How serious a commitment is a horse/pet for you?
   

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How serious a commitment is a horse/pet for you?

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    09-12-2011, 02:39 AM
  #1
Weanling
How serious a commitment is a horse/pet for you?

I ask this question because over the weekend something really took me by surprise. For me, my pets (dogs, horses etc) are a very serious thing and I never go into something unless I KNOW I can take care of them for their entire natural life.

On saturday I went for a ride with the stable owner and she said she had received a call about some "free horses" and wanted to go and see because she was looking for a thoroughbred about 15.2hh that she could school up for her riding school and the kids could use because they are all getting older and taller and outgrowing the ponies at a rapid rate.

The owner had basically bought horses for racing that were not of racing quality and when they havn't run well he had let them become brood mares. You can't breed good quality from bad quality so he has pretty much ended up with too many mouths to feed and decided to have them all euthanised. I was shocked because if you take on that responsibility knowing full well what will happen then you can't back out of it in that way. You are responsible for those lives and finding them a good home.

Out of the 3 needing homes there was only space at our yard for 2 so she said she would take them.

One is a 6 year old chestnut mare, about 15.3hh in the most beautiful condition. She had aborted her foal and therefore he didnt want her anymore. (lucky girl in my opinion) The other is a 9 year old bay, 15.2hh who has had a foal. Both are so gorgeous and have such wonderful temperaments.

So yesterday we went over there to fetch them and ride them back. The chestnut had not been ridden in a year and the bay in over 2 years. We tacked up with no problems, grabbed their passports, jumped on and left. The owner had decided last minute to try and wangle some cash out of us! They were both a little nervous leaving the yard and kept calling to the other horses but they soon settled down and off we went! Neither of them have ever been along a road and had no problems with cars. A friend drove with us just in case. When they got to the yard we put them in a stall, fed them, took some pictures and let them out. They ran around for a good hour checking the place out, meeting the other horses and ponies, tails held high!

The chesnut is going to make a great jumper, she has the prettiest movement I've seen in a long time.

The bay needs to calm down a bit because she is a little spooky but nothing dangerous and she works through whatever is scaring her.

We were all just so happy that they could be saved from being put down and that they will stay there for the rest of their lives :)

Im just so shocked that people see their horses and animals in general as something that can be "here today and gone tomorrow". If you are ever in a situation where you are unable to keep an animal that you are responsible for then I feel you should do whatever it takes to find them a new home. You can't just euthanise a perfectly healthy animal because you have too many. I breed dogs and I make my new owners sign that should there ever come a time when they want to get rid of the dog that it comes back to me and only me so that I can either keep it or find it a home I am happy with. So even though they are in new homes I still feel like it's my duty to make sure they stay happy and cared for the way they deserve. And I follow up all the time with them and even pay home visits every so often. And that is how we should feel about the animals we love and take on.
     
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    09-12-2011, 06:49 AM
  #2
Showing
I think putting an animal down (even perfectly healthy) could be much more responsible decision than say starve them, or just letting anyone to pick them up (where there is a possibility it'll be sent to the auction or put on meat truck). With that being said yes, finding a good home is always a best way to go IMHO.
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    09-12-2011, 07:43 AM
  #3
Weanling
But then doesn't the innocent animal suffer as a victim of circumstance? I mean, these 2 didn't CHOOSE to be there. I know they would know no better at the time but they have potentially great futures ahead of them now.

He was irresponsible taking on more than he could handle and I don't think having them shot is the right thing to do. Because yes, they were going to be shot. Another mare there is 20 years old and in foal and as soon as her foal is born and weaned she too will be shot simply because she is no longer worth anything to them anymore. Clearly he didnt care where they went to as long as he didnt have to pay the bills anymore - he didnt even meet the new owner or find out where they were going to.

