Should I retire him or hope for the best? - Page 2

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Should I retire him or hope for the best?

This is a discussion on Should I retire him or hope for the best? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        07-09-2014, 03:41 PM
    Did your vet recommend stall rest? If they did and he is still recovering, pasture board might not be adequate. Dealing with a suspensory tear myself, my boy was on stall rest for 6 months... with only hand walking. He is now going out with another gelding in very small pasture... we are going on about 8 months since the injury. It is very important to not just let them go out to pasture after stall rest or they might rip and roar and re-injure themselves.

    I have gone through the same emotions you are, $400 board and not being able to ride your horse (especially if you only have one) is literally the worst thing ever!!! I went through all the scenarios of should I give him to someone should I keep em, what if he doesn't recover.. what if I spend $1500 on shockwave therapy and it's a waste. It really comes down to how you view an animal that cannot preform its job: A lot of people, if the horse cannot be ridden, do not believe that the horse is worth keeping. Others believe that the horse is like family, injured or not and they decide to retire and keep them. Either view is OK, you just have to decide what you feel is right for you.

    As far as my decision, my horses' tear was pretty bad and he might not ever return to the same work load I gave him before the injury -for me this is heartbreaking. I came to the conclusion though, that I couldn't give him up...I've owned my boy for years and I am not going to give him up and turn him over to someone I don't know, who might not give him the care he deserves. I love my horse dearly and if his time has come that he cannot be ridden, than so be it. He gave me years of awesome rides and I'm thankful I had that!

    I guess the long and short of it is that you can bounce back from a suspensory injury, but only time will tell. Unfortunately, this is something that happens in one shape or another to all horses (agreeing with zexious - you could get another horse and it could happen again or some other injury might happen) and you need to decide what's best for your heart and the horse's well being.

    I wish you both the best! <3
    shellybean likes this.
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        07-10-2014, 10:14 AM
    I found a woman who is willing to let me board him in her pasture with her new horse for very cheap because she wanted a second horse since her horse needs a pasture mate, and this saves her money as well as brings in a little extra. They would live in her back yard in a couple acre pasture with a lean to and it will just be the two of them. Granted she has never done this before (board someone on her property) I am taking a chance...we will have a contract written up and talk things over the next few weeks. I am going out Sunday to meet her, her horse and check out her property, as well as talk things over more. If she seems like a genuine person, and her property passes my inspection (lol) then I think I will be bringing him there. It will be a little over an hour away so I will probably only get to make it out once a week, but if he is happy and healing and in good care its worth it. I just wish the woman lived a little closer, but if everything else seems good and distance is the only issue I will more than likely let him rest in her pasture.

    Our vet said to go about our regular routine because since the horse would be cooped up for so long, when they are let back out to pasture they often re-injure themselves. It would be ideal if he would calmly stand in a stall or even in a small paddock by himself, but he paces and freaks out when all of the horses are let out and he is the only one still in his stall, which would cause him to further injure himself. His injury isn't very bad, he is a little tender and it is hard to tell if he is lame when first glance you would think he is fine. He is already making great healing progress, in just 3 months I can flex his leg at the injury and he doesn't flinch or pull away, but I'm sure he is still healing so I am not going to take any chances riding him ect.

    My dad was originally badgering me to get rid of him (I'm 20 and still live at home), telling me he's a waste of money and is no good anymore, but I think he finally realized how much he means to me and is going to help get our farm set up so I can bring him out there by next year. I heard from my mom that he was up all night the night before trying to figure out a plan and put a lot of thought into it the past few days. It really means a lot to me. So looks like I finally got his help, and got him on my side so things are looking better.
        07-10-2014, 10:38 AM
    Green Broke
    It just depends what you are willing to do. And what you can financially afford.

    How good is your vet? I only ask because I've known lots of horses to come back from a suspensory injury.

    If you want to keep your horse sound and rideable for yourself in the future, then do what you need to do to ENSURE he heals 100%. There are treatments for everything. (But there is a $$$ for everything too.)

    If you can't afford extravegant treatment, but you don't want to sell him (if he is unrideable) well then your option is to
    1) keep him as a pasture pet
    2) put him down.

