Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
For myself, I think when a horse is in regular pain, from which it has no chance of recovery, it should be humanely euthanized. I don't think it's fair to put an lame, arthritic or other wise uncomfortable horse in a 'retirement' situation. All the horse knows is the present, if they are comfortable and doing the job they love. They don't sit there thinking every day about the time, down the road, when they can enjoy doing nothing out in the pasture. They wake up every morning feeling sore. I wont condemn my horse to a life of discomfort/pain. When I find out they are permanently unsound, I will make the hard, but I feel, kind, decision to let them go.
I'm currently watching a boarders gelding in his mid 20's. he's worked hard for and been mistreated by people along the way. He has no top line and very little muscle tone. He developed an issue with tripping and falling, particularly while being ridden, likely caused by arthritis, and potentially cancer. He has two large lumps under his skin(think soft ball sized) that are visibly growing and spreading as the months go by, that the vet cant operate on. He had a hard time keeping weight on last winter, and has become anti social with the other horses in the herd.
letting go may be hard, but it is often the nicest thing you can do.