Can't see the wood for the trees... Ginny

Ambers Echo

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The trees are: good days and bad days, relaxed behaviour, aggressive behaviour, ears pricked ears flat back, walking freely, dragging her feet, off the leg, behind the leg, lame, sound, back loose, back tight, girthy, not girthy, jumps clear, plants at first fence and won't move, gallops freely, plants during hack and won't move etc etc etc throughout the whole time we have had her.

The wood is: 15 months of a pony who has never seemed quite right physically or contented and relaxed mentally. She has either been stressed and unhappy on the ground but willing under saddle, better on the ground but very unwilling under saddle or (as now) neither relaxed on the ground OR under saddle. She has been investigated repeatedly from head to toe and all vets can say is she was lame in all 4 limbs, had a stiff back and was clearly in pain but can't pinpoint any particular pathology. She is thousands over her £5K limit with no answers.

We have looked at: physio, massage, diet, holistic health & wellbeing, farriery, lifestyle and management as well as the most exhaustive set of veterinary investigations which includes scoping, blocks, xrays, scinitigraphy & MRI.

I have invested more time, energy and money into her than all my others put together to try and understand what is wrong and how to help and am no nearer an answer.

We have had a few weeks here and there when she seems like a normal pony: relaxed, willing to work, happy and healthy - but those weeks have been few and far between.

She is 10 weeks into a 12 week walking rehab programme but nothing has really changed: she remains defensive, stressed and unwilling to move off the leg. She remains cautious and guarded in her movement though "sound". She still seems unhappy.

My daughter came to me yesterday crying and said "I know Ginny is unhappy. I don't know how to help her". I started saying about how we were almost at the end of the rehab but she saw the wood more clearly than me and said 'but she's no better". And she's right if you look at the whole pony as opposed to just focusing on one issue at a time as I have been doing.

I spoke to my Yard Manager who handles Ginny quite a lot and has a real soft spot for her. She said "in all honesty I think she is stressed and unhappy. There are times when she is so sweet and gentle that I think the times when she isn't is because something is wrong".

I bought her from a dealer who I now know to be an out and out crook. (I have direct, first person knowledge of her neglectful and fraudulent behaviour relating to 2 other ponies). So anything is possible in terms of her history before me.

So now what? She has not crossed any red lines that make a PTS decision feel right...... She has a better few days and I feel really positive and then she goes downhill again. And that has happened for 15 months now. When do you know that it is kinder and safer to just let go. When do you give up on the idea that there is a solution and an improvement just around the corner when there is no diagnosis or prognosis? People say better a week early than a day late, but how do you KNOW! How do you make such a drastic and final decision when it is not barn door. When she's not THAT bad.... How unhappy is too unhappy? I did speak to my vet and all he said was PTS would be 'reasonable' in these circumstances, - mainly because of her demeanour. He can also see she is not a happy pony.

I really do want some advice. Please try to be constructive and kind. I have been accused in the past of "just killing ponies who won't jump for me' by a troll. (I have never put any animal to sleep in my life! Nor have I ever sold on any horse or pony who was not young, fit and perfectly sound & healthy). So even posting this feels very threatening but I have had such good advice in the past from HHO and really need some now.
 

ester

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So given how many people live with unexplained (by current diagnostics anyway) chronic pain I've always thought there is no reason some horses might be in the same boat. IME if the vet can see that a pony is unhappy they are usually pretty unhappy and as you really have nothing to target having covered the obvious bases and no signs of improvement I would be considering her future myself.

Is she the one you are barefooting? I can't remember!
 

Pearlsasinger

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I do so feel for you, it is never an easy decision to make even when the horse is elderly and very obviously infirm and deteriorating with no real chance of recovery. With younger horse, it is even worse and in this case you have the children's viewpints to take into consideration, all the while trying to ensure the pony's quality of life.
I think that in your position, I would continue to the end of the 12 weeks and then, if there is no real improvement (and it seems unlikely at this stage) I would turn her out 24/7 on the land that you were asking about recently, EAT would give her a job, if she needs one and you would still have regular interaction with her.
I would then find a reliable animal communicator to see if any further light can be shed, they are not especially expensive and you have nothing to lose imo. I would also ask a chiro vet to examine her and because my c.v. uses acupunture, I would ask for that treatment, it can make a huge difference.
I can't remember if you have ever said where you are but i can recommend a good chiro vet in Yorkshire and I could tell you the name of a good communicator, who will work over the phone/email.
 

