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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


SO- I need some help...

I have a 22 year old gelding, QH/cross with who knows what. My friend got him about 3 years ago as a training project. He has been barrel raced sense he was 4 or 5 and knows his job very well. She had sold him 3 years ago, and I was heart broken... I had fallen in love with him and then he was gone... But not for long. He came back to her because the people could not handle him, as he is a "hot" headed horse, and does not ride on trails well, as he just wants to run his pattern. My friend had then put weight back on him, ( he had lost a lot.) She then sold him on a buy back contract to a girl who wanted to barrel race him. I could not buy him at the time or I would have, and again was heart broke that he was gone.


Now, April of 2013 I saw this gelding, (Arliss) On a facebook horse group for sale ad. He was skinny, but I knew it was him. I contacted his owner at the time and went back and forth with her on buying him, She was selling him because he had a rearing problem and she could not handle him. He was 21 at this time. And she was asking a lot for him. After about 3 weeks of going back and forth with her, she finally decided she would sell him. ( she kept going back and forth on if she wanted to or not.) When I went to pick him up, 3 hour drive, made into a 7 hour drive when my boyfriends truck blew up on the way down and we had to have someone switch us trucks.... I finally got him back! He was much skinnier then the pictures.... I then spend the summer trying to get rid of his rearing problem, and gaining weight.... In is age, this horse has become a hard keeper.... and after almost a year I can not afford to keep him... It breaks my heart, But he eats my whole pay checks away... :( I have been trying to find a good home for him, that will feed him. He is a gentleman on the ground but does not ride well. After getting him back he is very "jiggy" and will rear if frustrated. He eats a ton, and I have him at a good weight but I know I cant do this much longer, so I'm not sure what to do.... The only people that are interested in him are no good people that just want to run the **** out of him and I know wont feed him... He is a great horse at shows, and is still running in 2d times at local shows, But I am not big into barrel racing like I was when I first met Arliss. I just am at loss as what to do with him. :( Does anyone have any good ideas? Any horse retirement homes they know of? I am in Northern MI but willing to go a ways. This horse has had noting but bad home after bad home, nothing but people not feeding him and running the crap out of him. Hes only been up to weight when hes with me or my friend. Any help guys?? Please?

Notes: He is a really nice barrel horse, nice mover. I'm very willing to give him to someone I know will feed him, But I am not finding those people anywhere.... That is why I need ideas... Thank you.
 

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Your only 100% sure ways to make sure he will not be mistreated in the future are to keep him yourself or to have him euthanized. It sounds like you cannot continue to do the former, and most people have a hard time with the latter. An older horse, a hard keeper, and a tough ride, are all individually things that would make it hard to place a horse, all three in one is a very tall order that is unlikely to appear quickly.

How quickly do you need him gone? The more time you can give him, the better your chance, but there's no guarantee. If you don't have the time and money to wait for someone to take him on and your friend doesn't want him back, you're going to have to choose between putting him down, knowing he will never experience pain or a harsh hand or taking the chance with another 'iffy' home. If you think a competitor might want him, and you're willing to risk an 'unknown' home, you might have someone run him for you at a ride and advertise him there if he is still as competitive as you say. I hope you get lucky and find a place for him!
 

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What are you feeding him now? Have you tried a grain with a higher fat content? Or a weight building supplement? Sometimes, just feeding a better grain can have a huge impact. My thoroughbred is kind of a hard keeper, he can lose weight quickly if he isn't being fed properly. I had to put a lot of weight on him when I first got him and it was such a huge hassle keeping it on. I tried a couple different grains, different amounts per feeding, and nothing was doing the trick. Then I found Tribute Kalm Ultra (12% Fat) and holy crap! What a difference. Eventually, I had to switch him over to Tribute Maturity Pelleted (6% Fat) he's maintaining very well on it. It's a really good quality feed.

I know people who add vegetable oil to their horse's feed to up their caloric intake. Some oils are better than others, of course, so it would take some reading to figure out which would be best.

Also, there is such a thing as a retirement home for horses. I don't know of any up there, but we have them down here in Ann Arbor. Like this place, for example... Whispering Willows Equine Retirement Home ... It seems like the care would be top notch. If my horse ever becomes unrideable, I'd seriously consider boarding at a place like that. Maybe you could even find a cheap, but quality place to board him that isn't necessarily a "retirement home". Somewhere that would feed him right, take good care of him, and let you visit him whenever you wanted to.

I hope things work out for you and your horse. Good luck!
 
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Along with inquiring after the diet you're feeding, has he been vet checked/had bloodwork done/had his teeth checked and floated recently? Does he still have all his teeth/most of his teeth? If not, do you soak his feed? Even if he does have all his teeth, soaking his feed might help him out. Older horses often cannot digest as well as younger horses can. On that note, do you ever give him probiotics? Sometimes a daily dose of probiotics can really help.

It's extremely rare that a horse will actually be skinny "due to old age", most of the time it's something like a tooth issue or a medical issue.

