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.