When to save a horse, when to not...
I've been thinking about this after reading a few different threads. People see horses at auction or rescues or that other people have and there's this innate feeling about wanting to save them. But I always wonder, does that sometimes go to far?
Are there just some horses that keeping them alive is worse than letting them go?
Yes, I think there are situations in which the process of "saving" the horse (or any animal) is worse for the poor animal than providing a passing would be. In those situations, one can only hope that the people involved can SEE it and are able/willing to act accordingly. Sometimes "saving" them means saving them from further suffering.
That's what I was thinking. But if you tell people, you can't save every horse, they look at you like you've grown a second head. How could you possible say that sort of thing.
As long as the horse is not in a terrible amount of pain, and there is a chance that the horse will live a normal life, I encourage it. As long as you know what you are doing. But then you get people who don't know what they're doing and they just screw it up more. Yes, some people take it too far. Keeping a horse alive when it should be put down and all, but overall I think many people kno0w what they are doing...for the most part.
I think a lot of people think they know what they are doing but don't. I think too many people do not involve their vets more intensely.
Where I board we get the horses that are seized by Animal Control and the Humane Society. I've seen the BO put everything she's got into saving a horse and then when she realizes that it's just not working, she lets the horse go. I don't think enough people do that. I don't think it's failure to let a horse go.
Horses are tough an will come back from alot of things but only if the person trying to bring them back knows what they are doing an such. You cant save them all esspecially if you dont have the money too.
My friends pony coliced then foundered and they didnt have the money to treat her for it. They tried for a month keeping a close eye on her doing what they could when they could. My friend even carried water an feed to the horse because she would just lay down most of the day. But when she realized it was a lost cause (and it was...the case was seviere and it had gone on long enough that there was no hope even if they did suddenly get the money to treat it) she had her put down.
Sometimes its the best way to go...more people need to learn that sometimes its kinder to end things then prolong them.
I've seen some pretty flimsy rescue groups out there that have no business being involved with horses.
This is definitely an interesting thread. While I didn't get my OTTB from a rescue organization or actually pull him off the slaughter wagon, I still semi-consider him a rescue horse. He came from an honest, loving home but they just couldn't give him what he needed. They had three other horses to take care of, a huge herd of cattle, goats, four dogs and five cats, and not to mention bills. The husband lost his job at Alltel and they couldn't make ends meet anymore. I didn't realize how bad off he was until we had started in with the sale and the woman started explaining to me his feed rations and everything else. No hay and 8lbs of grain with 24/7 turn out. There was basically no shade from the Florida sun on their 2 1/2-3 acre field, and I don't think that they were given blankets over the winter either.
I didn't buy him because I felt the need to "save" him, I liked him. But now that I look back I think that's exactly what I did. He'd been on the market for a few months already and only one other person had gone to look at him. She even said she would hate to see him go to auction, but thats what they would have ended up having to do.
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.
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