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So I've been thinking for a while on this, and I need some advice on it.

I have a 16 year old gelding who seems to be forming laminitis. I have been talking to many different farriers in my area about what I could possibly get done for him as in correction shoes and trims. He is the sweetest gelding, very funny and a beautiful paint. When I ride him he is completely fine but when others ride he seems very spunky with them... this has caused my effort to rehome him before college very difficult.

I cannot take him with me to college. My family has stopped helping me pay for his feed and routine vet checkups and farrier work. I only have a weekend barn job that only gives me $70-$80 a week and I still have things like car insurance, gas, and phone bills to pay for. Right now I am at a loss of what to do.

No one wants to buy a horse that has laminitis, and I cannot pay the $100 or so for shoes on top of his feed and hay. I don't want to just give him away to the first person that comes with a trailer, I'm terrified he will end up in a slaughter house. I have been thinking of possibly seeing if a nearby rescue/rehab place could take him but at the same time I feel like I would be a bad person... yet I can't keep him or continue paying for him.

I feel like I'm such an irresponsible owner... but there's really nothing more I can do at this point without help from others. I feel like trying to place him in early retirement or rehab would be the best morally thing to do... does anyone have any advice? Any is appreciated.
 

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Have you had vet confirmation on the suspected laminitis?

If you cannot rehome him to a trusted individual and cannot keep him, the ethical thing to do is euthanize him. This keeps him out of the wrong hands, and gives him a peaceful, safe end to his life.
 

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If he "seems to be forming laminitis" rather than he's having active acute laminitis, then you need to examine his feed and pasture situation. You mention your parents not paying for feed. Do you mean hay, or is he actually getting hard feed? Is he on too much pasture? If his laminitis isn't too bad, you should be able to get him back to sound by addressing his food situation and with a good farrier and a set of trimmings close together.

IMHO a laminitic horse in most cases doesn't need shoes. It needs proper diet and trimming. Putting shoes is just a bandaid, and you need to solve the actual problem. So, again, in my opinion, you can save this $100 and maybe even save more by eliminating any hard feed he's getting. Perhaps you could talk to your parents about paying for part of his expenses while you pay for the other part?

Lately it seems like all I'm hearing is how everyone is buying now and no one is selling. Have you looked into different places to try to sell him, like FB, CL, ads in feed stores, word of mouth, etc.? Perhaps you could see if there are any rescues that could take him. Could you find someone to free lease him?
 

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1. Sadly euthanizing him is one option.

2. The other option would be to find a 501(c)3 rescue in your area and see if they would take him. I specifically say 501(c)3 because they are legitimate rescues, by and large, who would rehab him, get his diet on the right track, and try to find him a forever home.

I wouldn’t hand him over to just anyone claiming to be a rescue, as his fate could be something not nice. I fear someone unsavory may take advantage not only of your situation but also your age - con artists are great at convincing trusting and/or desperate folks.

I hope you can get this resolved before you leave for college. Best wishes and good luck:)
 

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Talk to local riding barns that offer lessons and offer a free lease. Talk to the school you are going to to see if they have an equestrian team. Talk to 4-H leaders and offer a free lease. He is not getting laminitis if he shows signs. It means he has it. It's not the end of the world. There are people out there that willl take in a horse like this. Talk to your farrier about helping find a home for him. There are always options!
 

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I would find a rescue. You could donate your tack or some money to them towards his care if that made you feel better. There's nothing wrong with giving him up to a rescue if you can't care for him.
 

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See if any of your contacts want a free horse. You're not irresponsible, you're realizing that there is no way you can keep him. I sold my horse when I went to university because my parents wanted nothing to do with horses, and there was no way I could afford a horse. I have no regrets. You can get back into horses later, like I did. Right now, you just need to rehome him. Don't just list him for free, but reach out to everyone you trust in the horse world in your area and see if anyone would take him on at no cost. But yes, a rescue is also an option. I prefer to know where my horse is going though. And with the right person, you could potentially even get updates on him.

I second the diet analysis as well.
 

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First, as Carshon says, he has laminitis, if you've noticed signs. Just that a lot of people, even sadly some vets who aren't well educated about hooves, don't seem to recognise laminitis until it reaches the chronically deformed AND lame stage, or the horse has an 'acute attack'. Secondly, you don't need shoes, though he may need hoof boots/padding, and generally horses are better off without conventional fixed shoes when they have laminitis or their hooves are compromised/ill.

Unfortunately, if you care for the horse, seriously can't look after him, can't find that one-in-a-million someone or rescue who wants to take on a lami horse, AND knows how & is willing to put in the money & effort to rehabilitate him, AND you can trust them not to palm off the horse once he's right, or once they've had enough, I agree with those who say euthanising would be the better option than giving him to the wrong person/rescue.
 
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