When I went to pick up our puppy from the rescue agency, I made a five hour drive to a part of our state that has been devastated by the “recession”.
It’s a rural/Ag area. Horses everywhere. Many didn’t look so hot. It was difficult not to wonder how long they had before their owners simply couldn’t afford them and either sold them (unlikely) or told themselves that an auction yard, while not the best alternative, at least gave the horse a chance at life. Or that really nice person that came to look at my horse, but didn’t want to try it out, had the horse’s best interest at heart. Maybe. Or maybe the nice person was a front for the meat buyer.
What happens to horses once they hit the meat auction is horrific. Please, go to fuglyhorseoftheday and sign the proposed ban on transporting horses out of state for slaughter. Fugs has links in her post. This is one even the most apolitical of us needs to sign.
I’m also going to say what no one wants to hear. If you have a horse you can’t keep that has significant problems: highly ill-mannered, lame, or even sweet old guy who is no longer ride-able: euthanize the horse if you don’t have excellent, reliable references on the person willing to take them. That is infinitely kinder than what is likely to happen. If you don’t feel like you can afford the euthanasia, find a vet who will work out a payment plan with you. I don’t want to hear any “I can’t DO that, I just can’t. I love my horse too much.” You took on the responsibility for this horse’s life. Love doesn’t mean leaving out the messy, guilt-inducing, there’s-no-good-decision making we have to do as responsible adults.
I’m not telling you to euthanize your horse. I’m asking you to stay awake and not let your desire for the perfect solution override your smarts when you can no longer afford your difficult/ailing/elderly horse. You might find a great home. I’d be the first one clapping.
If you have any doubt, click on the link at fugs to the pictures. Your horse dies safe with you, or possibly slowly, painfully and tortuously in an agonizing manner. She’s not being dramatic. Do NOT look at the pictures if you can’t take graphic horror.