My mare is turning 29 in about 15 days and thankfully she's still pretty low-maintenance. She is mostly blind, but that hasn't slowed her down yet. I do soak her pellets to help her get all the nutrition possible but currently all she needs is a ration balancer [Triple Crown 30%] and, during the winter, about a pound of beet pulp per day, plus normal amounts of hay.
I have found with her that she'll drop weight like mad without a little alfalfa hay in the winter. She seems to have a very high need for protein, especially for a horse of her age. But I "humor" her digestive system and give her about 3lbs of alfalfa hay per day, plus unlimited grass hay in a slow feeder, and she does excellently.
In the summer, we go the other way - she wears a grazing muzzle alllll day to keep the weight off! :lol:

And just because she's kinda cute [hope you don't mind, OP], here's a picture of Miss Almost 29. No "skinny from old age" here! haha :)





Anyway, OP, I think if I were in your shoes, I would seriously consider putting your guy to sleep. It's painful to think about, but he was already neglected once...what if he can't find the right home now? How is that fair to him? :/
My girl is one of those "one person" horses and she really depends on me to be there for her - I plan to be her last home. She has a few little "quirks" that demand specialized care and that would be hard for someone else to replicate. Not to mention her eye issues - her eyes can be overwhelmingly high maintenance. She would need an extremely dedicated new-person, or her needs would end up being neglected.
As hard as it is to think about, if I ever cannot care for her anymore, I do plan to have her put down. I can only hope that her time will come before that day ever occurs. It would be better for her last day to be spent in a home where she is cherished, where she feels safe and loved, than experiencing days/weeks of pain and neglect somewhere, then finally giving up.
I hate thinking about it, but that's basically the pact I made with her when I brought her, an already older horse, home.

I'm also interested to hear more about his rearing problem. Rearing can stem from a lot of things, do you know why he rears? Maybe if that could be solved, perhaps he'd work out better for you??
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
He is currently getting 3 quarts of tribute right choice 14 morning and night. ( so 6 quarts a day.) And 1 quart of beet pulp morning and night. ( 2 quarts a day. )
2 flakes alfalfa. 6 hours on free choice round bale by himself. 2 flakes on the racks with other horses.... I have upped his feed every time he losses any weight, witch he has in the past few weeks, SO I just went a bought him Tribute pelleted fat supplements, more beet pulp, alfalfa cubes and vegetable oil, and Boss.


He's been on all of that before to gain weight, other then the fat supplement.


I've had his teeth looked at 3 times. and have had them on twice.



Okay- Here is more about his rearing and riding problems.

He has had these problems sense my friend got him 3 years ago, and have gotten worse with age and the past owners. When my friend had him, he could walk down the trail, and the arena, and stopped rearing. When I got him back, in April, He would, "jig" Or trot soon as you got on him, If you would ask him to "whoa" Or flex he would rear as high as he could get. (maybe four feet?) He would jig side ways while trying to mount. And was horrible going down the trails, would not walk, would take off if he could, would slow canter completely side ways.


He hasn't reared sense late summer, stands better for mounting, and will walk half way threw a trail ride, then jigs the rest of the way.... I have a very hard time getting him to walk in the arena for any dressage work, trying to calm him..

I know a lot of it is me, I get frustrated with him easy and he is very sensitive so when I become frustrated he gets worried, and gets worse. So I know if someone else put a lot of time on him, and told me what I was doing wrong when I get frustrated with him he would get better, But- I can not afford to feed him, get his teeth done, and feet.

So, if I was to keep him I would have to work a hell of a lot, but I would not see any of my horses, and he would not get better, and he literally eats half or more of my paycheck...


The other problem I'm having with finding him a home is that he does rear, and will for someone that frustrates him. Apparently he has flipped over with another owner. Not me, or my friend. And I have no proof of this what so ever.

I would keep him if I could afford too, But when I got him I really did not think it would cost so much for him to maintain his weight.....

Also- I took him to Saginaw Valley Equine Vet Service this summer for heal pain, and he had to have not so cheep shoes. He is currently bare foot, but if he had heal pain again he would need them back on, witch he might if someone wanted him for shows.


Here is the reasons why I really don't want to have to put him to sleep...

He is so full of life, if you were to meet him you would see.

He is great at shows! Doesn't rear, will walk around, no gate issues.
I've took him team penning and he was great at that too.

He's great at shows, but at home working in the arena hes not, and hes not great at trail riding like I said..... Its just a really hard call on what to do.... :/ I can keep him along as it takes to find him a home or decide to put him to sleep... So at least until the spring or loner.....

Here is a picture from when I brought him home, to around August. He gained weight from the last picture, but then lost it again in the last few weeks...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=661468410531161&set=a.601836566494346.1073741827.100000040255161&type=3&theater[/IMG]
 

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You could check with Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc. - they are a great facility in Wisconsin by us. They might have some suggestions for you, if nothing else.

I saw a retirement facility (one where you board and retain ownership) in the UP that was advertising on Craigslist earlier this month. You might want to check CL and see if they would be worth looking into.

We have a retirement facility in Western WI and would love to have your guy - but we wouldn't be able to save you any money, I'm sure. You are in a tough situation. It's great what you've done for your guy - I hope you can find a solution.

Nan
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi guys!


Thank you everyone for your time, I've decided to keep him around....

I do not want to send him away, and can't put him down yet...

So I sold one of my other horses, and will just make it work. I can not part with him yet.


I'm trying to get him to gain about 80# hopefully with him new diet.

Again, Thank you. :)
 
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