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When To Euthanize Your Horse
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When To Euthanize Your Horse

There are times when it is plain wrong to put down a horse – or any other animal, for that matter – such as when it is no longer able to do the work for which it was bought.

So, what would be a good reason to euthanize your horse? Well, this could very well be an ethical and courageous act on your part to put an end to the horse’s pain and suffering. The age of the animal does not really matter; you do not only euthanize old horses. For example, if the horse was in an accident or suffers from a severe illness or a trauma of sorts, and there is no way for it to heal, then euthanizing it may very well be the only way to end the misery.

Now, if you care deeply for your horse, this could turn out to be very difficult to accept. It is always very hard to take this sort of decision even if your furry friend is tired and suffering.

There are some ways to make this process easier, though. For one, remember all of the great times you had with your horse and the chemistry you shared. You were inseparable. It gave you lots of unconditional love and you reciprocated happily.

However, it is now time for it to make its way to the horse paradise you always knew it will one day go. Everyone around you should know about this. But, don’t let them change your mind. They can give you advice, but they cannot fully comprehend what you and your horse are going through. So, make sure you are the one choosing, and not them.

Keep in mind that it is never easy to let go. But, even if it isn’t, your animal will make it clear that it cannot take it anymore, and you will have to come to terms with that fact. After all, if its physical state is degrading, it is also very hard for you and anyone else that cares for it to endure – not just the horse itself. Console yourself by repeating that this is the right thing to do.

Afterwards, you need to decide whether you will assist to the actual euthanasia. This is definitely a personal choice you need to make. But, whether you are with your horse until the end, the important thing to do is to say a proper goodbye before it leaves for horse heaven forever.

No matter how you say goodbye, keep in mind that you are making the right choice by letting your horse leave this planet while it still has its dignity. After putting it down, you may feel guilty about your decision, but stay strong. Time will heal your wound. This may leave a hole in your heart, but this is necessary in order to remember your horse.


Photo credit: http://www.savethedogs.eu/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/sany0007.JPG

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  1. Of Horse Support
    Of Horse Support
    Thanks for the awesome post Green Vegan! We've shared it on our Pinterest page. Check it out here: http://www.pinterest.com/ofhorse/
  2. pftsusan
    This was written from the heart and yet this is the most difficult thing to do to any of our animals, is put them down. Yes we have domain over them. But they love us unconditionally and they take such very good care of us. For many and myself, they are our fur children. I don't think all of us grieve the same either. There are things that work to make the grieving easier. In my case, it was adopt another cat, to pay his love forward to. At least he isn't in pain anymore and we will meet again one day. There are things that make grieving easier....Really, this is decision for us to make when there is nothing else that can be done for them and they are real sick.
  3. Chestnut Mare
    Chestnut Mare
    Voted. 100% agree.
  4. jst4horses
    I had a 32 year old horse who had a stroke. It was time to say good bye. I sat with her the hours iit took for the vet to get there, other horses had worse emergencies. He was not in distress, but could not rise. After almost 65 years around horses since a tot riding at the pony ride at the park, I said to the vet, it never gets easier. He said, it never gets easier for me either. We trust our vets. We have known most of them for decades, they have trusted the younger ones enough to hire them. My 27 year old blind racing thoroughbred had what might have been kidney failure, but the vet said it was time to go. It so hurt my heart. I have worked with horses, and my friend's Grandfather was a trainer at Santa Anita when we were about six.........and I saw my first horrible track accident and the horse had to be euthanized. I have had a 40 year old Arabian that was still teaching basic horse care and leg wraps with me with veterans and high risk kids. Everyone loved him, but an over zealous animal control officer, in spite of THREE of our vets having seen him and saying he was frail, but happy and healthy and well cared for, killed him. she did not even allow us to be with him. I have always made it my rule to be with them to the last second, and I sit with them until the van arrives to take them to be buried. Even though they are dead. This is a great article. When I got my first personal horse, I kept thinking of all the track and show horses I had seen die, or put down, and I almost decided not to buy a personal horse, I knew the pain was going to be worse. It was. But all the joy, and love, and sharing in equine therapy programs..........it was more than worth the risk of the pain.

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