Fiona

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If your vet feels that PTS would be reasonable, then I'd certainly be considering it as an option, as I know you have stated before that she is not kind to handle (so companion/retirement homes would be out of the question).

I really do feel for you, big hugs whatever you decide...

Fiona
 

SEL

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I manage two with difficulties so I know how hard this is. Lots of tears in quiet moments while I try and work out the next step forward.

Is Ginny happy in the field? If she isn't then I think the decision is straightforward. If she is, then can you turn her away over winter to be a horse and see how she gets on?

Can you give her precautionary treatment for ulcers? I think you have said somewhere else that you have scoped in the past but if that was before her hospital stay then a few weeks on omeprazole might help (although it won't help your pocket)

Is she any better on danilon?

I would second a good chiro having a look.

I'm an analyst my training so I tend to run through a whole host of options and then pester the vets. Both mine are happy in the field so I have time to work through their issues, but if they weren't then I would owe it to them not to keep going - if you call time then I'd completely understand.
 
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Ambers Echo

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So given how many people live with unexplained (by current diagnostics anyway) chronic pain I've always thought there is no reason some horses might be in the same boat. IME if the vet can see that a pony is unhappy they are usually pretty unhappy and as you really have nothing to target having covered the obvious bases and no signs of improvement I would be considering her future myself.

Is she the one you are barefooting? I can't remember!
Funnily enough I was thinking about ME/CF type conditions as I was writing that all out. Mainly because of how good she is on those good days. Not sure where to go woth that - either in terms of diagnostics or decisions.

I am barefooting the others but am following the Leahurst plan for now which has her shod in front. Her front feet seem fine atm to be honest. If I had to say where I think she is struggling now it's back, hind limbs, skin and mood. Skin looks ok but she hates being touched or groomed.

PS is anyone else seeing enormous red adverts on the posts???
 
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Ambers Echo

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A few more answers:
No I don't think she is especially happy in the field. The other horses can bully her. She sometimes gets stressed when they leave too. She drags her feet coming in from the field but even more going back out to it.

But she is not obviously miserable either. She grazes, rolls, hangs out near the others.

I would say she seemed much happier in the field in the Spring and Summer: more playful, more of a spring in her step on the way in and out. Often seen lying down snoozing. But to confuse matters we now know that she was in considerable pain in Spring and Summer! As this was just before the scans and blocks which showed how severe the lameness was.

The more I think about it the more I think how she is in herself is separate to how much pain she is in, which makes no sense at all unless she has an equine version of ME and pain is only one of many symptoms and is not necessarily the most troublesome one???
 

Ambers Echo

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It's horrible when you try everything and you still can't make them comfortable.

Can you turn her out for the winter and see if a complete break from riding and handling fixes her?

That's my 'new field master plan' but I am worried about how unhappy she is NOW and may remain
 

SEL

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A few more answers:
No I don't think she is especially happy in the field. The other horses can bully her. She sometimes gets stressed when they leave too. She drags her feet coming in from the field but even more going back out to it.

But she is not obviously miserable either. She grazes, rolls, hangs out near the others.

I would say she seemed much happier in the field in the Spring and Summer: more playful, more of a spring in her step on the way in and out. Often seen lying down snoozing. But to confuse matters we now know that she was in considerable pain in Spring and Summer! As this was just before the scans and blocks which showed how severe the lameness was.

The more I think about it the more I think how she is in herself is separate to how much pain she is in, which makes no sense at all unless she has an equine version of ME and pain is only one of many symptoms and is not necessarily the most troublesome one???
Yes I am seeing red adverts and lots of handbags under balloons. Really quite hard to reply to posts.

I think prey animals deal with pain completely differently to us. The pain my mare must be in following a tie-up should be considerable, but the horse I have in front of me doesn't always correspond to the blood test results.
 
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Surbie

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Yes to the ads - makes reading the posts very difficult!

