horse disposal- of a healthy 4 year old mare??!
At the end of May, someone we knew gave us a horse to loan and train- she is a 4 year old ex racehorse mare with the sweetest temperement. The main reason of having her was to do Pony club camp on her, so that she could be sold for more money at the end of the summer (although i had always thought that we would buy her off the owner anyway). Sadly, due to the weather, camp was cancelled and the owner got impatient and said that she would take her away. We got her vetted so we could buy her, but she failed due to a sarcoid- and dodgy legs due to her racing career. the owner collected her that very day to take her away (this was about 2 weeks ago). Obviously, i was devastated and tried to find out where she had gone, but the owner was ignoring anyone who tried to contact her about the issue. A few days later, the owner got back to us and said that she couldnt find anyone to have her- would we like her or she would be put down.
Understandably, we couldnt afford to keep a horse with a failed vetting who would need expensive vet bills in the future. but we said that we would have her and try and find someone who would like a horse for light work and as a companion. the owner didnt get back to us again, and yesterday finally said that she was being put down today (wednesday).
she said there is nothing we can do about it, whats decided is decided.
So please can someone help me on what i can do. i have rung round just about any horse disposal service in south west england and asked whether they have had any horses meeting her description today that hadnt been euthanised yet. i just felt like i need to tell some people- and ask if anyone knows what i could do? she is the sweetest, loveliest and most caring horse who has had a tough life being beaten down the race tracks up until she came to us- and she is only 4!! how could anyone want to put a healthy horse down at that young age when there were other options available!?
i would be grateful for anyone who could advise me on what to do next. would anyone know how i could get hold of any of the hunts' flesh collection services (in gloucestershire, england)? or how i can prevent the owner from doing something similar like this in the future with another horse?
any help or advice would be much appreciated, thankyou x
I know it sounds harsh, but a horse with dodgey enough legs to fail a vetting aged 4 yrs old is not a healthy horse.
Personaly I would rather put a horse with issues to sleep than sell them on to an uncertain future. There are thousands of horses for sale at the moment with no issues and going for very little money. IMO the owner is being very responsible.
People just dont want field ornaments or companions that are 16hh++ and needing as much attention as a TB, they want little native ponies who live on fresh air and dont need attention.
The horse is not yours and you cannot prevent this lady doing this nor can you stop her doing it in future.
Sadly, you have run into a fact of life for many race horses. A failed vet check means the horse would be almost impossible to sell and the owner is getting out from under the expense of maintaining her. It's a shame that the owner wasn't more cooperative in dealing with you. This is the difference between seeing the horse as a pet, or the horse as a business.
In the states, many thoroughbreds go on to useful lives in other disciplines after their career on the track is over. But even they have to be sound. There are a lot of horses in the world and not enough places for those who aren't sound. The owner could have been more considerate and made more of an effort. I don't know why she didn't. I don't know of any way you can prevent this owner from making a decision like this again in the future. Unfortunately, it is not an unusual decision in the racing world. She may be very concerned about what ultimately would happen to this horse. With dodgy legs, the future wasn't bright.
Her horse, her decision.
Telling the owner, "Oh, WE don't want her, but we'll try and find someone who might want to deal with an expensive pasture pet who needs constant pain management care.", wouldn't give me as an owner the warm and fuzzies. I'd reject your offer, too.
I think her owner made the responsible decision. Better that, than an unknown and most likely hard future before she was finally sold to the slaughter house.
Stop stalking the owner, and leave her in peace.
oh and I should add, that going to PC camp would not add value to her, getting her out and competing would but you can take any horse to PC camp!
I think it's too late. She may not even have gone to a disposal service (whatever that is) and just called the vet and had her put down - that's how most do it.
If she had bad legs, she would have been miserable in pony club camp. Pony club horses often have to do a lot of speed events with tight maneuvers and jumping - bad legs wouldn't hold up. Being a camp horse wouldn't raise her value either - would likely lower it. People don't really have good feelings about the training of camp horses.
All in all, there's nothing you can do except mourn the horse. The owner offered her to you and you said no. If her legs weren't good enough for you, why would they be for someone else? It's better that she's put down than be tossed around from owner to owner as her legs fail then end up in a slaughter house.
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