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Giving Other Horse Owners Respect
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Giving Other Horse Owners Respect

In our stable we have a large number of long time horse handlers, vet techs and friends who are vets and vet-techs. We do not rush for the vet for everything another horse owner might. We have healed horses of broken legs, tendons torn OFF the leg with surgery and recovery time no owners can afford, because we can, and because we listen to our vets.

There are people who want to think their way is the only way. One of them went off gossiping to a couple of others, who called the Humane Society when one of the owner's foal was stepped on by his mother. This foal had vet care and continuous care from many people every day until the humane person showed up and asked their vet to put him down because of that call. The next day we were taking the foal and his mother to the big racing clinic, the top of the industry computerized assessment tools, to see if he was in fact going to get better. He had been checked by track vets at least three times the two weeks he was injured. 

We do not fault the humane society, or their vet. She may have been correct, but we feel we should have had the opportunity to have our own vets do the assessment with high tech tools not available to other clinicians. OUR clients are veterans and their children. These men and women were injured in war, serving out country, they are as thrown away as that foal. That is what they all say today. Their hearts are broken. The mare did not give up on her foal. He was sitting up and nursing. He was fat and sassy. She licked him all over, all the time and he was kept brushed and with fly care that would not make her ill. He was eating hay, and any good treat anyone offered him. 

Would we have had to put him down anyway, we will never know, because of a busybody.

Our veterans are trying hard enough to heal, they did not have to be reminded that no one wants a disabled anything. They would have been sad if we had to put him down after his visit to the track clinic, but now they just feel raped. 

Please care about animals, but do not think your way is the only way and use your self righteousness as a passive aggressive tool to harm others. Our veterans and their families surely did not deserve this.

The vet that put the foal down said he was in good shape, and she could tell perfectly cared for, she just felt he would never recover to a full life. I have worked in thoroughbred breeding farms, some very prestigious ones, where there are horses on three legs, with one leg either amputated, or just hanging, twisted and unusable while humans breed out their money on the mare. Humane societies and vets come to these places all the time. This foal was loved, and well cared for, and everyone knew, if the assessments did not show what the vet needed to see, he was going to have to be put down anyway, but the intrusion and pushing of self righteousness of the busy body really is not OK. This woman came and asked, we told her, but she thought she knew best.

She had no idea that the other mare with a foal had broken her leg and been donated by a young owner who could not afford to keep her, or heal her. It took eighteen months and she jumped over a fence in her pen and let four young stallions out that were there for a sale. She had her foal a day after we began to wonder "is that horse pregnant". She was. Our amazing Justice, who all the children and veterans love would not be here if we had just decided Liberty would not have the chance to go back and be a performance horse. Liberty would not have had all the love and joy she gets and gives if we had just said, put her down. 

Let other people and their vets have the right to make their own decisions. Please. If you are concerned, just go talk to the person. This foal was NOT dirty, or hungry, or in pain.

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Leave a Comment

  1. autumnap
    autumnap
    Voted. A thought provoking post. I think well-meaning (or interfering!) folk exist on every yard. At the end of the day though, owners will always do whatever they think is best for their horses and as they are closest to those advising them, they must surely be in the most informed position to make the correct decision. x
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  2. Rene Wright
    Rene Wright
    Voted.... and agreed! There are far too many do- gooders with nothing better to do than to goad someone else. It drives me crazy. Veterans do not deserve the kind of treatment they get after all they've done for us.
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  3. Chestnut Mare
    Chestnut Mare
    Voted. Good blog. I agree, you don't know the full circumstances, so you shouldn't judge. It's often difficult to know whether to say something on welfare grounds though, isn't it? I have a new blog out by the way, regarding horse welfare, which you might find of interest: Hobson's Choice for Horses. :-)
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  4. Jane
    Too true- this has been a source of frustration for me more times than I can count. Very relevant post. I don't know if it's too late to vote, I'm pretty new so still getting to grips with things but I've voted anyway.
    Log in to reply.
  5. Eve Sherrill York
    Eve Sherrill York
    It's only right.
    Log in to reply.

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