View Full Version : Dealing with putting a horse down

21-01-08, 02:32 PM
I have a horse who I have decided the most humane thing to do is to put her down. Sorry for this being a long post, I just need some advice on how to deal with the emotions involved in this situation...

I have had Reily for about two and a half years now. She came to me as an unrideable horse, her owner hated her and didn't want to have anything to do with her.

I worked with her and occasionally got some nice work out of her, however for the most part she was a real battle.

However she is a dangerous horse. She bites and she kicks. She had her previous paddock mate scared to death. She will buck, and I mean serious bucks:


She has physical, mental and most likely hormonal issues. I don't have the time nor the money to be able to help her, and I really doubt that she will ever fully recover, she has most probably lived all her life in pain and she will never forget that. Over the past few months she has gotten progressively worse.

I am not willing to give her away or sell her on - partly for the liability there, she is a dangerous horse, and partly because I know that she will ultimately end up in a can of dog food. I have dealt with troubled horses before, and I have decided that she really is now beyond help.

So I feel that the kindest thing I can do for Reily is to give her the last days of her life with someone who she knows and trusts, someone who cares for her. I don't want her to live in pain anymore.

This is such a hard decision for me to make. I have never had to put a horse down before so I just would like to hear some stories or words of advice on how to process these emotions I am feeling at the moment. I feel like I have failed her but not being able to 'fix' her, like I have let her down.


21-01-08, 02:41 PM
I really feel for your Half_Pass.
Its always a crap decision.
Is there not any way she might be of any use as a broodmare?

21-01-08, 02:46 PM
I really sympathise with you.

If the horse is indeed dangerous - and it sounds like you know what you are talking about, then IMO, you are making an informed and compassionate decision - however heartbreaking.

My thoughts are with you xx

21-01-08, 02:52 PM
Geez half pass they're really some super bucks!!! Is that you riding? Howd you stay on, you don't even look like you became unseated.

If you really think that putting her down is the only thing to do then do it. It's really sad that it has come to the point that she isn't even a safe paddock companion anymore. She must really have some serious issues there. If she's been in pain like you say, this could be the reason she has become so agressive(but I think you already know that).Is she any different when she's on bute or something to ease her pain? I know how bad people can become when they're in continuous pain.

My mum had to put my pony down a few years ago due to injury(broken leg) so it's a completely different situation but she cried for weeks about it. It really devestated her even though she had no other option(I'm really glad I wasn't there when it happened). I can understand how you feel you have failed her, but at the same time I hope you can recognize you have done all you can for her and if she is such a danger to be around well your(and everyone elses) health is more important.

I guess the best thing to do is to deal with your grief in the way that suits you. We all deal with things in different ways and no-one is the same. Don't hold onto anything and I guess if you feel you need to, talk to a councillor. Your vet may even be able to help as he/she will know the clinical symptoms of your horse and probably knows what a hard decision it has been for you.

I'm sorry I can't be any more help to you half pass.

21-01-08, 02:54 PM
It is not an easy choice to make, but for me personally I feel you are doing the right thing.

There is no shame in having a horse put to sleep; in the end you are saving them, yourself and possibly others from harm and heartbreak.

You have tried with the Mare and you canít do anymore than that, it sounds like you have stepped back and taken a realistic view of what she is like and what she is capable of, which I wish more people would do.

I wish you all the best, putting a horse down no matter what the circumstance is not easy, so try not to beat yourself up about it too much, try to remember why you decided this path, you have not let her down, is some ways you would be letting her down more by dragging out a life when as you say she has/may have physical, mental and most likely hormonal issues.

As suggested you could use her as a broodmare, but I would make sure that a good vet agrees that she could handle it, the other factor is, does she have the right temperament to breed from.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ What we learn to do, we learn by doing ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

21-01-08, 02:54 PM
As tough as this situation is, to me it sounds as if you are doing the only responsible thing there is. None of us like to see our 4-legged friends put to sleep, let alone feel as if we have failed them, but it seems as if this poor girl was damaged way before she came to you.

As hard as it is, I don't for one second believe you could live with yourself if anything was to happen to some one else as a result of this horse's behaviour. Unfortunately, the people responsible for making her this way are getting off scott free.

Don't be hard on yourself. I really feel for you.



21-01-08, 02:57 PM
I tried to consider broodmare. She is nicely put together and a pretty looking horse. But with her personality being so nasty I am not willing to put a foal through that.