We have one at the RDA who has become hyper-sensitive to touch. She came to us a bit broken (leg injury, don't know the details) as walk/trot only and has just become sporadically very difficult to handle. I do wonder whether the chronic pain idea would fit her too.

Turning out in a field for a break sounds like an option before considering PTS, if she will cope with winter ok. If she won't be happy in the field it might be better to consider PTS now. It's not like you haven't tried everything you can think of.
 

Tiddlypom

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If she was mine (which she isn't), I'd try the turning away - no shoes, no rugs, no fussing. If after a month or so she's still evidently miserable I'd very likely then make the call. If she looks happier, I'd leave her turned out til Spring and then revaluate her as being able to return to some sort of work.
 

Auslander

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I would absolutely support a decision to PTS in this situation. If you can't figure out why a horse is suffering, physically or mentally, it's the right thing to do, and almost more so when the horse is unhappy, rather than unsound. At least you can generally keep a horse that's in pain comfortable - you can't make a sad horse happy.
 

Pearlsasinger

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Funnily enough I was thinking about ME/CF type conditions as I was writing that all out. Mainly because of how good she is on those good days. Not sure where to go woth that - either in terms of diagnostics or decisions.

I am barefooting the others but am following the Leahurst plan for now which has her shod in front. Her front feet seem fine atm to be honest. If I had to say where I think she is struggling now it's back, hind limbs, skin and mood. Skin looks ok but she hates being touched or groomed.

PS is anyone else seeing enormous red adverts on the posts???

Yes to the adverts!

Do you feed her anything at all? She sounds very similar to a TBx mare that I used to have. She baffled us with her various intermittent illnesses, cough, muscle tightness, spookiness, very noise reactive, difficult to handle sometimes, eventually to the point where it took 2 people to bring her in, across a field at night but she always went out like an angel. At this point we were seriously considering pts but after reading an article on food intolerances, we cut all hard feed out, fed her just hay and what grass she could find (this was December). After 4 days of most peculiar carryings on, her behaviour tuned round completely. Her cough cleared up and for the next 10 years she had no health issues at all. Then she developed arthritis.
 

Ambers Echo

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Thanks PAS - on your advice in another of my (many) Ginny threads I did eliminate cereals and Alfalfa. She is now on Pink mash and forage plus winter balancer - the mash just to get the balancer in. I don't think changing her diet has ever made much difference to her behaviour. But giving her some decent nourishment did improve her coat and condition as she was very poor when she came to me. Her good periods have been independent of diet as far as I can tell.
 

Pearlsasinger

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Thanks PAS - on your advice in another of my (many) Ginny threads I did eliminate cereals and Alfalfa. She is now on Pink mash and forage plus winter balancer - the mash just to get the balancer in. I don't think changing her diet has ever made much difference to her behaviour. But giving her some decent nourishment did improve her coat and condition as she was very poor when she came to me. Her good periods have been independent of diet as far as I can tell.

Truly (and I know it's difficult because you need to get the meds in), I would seriously cut out *everything*. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen the improvement with my own eyes. We had 4 horses at the time and the other 3 were healthy on exactly the same diet. She had had a poor start too, possibly had (unrecognised) ulcers when we got her. When you cut stuff out did you have a period when she only had hay/grass to eat? It is likely to take up to a month for the stuff the horse is reacting to out of her system.


Have you tried keeping a detailed daily diary?
 

ester

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Ok so the reason I asked if she was barefooting was that I might have given it a bit longer if that was the case. - If not and I absolutely understand why not, I would probably PTS. I'm not sure how happy I would be to turn her away, it would probably need to be with the 'right' field companions.
 

milliepops

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what a horrible situation to be in :(

as a last ditch thing I would also go with PaS idea to look for a communicator (contain the eyerolls!). I did the same with Kira, when I was about 6 weeks away from booking her into the hunt kennels. She was not a happy pony, she is really quite damaged really.
But i'd have someone who comes to you. I know in my heart it's bunkum, but you're almost at the nothing left to lose stage now. I had Robert Pring out to mine, he's an experienced horseman and if nothing else I thought it would be useful to have someone else's general opinion on her. Anyway, I found it useful, there's plenty I took with a giant pinch of salt but he gave me some things to think about which did help.