    Don't dump him off at a therapy barn or a rescue or anything of that nature. Yes, good therapy horses are in high demand but they don't want an animal with major health issues either, because that costs them money (and they aren't in the business to make money).

    No one can make this decision for you, but you just have to decide what you want and what you can afford.
        07-10-2014, 11:18 AM
    I'm also rather attached to my first horse, I have him and a mini.

    If it came down to my horse being unridable and I was not able to afford another horse at the time for riding I would choose my horse over riding.

    I know to some people riding is more important then the horses therefore that's why they go through a lot of horses (and no offense against them) but that's just not me. That also somewhat sounds like you are like me with how attach you are to the horse.

    This is only a temporary situation of not being able to afford another horse. You will over time be able to. But won't get the chance to have all those memories with your horse if you sold him. So keep him. Just my opinion! :)
        07-10-2014, 12:16 PM
    Green Broke
    Personally, I would definitely keep him long enough to see if he heals and can hold up to your riding desires. I know exactly how you feel having had him for awhile and doing all training yourself (mess ups and all). That's what I did with my mare. I rescued her and paid $525, which was about as much as that 15.2h horse weighed, if that. I took two months to get some weight on her without riding. I started riding her while she was still thin, but not horribly so, and then she pulled up lame on her front left after I had her all tacked up and everything for a group trail ride. She was lame for another two months (no riding) due to bad farrier work (should've did it myself) until I could finally get a farrier out to put shoes on her. I kept her because she's my first horse and is **** near exactly what I want in a horse.

    At this point, I have her up for sale to a trail/show home because I realized I enjoy teaching and retraining while riding than just riding a horse that knows what I'm asking and has no issue doing it. So while I love her and would love to keep her as my go-to work horse, I can only afford one and would love to start getting horses in for training. I'm going to be advertising her at some shows this fall once I get the time and then getting a colt to train and sell, and then another, and so on. You can bet I'll be taking references and including a first right of refusal clause to ensure she does go to a home that will love her just as much as I do.

    Anywho..after my story, lol. I would keep him until he heals and see what you can still do with him and then decide as to if heavy riding is more your needs at the time.
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        07-10-2014, 12:24 PM
    I'm in the same boat as Hero. My guy is 21 this year--absolutely still rideable. Still, he gets a sore back sometimes and I've had to cut out showing (not terrible, considering my accident has ruined my equitation for the moment anyway) and cut down on the number of days I ride him--4 instead of 5. I know this isn't a big deal, but the cutting down will have to continue into the future.

    Luckily I can afford two horses, and will probably start looking for another around the first of the year. Even if I couldn't afford two horses, my guy has more than earned a happy retirement, and I will keep him alive and happy as long as I can, regardless of the cost.
        07-11-2014, 09:53 AM
    If all goes well with this woman and I can keep him at her property (only asking 125-150 since we are helping each other out), I can afford a second riding horse to keep at my current boarding facility. I can reserve my horses current stall after he moves for a small fee, theres a waiting list for the barn so I don't want to lose my stall lol. My families farm should be set up for a horse by spring/summer of next year and I plan on moving both of my horses out there (both as in if I find a second).

    I'm as ease knowing I can keep him, I'm sleeping easy now.
    anndankev and TessaMay like this.
        08-01-2014, 10:16 AM
    I ended up finding a different boarding facility that I like much better than the womans property...I don't feel my horse would mesh with hers very well.

    I am going to make arrangements to move him there in a week or two. He will be in a relaxed environment and have plenty of time to rest. I was originally cold hosing his leg for the first 2 months, but it didn't seem to be making a difference so I haven't been doing it (plus I really don't have the time to go out every single day...). He is still recovering at the same pace and looks better, or at least the same, and isn't getting any worse. He is very slightly lame and only noticeable when doing an extended trot.

    I think he will heal fine in pasture and make a full recovery with his current hoof care that he is receiving since that was a big contributor to his injury....his long toe and low heel. His new shoes and wedges seem to be making him more comfortable. I see him putting even weight in both legs now, and even all weight in his injured leg. He still has a while to recover but I'm hopeful he will make a full recovery.

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