Having horses PTS before their 'time'.

Fools Motto

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If I do this, purely because there is a change in my circumstances, does it sound like I'm selfish and will cause an uproar?
Pony is 16, sec A, fab companion, unable to be ridden and currently too fat. Horse is 20, sound, happy hacking, has evented but hasn't wintered well the last 2 years, looks poor in her coat. Has odd little quirks which I wouldn't be overly happy for anyone else to manage. Owes me nothing as she is my horse of a lifetime.

Thoughts? Advice?
 

Tobiano

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There will always be people who will criticise you. The important thing is whether you feel at peace with your decision. I would certainly rather see aged or problem horses PTS quietly at home rather than be left to take their chances in the hands of an unknown buyer.
 

bonny

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I think obviously it's up to you to make that decision, not anybody else but I would warn that you need to consider how you would feel afterwards. It can be easier to be rational and think it's the right think to do but you would need to be able to live with the guilt afterwards if you regretted it. Maybe try a loan home first and then you would have tried for them and you never know who might offer them a home.
 
X

xspiralx

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Best not to tell anyone as some people would judge.

The main thing is that you have to live with it - the horse doesn't know any better or worse, if you are at peace with your decision then that's really all that matters.
 

Maesfen

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Exactly as Amy says. It's nobody's business but yours so tell them to back off. As long as you are happy with your decision, nobody else matters; just get it done and say now't.

What does matter is that you do your best for them while they're with you and it very much sounds like you are.

I so wish more owners would do the same before their horses start struggling but they're too selfish to let go although they might dress it up with they mean too much to me, I can't do it and then it's too late, their horse is suffering because of their 'love'.
 

Pilib

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Exactly as Amy says. It's nobody's business but yours so tell them to back off. As long as you are happy with your decision, nobody else matters; just get it done and say now't.

What does matter is that you do your best for them while they're with you and it very much sounds like you are.

I so wish more owners would do the same before their horses start struggling but they're too selfish to let go although they might dress it up with they mean too much to me, I can't do it and then it's too late, their horse is suffering because of their 'love'.
Exactly this!
 

Ahrena

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I had a pony PTS before her time.

My mum had terminal cancer and basically I couldn't afford or have time to keep all of them on my own (they were 'ours') I had my event horse, my youngster, an elderly mare who needed to be PTS before that coming winter anyway as she wasn't going to cope and my 13 year old Welsh x Hackney.

She had been retired for a couple of years at that stage due to severe behaviour problems (serious rearing) which we had spent 7 years trying to fix. She also has numerous quirks and needed careful management even as a lawnmower.

We decided to have the old mare and the problem pony put down. She was just too dangerous to rehome. I didn't want her beaten or passed around or to hurt anyone.

No one criticised me for it, everyone st my yard was very understanding
 

Pearlsasinger

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Neither of them sound as if you could sell them on too a good home, so if you can no longer look after them as you would wish/they should be looked after, you don't really have a choice.
I'm sure there will be some bunny huggers along soon, suggesting that you send them to a charity(!) but we all know that's a complete non-starter.
Do what you have to do, don't publicise your decision, it's nobody else's business. There are many fates worse than pts for unwanted horses and ponies.
 

Clodagh

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OP - I have exactly the same choice as you to make this summer, although I am consdiering a loan home for my younger boy. With his issues I may well not find one and if I don't both him and his companion will be PTS this autumn. The horses will know nothing, it is only us that can make the call.
I have had my Dad staying this weekend and I told him what I was planning. The next day he came with me to do the horses and said 'Don't you even feel bad you are going to shoot both these two?' Well yes, I feel awful but it is my call, they have had a fab life.
A friend of mine had her two PTS last year, I held them for her, she says she knows that people disagreed with her decision but they weren't the ones shovelling muck or paying the bills.
 

cauda equina

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I'd rather let them go at home, rather than rehome them with all the attendant stress.
But it's easier to say than do.
 

DuckToller

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When you say before their time, I always think any horse that gets to mid teens has had a fair innings and the 20 year old is already showing signs of not coping with winters, so it is time, pretty much, in her case.

