Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about the health of your horse, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.

Difficult decision, advice needed please...
42

umbrellie · 02/08/2014 21:49

I have a 20 year old horse that i've owned for 5 years.
She's not been ridden in 2 years due to my loss of confidence, it's through no fault of hers. Previously she was the perfect horse, we hacked out several times a week, schooled occasionally (we both preferred hacking!)
I'm now having to face the decision to rehome her, due to the fact that i've started my own business so have limited time, along with the fact that I can't bring myself to ride (any horse, not just her) so she's just sitting wasted in a field. I might add that she is comfortable in the sense that she has everything she needs, she doesn't go without. She is a healthy horse and there is no reason that if she were with the right person that she couldn't come back into work.

My problem is, I don't know what to do with her. I've tried advertising her, even last year when she'd only been out of work for 1 year, no one is interested. I'm aware that the market for horses is terrible at the moment and people are wanting young horses to be able to do things with. My horse won't load, so that limits her even more. She's also a typical mare and isn't afraid to push her luck. I'm wondering now if the kindest thing would be to have her PTS, atleast that way i'd know that she wasn't going to be passed pillar to post and that she's had a good life wanting for nothing. The other half of me says she's too good of a horse to PTS, she's got so much fire in her belly and i'd feel guilty stopping all of this.

Gah, I hope this makes sense, I really don't know what to do. Help please?

Difficult decision, advice needed please...
OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

micah · 02/08/2014 22:01

Loan? Short term or long term. Plenty if people about that want to ride, and will contribute to cost and care taking, but don't want to take the full leap to ownership.

Friend of mine has a 19 year old in a similar situation. She has 2 or 3 loaners who between them take care of him and pay for his upkeep, while she still has control over his quality of life...

Please
or
to access all these features

Apex1664 · 02/08/2014 22:44

I am one of three sharers who all ride an old horse and between us cover the cost of her upkeep. Her owner cannot ride anymore but didn't want to part company as she has owned her forever.

Perhaps advertise for sharers?

Please
or
to access all these features

FlockOfTwats · 02/08/2014 22:47

Have you thought about rehoming through a charity such as horses4homes? They are quite good apparently.
Or as others said lok for a sharer.

Please
or
to access all these features

GothMummy · 02/08/2014 22:55

I personally would not sell on on a 20+ horse in this climate, no matter how lovely she is her value will be low as value of all horses is at the moment and there are really so many unwanted equines.

People keep genuinly trying to give me horses at the moment....or to sell me young stock for less than 100. Its so horrible. Im vaguely looking for another horse as my 25 year old is now retired, and have been overwhelmed by the number of "freebies" offered.

Loan sounds like the best option for you. Try the Veteran Horse Society as they arrange loans, also Horses 4 Homes.

Putting a veteran horse to sleep is not the worst thing that can happen but I dont think it sounds like shes ready for that, it would be different if she was arthritic ect.

Please
or
to access all these features

umbrellie · 02/08/2014 23:03

She's advertised on Horses4Homes at the moment.
Sharers aren't possible as yard owners don't want more people on the yard. I would be happy to loan her, but it's finding someone that would want to loan her :/

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

GothMummy · 02/08/2014 23:40

Are you a BHS member? If so you may remember the recent welfare article begging people not to pass on veterans/retired/companion horses due toi serious welfare issues. It recommended euthanasia if old horses could not be kept, and the wider article called for a cull of horses to deal with the over population.

I found the article hard to read but I mention it to you as you have wondered about putting her to sleep.

However, lets think positively! She actually looks quite a useful sort. Does she hunt or do anything useful like jump? Have you tried advertising her on Horse and Hound's classifieds? Would she come back into work OK do you think as shes been turned away for 2 years?

Please
or
to access all these features

umbrellie · 03/08/2014 12:16

She's a 15.2 Dutch warmblood, could definitely come back into work, she's lunged often (parelli, she loves it!) and loves to jump although never did much jumping with me as I don't like it and she was quite forward going with it as she loved it so much. She can be excitable in a group so I don't know what she'd be like hunting although her previous owner took her out and about :)

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

umbrellie · 03/08/2014 12:17

And yes I am a BHS member :)

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Flexibilityisquay · 03/08/2014 12:22

I think as others have said, finding someone to have her on loan would be a good idea. To make her easier to loan out, do you know anyone who could bring her back into work for you? If you can't find her a home after you have tried everything, then I think putting her to sleep would be kinder than selling her on to an uncertain future, sad though it would be.

Please
or
to access all these features

Hobnobissupersweet · 03/08/2014 20:31

I agree with flexi here, it is a really hard decision but I cannot bear to see older horses passed on and on whilst their owners try to recoup some of their money. Being a horse owner sometimes includes hard decisions and it may well be in her best interests to have her PTS. ( lots of hugs for you )

Please
or
to access all these features

umbrellie · 04/08/2014 09:48

Money really doesn't come into this, hence her being on the Horses4Homes website which only 'sells' horses for a donation to a charity :) I don't want money for her. Gah, this is horrible :(

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

Floralnomad · 04/08/2014 09:56

If money is no object find a decent livery yard that will do full livery for you ( that's what we have done with our 21 yr old Dartmoor) ,if money is more of an issue have you looked at some of the more reputable retirement livery places .if you go this route please vet them carefully as some are not genuine . Although she doesn't load you could always sedate her to move her once .