You're right though, they could end up anywhere, in this case they are lucky because the new owner doesnt have the heart to school them up and sell them on so they will stay with her for life. But I just don't think euthanasia is the right way to go over an unwanted animal :( breaks my heart personally
     
    09-12-2011, 07:47 AM
  #4
Banned
My horses and dogs are pets.
A business is something different.

And really, keeping a horse is not cheap. If everyone had to keep every horse they ever bought forever then there would be lots of people who would be out of luck having a useable animal (because the first horse they bought turned out to not be a good fit for them) and people looking for a good beginner horse would be out of luck too.
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    09-12-2011, 07:59 AM
  #5
Weanling
I agree completely that business is different - I still disagree with having them pts for no reason when there are other people out there who would care for an animal like that and are looking for a horse. And if push comes to shove we have various horse rescues that rehabilitate and re-home them as well as a brilliant SPCA horse care unit.

Regardless, these 2 have good homes and a bright future ahead of them :) I suppose we can't rescue them all :(
     
    09-12-2011, 07:59 AM
  #6
Green Broke
I take the responsibility of my horses very seriously.

I have a 22 year old standardbred gelding who could only be very lightly ridden if he were in work, due to arthritis. I have chosen to retire him. The plan is for him to live out his days with me.

However, if something were to happen and for some reason I could not keep him, finding a responsible home for a pasture pet is no easy feat. Sure, I would give it a shot, but there is a good chance that the responsible choice in that event would be to euthanise him.

From what I know of the horse market in the US, I would think that finding a home for low quality TB mares would be just as difficult. I would much rather see them shot, than left to starve.

There are things a whole lot worse for a horse then a quick, humane death. And despite what you may think a well placed bullet is quick and humane.
     
    09-12-2011, 08:02 AM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticL    
I agree completely that business is different - I still disagree with having them pts for no reason when there are other people out there who would care for an animal like that and are looking for a horse. And if push comes to shove we have various horse rescues that rehabilitate and re-home them as well as a brilliant SPCA horse care unit.

Regardless, these 2 have good homes and a bright future ahead of them :) I suppose we can't rescue them all :(
Sorry if this is a double post.

In regards to the bolded, the rescues are full. Very few of them have the resources to take on horses that need to be retrained before they can be rehomed.
     
    09-12-2011, 08:06 AM
  #8
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticL    
But then doesn't the innocent animal suffer as a victim of circumstance?
It does. I'm not arguing with you about situation being bad. Not at all. What I'm saying under certain circumstances sometime putting the horse down may be the right choice. At least I think it's more humane than sending it down to Mexico to become a can food, or just giving it to someone and washing your hands off.

P.S. As already said finding good home in this economy doesn't sound to be an easy task. Especially if your horse is not a beginner horse or can't go high in any discipline.
     
    09-12-2011, 08:15 AM
  #9
Weanling
Oh I know - I have experienced it first hand and luckily they don't understand what is happening at the time and I personally think a bullet is kinder than a drawn out injection. But the only time I have faced that is when a horse has broken it's leg on race day. I had my old Boerperd shot after he was stolen and taken to a neighbouring country called Lesotho but only because he was 27 years old, riddled with arthritis and would not have made the trip home through a mountain pass on the back of a truck with other livestock.

I don't live in the US, im in SA and many competition horses and light hacking horses come straight off the track because they were simply not the best racers.

For the record, neither of these mares is in bad condition - if anything they are over fed and the one in particular has really great movement and conformation. They just werent racers! Anyway, these 2 are safe and happy :)
     
    09-12-2011, 08:18 AM
  #10
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticL    
I agree completely that business is different - I still disagree with having them pts for no reason when there are other people out there who would care for an animal like that and are looking for a horse. And if push comes to shove we have various horse rescues that rehabilitate and re-home them as well as a brilliant SPCA horse care unit.
If the choices are putting them down or sending them on a long trailer ride to Canada or Mexico I find the more humane solution to be putting them down.

There are not always homes for horses that the owner does not want or need anymore. Period.
     

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