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Preparing for Goodbye..
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Preparing for Goodbye..

Have you ever stopped and considered what choices you might make should the worst happen to your horse?

Do you have an end-of-life plan put in place with details, options and phone numbers?

You should.

We all dread to think of saying goodbye to our loved ones, but as painful as it may be, it is also a costly exercise, both emotionally and financially. However morbid the subject may seem, it's imperative to lay out your choices beforehand, if you are to give your four-legged friend the dignified end he or she deserves.

There are many options available to us. Many more than there has been in the past. We can now choose between the injection and the gun, but we can also send our horses away and leave them in the capable hands of others who are trained in end-of-life methods. As for the body we can choose between burial (with license), communal cremation, individual cremation with token ashes returned, individual cremation with all ashes returned, renderers, fallen stock collectors, and of course, the hunt.

Making a plan means that should the worst happen, you are sure of your choices and not forced to make a fast decision in the heat of the moment. These plans can contain your exact wishes, including telephone numbers of the individuals you wish to be involved, and what part they will play in the process. You should always ensure your livery yard and temporary caregiver has a copy of your wishes if you are away for any length of time.

We love our horses, they are our family, and we want to be able to say goodbye in the way we personally believe is the best for them as individuals. During these traumatic and stressful situations it’s not always easy to think clearly or rationally. Who will stand up for your horse if you are too upset to make a choice? So have a long hard think, and make a plan to ensure your wishes will be heard, just in case.

 

 

*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.

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Leave a Comment

  1. Eve Sherrill York
    Eve Sherrill York
    Really a good idea to be proactive and have these things ready just incase. You just never know. Voted.
    Log in to reply.
  2. Chestnut Mare
    Chestnut Mare
    Voted. This is great advice. It's important to plan for this eventuality, just as we do with people. You might be interested in my latest blog for tips on transporting your horse: The Best Way to Handle Horse-boxes. Please check it out if you have time, thanks! :-)
    Log in to reply.
  3. jst4horses
    Very good article. I wrote a book about horses, and this is one of the areas covered BEFORE you buy a horse. I had worked and trained in stables for decades when I finally bought my own first forever horse............all the way there I kept thinking "I could turn back". In big stables, both racing and performance, I saw that sometimes a good healthy horse just dies. I worked at a big performance stable when a virus ran through from a national horse show, all over the country horses were dying.........it was horrifying reality. I saw a horse that fell, recover, do well, and one day just drop dead before the vet got there. He had a weak artery where he had fallen, it had split and he bled out before the vet arrived. Horses are like humans, or dogs, you take the risk, but be prepared. I suggest that you find out all the costs and have that money in a special account before you think you can afford a horse. All of the big rescues have special accounts for just end of life times. It is a reality of owning horses. Thank you for this article, like writing a will and leaving money for your horse to be taken care of properly with your life insurance which you have purchased to take care of that horse...........haven't you?
    Log in to reply.
  4. jst4horses
    Very good article. I wrote a book about horses, and this is one of the areas covered BEFORE you buy a horse. I had worked and trained in stables for decades when I finally bought my own first forever horse............all the way there I kept thinking "I could turn back". In big stables, both racing and performance, I saw that sometimes a good healthy horse just dies. I worked at a big performance stable when a virus ran through from a national horse show, all over the country horses were dying.........it was horrifying reality. I saw a horse that fell, recover, do well, and one day just drop dead before the vet got there. He had a weak artery where he had fallen, it had split and he bled out before the vet arrived. Horses are like humans, or dogs, you take the risk, but be prepared. I suggest that you find out all the costs and have that money in a special account before you think you can afford a horse. All of the big rescues have special accounts for just end of life times. It is a reality of owning horses. Thank you for this article, like writing a will and leaving money for your horse to be taken care of properly with your life insurance which you have purchased to take care of that horse...........haven't you?
    Log in to reply.

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