Please
or
to access all these features

dogfish22 · 04/08/2014 12:49

Where are you located? (I love Oldies)

Please
or
to access all these features

umbrellie · 04/08/2014 14:03

Sorry when I said money doesn't matter, I meant that I don't want money for her, just a good home. Should've made myself clearer :)
Dogfish I'm about 30 mins south of bristol

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

GothMummy · 04/08/2014 20:24

I really feel for you. I just had to hold my friends 26 year old TB mare to be put down. She was fit and well but my friend had lost her job and was unable to pay her livery or gas bill or rent. It was so sad and I would have kept her myself except that we have two money pits ourselves and I couldnt afford to feed a TB through winter in addition to my own.

But I hope you find a lovely long term loaner for her.

Please
or
to access all these features

SlowlorisIncognito · 05/08/2014 18:03

I do feel for you, so this post is in no way meant to be upsetting-

From a buyer's perspective, I wouldn't touch your horse with a bargepole because:

-She has been out of work for two years, and although you say she would come back into work easily there is no proof of this, and taking her on for ridden work would always be a risk. As she hasn't schooled or jumped much in this time, I wouldn't take the risk that she would take to this again now.

-At 20, she may have 5+ useful years left in her, but she may start to show signs of aging very quickly and have to be retired or put down very soon. Age may also put off owners who have recently lost a horse and don't want to go through it all again too soon.

-Having been in the same environment for 5 years, I would worry about how she might adapt to a new yard at her age.

-She won't load, which really limits what you can do with her, and probably won't be resolved at her age. Even for hacking, many people will box to access better hacking, so loading is still desirable.

-Many people are wary of buying a horse they can't see ridden, especially if the owner has lost confidence. Not everyone in the horse world is honest.

There are lots of project horses available who are much younger than her, and therefore give the buyer more return for their investment (time or money).

If you are serious about trying to sell her, it might be worth paying someone to bring her back into ridden work. If it's easy, you may be able to find someone to do this for free, but if you pay, you will probably get a better quality rider. If people can see her ridden and coping with work, they may feel much more positive about taking her on. If she doesn't react well to coming back into ridden work, perhaps that might be the time to think about PTS.

I would say there is no shame in putting to sleep an older horse in the home she has known for 5 years, rather than her spending her later years being passed from pillar to post. The BHS do have a helpline you can call called friends at the end, with volunteers who give non-judgmental advice about your options- it might be worth talking to them?

Please
or
to access all these features

FatewiththeLeadPiping · 05/08/2014 18:08

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Please
or
to access all these features

umbrellie · 05/08/2014 21:26

Thank you slowloris, everything you've posted is what i've been thinking about, just needed someone to say it back to me. (Although she's only been at her current yard nearly 2 years, if that makes any difference)

Ugh, this is horrible.

IF I decide to have her PTS, would you recommend being there when it's done? I'd feel guilty not being with her till the end, but don't know if I'd want the sound of her falling stuck in my head, or is that really selfish? :(

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

5OBalesofHay · 05/08/2014 21:43

Yes, it is. If you decide to put a healthy horse down t rather than give her a happy retirement then see it through with her.

Please
or
to access all these features

Floralnomad · 05/08/2014 21:59

If you have her euthanised by injection they have a sedative first and its the same as if you were having them knocked out for operating on IYSWIM . I have been with all 4 of mine when they have been PTS and yes you definitely should be there . Have you looked into retirement livery ?

Please
or
to access all these features

umbrellie · 05/08/2014 22:14

Okay thanks everyone for all your help, lots of food for thought and I really appreciate it all.

I'm going to look into retirement homes, but doubt I'll be able to afford.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

daisy5569 · 06/08/2014 07:57

is there someone who could bring her back into work for you? May make it easier to rehome her on horses4homes? Understand why you are thinking of PTS but as you say she is a healthy horse she would probably be great for someone who just wanted to hack.
I used to ride a friends old horse, he was a big warmblood with cushings and was a brilliant ride. He went on until he was 27 when he died while out on a hack suddenly, prob heart failure. He was ridden most days, and the day before he died we had a brilliant fast hack and even on the last ride he was really keen.
If you could bring her back into work she would probably make a lovely hacking horse for someone. Good luck in whatever you decide

Please
or
to access all these features

GothMummy · 06/08/2014 09:08

Actually I would say if you are going to be upset and distressed then dont stay with her or she will pick up on your distress. Get a calm friend to hold her instead. If it comes to that of course.

Please
or
to access all these features

RinkyTinkTen · 06/08/2014 10:31

I am going to be honest and say that I think it is really unfair to consider selling a 20 year old horse. I think you need to have a chat with your yard owner about having a sharer or move yards.

I also think that if you do PTS, you should be there, it is after all your responsibility as a horse owner to ensure she has the best care, and whilst PTS is a hard thing to witness, it is part & parcel of horse ownership.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but she is your horse and your responsibility.

Please
or
to access all these features

SlowlorisIncognito · 08/08/2014 15:49

umbrellie Despite what some people think, PTS is not the worst thing that can happen to a healthy animal. It's totally up to you to decide if you want to stay with her or not. I have heard really good things about friends at the end, and I think if you do decide on PTS then it would be worth talking it through with them first.

I do think there are people around who would help bring her back into work, possibly even for free, or a contribution to petrol costs. If you can advertise her as ridden, then more people will be willing to consider her. I don't think there are many people who would consider taking on a horse for riding without seeing her ridden. You may even be able to find sales livery where they would bring her back into work for you (although this may be out of your budget).

Another option may be to put her on loan as a companion- there aren't always companion homes available, but you may be lucky. It's always worth asking around, if you haven't already.

How pressing is your need to move her on? Are finances also an issue? (Feel free not to answer if this is too personal).

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.