Because of my absolute idiotic inability to wade through the world of the Internet I lost my password to comment on Fugly. Again.
She had a great post today, I wanted to comment but I couldn't get logged in. Again.
Trust me folks. This is an ongoing issue with me and why many of my favorite blogs hear from me so rarely.
So my comment is over here in Mugwump land.
Cathy brings up a great point. When are we going overboard trying to save a horse who in need? How do we decide which horse gets our very limited time and resources?
With rescues stuffed to the brim with unwanted horses, where do they draw the line?
We have two primary rescues in our county.
One is very careful with their money. The rescue is very much run as a business.They keep a tight control over how many and what horses they rescue. They will put down horses which have no chance to be adopted. If the horse is ancient and weak, mentally unstable, deformed or crippled, or dangerous they will put it down and make room for a horse who has a chance of being safely adopted. This rescue has paid employees, one highly qualified trainer and a few talented riders to help start horses. It has a staff of well trained volunteers at all levels. They rehabilitate a steady flow of horses and get them out into the community with qualified adopters. If a horse doesn't work out this rescue will help place them elsewhere.
The second rescue is well run by a big hearted woman. She has a terrible time turning away any horse, for any reason. She is the only truly experienced horse person on the place and is stretched very thin. She has a lot of horses. There is a herd of old horses out there. Very old. They are a group of sweet castoffs. Most have spent their lives in service and then were dumped. There are close to 30 of them, probably 15 or so that can't graze or eat hay, so they need mash .They all have expensive medical needs and time.
There are horses needing to be broke, there are horses needing to be handled. There is a shortage of tack and usable volunteers.But she tries to save every horse and usually succeeds. They all have her heart.
If an adopted horse doesn't work out they are always welcomed back.
Two different approaches. Two different types of success.
I am very worried about one of them.
My other comment is about when we need to be realistic about what our horses need. I had a very beloved mare named Annie for 20 some years.I've written about her more than once. She had a comfortable retirement for about four or five years after many years of being first my horse, then my daughters, then as a lesson horse. She never let me down.
She began to lose weight. I supplemented her feed, it helped her, but didn't fix her. She lost her sight. Another one of my horses, Loki, would lead her to water and ate with her, keeping the other mares from taking her feed. She kept going down hill. I kept putting off the decision I knew was coming.
I had my vet check her for the third time that year.
He looked me in the eye and said, "It's summer. She's struggling. Last winter was hard for her. You can love on her and feed her up and let her enjoy the sun on her back for the summer. But I know you don't want to be calling me out here this winter because she collapsed in the night and is frozen to the ground."
So I fed her mash and took her out to graze in the good grass. At the end of August I went out with my daughter on a cool afternoon. we pet her and told stories about her. Annie put her head against my chest in the greeting she had given me for most of my adult life. I scratched her ears and began to waver.
"Mom," the kidlette said, "it's time. She's barely here."
Three days later we put her down. She was somewhere in her thirties.
If I hadn't had my vet and my daughter to help me keep my perspective I might have kept Annie going. For me.
That's all I've got.