21-01-08, 03:04 PM
Yes that is me riding her. It was in a clinic, she was like that for the majority of the lesson - she shifted me once, if nothing else she has given me the abilty to sit through some bucks.

Thanks for all the support, I really do appreciate it. This is probably one of the hardest decisions I have had to make. I am going to talk to the vet tomorrow about the process involved in putting her down. As much as I don't really want to be there, I feel I owe it to Reily to be there with her when she dies, I don't want her to be with strangers when she goes.

I am so upset about all of this, I am here in tears just thinking about it.

But thanks again for being so supportive, I was expecting to have replied yelling at me for being so horrible to consider such a decision.

21-01-08, 03:04 PM
I admire you half_pass for for investing so much time, money and emotional energy into giving this mare a chance at a working life. Unfortunatly it sounds as though she was too damaged by the time she came to you to be able to take it.
I also admire you for coming to such a hard decision after obviously thinking the situation though thoroughly and hope you know you are doing the best thing possible for all concerned.
I have made this decision twice in my life - first was a drop dead gorgeous Pally gelding that would stamp and kick "to death" anything that moved around his feet. He was fine to handle in every way but this and we spent weeks trying to work with him to no avail. All I could see was him trampling to death his poor rider the first time they fell off or slipped while getting on/off. He was put down on our property as I knew if he went through the sales he would end up being bought by someone trying to do the right thing.
The second was a mare who was sweet as sugar untill you tried to make her do anything and got to the stage that she would try to kick and bite if you came to take one of "her" mates away. Another very dangerous horse that could have seriously injured someone or killed them.
You are doing a great thing by taking on this decision. Too many people off load dangerous horses through the sales without a second thought for the damage they could do in the future.
THANK YOU for being a responsible horse owner.

21-01-08, 03:12 PM
If you are at this stage then you have made 'the' decision.

And to be honest. its not that hard to do. My last horse was ill and we had him at the vets. We heavily sedated him first and then the vet said. I will do this injection and he will do this, then he will do this and this. I will do this and then I will help him to the ground.

Went like clockwork - yes I was there apologising and telling him he was a good boy and of course having a dam good cry. but it went well.

Having sat on a horses neck whilst he was in the throws of death, I can say that this was way less traumatic and almost peaceful.

its not a bad decision to make, better to go out knowing that they have gone in a controlled manner than in a truck to god knows where after injuring god knows whom.

21-01-08, 03:43 PM
I've never had the sad task of doing it myself, but I just wanted to say my thoughts are with you. It sounds like you have given her every chance and done everything you can to make it work - but if she is that dangerous then its not worth trying any longer and risking you or someone else getting seriously hurt. I admire how brave you are, must be a really hard decision.

21-01-08, 03:44 PM
Congratulations for thinking of the horses welfare first and foremost, and congratulations once again for not putting a mare like this into the gene pool by breeding from her.
This is a really tough decision, one which we were faced with only 10 days ago, but for age related reasons.

On the side of making arrangements for her, you can call your local council to bury the mare on your property if you are in an area where this is possible.If this it not possible it might be a good idea to take her to the vets as they can usually arrange to have them buried elsewhere.

If you are giving your mare the green dream the vet will sedate her before euthanasing her. It is a very sad time for you, but is a rather peaceful passing.

It is a very hard decision, but in the mares best interest the best and kindest decision.

My thoughts are with you



Suzie Q
22-01-08, 12:07 AM
Hugs Halfpass and honestly the only way I would get through it would be crying. No I don't often cry, but if it helps, do it.

The only other thing that I can think of is if you want let her be a rodeo horse. She might be a star.

22-01-08, 12:14 AM
If she was mine, I would probably put her down. I think you are brave to discuss the issue, and wise to see that sometimes a death a few years earlier is not always a bad thing.

The best mares should be consigned to the breeding barn, not the ones that can't be used for anything else. Some horses do just develop bucking to an almost unbreakable habit (perhaps because of past bad handling or past pain in the back) - of course an expert with a great amount of time, knowledge and patience might help but when there are thousands and thousands of horses with much more potential to put the time and effort into and far less dangerous habits to break, I can't see the point of trying to save this one. I've had horses with really bad backs, and they let you know they are in pain (and it's been attended to) but I haven't had one with the desire to buck like this.

