Should have seen this coming.. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-11-2013, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Iowa
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Should have seen this coming..

So, this is kind of a mourning/rant/stupid me. A little over 4 weeks ago, I bought a horse from the kill pen. He was affectionate and seemed a real sweetheart, not to mention a CUTE mover and loudly marked (black/white overo) I knew I could be getting myself into a mess of things not knowing a thing about this horse, but it seemed perfect. He was a real trooper, being halter broke, loading and tying without complant in the trailer, and generally being curious and affectionate during the short time I had him. He was even learning manners. I was even pleasantly surprised after I called the original owner to find that he had been saddled/ridden before, was double bred Blue Max. After a few weeks.. something was wrong. Instead of patiently waiting for me to take him out of his stall as usual, he practically bowled me over to get out of there. He started stall walking, and was listless. The vet at first thought it was severe constipation, but after two excruciatingly exhausting days, we realized it was neurological. I cannot begin to tell you how awful it was to watch. We made the hard decision to put him down, and the bloodwork showed his liver had failed. The toxins the liver should have been filtering were going straight to his brain. Because it was neurological, it took enough medication for a pair of draft horses to put this 800 lb gelding to sleep. It was awful. I later found out from the previous owner that Koda had a half sister who died of liver failure, had been deathly ill as a foal, and had been drinking extreme amounts of water before the sale (typical in liver failure. I had also somewhat noticed the water intake) Basically, its safe to say I learned my lesson. Buying a kill pen pony can be so tempting, especially when you hear the kill buyers bidding. Not all situations end this way, but be careful. There may be reasons that that horse is in the kill pen. Never forget that these horses may also carry contagious diseases, I cant imagine how awful it could have been, it was bad enough. Just, be cautious when buying a horse, especially at an auction. Though things don't always end up this way, it is absolute hell when it does happen. Please everyone, don't be fooled by a cute face. I'm glad Koda wasn't killed at the hands of a butcher, but this is not how it was supposed to go. Has anyone else had similar circumstances? Or happy ending stories? I could really use a pick me up
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-11-2013, 10:12 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Michigan
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I'm so sorry to hear about this =[ That is just so sad. It's never fun having your heart broken; at least you can know that he was happy at the end of his life and he passed away next to someone who loved and cared for him. I hope you feel better soon.
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post #3 of 16 Old 02-11-2013, 10:22 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
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I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. That's absolutely tragic - but I'm very happy to hear he died in loving arms and had a few good weeks before passing.
I think that's all we can hope for - when purchasing any animal (from a professional breeder or a kill pen, doesn't matter) - if we get just a few wonderful days with this animal, will it be enough?
I'm purchasing a Belgian in a week for more money than he's worth - I know him/have worked with him and love him dearly. He is old and he is quite broken. But if I give him just a few days where he's wonderfully happy, loved and cared for -it was worth all of it. I hope and pray for years to spend with him, but should the worst happen I'll be happy just to say he died surrounded by love.

It's terribly sad, I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you aren't dissuaded from rescuing horses all together - but maybe adopting from a rescue that goes to auctions would be better. The rescues are typically used to identifying horses 'worth' saving - and typically give them a couple months to rehab, put weight on and learn what they do and don't know before rehoming them. You'll have a better chance knowing what you get from a situation like that.

Eve if it didn't end well, and was impossibly difficult for you - Thank you for saving your Koda.
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-11-2013, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Iowa
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Thank you very much, it means a lot
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-11-2013, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Iowa
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PunksTank thank you, and yes I am glad to know that ending up with me was still better than the alternative. It doesn't dissuade me from rescuing, but it will definitely make me more cautious.
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-11-2013, 10:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
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You gave this horse a dignified end. You did the right thing by purchasing him. Condolences on your loss and good on you for being a humane person.
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-11-2013, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Iowa
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And good luck with your Belgian, I'm sure he couldn't end up in a better place than with you
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-12-2013, 12:30 AM
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Aww CW, I'm so very sorry to hear this. He sounded like a lovely fellow. Just know that you truly did something wonderful for him in his last days. You couldn't have known what was to happen. Remember, thousands rescue horses each year and have them turn out well. Your boy was sent to you for a reason. There is another waiting for you, out there somewhere.

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post #9 of 16 Old 02-12-2013, 12:51 AM
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what a horrible experience. It sounds like in this case, it might have been kinder to use a gun to put him down.
But, I am going only from what others have told me on thi forum, not from personal experience. I am sorry you had to go through all that and with such a hard outcome.
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-12-2013, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Iowa
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Thank you very much everyone, it really does make me feel better to hear these things. and yes I thought a gun might be a better option but he was at a stable with small children taking lessons and we were attempting to be discreet.
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