As another last ditch thing I would get some omeprazole from Abler and shovel that in, just in case... don't know when she was last scoped but the hit and miss behaviour would be quite a classic. It's quite cheap to buy, I know it makes lots of people very frowny but my experience was a positive one.

Lastly, again prompted by the variable behaviour, have you considered hormones and tried her on regumate? I know it's late now for seasons to be a problem but some mares seem to be affected all year round. Kira costs me about £50 a month when she needs it and I saw results within a week of starting it initially.

Both of those might be longshots but I think I'd want to have considered them before calling it a day. I do agree with others though, it's not the wrong thing to do, if you can't make her pain free and apparently content then even turning away in the field isn't really a great thing for her.
 

splashgirl45

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i second not feeding anything other than hay and grass as a trial to see if after 2 or 3 weeks anything changes....she may have some sort of allergic reaction to something in the balancer and it wont make that much difference to miss feeds out for a short while and i would also leave her out 24/7 and handle as little as possible for those weeks. she can always be rugged if the weather turns bad. it seems that you have tried everything else so nothing to lose...
 

Leo Walker

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Get Tom Beech out or Rob Jackson. They might not fix her but I know both have dealt with similar cases and had dramatic results. Neither will rip you off or treat her if they cant help, and both are qualified vets. Its a long shot but worth it. Tom in particular is very good with taking a whole horse view.
 

Leo Walker

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And I'd look at feeding a high dose of vitamin e. I found it made a dramatic difference to mine. I think lots of horses are deficient due to the way we keep them. its another thing that cant hurt.
 

Ambers Echo

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Thanks everyone. You have given me a lot to think about and lots of ideas to consider. You have also reassured me that I am not irresponsible and selfish for wondering if and when enough is enough.

I am looking into various of the options suggested and will stay open minded. The key though now is for me to look at the whole pony and stop chasing one issue after another. I need to view her holistically and take it from there.
 
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Chronic pain kills humans so it stands to reason that it’s the same in other species.

Having a few good days doesn’t outweigh the dozens of bad ones. By the sounds of things you need to make that decision if you have tried everything else. Dragging things out isn’t pleasant either.

You have had a rather fast turnaround with horses and ponies that didn’t suit your needs and also rather fast replacements going by what you have posted on here anyway. Rushing into things doesn’t usually have positive ends at the best of times

If you haven’t already turned away then I’d perhaps find someone who does younstock turn away livery and put her there for a winter and see what she’s like in the spring.
 

Pinkvboots

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I would be inclined to do what millipops has said and also look into the people leo walker has suggested I think this is what I would do in your situation, it must be really upsetting to see a horse that is so miserable and not knowing what to do your poor daughter bless her I really hope you manage to help her in some way.
 

Ambers Echo

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You have had a rather fast turnaround with horses and ponies that didn’t suit your needs and also rather fast replacements going by what you have posted on here anyway. Rushing into things doesn’t usually have positive ends at the best of times
.
Is this too fast?

I've had horses in 3 phases in my life.

Phase 1:
My first pony: Had him for years, adored him. Kept him through my first pregnancy but put him on loan during a high risk twin pregnancy when I was on bed rest. Then sold to the loaner when they said they wanted to buy or return. Twins were 2 weeks away from being born and I absolutely could not have him back.

Phase 2:
Girls first ponies: a pair of shetlands. One to ride and one (a mini) as a companion. Mini was an escape artist who we could not keep safe as he could get over, under and through ANY fence, wall etc. So he went to a local home as the yard was on a main road. 2nd Shetland was our LR/FR and was sold on after about 2 1/2 years. Still in touch with owners and currently teaching her 6th child!

Then bought a 'family pony' for us all. 14hh Newforest pony. But realistically he was too sharp for them and too small for me. Had him for about 2 years but the girls did not want to ride him after a couple of scares and were losing interest. So I decided to loan them a more suitable pony (not buy as they were losing interest) and buy myself an Event horse as that was always my dream. Pony went to a BSJA home and cleaned up there. He was far more suited to her than us. Loaned a pony for the twins and bough an ISH for me. Unfortunately the girls did not regain their interest. Then I experienced significant financial problems. They were too young to leave at home and I was on a DIY yard 20 minutes away. The stress and guilt of the time and money involved for what was purely my hobby became unmanageable and I returned the loan pony and sold my horse. Broke my heart and I did not go near another horse for years!

