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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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?
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
Another very key consideration in "rescuing" as many well intentioned saviors actually cause MORE suffering in their efforts to "save" the poor things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've seen some pretty flimsy rescue groups out there that have no business being involved with horses.
 

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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.
 

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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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The way I see it since you can't save all horses you should save the best horses. I would not buy a horse that was not sound or severly underwieght because I could "rescue" three horses for what it takes to rehab one broken down old nag. I also would not rescue a horse that I couldn't sell for a profit. I believe that the higher priced horses sell to better homes generally so I want my horses to go for as much as possible.
 

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There are some horses that are in too much pain and putting them out of their misery would be a blessing and unfortunately some people can't see that.

Plus there are so many horses out there right now in need of homes - where would the resources be better utilized? On a healthy horse who may just need a few groceries or training/handling to become a productive equine, or an injured horse who most likely never be anything more than pasture sound, if that?

While people can spend their own money on what they want to save, and more power to them, some choices do leave me wondering. And the ones that really annoy me are the ones who take on a horse who is in horrible shape and then beg for donations to care for that horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cat I agree exactly about the last sentence. I have the misfortune of sending money to a rescue that wasn't using it for the horses at all. Luckily, she got caught - the horses were removed and placed into good homes.

Kevin - that was a great reply.
 

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I've seen some pretty flimsy rescue groups out there that have no business being involved with horses.

I agree.
I also know some rescue groups like that who keep all of their 'rescues' together. Stallions, mares, geldings, ponies, whatever. So know they're making even more useless horses to add to the problem. Some of them are extremely inbred, hard to train, and almost feral because they're never messed with. Then they never adapt them out because they start to grow attached to them.

You would think that as a rescue your goal would be to provide care, rehabilitation, and relocation. Not to create more to add to the problem.
 

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yea i know allot of people spend so much time saving them, that they can't allways take care of them once they save them. It's only saving if you have the money to give the horse what it needs. it gets so sad sometimes
 

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I think you mostly have to go on your gut feeling when deciding whether or not to keep an animal going. I look at quality of life.
I want to take home every horse I see at auctions, but I know my limits. I just don't have the resources to take on any more horses at the moment.
 

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I think most horses can be saved, but not in the classic sense of the word. I think 'saved' can mean euthanizing a horse that is in extreme pain or is past the point of a good recovery. There are multiple situations where you would be doing the horse a favor by putting them down instead of making them stay in a trailer for hours on end with a broken leg only to stand around in a rescue paddock. Rescue missions need to recognize the line between what they can rehab and what they should put down. If the ones that need it are put down, more room can be made for horses that need rehab.
 

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Haven't read all the posts... but I agree. Some horses are just not meant to be saved.

The "rescue" I got my rescue horse from was one of those that really shouldn't have saved an animal. They did not take care of them and they were dishonest about the actual condition of their horses. My horse came 200 lbs underweight, with severe biting problems, rearing problems, and mites. He was there for a whole summer and he LOST weight. ugh.

He was so bad, that I couldn't handle him at all. He was a danger to himself and almost killed me twice. Literally. Luckily, I found him a home that knew how to handle a horse like that but seriously, he probably shouldn't have been saved in the first place. He could kill someone.
 

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I agree with all the posts on here, i also think there are boundries of when you should save your horse from a sickness or colic or something, or put them down. Even though they could be you best friend, your everything, putting them through a sergury or rehab when they might not even get out alive is IMO more for YOU(not anyone specific) then the horse. Putting a horse through more pain and misery so that YOU (not actually anyone specific) can feel like you tryed, and did your best for the horse isnt a valid reason to put him through that, or because you think you cant live without your horse, Most of the time when i horse is beyond saving they have pretty much lost all will to live.
 

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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.

I have to say that this is how I feel about this topic too.
 
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