Even if you try to find a nice home for her as a 'lawnmower', paddock ornament or paddock companion for someone, you have the problem of, will they worm their lawnmower and do her hooves and keep her happy or will she have a miserable, lonely existance with overgrown hooves and worms and bad teeth? Will they one day let the neighbor's kids ride her or will they sell her on to the doggers?

By the way - what glue did you use on your jods to keep you in the saddle? I want some of it! Amazing riding, well done.

Leanne O.

22-01-08, 12:32 AM
Hi There,

I just want to say that you are definately doing the right thing. Having been sold one of these horses from a dodgy seller who had the horse drugged when I went to look at it, I bought it and it turned into a nutter, since being thrown from that horse several times I become absolutely terrified of riding and it is a real struggle to get on now. It is refreshing to see someone who is putting the welfare of the horse and humans first. I agree it must be an aweful decision but you can rest easy knowing she will be in a better place and that she will not be able to hurt anyone. Thank you for being honest and not moving this horse on as who knows where it could end up.

Kind Regards

22-01-08, 12:44 AM
Half_Pass after I saw those pictures like Suzie Q the first thing I thought of was how would you feel if she did rodeo? It might be an idea it save her life. Though I believe they have to be fairly quiet while in the chute but with bucks like that I think she might do well. And donít believe what you hear about rodeo horses being abused, they value their horses as much as we do. If you spoke to someone in the rodeo scene they might be able to give you their opinion of her.

If thatís not a option or sending her out to the paddock as an ornament is out of the question then putting her to sleep may be the best option. As other posters have said it isnít an easy decision but sometimes itís for the best. You donít want to get hurt because of this horse and you donít want someone else to get hurt either.

It will be a tough decision but its best if someone like you, who cares for this horse and only wants whatís best makes this decision for her. It will nice to know in years to come that you made her last time on this earth comfortable and that you tried your best to save her but sometimes in the end you have to let them go.

22-01-08, 02:01 AM
Half_Pass - sincere sympathy on an awful situation. She came to you as unwanted, unrideable. You've given it your best shot, and had some success. You are doing the right thing. What life has she if she's in pain? She's not a breeding prospect, you cannot sell her on even through saleyards, knowing that someone might get seriously hurt. Responsible horse ownership is having the guts to make the hard calls, and you've shown you have that. Talk to your vet, you may find that she can be given a strong sedative first, when that kicks in, you could leave the vet to administer the final injection, as she'll be so sedated she won't be aware of who's there. That may help you a little. Best of luck, be strong knowing it's necessary, and be proud of having the guts to do what is best. Regards.

22-01-08, 02:42 AM
I'm sorry to hear of your difficult decision half pass. I'm not sure whether or not it may be of any help to you, but we have an article published on our site which covers this topic:

Al the very best.

22-01-08, 03:06 AM
I sympathise,

That is a very difficult decision to make.

The emotional termoil in a situation like this and the angst of making the decision is very difficult particularly in situation like this one, as we all will feel some degree of remorse and wondering if there was something else we could have done.

The decision is yours and yours alone, once made it easier to deal with, but still no easier to do.

Dont let anyone sway your decision and rest with peace of mind that you have done the right thing as hard as it might be.

There are horses that cant be fixed and atleast you can recognise that and cop out by passing the problem on to some other poor soul.

My best peice of advice is to make sure that someone is there with you and have a good bottle of favourite vice on hand, if you are that inclined.

Remember only the goods things and treasure those memories forever.

I have had too make this decision way too many times and the one thing I can tell you is that it does not get any easier.

22-01-08, 03:10 AM
half pass- I must say GREAT SEAT AND HANDS, with your obvious riding ability, it is a very informed decision.


22-01-08, 03:12 AM
I can't really add much, it has all been said already. But I admire your courage and I'm proud of you because I know you've given her a good chance. Talk to your coach, she'll back you up ;)

22-01-08, 03:37 AM
I feel for you.
It's a decision I could never make, life is too precious for me to ever be able to take it away from anything... I can't even kill spiders!
That being said... If she were mine. I'd never sell her (I can't and would never sell any horse anyway), I would keep her in the paddock with the rest of my retired, unusable horses. The fact that she can't fit in to our expectations isn't really her fault...and I know you know that, and I realise you probably don't have the option of keeping her as a paddock ornament open to you. So yes, I feel for you greatly.
Moving her on to someone else is not the answer, breeding ..obviously not right either...and maybe if those who bred this mare had thought more responsibly about it then you would not be faced with this awful decision now.
Good luck to you. Yes, be with her in the end... you will be glad to remember that you stood by her till the last.

