be rideable in the end...but sadly some people do not want to make the full-life commitment when they could be putting their resources toward younger, useful animals.

There are always older horses "free to good home" on the 'List. With a variety of problems. Would make a good companion horse! Severely arthritic in the knees but a child could learn on him! Oh here, take this crippled grey-faced 25 yo molly mule off our hands...she's sweet as can be and spent the best years of her life packing us around, but she's just taking up space right now so....


I understand things comes up, but personally I do not think it is very...decent? to the older animal to just try to off it in this economy and hope for the best. Our rescues around here are overtaxed as it is...very, very few people have the room/finances to "rescue" an older horse, rideable or not, on top of their other animals.

Even if there was a rescue geared solely toward taking in older unwanted animals, they'd still be overflowing and imho, the operators of this rescue better have deep wallets to make sure these seniors got the proper care they deserved.

In conclusion...things comes up, or some people don't see why they should continue to pay for the upkeep of an animal that is no longer useful to them. Not everybody has the ability/willingness to euthanise themselves and the majority of the oldies find their way to the auction yard. Not an ideal situation, and it is a touchy subject for me personally, but sadly that's the way it is right now.

If I lost the ability to care for my older horse I would seek to euthanise him rather than make a few quick bucks off him at the auction or try to dump him on craigslist. If I could ensure a good retirement home, then great...but unrealistic. I'd owe it to him to ensure he passed as peacefully as possible. I know, not the ideal situation for everybody, but that is my personal commitment.

Last edited by Cheshire; 03-26-2010 at 02:48 PM.
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-26-2010, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
CJ, I don't think we're ultimately responsible for an animal from birth to death, but I do think responsibility for an unrideable or otherwise non-usable horse falls squarely on the owner's shoulders.

If they can't or won't provide retirement for the animal, then they need to put it down. If that's too repugnant a thought, then maybe they shouldn't have bought/taken the horse in the first place.

I have an unrideable horse. I got him when he was 19 y/o. He was rideable when I got him, but I found out that he has arthritic hocks which make it painful for him to be ridden, so I retired him. He just turned 23 this year, and I'll keep him until he dies.

I have the property and finances to be able to keep a 'useless' horse. I understand that not everyone does, but that still doesn't make it right for them to try and foist the animal off onto someone else.

This whole 'pie in the sky' ideal that somehow giving it to a rescue means that the horse will find a forever home and live happily ever after, is nothing more than a fairy tale people tell themselves.

If you're not prepared to make the ultimate decision on an animal that has little to no chance of finding a good home, then maybe the only horses you should own are Breyers.
i think this is very well said!

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