Compared to the average lifespan of agricultural animals such as cows and sheep, our horses do very well.

When you say will it cause uproar, do you mean at your yard or on here? As everyone else has said, don't tell people if you are worried about their reaction.
 

sarahann1

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Having just put my old lad down this morning, I would personally struggle with them going 'early', but that's me and my horses. If you are able to make that decision and be ok with it, that's your choice, that's what you've got to do. The horses won't know what's happened to them.

All the best whatever you decide to do.
 

Mooseontheloose

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I had to put down our old girl because she was incurably lame, though she looked a picture of health. Several people said to me that it was too soon. I couldn't understand why I should wait until she looked dreadful and not be able to get up or it be an emergency.
Done at home with her head in a bucket. Heartbreaking but better than making it someone else's problem.
 

touchstone

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A change in circumstances is reason enough to pts, keep it to yourself and do what you need to do. It is nobody else's business just unfortunate that you are in this position, but I'm sure countless owners have been there before you and there will be plenty in the future.
 

Magnetic Sparrow

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In my opinion, the owner's circumstances are a perfectly reasonable and valid consideration in deciding a horse's future. I think you would be entirely justified in making the call to PTS. Like some others have suggested, it might be better to keep the news to yourself, people can be amazingly insensitive and it isn't really their business.

Whatever you decide I am sure it will be right.
 

chillipup

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Having just put my old lad down this morning, I would personally struggle with them going 'early', but that's me and my horses. If you are able to make that decision and be ok with it, that's your choice, that's what you've got to do. The horses won't know what's happened to them.

All the best whatever you decide to do.
This ^. And so sorry to hear about your boy S, sad times :(
 

Pinkvboots

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Having just put my old lad down this morning, I would personally struggle with them going 'early', but that's me and my horses. If you are able to make that decision and be ok with it, that's your choice, that's what you've got to do. The horses won't know what's happened to them.

All the best whatever you decide to do.
sorry you lost your horse x
 

Cheeky Chestnut

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My old boy will end his days with me, if I lost my job and was unable to pay for his keep them he would be PTS I have loaned him or before and I was lucky that I had a job for him to be able to come home, if I hadn't I would have been stuck. He is 25 now still fit and healthy, cheap to keep, hard barefoot hooves with minimal upkeep and no major problems but I would PTS rather than pass him on due to my personal circumstances.

I see it as being responsible, other may not see it that way. They don't know tomorrow is coming and it is us that are left with the consequences, they just go to sleep.
 

honetpot

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I have four PTS in as many years for various reasons, I still miss them but I have never regretted my decision. I am lucky I have not been on a livery yard for ten years, I make up my own mind and never ask any ones opinion. You only have to look on FB at the amount of animals with poor health history or behavioural problems that people to are trying to off load, full of good intensions to the 'forever home'.
Why was not the home the're in forever?
Do what you think is best, and my best wishes.
 

Farcical1

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I currently have two oldies; one 23, one 31. With my personal circumstances as they are just now, I have made the decision that if one goes, they both go.
I'm really hoping this won't happen, but I've made this decision and if it has to be so, then I will do it. I'm in no doubt that I will cry floods of tears but I will do it.
Perhaps this sounds harsh, but they have been together for 12 years and I can't see either doing well without the other.
I'm probably not explaining this well due to large quantities of wine! But the decision has to be yours, and only you know what is right.
 

YasandCrystal

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Your horses your choice and you are obviously swinging both ways for writing this post. It's never easy having a horse pts. I have a 26 yr old companion pony. He has been fab and when he goes I will likely replace him with another small companion. If you know a trustworthy home the pony could be used and loved by someone. I also have a sensitive WB who has a past of abuse and if I could no longer keep him I would have him pts.
 

pansymouse

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OP - I'm going to judge you and say you are good person who is facing their responsibility to their loved animals with the emphasis on their welfare and future not your feelings and sentimentality. The best thing to do is very often the hardest.
 

popsdosh

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There is an old saying better to be a month to soon than a day to late. I wish more people faced up to their responsibilities like you have . When is their time anyhow that call will always be subjective. however as with humans just because we can intervene and extend life does not mean its right to do so!
 

fatpiggy

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When I had my old girl PTS to save her arthritic, going deaf and partially sighted, Cushings-affected old body from another miserable muddy winter, I only told the YO. No-one else knew, I chose a time of day when I knew there would be no-one around (it was a DIY yard) and in fact the YO was away on holiday. I know no-one would have criticised me as she had been on borrowed time for a great many years, but I just didn't want any one around while I said goodbye to my lovely old girl. One person did text me later on in the afternoon, but that was the last I heard from anyone.
 