Phase 3
Girls re started riding lessons and got hooked. I was able to afford it again so we decided to buy again..

1st phase 3 Pony: Bought as a safe as houses confidence giver. Mostly was good as gold but was also unpredictable and would throw the girls randomly. Lots of physical checks with nothing ever found. As the girls got better at sitting to him he got better at throwing them off. After 8 months he bolted and broncced and my daughter broke her arm badly and we sold him with full disclosure to the riding school where we were already on livery. The YO thought better riders would be fine on him but they weren't - he was mostly fine there too but carried on throwing people off any way he could at random times including rolling if necessary and was retired. He then went chronically lame and was euthanised by the riding school.

At the same time as buying that pony, I bought a barely handled 3 YO to have fun with the view that I could treat as a sale project or keep depending on how things went. I kept that one for 2 years, had 2 great seasons on her, regained my confidence jumping on her and realised I did want to event and sold her on. (I mentioned her on ycbm's thread). I bought one from a dealer who I sent back immediately as he had a club foot and he swapped that one for Amber.

2nd Pony: Section C: Adored by Katie but Izzy who broke her arm had lost all her confidence. By this time they had been committed for over a year so we let Katie have Oscar and bought a super-safe cob from a friend for Izzy. Oscar was kept for 2 years and sold on when outgrown. And we bought Ginny.

3rd pony (the safe cob). She did her job wonderfully well but within 8 months Izzy was flying and pony was at her limit ability wise - she was a SJ destroyer more than a jumper!. She could not go to the rallies and camps Katie was being invited to because she could not really go above 70cm. We found her a lovely forever home and are still in touch with them. And we bought Izzy Max after viewing loads of unsuitable ones. Which was a mistake in retrospect because she was over-horsed but he was lovely at the viewings and we had seen so many that weren't that he seemed appropriate.

We still have Ginny, Max and Amber. We also have Jenny once we decided (after 2 years of trying to make the partnership work) that Max was doing no favours for Izzy. But equally Izzy was doing no favours for Max! I am now wondering if Max's challenging behaviour has been pain related as he is now intermittently lame because actually Max and Izzy did have a pretty good first year-18 months. But Max will be with me for the forseeable now so I have time to think about him! And will doubtless be asking for advice on here.

Along the way I have had 2 others who were always sale projects. One was a pony who had been more or less abandoned in our field for the previous 5 years. Owners paid the livery fees but never went up and so he had not been caught for at least 5 years. I bought him as I felt sorry for him re-backed him and sold him to a lovely experienced family. And I took in a friend's horse to sell for her when she broke her ankle and then said she did not want him back. I bought to sell on because I am interested in training horses so it was for my own interest really. He was successfully sold on to good home.

I don't think I have always made the best decisions: Max and Ginny have both been more problematic than I hoped. I also think it is very hard to avoid ending up with the wrong horse. It's a total mine-field and there are things I would have done differently if I could turn back the clock. But I don't think I have run away that quickly from problems or sold on in an irresponsible way or give up.

My horses aren't like my pets though. They are there to do a job and if they don't suit I will sell on in a responsible way. I know some people feel very differently about it though.

But hand on heart I am not considering Ginny's future because she 'can't do the job' or because she is not suitable. I made the decision long ago that I would never sell her on because of her temperament and health history. She could easily end up being passed from pillar to post or in the hands of dodgy dealers. I have options for her - I have even sourced a field with a field shelter to rent so she can be out 24/7 but have a shelter. She can carry on as an EAT pony. But I can't just watch her suffer anymore so I will act in what I believe to be HER best interests.

Sorry for waffling.
 

milliepops

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Is this too fast?

I've had horses in 3 phases in my life.

Phase 1:
My first pony: Had him for years, adored him. Kept him through my first pregnancy but put him on loan during a high risk twin pregnancy when I was on bed rest. Then sold to the loaner when they said they wanted to buy or return. Twins were 2 weeks away from being born and I absolutely could not have him back.

