Long story short, over the summer my older horse started with a lot of back problems. I've tried everything I think I could do to help him and nothing seems to be doing any good, every ride just gets more and more painful for him. I think the age and past life is finally catching up to him :(
Needless to say I have adopted an OTTB to take over the workload and let my poor old man rest but I really don't know what to do with my older gelding. He is my first horse and I have a bond with him that I don't think I will ever find in another horse and would really rather not sell him. I really want to keep him at the farm with me (where I'm currently boarding) but with the way the economy is I don't know if I will be able to keep up on the board for two at the farm I'm at.
I've been thinking about seeing about retirement farms for him or somewhere where he can just live out his years being a horse. So my questions become
1) does anyone know of any good retirement farms in the nj/pa/ny area?
2) is retirement boarding a good option or am I better off finding a backyard somewhere where he can mow the lawn?
It's sometimes possible to find someone looking for a pasture mate for their only child. That would be ideal for you.
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The problem with a retirement farm is that you would still end up paying a monthly "board" fee. Your best bet is what the others have said...advertise him as a retired horse that needs to be a pasture buddy. Use a free to good home only, require references and hopefully, if people are willing, request updates and/or visitation rights.
Not sure why someone would take on your responsibilities for none of the gains of having a rideable horse. I wouldnt take one like that. Gonna take on a older horse that cant be rode so i can be stuck with extra vet bills, extra food needs, and most likely get stuck with him when the owner quits paying. Just so I can get attached then suffer watching him slowly die. And then deal with those expenses.
Sorry but I just dont go for the attitude, of ride/ show/ use a horse that had lived his life to serve you, then as soon as he cant perform buy another and kick him to the curb. Sugar coat it all you want but that is what you just asked.
My place is always set up for 3 horses. Old retired guy, current ride, new baby. Eventually current ride will be old retired guy. I feel if they gave so much of their life giving me joy and pleasure I owe them a comfortable, carefree life in their retirement years.
Joe..it is a matter of what someone can afford. Sure, it would be nice if everyone had 10 or so acres where they could have their retired horse and their new horse, however, most of us aren't in that position. All horses retire eventually and it is for their health and well being that we stop riding when it becomes too much for the horse to handle. People out there do look for pasture mates for their horse(s) and are willing to take on the expense of an older animal as in most cases the pasture buddy is normally offered at no cost of purchase. Retirement farms have sprung up for just the reasons above which also offer an alternative to euthanasia. Even young horses have to be retired occasionally due to whatever condition.
It isn't fair to belittle someone for wanting to find a good home for their retireee. or for wanting and locating another horse when the current one can no longer be ridden. As much as I have loved the horses I have had, I would be in the same position if it came to it.
Sam...try an internet search for retirement farms in the states you listed. If you find one, do a look at prices, services, visiting rules etc. If you decide to go the retirment farm route, make sure to visit the place just as you would if you were trying to locate a new riding facility. Here is one I found just on a quick search:
It isnt fair to just pawn your responsibilities off on someone else either. If you cant afford to give it a home you shouldnt have brought it home in the first place. Sorry but advertisements and postings like this are upsetting to me. Animals are living breathing creatures not disposable garbage. I just find it extremely selfish to want to pawn the old guy off on someone else to deal with in his declining years.
It's not always a case of "pawning off". A friend of mine has an ancient 30yr old, toothless pony who gets used as a companion. She's calm, quiet, easy-going and makes a great buddy for a recovering horse or a high-strung one. Doesn't crib, chew, destroy fences or attempt to escape, even if the gate is wide open.
She's not exactly low-maintenance as being toothless all her meals have to be soaked and she cannot eat hay in any form other than soaked pellets. Her companion skills and non-destructive ways out-value her feed needs though, so people "borrow" her when they need a companion.
She's in-between "jobs" right now so she hangs out at the barn and keeps my horse company (he shares his alfalfa with her, she loves the taste, not that she can actually "eat" it). If I was to bring my horse home instead of boarding him, I'd bring her too. I won't keep a horse alone and I don't have time to ride multiple or deal with a horse that is destructive or needs training-refreshers in addition to my own horse. ANY horse I got to keep mine company would cost me $$$, why not take one that won't cause me the slightest headache.
as for everyone else thank you for your input. I greatly appreciate it. I will defiantly look into it more.
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