BTW.. don't beat yourself up about failing her, some horses cannot fit into our lifestyles for many reasons, I guess until we own enough land to let them all live out their days in peace without us annoying them, then we really don't have many options.
Good luck.

22-01-08, 03:37 AM
Just remember ... the day after ... you will be sad, you will be in pain ... but the horse can't suffer any more; it is free of worry, of pain, of conflict, of hunger.

I've had to put a couple of horses down ... and every time I think of them now, the first thought I think is "today that horse is not in pain".

22-01-08, 03:49 AM
the first thing i noticed on that photo was 'damn! how'd she stay on so well'? maybe a job as a bucker is a left of centre solution?

22-01-08, 04:07 AM
Best wishes.

Advice is to have everything prepared, a grave dug and have her PTS near it.

Or have her PTS near where the hole will be dug, then you can say good bye and be with her while she is PTS and then leave the not so nice stuff to the back hoe operator.

Plant her a tree in her memory, maybe a prickly one that grabs people when they walk past :-)

Make sure the vet sedates her well first, then she is relaxed and basically just goes calmly and easily after the lethal injection. As long as they are sedated well it is a very quite procedure.

Her future is in your hands, and you have obviously put a lot of time and heart into her. I think you are making the best decision for her as you can see what her other options would be. With her pain and body issues she really has no future free from that.

Best wishes and don't second guess yourself, you have the done the best you could have done for her at the time.

22-01-08, 04:23 AM
Great seat half_pass.

You are doing the right thing, if she was a dangerous dog she'd have to be pts... no reason why you should feel guilty for doing the same to a horse.

You're lucky you haven't been injured already I think its a wise decision to do it now before you get seriously hurt.

I wish I had have done the same thing before I was fallen on by a TB who I thought I could fix.

22-01-08, 04:46 AM
Thanks for all the compliments on my seat, she gave me lots of practise!

I like the idea of planting a tree in her memory. Unfortunately she wont be buried on my property as it is currently on the market to be sold. My parents have bought a farm in Tasmania, I will definately plant something there to remember her by.

Does anyone have any suggestions on other nice ways to remember her? I have a lovely photo of her that I want to get blown up. It is of a head shot of her with me on her back, slightly blurry in the background. We are both looking out of frame, it is just a beautiful photo of her and me together. I want to cut some of her mane or tail, but I don't know what to do with it. Any suggestions on some keepsake I can make out of the hair?

22-01-08, 04:55 AM
I have a little plait of hair in a photo frame with a photo of all my horses who have passed on over the years.

You can also get jewellery made with horse hair and silver, they advertise in HD I think. Some of it seems to look OK.

Sponsor a trophy in her name at your local riding group/club, an effort or participation award.

22-01-08, 05:10 AM
Having had several horses euthanized over my lifetime all due to age or illness one only this week, I can say it is never an easy task saying goodbye to a horse that has been a good part of your life . But from the sounds of things this girl does not sound like she has an emotional pull on you via any good times, just you feel guilty for ending her life and probably feel like you have failed her and not that you will loose her. Sorry that sounds a little harsh but its not meant to be. If you see no other way out of this then yes the responsible thing is to NOT sell her on OR give her to a rodeo, that would be a life of hell for any horse and unfair on the unsuspecting owner. So don't feel guilty. You have obviously looked after her and I am assuming you have investigated the source of her pain as in checking for cysts tumour etc and perhaps tried some treatments etc.
Ending the life of an otherwise healthy horse is different to that of an aged or ill animal, they are generally more aware of what is happening. So insist on a strong sedative, they will probably fight the drugs that ends their life. Make sure you have someone with you they rarely go quietly when healthy and young and you will need some emotional support.
When its over don't beat yourself up if you know you have investigated all avenues then you can do no more. You have stayed with her till then end, you haven't abandoned her or thrown her away, I feel for you its not an easy place to be.

22-01-08, 05:19 AM
Half_Pass, let me know if I'm being out of line, but if she were my horse & I wanted something to remember her by I'd get that piccie of her bucking framed!


You want to remember her by what she was good at.

& MAN can that horse buck.

22-01-08, 05:35 AM
Half-pass first WOW for sitting that buck. I am in awe of your riding.

