Difficult decision re retiring young horse - what would you do?

little_flea

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It is a large possibility that we will have to retire our young gelding. He is only 8 next year. The question is what on earth to do with him. Give away as a companion? How would I go about this - I have no idea where to begin? I feel very responsible for him and he must NOT end up with somebody who might try to sell him on.

The ideal would be to have him on retirement livery, but I am just so worried about the cost - it would be at least £1500 per year and he could live for another 20 years... it is a lot of cost for a horse I won't get any fun out of.

What would you do? Do you think anyone would want something like him as a companion? He is not a live-off air, laid back Shetland...
 

KatB

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If he is happy living out being a companion, then that would be the best option... or finding cheap grasss livery for him. Otherwise, I am afraid I would have PTS
frown.gif
 

little_flea

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He is very happy to live out and be a companion. Is there any kind of website to look at for people who need companion horses? I don't know where to start. I just could not have a happy young horse PTS, I couldn't live with myself.
 

Flame_

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My 8 year old who has front feet issues and mental issues is going to the blood bank. They keep them until they are 15. I don't know the ins and outs very well, but IMHO, it gives them an easy job for a few years. Places are limited but it might be worth you looking into.
 

LauraWheeler

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Project horses has a section for companion horses. I would not give him away i would look at some sort of loan agreement and keep him local so you can keep an eye on him as he could end up anywhere if your not carefull.
 

little_flea

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Thanks guys. Would any kind of equine sanctuary take him on do you think? At least then we would know that he would be well looked after. I know those places are for horses in great need and would not want to take up a space needed by someone else, but maybe they would let him live there if we made a substantial financial contribution...? If we do retire him we will probably get loss of use, so I would happily use the money to ensure a good life for him. It won't be enough money to keep him at retirement livery for the next 20 years though unfortunately...
 

Fanatical

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I had a horse who injured himself eventing at 8 years old. I tried for two years to get him sound but he was never going to be sound enough to be ridden properly. I found him a companion home where he just eats grass, gets lots of fuss and goes on the occasional hack. I think you just have to be at the right place at the right time. Also though, I 'sold' him to said home for the price of his passport (about £17.00 I think!!). I still hear from the lady though so it's nice to know he is still enjoying life as he is a lovely horse.

Good luck - hope you find somewhere for him.
 

lucy1984

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Most sanctuaries will put you off but if you offer them £300 and give £30pm for his keep they will have him as it wouldve helped them out too. I was going to do this with Kenellen but in the end I couldnt go ahead with it and decided to keep him.

PM me if you want the details of the sanctuary that was going to take him.
 

eggs

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I believe that the sanctuaries are all struggling as they are being asked to take so many horses.

Having a young horse PTS is not an easy decision but it sometimes is the right one for the horse.

Remember if you sell him as a companion you have no control over what happens to him in the future. A friend of mine sold her horse as a companion as she could no longer be ridden. A few months later she got a phone call from the person who had bought her off the person she had sold her to. This person had buted the mare up and sold her on as a competition horse!
 

tasteofchristmaschaos

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Is his condition so bad that he couldn't be a light hack?
If he could hack lightly then it would be fairly easy to find him a loan home to do that in.
Unless you know someone personally who is looking for a companion, I don't think you will find someone to take him, as most people want very small ponies as companions, being cheaper to keep.
 

TicTac

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Personally I believe that the horse is your responsibility. Why put him in a sancturary? They are overloaded enough as they are. If you can't offer him a home or afford to keep him then you should do the right thing by him, why can't he be ridden?

IMO too many people want to palm their horses off due to injury or illness when they can no longer do what they want. The toughest part of horse owning is having to make ' that' decision. Fair enough if somebody genuinly wants a companion horse, but do they always get the care and attention they deserve? Think carefully. I may sound tough but I have been there.
 

Santa_Claus

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To be blunt if unrideable but field sound I would do one of three options
1) pay for him to stay on grass livery (yes about £1500 round here as well when you factor in trimming etc) which is what I have done with my old lad.
2) find someone in need of a companion but only on a loan agreement
3) have him pts

I would not sell on a retired/companion horse, hence why I now pay for Dan (who is 'only' 15) to live his life out in a field. If I couldn't afford to do so I would personally have him pts as there is no way I would allow him to be passed into the hands of another.

I also have previously had to have a horse of mine PTS at 5. He had a series of problems and although field sound he was never a horse who would live his life quietly in a field so there was no other decision other than have him PTS which our vets agreed with 100%
 

cellie

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I did the same with my 7 year old tb last year.He constantly broke down and I spent thousands on him.I was told by other h and h posters the kindest thing was pts but I resisted and found him wonderful home .He is out 24/7 in a herd plently of acerage with other rescues and has good quality of life.
If you want more details of how I rehomed him and his problems fee free to pm.
grin.gif
l
 

ester

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Options as I see it (being very practical/logical)

keep him

loan him out as a companion, I think sometimes people are happier to take on larger companions if they have all larger horses rather than say a shetland although I wouldnt. Perhaps using his lou money to cover vets bills etc hard feed? as not an air eating shetland!?

PTS

Use the loss of use money to pay for retirement livery as long as possible then PTS.

Sorry but I am another one who thinks that charities/sanctuaries should not be used for this purpose.
 

Booboos

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It's worth trying to loan him out as a companion, you never know! I have loaned a companion in the past for my other oldie and it worked out really well.

If that doesn't work, I would use the money from the insurance to pay for grass livery and see how you got on. You may find that your circumstances change in a couple of years. For example, if you end up with your own place, having a 'spare' horse does not cost much and is quite handy.

