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SpearJ 06-27-2008 04:45 PM

Sell or put down or what???
Hey all, I have a horse I can no longer keep.

I've had him for 12 years (he is now 18). I purchased him out of a low-end sale - he was sold loose in the ring.

He is unregistered and 18 years old.
He is a runaway "unfixable" according to many good trainers.
He is rideable but it takes a lot of work and he is not suitable for just about every discipline out there besides trail riding and he is only kind of suitable there.

Selling him, with the way the market is, he'd probably wind up in a Mexican slaughter plant and I can't do that to him.

The rescues are full and I don't trust many of them anyway.

Putting him down? That just seems wrong but then I can be assured he had a good life/death with me. Perhaps that is selfish?

Selling him, I feel like I'd be ditching him. I believe he'd feel like I was ditching him. He is extremely sensitve and is liable to run off, kick or pull back if he feels pressured.

Can't lease him. Everyone capable of not getting hurt by him doesn't lease horses and doesn't like horses like him. He really requires work.

I can't keep him because I lost my job and am having a really hard time making board (among other things). His board will have to start going on a credit card. As it is, the last two years, I've only been able to get out to ride him once a month or so.

Advice please! This is quite possibly my hardest decision to make.

I really really want to do the right thing by him. That is what is most important to me.

Thank you

my2geldings 06-27-2008 04:48 PM

Have you tried posting him as a companion horse? If you list as that for a reasonable price and explain in the add, you might get a grab on someone who wants just that.

If that fails, not knowing him or you it's a hard decision to make but knowing he is 18 without good training it will be hard to find someone who would want to invest.

keep us posted :)

FriesianSH 06-28-2008 02:43 PM

Boy, that's a tough one, and I don't envy your decision. But I do understand...
You may want to try to sell him and see if you find someone that you don't think will take him to slaughter. But it can be difficult to place an older, unreliable horse. I also definitely understand your economic situation. We take in our animals believing that we'll always be able to give them a good home for as long as they live, but sometimes, that's just not realistic. Life happens, and difficult decisions are forced on us.
Last year I sold my 15 year old morab mare (I'd had her for 14 years) because I almost never rode her anymore, and I couldn't justify boarding two horses. Also, she just wasn't a good fit for me, and I don't believe in people being stuck with a horse they don't enjoy or can't work with. A horse that's a horrible fit for one person may be a great fit for someone else.
Anyway, I'd lost my job and had to move, and I decided one of the two horses had to go. I was fortunate enough that my mare went to an acquaintance, so I can keep tabs on her. The only bad thing is that she has now developed laminitis twice at her new home because the people are somewhat ignorant. They love her, but they're loving her to death--literally.
I understand you not wanting your horse to go to a Mexican slaughterhouse. Unlike Canada, where they shoot the horses in the head, Mexico stabs them in the neck with a knife until they die. If it came down to it, and I knew there was a high likelihood that my horse would end up there, I'd opt for humane euthanization.
Only you can decide, and it's not going to be easy. But just make the best decision you can for the well-being of the horse, and once it's done, you have to try to let it go knowing you did the best you could.

PoptartShop 06-28-2008 03:48 PM

13 Attachment(s)
I'd personally sell him...but if you can't I guess you can put him down? Ugh, not a good situation. :(

JustDressageIt 06-29-2008 01:05 AM

Unfortunately the way the market is... selling an 18 year old "unrideable" (unreliable is perhaps a better term) horse is going to be hard. Nowadays you can go to an auction and buy a well-broke youngster for $600... I'm willing to bet that the prices will plummet even more come winter, when hay prices peak.
It's hard, but I think that putting him down might be the best option. That way you know that he's had a good life and a good death with you.
Once you sell a horse you have virtually no way of guaranteeing their quality of life from there on in.
Best of luck with your decision, I surely don't envy your situation :(

DreamingOfHorses 06-29-2008 02:27 AM

Try finding him a good home! And just make sure they don't sellf him to the slaughter house. That'll be terrible. Just try to find him a nice home that has alot of patience.

kickshaw 06-29-2008 12:37 PM

what about finding him a home in someone's vacant lot (or to keep company with another old horse?)

I see ads all the time around here wanting a "companion for my old show horse, etc."

personally, i would exhaust all "happy endings" before going the sell/put down route.

buckaroo2010 06-29-2008 03:11 PM

I dont know what to tell your because idk what I would do if I was in your place I know thats itx very hard on you at the moment and whatever you choose I hope its for the best!

Angel_Leaguer 06-30-2008 09:49 AM

I would list him for a companion horse. I now on they have a section for free horses and many people have "rules" for the people that get the horse. I would think that would be a better option then putting him down. But if you know that he may be heading to the mexico border then I would have him put down humanly (as hard as that would be to do). I cant imagine how tough this is for you.

Dumas'_Grrrl 06-30-2008 10:25 AM

I'm going to go against the grain here and say that putting down a horse that has issues is not a bad thing. He is 18 and untrainable as I understand from your post. What are his ground manners like? He could still have 10+ years of life left but, if someone can't handle him for regular vet visits and farrier trims...He could be left in a pasture to just be neglected. I have seen this too many times with "companions". I would hesitate off loading him as a "pet" if he can't be handled on the ground. Perhaps in this case, sadly, putting him down might be better.

I'm sorry for your situation. You are in a tough spot. Good luck.((hugs))

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