Secondly *hugs* for what you are going to do. It really does seem like the right thing and
you have certainly tried so hard before making the decision. We have a similar (dangerous, unpredictable, etc etc) mare (8yo) here who really should be put down but luckily (for her) we have over 800 acres so she just roams around with the oldies. Mind you she is lucky if she gets wormed once a year (the once in a blue moon time she lets us catch her) and NEVER gets her feet trimmed but you know what?
The crazy cow's hooves are PERFECT, she is the picture of health and honestly looks like she is in show condition. And doesn't have a mark on her. Go figure.

Anyway, don't discount the rodeo idea. I know people who have given unrideable horses to the rodeo circuit. They are SO well looked after these days.

I did a quick google and this guy came up. You could at least give him a call and sound him out on the idea? He might be able to suggest an alternative to having her put down. Also he is on email so you could email the bucking pic to him to show him just how good a bucker she is!


I reckon it's worth a phone call anyway.

Good luck.

22-01-08, 06:03 AM
I'm really not keen on the rodeo idea. I am sure they are mostly well looked after.

The thing is, Reily is bucking for a reason. She is bucking because she is in pain - not because it is a naughty thing she does.

I have booked her in to be put to sleep on 4th February. That gives me two weeks to prepare myself and spend time with her (what little time I have in between working full time and training my comp pony).

If it was just one or two things that was an issue with her I could probably turn her around, but she is just so mentally and physically sore and tired it is just beyond my financial abilities.

I was so proud of her when she came first in a dressage competition I took her in last year (even with the obligatory buck after the first centre line!). And ignore my left wrist - it is the bane of my existance.


22-01-08, 06:15 AM
If the bucking is due to pain then you are doing the best thing for her. You have my sympathy.

Spend as much time with her as you can and take lots of pictures to remember her.

22-01-08, 06:16 AM
Great pic.

Do you know why or what is causing her to be in pain?

Lisa an Gypsie
22-01-08, 06:16 AM
Don't totally discount the idea of her being a rodeo horse....the ones which come through here look like show hacks, are well fed and cared for and certainly don't have a problem with being in the circuit....even have trimmed tails and manes :D I would go horse shopping amongst them any day!!!

Abused animals at rodeo's rarely happens any more due to all the animal rights groups etc. Not saying it doesn't happen...it does but the cases are few and far between now days.

Can I borrow that glue which you have been using? might come in handy!!!!

http://tickers.baby-gaga.com/p/dev065pr___.png (http://pregnancy.baby-gaga.com/)

22-01-08, 06:27 AM
If your horse is in pain, the kindest thing you can do is exactly what you are doing in 2 weeks time. Giving her peace...

It's never easy losing a horse.

Noahs Girl
22-01-08, 06:27 AM
Half Pass,

I really feel for you. I can't offer much adivce, except to say that I believe you have made the right decision based on what is best for your girl.

Myself, I couldn't let her go to a rodeo, I would always wonder if she was ok, if she were still in pain. At least you know she will suffer no more. You have been so good to her, that is something to remember too.

22-01-08, 06:27 AM
Her pain is from a few old injuries that she has probably had for the majority of her life. I have had her looked at by so many different people, chiros, massage therapists, physios, the works. None of them could help her much. I had a really good chiro look at her the day before the whole EI lockdown occured. He noticed a lot of things that the others didn't and showed me. Her rib cage on her off side was collapsed and she wasn't breathing on that side of her body at all. Her pelvis was misaligned. She has massive scar tissue under her near fore chest. Super tight in the poll. Her entire abdomen muscles were in a permanent spasm. Basically, every time she moves she is sore.

22-01-08, 06:31 AM
The glue isn't foolproof, she has gotten me off once! I was mounting and had just swung my leg over when she did a cold-backed humping display. I stayed on for about 10m, pretty much hanging on around her neck when she decided to change her humping direction and I was off!

22-01-08, 06:32 AM

I had a mare that could buck better than yours, she'd do those twisty bucks, where they go up and twist sideways, yep, she would have looked cool at the rodeo.

