PTS a feral pony - best way?

LadyGascoyne

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17 is a really awkward age.

SEL could feasibly be in for another 10-15 years of supporting this pony. 17 isn’t young either. It’s not like it’s a young horse, with its whole life ahead of it.

If SEL was posting to say their 17yo had been diagnosed with something that would make it unrideable and unsafe to handle, and it could only be retired to place a financial and emotional burden on her for the next 10 years, I bet most of us would support a decision to pts.

The feral horse has had the advantage of many years of a good life, as long as SEL is working to achieve a good end for it, I think it can consider itself luckier than most.
 

Dave's Mam

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unrideable and unsafe to handle, and it could only be retired to place a financial and emotional burden on her for the next 10 years, I bet most of us would support a decision to pts.
The lady who's horse the pony is with is in her 70's, the farrier would rather not know it, I think we know what the situation is here & what it doesn't need is people telling SEL that she is doing the wrong thing. She is doing the right thing, by the pony & her elderly fellow yard person & indeed herself.
 

Velcrobum

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I thought this, he's 17, so clearly someone has managed with him all these years now he's just an it, with an owner looking to kill him ASAP.
Have you actually read the OP's original post and her further informative posts about this poor pony that has been apparently been unhandled and ignored in a field by his previous owner/s for the last 15 years. The OP if you actually bothered to read her posts has actively been working with said pony to try and make him into a manageable field companion sadly it has not worked so she is now researching extensively for the least stress free solution.
 

SEL

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SEL; I commend your careful planning for the feral pony's necessary end.
Has the previous owner completely disappeared?
Karma will find them.
She isn't in a position to look after him (quite a sad human story there too). I was hoping one of her relatives might but none of them are happy to take him - & having seen him panic I have no idea if we'd safely transport him anyway.

It's all very hard and I've just read everyone's comments and am touched by your support. Thank you.
 

Nasicus

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You're doing the right thing, SEL, and smart to do this now whilst things are good. He's been very lucky to have 15 trouble-free years, but imagine if he was ill or injured, especially now he's aging (and borderline laminitic like you say!). Can't imagine he'd allow anyone near him if he was in pain and frightened, or that he'd make life easy if he developed a condition that needed regular medication etc, and none of those situations would be a pleasant end for him.
 

scats

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No suggestions from me SEL, but absolutely no judgement here. What the couple of do gooders on this thread probably haven’t considered is what would happen if that pony gets very badly injured and can’t be caught for treatment? You might find yourself in a really awful situation with a suffering animal, scrabbling around to try and get him destroyed, perhaps in the middle of the night.
I hope you manage to get sorted x
 
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Another vote for equine bereavement services- poor Harry was having violent fits, on tons of drugs so not an easy PTS candidate & my vet said lethal injection was likely to trigger another fit and not the way to let Harry go - Mick took all this onboard & PTS so quickly and kindly - made a hideous decision so much easier and couldn’t recommend him highly enough.

PTS kindly in their own field is far from the worst thing you can do to a horse x
 
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SEL

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Another vote for equine bereavement services- poor Harry was having violent fits, on tons of drugs so not an easy candidate & my vet said injection was likely to trigger another fit and not the way to let Harry go - Muck took all this onboard & PTS so quickly and kindly - made a hideous decision so much easier and couldn’t recommend him highly enough.

PTS kindly in their own field is far from the worst thing you can do to a horse x
I've had a few recommendations now for them, so once owner of elderly cob and I have chatted things through (she's upset - he went through a good stage but autumn seems to have caused all the nasty behaviour to flare up again) then I'll give them a shout and see what they say. I'm getting him used to being fed by the fence line which makes me feel awful but in the long run this is the only option and will hopefully just mean he sticks his head in a huge bucket of food on d-day
 

blitznbobs

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This thread explains why we have a welfare problem in this country with horses . The OP is taking responsibility for someone elses problem and trying to organise as humane a PTS for a dangerous animal as is possible. The criticism is well out of order but the stigma attached to a responsible person making the correct decision is one of the reasons so many unsuitable ponies get passed from pillar to post causing injury to humans and misery to the animal. Im sick of people ‘rescuing ’ ponies with no chance of a normal life … there are so many broken ponies out there being advertised and then ending up in a totally unsuitable home— people like the op should be praised not condemned.
 
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babymare

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This thread explains why we have a welfare problem in this country with horses . The OP is taking responsibility for someone elses problem and trying to organise as humane a PTS for a dangerous animal as is possible. The criticism is well out of order but the stigma attached to a responsible person making the correct decision is one of the reasons so many unsuitable ponies get passed from pillar to post causing injury to humans and misery to the animal. Im sick of people ‘recusing’ ponies with no chance of a normal life … there are so many broken ponies out there being advertised and then ending up in a totally unsuitable home— people like the op should be praised not condemned.
. Well said 100% 👏🏻👏🏻
 

Slightlyconfused

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This is who came to collect Ari. I would second the recommendation if it’s close to you.

Whilst he didn’t pts (our vet did), he was absolutely brilliant and incredibly sensitive about the removal. I was doing that “brave” thing where you’re about half a second off complete collapse but still smiling.

Just from his demeanor and compassion, I wouldn’t hesitate to have him come out to PTS, and apparently he is well known to be very reliable in that scenario.

I only use these to pick up mine. They are brilliant.
 

dorsetladette

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This thread explains why we have a welfare problem in this country with horses . The OP is taking responsibility for someone elses problem and trying to organise as humane a PTS for a dangerous animal as is possible. The criticism is well out of order but the stigma attached to a responsible person making the correct decision is one of the reasons so many unsuitable ponies get passed from pillar to post causing injury to humans and misery to the animal. Im sick of people ‘recusing’ ponies with no chance of a normal life … there are so many broken ponies out there being advertised and then ending up in a totally unsuitable home— people like the op should be praised not condemned.
Really well said.
 

