What would you do if you were in my situation?
 
 

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What would you do if you were in my situation?

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  • What would you do if you were in my situation
  • What to do with an unsound horse

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    11-24-2013, 03:14 PM
  #1
Yearling
What would you do if you were in my situation?

Okay.. so I now own THREE UNSOUND horses.
I'm going insane, as I can only afford 3 horses max.. but I really want to get into barrel racing and rodeo.

First off.. I've owned Lena for about 4 years now. She's a 17 yr old quarter horse.. trained in reining with some barrel racing background. Super nice girl, love her a lot! But, she started being unsound shortly after buying. Decided to retire her completely a couple years ago due to pretty bad arthiritis in her fetlocks. I have contemplated giving her away as a companion or for teaching small kids to ride.. but there's no guarantee where she would end up, being unsound and all.


Second is Mysti. I bought her at auction over a year ago.. she is a 14 yr old Tennessee walker. When I got her, she was super skittish and extremely nervous of people. I couldn't even touch her for weeks, and when you were able to she'd tense up her whole body waiting for something to happen. I worked with her on the ground ALOT. Took her for walks down the road everyday.. desensitized her etc. She overcame her fear of strange people, and is a really sweet soul. She has never came around to me completely though. She will still be wary when I approach her, and be ready to run off at the slightest off movement. I have never been rough with her EVER, she has no reason to be nervous of me. I rode her last year, but something caused her to be unsound in her hindquarters this spring. Had the vet out for lameness exams/xrays with no results. Now I am looking into chiro/massage therapy for her. I think she would have the least chance of finding a home.. due to not really liking people, and being unsound. Plus if I did find a home.. again I can't really trust she won't end up at auction again.


Thirdly.. is Pie. I bought her 2 weeks ago at a cattle auction. She's a 17 yr old quarab mare. Originally, my thoughts were to save her then resell as a kids horse. (found out from previous owners that she is well broke) But, she is quite lame in her hind end. I really can't afford spending possibly thousands of dollars finding out what's wrong. I was also considering that she may be a barrel racing prospect for me once she is sound. But that's a big if. She's insanely sweet and kind.. amazing personality. I already like her more than my other two. But again.. how would I find her a good home if I did decide to. Her chances of finding a good home would be better if she was sound.


What would you do if you were in my shoes? I really care about all of them, and would want them to be guaranteed good homes for life. I was considering free leasing one.. Possibly my first mare, as she is good for kids.

Mysti.. if she was sound.. Could never do well at barrel racing. Pie is tiny (14hh) so I don't know how she'd do either. I can't afford to own THREE lame horses. I work all the time to pay for horses that I can't do anything with.. which really sucks.

Any insight is greatly appreciated. I'm really stuck.
     
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    11-24-2013, 03:26 PM
  #2
Started
You want to do competitive riding that requires a sound, fast horse. Either change your goals or change out your horses. That sounds harsh, and I suppose in a way it is, but as is, I doubt you're going to be able to have both. What is more important to you- racing or providing a permanent home to the horses you currently have? No value judgement from me, as I can only afford one horse and want to ride so it must be one sound horse.

You could rehome/euthanize one you have to make room or change your goals. One thing to bear in mind is that arthritis and joint pain only gets worse- if the horses are unsound now from that cause, it's certainly not going to get better. What is more important to you?
     
    11-24-2013, 03:32 PM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpie    
You want to do competitive riding that requires a sound, fast horse. Either change your goals or change out your horses. That sounds harsh, and I suppose in a way it is, but as is, I doubt you're going to be able to have both. What is more important to you- racing or providing a permanent home to the horses you currently have? No value judgement from me, as I can only afford one horse and want to ride so it must be one sound horse.