Damnation

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There will always be people who will criticise you. The important thing is whether you feel at peace with your decision. I would certainly rather see aged or problem horses PTS quietly at home rather than be left to take their chances in the hands of an unknown buyer.
Definately.

Exactly as Amy says. It's nobody's business but yours so tell them to back off. As long as you are happy with your decision, nobody else matters; just get it done and say now't.

What does matter is that you do your best for them while they're with you and it very much sounds like you are.

I so wish more owners would do the same before their horses start struggling but they're too selfish to let go although they might dress it up with they mean too much to me, I can't do it and then it's too late, their horse is suffering because of their 'love'.
I could't agree more.

I had a pony PTS before her time.

My mum had terminal cancer and basically I couldn't afford or have time to keep all of them on my own (they were 'ours') I had my event horse, my youngster, an elderly mare who needed to be PTS before that coming winter anyway as she wasn't going to cope and my 13 year old Welsh x Hackney.

She had been retired for a couple of years at that stage due to severe behaviour problems (serious rearing) which we had spent 7 years trying to fix. She also has numerous quirks and needed careful management even as a lawnmower.

We decided to have the old mare and the problem pony put down. She was just too dangerous to rehome. I didn't want her beaten or passed around or to hurt anyone.

No one criticised me for it, everyone st my yard was very understanding
What an awful situation, and a brave decision!

I'd rather let them go at home, rather than rehome them with all the attendant stress.
But it's easier to say than do.
Totally agree.

Having just put my old lad down this morning, I would personally struggle with them going 'early', but that's me and my horses. If you are able to make that decision and be ok with it, that's your choice, that's what you've got to do. The horses won't know what's happened to them.

All the best whatever you decide to do.
Agree with this too.

There is an old saying better to be a month to soon than a day to late. I wish more people faced up to their responsibilities like you have . When is their time anyhow that call will always be subjective. however as with humans just because we can intervene and extend life does not mean its right to do so!
This I agree with strongly.

You know your horses, and to be honest with the amount of horses in this country that are being starved, abused, neglected and dumped, I think if my girl can't end her life with me (she is only 15) then I will have her PTS. She is quirky, too hot for most amateur riders to ride and a panic button the size of Wales. I would want to guarentee her future.

I certainly won't judge you for the decision - anyone that does is probably very selfish.
 

DJ

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The decision is yours, and yours alone. If anyone judges you it speaks more about them than it does you. You certainly aren`t selfish, in an over saturated market you are ensuring yours do not suffer at the hands of others. I have had 3 PTS over the last 6 years. With my youngster the vet said nothing more could be done, the second one I lost had sudden onset colic/twisted gut and couldn`t be saved, and the other had huge behavioural issues that we just couldn`t fix.

As long as you feel you can live with the choices you make, that is the only thing that truly matters. I feel for you and you have my full support, as well as most others who live in the real world. Charities are full to brimming and the right homes are getting harder and harder to come by.
 

Mongoose11

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If you are happy with it then you do it. I've seen it done and couldn't understand it at the time (didn't dream of saying as much) but my own circumstances have led me to reflect on a number of different options. I decided that I would always be able to afford retirement livery (as it's a cheaper option than livery) and that would be my choice but I certainly wouldn't judge anyone who chose the other option.

If you can't keep them for any good reason then you have to do whatever you can to make your own life easy/affordable/worthwhile.

Are you happy with the idea and think it's a sensible, reasonable one? If so, don't feel guilty - they won't know xx
 
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