Horses choosing time and place - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-04-2013, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pennsylvania
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Horses choosing time and place

Most of us have seen a horse die. Whether it be a merciful end to hours of thrashing or holding the lead rope to an old arthritic friend and feeding him treats before he goes. We usually help them pass on.

We artificially create horses, artificially keep them alive, and in turn, artificially choose their death.

A horse at my facility recently passed away by himself. He wasnt feeling well and blood work had been done and medication had been administered. He seemed to be doing better so the BO have him some turn out. She was done with a lesson and opened the gate to let him in. He walked back to the barn on his own, picked out a stall and just laid down to sleep. She didnt even know he passed until she went over to close the stall and found him dead inside.

It's sometimes a rare occurance when animals die on their own. I've heard of dogs and cats wandering off to die, but I've never actually seen/witnessed a horse choose his time and location.

It was just interesting to experience. I feel bad for the BO because he showed many signs of feeling better and they were waiting on the blood results. She's upset and I can understand why. I'm happy he went peacefully though.

Does anyone else have stories of when a horse chose their own time?
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-05-2013, 05:56 PM
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I have found a few horses that just died in the field, non of these had been sick and they all had internal bleed out.

Only one old pony I knew (and had ridden as a child) actually died in the barn.
He was ancient, had few teeth left and was getting very arthritic. He was also nearly blind and deaf as a post.
The decision was made to have the local fox hunt come and put him down before winter set in.
I brought him in from the field and let him graze in the stable lawn whilst I rode another horse. I returned and Toddy had wandered into the hay barn and lay down.
He had his mouth resting on a knee as he often did. As I walked by him I put my foot on him and said "Come on Toddy, up you get." He just rolled over and had died in his sleep.

His owner, my boss, had not wanted to be around when he went on so I had said I would be with him. When she returned and I told her he had died she never believed me no matter how much I swore it was true. It was only when I met her a couple of years ago and we mentioned it, did she believe me.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-05-2013, 05:59 PM
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Virginia
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My first "horse" was a Shetland pony cross. She was old (late 30s) and was blind. One day when I went to the field to get the horses for feeding time she was just laying there like she usually did sunning herself. So I walked over to her and she had passed on.

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post #4 of 6 Old 06-05-2013, 06:01 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: nw NJ
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My first horse died in his paddock. One evening he seemed fine albeit old and arthritic, the next early morning he was stretched out on his side...gone. I guess he was just ready. Unfortunately I wasn't. I still miss him even though it was a good 15+ years ago.

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post #5 of 6 Old 06-05-2013, 09:05 PM
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I think a lot of people here likely read the whole story, but I still believe that Indie waited out as long as she could before she died. She stuck it out for over seven hours, and even though it was by no means ideal, I was there for the last two of them. (although if I had known, it would've been the whole time) I regret not having decided for her, but I did start to believe that she was going to be okay and before the vet had left for a bit, he said she looked to be improving although it would likely be a long road ahead. She deserved a calm, peaceful death after giving me the best three months of my life.

Forever loved, never forgotten; my beautiful Indie. <3 Hoofprints on my heart.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-05-2013, 09:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Reno, Nevada
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Last year on the 4th of July we lost a foal that didnt even make it 24 hours. It was my boyfriends dads mare that had him and he was such a cutie. I felt so bad because we went to the Lake for the 4th of July and didnt have cell service so we didnt even know until we got home and all of our phones were blown up from his Dads friends that were nursing him the entire day. They tried everything and couldnt get a vet out because it was the 4th of July, they tried a shot that a vet had recommended over the phone but it didnt work and by the time we made it home he had already passed. I felt so terrible inside I was planning on going over to meet him when we got home, but instead I had to see him after he passed. This year we are expecting another baby from the same mare and we will be sure to watch and make sure everything is going well for the first couple days. It was the weirdest thing because all of the horses were acting totally different and I could not stop standing by mama mares side I felt so bad for her. I have attached a picture of the little guy and his mom..not the best picture but he was cute. (Not that every foal isnt!)
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