Phase 2:
Girls first ponies: a pair of shetlands. One to ride and one (a mini) as a companion. Mini was an escape artist who we could not keep safe as he could get over, under and through ANY fence, wall etc. So he went to a local home as the yard was on a main road. 2nd Shetland was our LR/FR and was sold on after about 2 1/2 years. Still in touch with owners and currently teaching her 6th child!

Then bought a 'family pony' for us all. 14hh Newforest pony. But realistically he was too sharp for them and too small for me. Had him for about 2 years but the girls did not want to ride him after a couple of scares and were losing interest. So I decided to loan them a more suitable pony (not buy as they were losing interest) and buy myself an Event horse as that was always my dream. Pony went to a BSJA home and cleaned up there. He was far more suited to her than us. Loaned a pony for the twins and bough an ISH for me. Unfortunately the girls did not regain their interest. Then I experienced significant financial problems. They were too young to leave at home and I was on a DIY yard 20 minutes away. The stress and guilt of the time and money involved for what was purely my hobby became unmanageable and I returned the loan pony and sold my horse. Broke my heart and I did not go near another horse for years!

Phase 3
Girls re started riding lessons and got hooked. I was able to afford it again so we decided to buy again..

1st phase 3 Pony: Bought as a safe as houses confidence giver. Mostly was good as gold but was also unpredictable and would throw the girls randomly. Lots of physical checks with nothing ever found. As the girls got better at sitting to him he got better at throwing them off. After 8 months he bolted and broncced and my daughter broke her arm badly and we sold him with full disclosure to the riding school where we were already on livery. The YO thought better riders would be fine on him but they weren't - he was mostly fine there too but carried on throwing people off any way he could at random times including rolling if necessary and was retired. He then went chronically lame and was euthanised by the riding school.

At the same time as buying that pony, I bought a barely handled 3 YO to have fun with the view that I could treat as a sale project or keep depending on how things went. I kept that one for 2 years, had 2 great seasons on her, regained my confidence jumping on her and realised I did want to event and sold her on. (I mentioned her on ycbm's thread). I bought one from a dealer who I sent back immediately as he had a club foot and he swapped that one for Amber.

2nd Pony: Section C: Adored by Katie but Izzy who broke her arm had lost all her confidence. By this time they had been committed for over a year so we let Katie have Oscar and bought a super-safe cob from a friend for Izzy. Oscar was kept for 2 years and sold on when outgrown. And we bought Ginny.

3rd pony (the safe cob). She did her job wonderfully well but within 8 months Izzy was flying and pony was at her limit ability wise - she was a SJ destroyer more than a jumper!. She could not go to the rallies and camps Katie was being invited to because she could not really go above 70cm. We found her a lovely forever home and are still in touch with them. And we bought Izzy Max after viewing loads of unsuitable ones. Which was a mistake in retrospect because she was over-horsed but he was lovely at the viewings and we had seen so many that weren't that he seemed appropriate.

We still have Ginny, Max and Amber. We also have Jenny once we decided (after 2 years of trying to make the partnership work) that Max was doing no favours for Izzy. But equally Izzy was doing no favours for Max! I am now wondering if Max's challenging behaviour has been pain related as he is now intermittently lame because actually Max and Izzy did have a pretty good first year-18 months. But Max will be with me for the forseeable now so I have time to think about him! And will doubtless be asking for advice on here.

Along the way I have had 2 others who were always sale projects. One was a pony who had been more or less abandoned in our field for the previous 5 years. Owners paid the livery fees but never went up and so he had not been caught for at least 5 years. I bought him as I felt sorry for him re-backed him and sold him to a lovely experienced family. And I took in a friend's horse to sell for her when she broke her ankle and then said she did not want him back. I bought to sell on because I am interested in training horses so it was for my own interest really. He was successfully sold on to good home.

I don't think I have always made the best decisions: Max and Ginny have both been more problematic than I hoped. I also think it is very hard to avoid ending up with the wrong horse. It's a total mine-field and there are things I would have done differently if I could turn back the clock. But I don't think I have run away that quickly from problems or sold on in an irresponsible way or give up.

