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When to save a horse, when to not...

This is a discussion on When to save a horse, when to not... within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    02-14-2010, 04:59 PM
The way I see it since you can't save all horses you should save the best horses. I would not buy a horse that was not sound or severly underwieght because I could "rescue" three horses for what it takes to rehab one broken down old nag. I also would not rescue a horse that I couldn't sell for a profit. I believe that the higher priced horses sell to better homes generally so I want my horses to go for as much as possible.
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    02-14-2010, 05:12 PM
Green Broke
There are some horses that are in too much pain and putting them out of their misery would be a blessing and unfortunately some people can't see that.

Plus there are so many horses out there right now in need of homes - where would the resources be better utilized? On a healthy horse who may just need a few groceries or training/handling to become a productive equine, or an injured horse who most likely never be anything more than pasture sound, if that?

While people can spend their own money on what they want to save, and more power to them, some choices do leave me wondering. And the ones that really annoy me are the ones who take on a horse who is in horrible shape and then beg for donations to care for that horse.
    02-14-2010, 05:14 PM
Green Broke
Cat I agree exactly about the last sentence. I have the misfortune of sending money to a rescue that wasn't using it for the horses at all. Luckily, she got caught - the horses were removed and placed into good homes.

Kevin - that was a great reply.
    02-15-2010, 12:31 AM
Originally Posted by Solon    
I've seen some pretty flimsy rescue groups out there that have no business being involved with horses.

I agree.
I also know some rescue groups like that who keep all of their 'rescues' together. Stallions, mares, geldings, ponies, whatever. So know they're making even more useless horses to add to the problem. Some of them are extremely inbred, hard to train, and almost feral because they're never messed with. Then they never adapt them out because they start to grow attached to them.

You would think that as a rescue your goal would be to provide care, rehabilitation, and relocation. Not to create more to add to the problem.
    02-15-2010, 11:24 AM
Yea I know allot of people spend so much time saving them, that they can't allways take care of them once they save them. It's only saving if you have the money to give the horse what it needs. It gets so sad sometimes
    02-15-2010, 12:42 PM
I think you mostly have to go on your gut feeling when deciding whether or not to keep an animal going. I look at quality of life.
I want to take home every horse I see at auctions, but I know my limits. I just don't have the resources to take on any more horses at the moment.
    02-15-2010, 07:57 PM
I think most horses can be saved, but not in the classic sense of the word. I think 'saved' can mean euthanizing a horse that is in extreme pain or is past the point of a good recovery. There are multiple situations where you would be doing the horse a favor by putting them down instead of making them stay in a trailer for hours on end with a broken leg only to stand around in a rescue paddock. Rescue missions need to recognize the line between what they can rehab and what they should put down. If the ones that need it are put down, more room can be made for horses that need rehab.
    02-15-2010, 09:15 PM
Green Broke
Haven't read all the posts... but I agree. Some horses are just not meant to be saved.

The "rescue" I got my rescue horse from was one of those that really shouldn't have saved an animal. They did not take care of them and they were dishonest about the actual condition of their horses. My horse came 200 lbs underweight, with severe biting problems, rearing problems, and mites. He was there for a whole summer and he LOST weight. Ugh.

He was so bad, that I couldn't handle him at all. He was a danger to himself and almost killed me twice. Literally. Luckily, I found him a home that knew how to handle a horse like that but seriously, he probably shouldn't have been saved in the first place. He could kill someone.
    02-15-2010, 10:15 PM
Green Broke
I agree with all the posts on here, I also think there are boundries of when you should save your horse from a sickness or colic or something, or put them down. Even though they could be you best friend, your everything, putting them through a sergury or rehab when they might not even get out alive is IMO more for YOU(not anyone specific) then the horse. Putting a horse through more pain and misery so that YOU (not actually anyone specific) can feel like you tryed, and did your best for the horse isnt a valid reason to put him through that, or because you think you can't live without your horse, Most of the time when I horse is beyond saving they have pretty much lost all will to live.
    02-15-2010, 10:35 PM
Originally Posted by Gillian    
Rescuing is a great thing to do when you have the time, the knowledge, and the money to do so. While I love the idea of getting a horse in a rotten state and bringing it back to health, I'm not cut out for it. I could not afford all the extra time and money it would take to do that, and have no previous experience with a horse in that state. I would not take on a rescue at this point in my life. People need to really and truly self evaluate, and not lie to themselves about their abilities. It doesn't matter how badly you want to "save" the horse, if you don't have the means there is no way.

I have to say that this is how I feel about this topic too.

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