I was in your situation, mare I'd had for six years, loved her, but despite all the hard work myself, the vets and trainers had put into her, she was NEVER going to be a safe horse to ride or handle.

like you, I had the soft heart brigade telling me to

a) give her away as a grass eater, ummm, drive around my area and you'll see skeletel neglected grass eaters, I've witnessed grass eaters neglected to death, and I've seen them traded on drugged or traded on straight to the knackers.

b) friend of mine asked for her as a broodie (big mare for her breed, pretty and had her good points), however I feel that unless the mare is a brilliant riding and performance mare, it ain't breeding quality. My mare had a horrid temperament, and you'd never trust her. Her back soundness problems also made me think that being bred by a stallion and carrying a foal would only intensify the pain she sufferred.

c) bucking horse. Nope. I have friends who are into the rodeo circuit. The good buckers, those horses usually are quite a common type of horse, robust of frame and robust of temperament, they buck because they enjoy it. The whistle blows, they stop still and let the rider off, because they know their job and they ENJOY their job. Mares like mine, and I suspect like yours, they'll buck for a while and then they're so terrified they stop bucking. I would imagine that mine would have been so terrified of the crowd and pain that she would have either killed herself bucking and running into a fence, or just stood in the centre of the rodeo arena and cringed. horses which can buck and enjoy bucking are valued, horses that had a little bit of dirt in them and that the cowboys can buck out, get resold as going riding horses, horses that buck out of fear and pain, they end up on a meat hook. So only sell the horse that LOVEs bucking, that enjoys bucking, everything else, put it down yourself.

A friend stepped in and offerred to destroy my mare and bury her at his place. The hardest thing was walking her onto the float, because there was no going back. I had nightmares up until the day she was shot, but y'know, after that I was able to relax, realise that I'd done the right thing by my mare, and concentrate on the two sound horses that I owned.

Since then I have had a youngster I had known since he was a bump in his mother's womb go irrepairably unsound and he was destroyed last christmas as he'd become so unsound that even standing in the paddock he'd sulk and had no appetite as he was in so much pain.

if they're cranky all the time, they're in pain. So put the mare down, and don't regret it on iota. And none of us will blame you for it. you know the horse, the vet knows the horse, the person who owns the lame ducks on the internet, they've no idea what you're going through.

so kudo's and hugs to you for doing the right thing by your mare.

22-01-08, 06:38 AM
Thanks Lisa, I have thought about all three of those options and none of them seem to be the right thing to do.

I've never sold a horse before, or even put down a pet so this is so hard for me to deal with right now. I have been crying on and off all day, with a photo of her next to me here at the computer. I know it is the best thing to do, but that doesn't help. Even though she has been an unpleasant horse to deal with for most of the time, it still tugs at my heart strings because I have invested so much emotion, time and effort into trying to make her right and happy.

She has gone downhill over the past few months, you can't even walk up to her in the paddock now without being 'greeted' with pinned back ears and teeth. So I know she will be happier in the great big paddock in the sky :(

22-01-08, 06:40 AM
Half-pass re your post # 37. It's a no-brainer matey. You HAVE to put her down. For her sake. If she is sore just to walk then every minute of her life is one of misery.

I wouldn't even wait till Feb 4 if I was you.

You are doing the right thing and the right thing needs to be done sooner rather than later.

Pain free at last.

Set her free.


22-01-08, 06:43 AM
PS I am crying for you too. But know in your heart that it is the kindest thing to do.


22-01-08, 06:50 AM
I've been through a similar thing to LisaL, with a gelding. I had him for 4 years, and he got me off a few times. You have an AMAZING seat BTW, and beautiful hands. I have trouble one the flat, let alone up in the air!

We're all saying similar things here - I've had to do it, and you feel like a bastard, but ultimately there will occaisionally be no choice, and I think this is one of those times.

So ((())) - I felt bad when I had to do it, but not now I look back; it was the right thing to do for everyone / thing concerned.


Horse sense - something that horses have that stops them betting on humans.

22-01-08, 08:58 AM
26. "RE: Dealing with putting a horse do"
In response to message #25

Thanks for all the compliments on my seat, she gave me lots of practise!

I like the idea of planting a tree in her memory. Unfortunately she wont be buried on my property as it is currently on the market to be sold. My parents have bought a farm in Tasmania, I will definately plant something there to remember her by.

Does anyone have any suggestions on other nice ways to remember her? I have a lovely photo of her that I want to get blown up. It is of a head shot of her with me on her back, slightly blurry in the background. We are both looking out of frame, it is just a beautiful photo of her and me together. I want to cut some of her mane or tail, but I don't know what to do with it. Any suggestions on some keepsake I can make out of the hair?

"Anything forced or misunderstood can never be beautiful"

You have answered all your questions yourself,
your are doing the right thing.

as for a keepsake, there is a guy who takes the hair and makes the most beautiful bracelets. of many styles.( Keep a good bit of mane and tail hair. I think the tail hair is stronger but better to keep too much than too little)

just magic. my friend viginia had one made of some from andy a boy I bred that she did very well with. it is lovely

ill aske her for you.

and when you want to cry remember

I did my best, FORGET THE REST.