My horses aren't like my pets though. They are there to do a job and if they don't suit I will sell on in a responsible way. I know some people feel very differently about it though.

But hand on heart I am not considering Ginny's future because she 'can't do the job' or because she is not suitable. I made the decision long ago that I would never sell her on because of her temperament and health history. She could easily end up being passed from pillar to post or in the hands of dodgy dealers. I have options for her - I have even sourced a field with a field shelter to rent so she can be out 24/7 but have a shelter. She can carry on as an EAT pony. But I can't just watch her suffer anymore so I will act in what I believe to be HER best interests.

Sorry for waffling.
I don't think you needed to justify yourself AE but I can understand wanting to x

From everything you've posted in the past I think it's clear how hard you are trying. Sometimes, despite everything, crap things just happen. Even if you had rushed into buying these horses, it's bloody good luck to them that someone like you ended up with them, plenty of people would put lots of these symptoms down to being "naughty" or badly behaved and just carry on regardless. I hope you can find a way through, whether that be finally getting some answers or drawing a line under it without feeling too much despair.
 

Ambers Echo

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I don't think you needed to justify yourself AE but I can understand wanting to x

From everything you've posted in the past I think it's clear how hard you are trying. Sometimes, despite everything, crap things just happen. Even if you had rushed into buying these horses, it's bloody good luck to them that someone like you ended up with them, plenty of people would put lots of these symptoms down to being "naughty" or badly behaved and just carry on regardless. I hope you can find a way through, whether that be finally getting some answers or drawing a line under it without feeling too much despair.
Thank-you MP. That is so reassuring and helpful to read. I won't bore everyone with my entire horsey life history any more and will try to stop feeling defensive!
 

SEL

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Even if you ever have moved horses on 'too soon' I don't see how that relates to what is going on with Ginny right now. I mentioned above that I manage two with chronic conditions - one I knew had problems when he came to me as a companion, but the other was a 4yo with behaviour problems and its in unwinding those that the physical problems are becoming apparent. She would have passed a vetting.

So sometimes its just tough luck that you end up with a horse in your life that has issues. You have done what is right by Ginny so far, you've involved the vets, had all the investigations and you still have an unhappy horse. She is likely in pain.

I'd only had my Appy 18 months when the vet said to me that if I wanted to call time then that would be fine. I chose not to and I'm happy with the decision I made, but I'm also brutally aware that if we can't fix her then she absolutely cannot go onto next year's spring grass and she lives for turnout. It doesn't matter how long you've had them, what matters is how you treat them in that time.

Given you have 2 young daughter's feelings to take into account as well here, its hardly going to be an easy call - no need to be defensive in my view!
 

SpringArising

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It's clear from reading your posts about Ginny, and all your horses really, how much you care for them.

With the best will in the world some horses just aren't suitable despite initial impressions - I know at least three people who in this last year alone have ended up buying something that wasn't right and then having to go through the heartache of trying to figure out what to do. One of those currently has three lame horses.

It's really hard to remember that horses shouldn't cause us so much worry because at the end of the day, EVERYTHING is sortable one way or another, whether that be PTS, loaning, selling, keeping etc. My horse felt ever so slightly off last night (trotted up sound about three times) but I've been worrying about him constantly since! It's really hard.

You've had a bit of a shit year by the sounds of it and I don't think anyone (with half a good brain) would blame you for having Ginny put down.
 

Red-1

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What a peculiar comment about moving horses on "too quickly."

IME when you are a fairly new horse owner you think your one horse will be forever.

Often people who demand little from their horses, or are so inexperienced that they don't know their horses are lame, think that their one horse will be forever.

I don't think you have to justify yourself at all AE.

For a start, you are talking about horses over a large number of years, for three people! However, even if you were not, IMO as long as you do the best for the horse you have and only sell responsibly, then you have done what you need to do.

I dislike selling, but have done so, if I and the horse are not making each other happy. I have also PTS horses while they still looked healthy on the face of it, but where I knew they were on the decline (one in pain, one riddled with melanomas and one a wobbler).

If it were me I would call the vet who knows Ginny and run the scenario by him/her. They may have some further observations, may recommend cutting out all feed except hay, may recommend... whatever. They may also agree with PTS.
 
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