Dave's Mam

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This thread explains why we have a welfare problem in this country with horses . The OP is taking responsibility for someone elses problem and trying to organise as humane a PTS for a dangerous animal as is possible. The criticism is well out of order but the stigma attached to a responsible person making the correct decision is one of the reasons so many unsuitable ponies get passed from pillar to post causing injury to humans and misery to the animal. Im sick of people ‘recusing’ ponies with no chance of a normal life … there are so many broken ponies out there being advertised and then ending up in a totally unsuitable home— people like the op should be praised not condemned.
This 100%. Well said.
 

paddy555

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(she's upset - he went through a good stage but autumn seems to have caused all the nasty behaviour to flare up again)
I doubt it is nasty behaviour as in horrible nasty but more likely due to the grass which changes as we go into autumn.
I have one field that causes problems in the autumn from gaseous colic if I am not careful to "nastier" behaviour.
I have had to move a couple off there. One was clearly slightly in pain and the other changed from a nice pleasant helpful riding horse to a belligerent little b*gger when he was ridden. Couple of days off that particular grass and the nice riding horse had returned.
Probably nothing you want to do about it but I would guess that is the reason for the behaviour change.
 

Velcrobum

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I've had a few recommendations now for them, so once owner of elderly cob and I have chatted things through (she's upset - he went through a good stage but autumn seems to have caused all the nasty behaviour to flare up again) then I'll give them a shout and see what they say. I'm getting him used to being fed by the fence line which makes me feel awful but in the long run this is the only option and will hopefully just mean he sticks his head in a huge bucket of food on d-day
Mick is very compassionate, respectful and gentle. He collects for my vets practise as well. He collected my first horse who was PTS via injection then dispatched my TB that I have talked about up thread. I will use him again when the next need arises. I am sure he will be able to help you to find as good a solution as possible even if he does not PTS. Sending supporting vibes to you SEL.
 

Berpisc

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This thread explains why we have a welfare problem in this country with horses . The OP is taking responsibility for someone elses problem and trying to organise as humane a PTS for a dangerous animal as is possible. The criticism is well out of order but the stigma attached to a responsible person making the correct decision is one of the reasons so many unsuitable ponies get passed from pillar to post causing injury to humans and misery to the animal. Im sick of people ‘recusing’ ponies with no chance of a normal life … there are so many broken ponies out there being advertised and then ending up in a totally unsuitable home— people like the op should be praised not condemned.
Well said, 100 %.
SEL, another vote of confidence and support for you.
 

SEL

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I doubt it is nasty behaviour as in horrible nasty but more likely due to the grass which changes as we go into autumn.
I have one field that causes problems in the autumn from gaseous colic if I am not careful to "nastier" behaviour.
I have had to move a couple off there. One was clearly slightly in pain and the other changed from a nice pleasant helpful riding horse to a belligerent little b*gger when he was ridden. Couple of days off that particular grass and the nice riding horse had returned.
Probably nothing you want to do about it but I would guess that is the reason for the behaviour change.
We've had quite a flush in the grass since the heavy rain - its visibly greened up. My native is producing cow pats and feral is feeling a bit feisty. Nowhere else to put him and obviously can't bring him off the grass so I'm putting out hay in the hope that will settle him a little.

Thank you everyone above for your support. If there was another option that felt feasible and safe then I would be taking it. I've had plenty of 3am lying awake moments thinking this through. The timing and practicalities need to be sorted but I do know this is the right decision.
 
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Elderly cob couldn't give a damn about the feral pony fortunately - tolerates it but would happily mooch around with my lot if it went. They haven't always been in together, just for a few months. The feral was on its own for years which hasn't helped matters. No access to a cattle crush and no plans to buy one for a pony that needs to be euthanised. If we could get it safely onto the yard then I'm sure we could train it to go in a stable but it isn't safe and I don't want to put anyone at risk handling it - it won't follow the oldie because we've tried that. I need to put safety first with this pony and that sadly means calling it a day.
You could create a cattle crush type restraint from big straw bales. Line them up on the flat edge to create a narrow feeding area from bales, let FP get used to this feeding station then block the exit.

As time goes on you'd can make it narrower to stop pony from turning round, therfore has to reverse to get out. Then once it is blocked you will have a safe but cheap restraint for pony to be euthanised from above. The pony won't be able to hurt itself when surrounded by bales.
 
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You make think this is a brutal idea but hear me out.

Consider hiring a deer culling contractor. If they can drop a red stag from a distance in one easy shot, without the stag even knowing it has been done then it's not a bad way to go as a pony. Let FP have some lush grass, or something tasty to eat and let the marksman get on with the job.

It isn't the conventional PTS method but this isn't your usual situation. One quick single bullet from a distance whilst the pony is happily munching away is less stress all around for you and the pony.
 

Velcrobum

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You make think this is a brutal idea but hear me out.

Consider hiring a deer culling contractor. If they can drop a red stag from a distance in one easy shot, without the stag even knowing it has been done then it's not a bad way to go as a pony. Let FP have some lush grass, or something tasty to eat and let the marksman get on with the job.

It isn't the conventional PTS method but this isn't your usual situation. One quick single bullet from a distance whilst the pony is happily munching away is less stress all around for you and the pony.
This has already been suggested up thread , unfortunately using this method requires some form of backstop. This is usually achieved by shooting down so any stray bullet goes into the ground safely.
 

Cortez

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It doesn't sound as if this pony is all that wild; it can apparently be haltered on occasion. Getting him used to going in to a corral-type feeding area and then having the hunt in for a close-quarters shot would be the way to go for me. Good luck with whatever method you opt for.
 
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