Thinking of you.
been there too many times.
its one of the downsides of ownership but lets face it. she did give you joy.

remember the joy


22-01-08, 11:12 AM
i've been interested in Sydney Hunt Club logo on your posts. I now live in Darwin, but used to hunt with Findon, Vic. Love to talk re hunting experiences (some amusing, some terrifying. So if you would like to, send me your email/phone
Hilary Tims
08 8941 0162

22-01-08, 12:24 PM
Half pass, I put my "dream horse" down in a similar situation to you. He was a gelding so breeding wasnt an option , and even if he had been a mare he wouldnt have been given that option. Everyone gave me the "put him thru the yards" or "sell him just be honest about his behavior" but I just couldnt do that - I need to sleep at night. I gave him every oportunity , spent a lot of money with proffessionals ranging from trainers to chiros to herbalists. At the end of the day I just couldnt do it any more. And honestly, you will feel a sense of relief when its all over. I have photos of him in my lounge room and I remember all the good stuff and I try to put the bad bits and memories and guilt behind me. You did your best and you have to let go before you or someone else gets hurt because its just not worth it. (((( hugs))))

22-01-08, 01:12 PM
It is one of the hardest things to do.

The first horse I had put down was my clydie cross mare and I put her down before she felt any pain, she had cancer and even though she was fat in now time she would have lost condition.

One of my mares started to bleed 12 months after foaling and they came and took her away an put her down.

I would never do that again... I had my 2 old broodmares put down together on the place... the guy sent me inside and they never ever knew what was happening... he just talked to them and and stroke them and put them down ... i felt so bad but I knew they were loosing weight and didnt matter how much I feed them I knew they wouldnt get through the drought... they were old and it was the kindest thing.

I have had a lot of horses put down over the years and I still have spleepless nights wondering if I have done the right thing... but I know I gave them a great life and they didnt go to the market just for that few hundred bucks.. and it was swift.

You are doing the right thing my stepfather rode a horse just like you and he was a great rider... it took him by suprise and he landed in hospital with a broken pelvis bothe sides... he could never ride again after that.No horse is worth that, there are plenty of other horses who will give you the love back that you are giving... you tried and you know in your heart you are doing the best thing... you would not live with yourself if you sold her and some one ended up cripple

Boy you are a very good rider.

22-01-08, 02:55 PM
Some beings werent meant to fit into this world. Perhaps her meaning is for the next one.. make her journey a comfortable one and help her become her best. Its not exactly as nature would have intended, but you are relieving her of a struggle in this life.

And, when I grow up, i'd like to sit just one of my boy's bucks that smoothly!

22-01-08, 03:11 PM
Half pass by the sounds of her medical problems it definetly sounds like she is in terrible pain and you sound like a wonderful person to have given her the care you have. Others would have sent her to the doggers and said good riddance.

22-01-08, 03:34 PM
Such a hard decision.. personally I couldnt do it, unless the horse was so dangerous on the ground to be around that I thought it was a danger to myself or others.

I have known of few horses so dangerous that I would think putting them down was a reasonable thing, because they were so dangerous on the ground and had injured many people.

If her pain issues only come up when ridden, perhaps give her a year or two off in the paddock, and then try bringing her back into work again, or even give her away to someone who you trust who may be able to deal with her problem. Or even think of permanently retiring her or having her as a companion horse. I think if you gave a horse a choice of life or death, they would choose life. Just because she cant be a good riding horse isnt a reason to put her down.

Having put horses and other animals down in the past from very old age and accident, it is not a decision I would make if there was any other option. It is an absolute last resort which should be done only when a horse is suffering. I have only done it when there was no other option. For your horse there may be other options.

If she can get around the paddock without pain, I would not put her down. Many of us have retirees happily munching away the rest of their lives. Surely she could be a great companion horse for someone if she cant be ridden? Alternatively if bucking is her thing, I would consider again the rodeo suggestion. I take the view with horses that for the time we have them we are their guardians, and to do what is in their best interests. If you asked your horse I think she would agree that life is better than death.

Sorry to say it because from reading these posts I realise that you have thought long and hard about this. But its a final decision and once its done, you have to live with that decision and if there is any other option I would take that other option.