You could rehome/euthanize one you have to make room or change your goals. One thing to bear in mind is that arthritis and joint pain only gets worse- if the horses are unsound now from that cause, it's certainly not going to get better. What is more important to you?
I know. It's insanely hard. I just wish the first horse would have stayed sound. Owning one sound horse would be the absolute best. If these were cars or some other "thing" we were dealing with.. I'd have no problem selling. But when they are living breathing animals.. I can't just do whatever with them when they no longer serve me. It's obviously more important to me to make sure they are taken care of properly for their years to come. Although I really want to barrel race. That's all I've ever dreamed of doing. I don't know what to do.
Pie and Mysti.. I'm not sure if they have arthritis. Mysti had her hocks xrayed, and they were good. I think for her.. she may have really whacked muscles in her hind end, same with Pie. Mysti is also not really broke to ride well.. she would occasionaly bolt or buck when she got frightened.
Is there anyone out there who takes in unsound horses on a retirement farm or something?
     
    11-24-2013, 04:16 PM
  #4
Weanling
I see you're in BC. I don't know where abouts you are, but maybe J&M rescues could help you find placement for one of them?
     
    11-24-2013, 04:28 PM
  #5
Yearling
Could you find a rescue to donate them to? Sounds bad but you do have 3 horses you can't even ride that aren't suitable for what your wanting anyway. I don't like the thought of getting rid of lame horses, but sometimes you have to let go on the expenses. I'm with Sharpie, I'd rather only have one good sound horse.
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    11-24-2013, 04:28 PM
  #6
Yearling
I think it's admirable that you only want the best for them. I know where I work we've had several lame horses that found homes with children who had disabilities. They were only ridden once in a while and made great pets on the ground for kids. Maybe if you check around with barns, thereputic programs and the like someone and their child will be looking for a horse like one of your kid broke ones.

Advertise the ones who don't fit that bill as possible pasture ornaments and though you might not make any money off of them you can always post ads at your local feed stores and hope that someone comes along. As sad as it sounds euthanasia is also a viable option, though I understand that it might not be the route you want to go. I'm sorry you're going through this.
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    11-24-2013, 04:52 PM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incitatus32    
I think it's admirable that you only want the best for them. I know where I work we've had several lame horses that found homes with children who had disabilities. They were only ridden once in a while and made great pets on the ground for kids. Maybe if you check around with barns, thereputic programs and the like someone and their child will be looking for a horse like one of your kid broke ones.

^^ You could check with the Langley Therapeutic place.
     
    11-24-2013, 08:19 PM
  #8
Weanling
I think euthanasia is a solid option here. Mysti's personality and soundness issues would make her my choice...
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    11-24-2013, 08:34 PM
  #9
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarrelRacer23    
Could you find a rescue to donate them to? Sounds bad but you do have 3 horses you can't even ride that aren't suitable for what your wanting anyway. I don't like the thought of getting rid of lame horses, but sometimes you have to let go on the expenses. I'm with Sharpie, I'd rather only have one good sound horse.
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I would like to note that rescues should not be seen as a "dumping ground" for lame and/or elderly horses. Rather, successful rescues focus on rehabilitating horses that have the physical and mental potential to become reliable riding companions.

In this case, I believe that humane euthanasia is one of the most responsible choices. That, or continue to care for them and enjoy them to the extent of their ability. There truly is no guarantee that these horses will not end up in neglectful or dangerous situations if you attempt to rehome them.
     
    11-24-2013, 09:35 PM
  #10
Weanling
I agree with Eolith about the rescues. They need to somehow break even too, and there are just more unsound horses or horses with issues than there are good spots.

To answer your title question "what would you do?" - I, personally would suck it up, provide for those horses I've committed to, and dial down my goals. View it as a lesson and maybe change your horse purchasing strategies for the future. An auction horse without a PPE is always a crapshoot.

I only have one unsound horse (he's my only horse, too), but I would never euthanize him as long as HE still has a good quality of life. I would never put my own goals over the life of my horse. I know others see this differently, but to me, euthanasia is a way to not make an animal suffer needlessly. It is not a means to replace a horse that has become useless, but can still lead a happy rest of its life.
Do I wish I could do with my gelding what I really want to do (dressage)? Hell, yes. And who knows, one day he might be sound enough for it again. But maybe not...
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