Good luck!
 

glamourpuss

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It is a sad decision to make but I think that if there is any question mark over a horses welfare in the future the best thing is to PTS.

By all means try and find him a companion home or retirement home but it must be one where you can monitor him and make sure he is being looked after. As someone else has said if he could make a light hack there is more chance of a home for him.

Some people may jump up and down in anger at the thought of a 'healthy' horse being PTS but sometimes it really is the most responsible thing to do.
 

Judziah

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I had to retire my 7 year old mare...breeding from her wasn't an option so we sent her to be an embryo transfer recipient mare.

If you are not willing or able to pay for his upkeep, you should have him put to sleep. It is not fair on a santuary to ask for their help, they are at capacity as it is with horses who genuinely need homes...and yours would probably find it difficult to find a new home.
By selling him, he's likely to end up as a meat horse, neglected or abused...perhaps even drugged and forced to work.

You need to forget how it makes you feel and address his needs...that is part of the deal when you decide to own a horse...his life is in your hands...respect it enough to do the right thing.

It's brutally difficult, I hate to even consider it and I couldn't do it myself.
 

Holidays_are_coming

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I think sometimes that PTS is is the best option, my gelding was 9 and with his problems both me and the vet agreed it was the best thing although he would have been field sound! Horses dont understand its there last day on this earth, and I never regret that dicission as I know exactley what happened to him and that he had the best life possible!!!
 

SusieT

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the options as I see it are:
loan his as a companion
pay for retirement livery
keep him on rented land etc.
I don't see PTs as an option as he is content to be a field ornament and am once more surprised by how 'normal' it is considered now to PTS what is essentially a pet. (not getting at OP as I get the feeling pts isn't your choice)
 

GLD123

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Please dont put him to sleep.
I have been currently searching for a horse on the internet and i have come across loads of advertisments looking for "someone to take up some field space"

before you even consider putting him to sleep, put some advertisments up, or looking for ads that are looking for companions.

there are PLENTY of people that own land, that have horses, im sure someone would happily take him out on loan.
 

Grey_Showjumper

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we had a 15.3hh ex hunter who was a bit mad when ridden... we tried to find a companion home for him, but like yours no one really wants something that wont live off air and is so big..
i would have a look though to see if you can find someone out there... but be prepared for the worst...
we tried rescue places etc. but they are all so full up, retirement centres would cost more than having him on grass livery.
he was eventually PTS in october this year after going lame...and although sad, was the best thing for him..
 

amandaco2

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if he can be a nice quiet hack, he would have a great chance on loan to someone.
otherwise- retire out to grass, loan as a companion.
i would not go for a charity, he isnt really a charity case.
 

TGM

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[ QUOTE ]
I have been currently searching for a horse on the internet and i have come across loads of advertisments looking for "someone to take up some field space"

[/ QUOTE ] You can bet your bottom dollar at least some of these "companions wanted" adverts are dodgy dealers looking for a horse they can bute up and sell on.

Long term users on here will remember a case where one of the forum users had a paddock sound horse which she rehomed as a companion. Within a couple of days the horse has been re-passported and sold through an auction as a riding horse.

By all means seek a companion home for your boy, but ensure it is only with people whom you already know and trust implicitly, and preferably do it on a loan basis so you retain some control. However, be aware that big companion horses are not in huge demand and therefore do not let your desperation to find him a home drive you to be less than rigorous in determining who you let have him. Please do not let him go to some anonymous stranger advertising for companions, however convincing they sound.
 

AmyMay

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[ QUOTE ]
If he is happy living out being a companion, then that would be the best option... or finding cheap grasss livery for him. Otherwise, I am afraid I would have PTS
frown.gif


[/ QUOTE ]

Yep, 100% agree.
 

cptrayes

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What is wrong with him? If it is a foot lameness issue I would be very interested in taking him on.
 

Natch

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Little flea, have you got/ will you get another horse?

Economies of scale can be had for having more than one horse, and it is useful to have your own companion...
smile.gif
 

millitiger

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if you can find a companion home with references and within easy reach to drop by and check on him then great.

if not retirement livery regardless of cost or PTS
 

measles

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I agree with others that he is your responsibility. Our retired horses we have loaned out, the mare spending about 13 years with her loaner until she passed away at 34yo. There are loan homes out there but common sense says be careful, put together a contract, take & offer references. If after some time that isn't possible then the hard decision is yours, I think. I hope it works our foe you both.
 

Minxie

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My pony was injured when he was only 2. The injury aside it just wouldn't cross my mind to have him PTS and 6 years on he's a happy field ornament who spends his day doing exactly what nature intended him to do - eat grass and poop.

There is an expense to having him and it means I can't get another but thats just tough as far as i'm concerned. I bred him by accident (didn't know his mum was preggars) and whether I like it or not I considered myself responsible for him. In my house no animal is ever disposable and just because they become unrideable does not mean their lives are suddenly valueless.

its a horrible position for you to find yourself in and I do completely sympathise. How about offering to help pay for his keep if he's a companion - taking that he does need a bit extra. Not along the lines of what he'd be paying at retirement livery but enough to allow taking him on as a companion to be a viable option.
 

Pearlsasinger

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When I retired my 10 yr old TBx I kept her and bought a 'replacement'. We kept her for the rest of her life, the first few years at livery and later at home. She was a companion to our other horses and thoroughly enjoyed life until she died of a stroke aged 24. If you cannot, or choose not to, afford to keep yours (either with you or at retirement livery) then IMHO it is your responsibility to PTS as that is the only way you can be sure of what happens to him. It is a difficult decision to make. It is one that I have had to make for a Shire mare aged 6, so I sympathise but feel that his welfare is your responsibility for the rest of his life.
 
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