Thursday, February 23, 2012

Forever Home

I was recently speaking with my boyfriend about hos much I truly love my mares. He is not so much a horse person, he willingly rides a few times a week when he's in town. In fact, sometimes it's his idea to come out. He is supportive of (and understands) my calling, but he doesn't share this strange obsession with me.
Anyway! Back to my point. So I love my girls. Roxy and Dolly will be with me until the day that they munch on their last bit of hay, receive their last pet, and get that final kiss on their noses. This does not mean that I will extend their life longer then they are comfortable. I recently read a quote that really resonated with me.
"Horses are not afraid of death, they are afraid of suffering."
How perfectly honest is that? I often see owners keeping their beloved horses alive well past their prime. So far past their prime that they are suffering. Their quality of life isn't good, and they are depressed and in pain.

So I made a promise to my girls. Dolly is already 19, and she has been such an excellent horse her entire life. Even though the mare despises me, I appreciate her, and respect the old girl. Dolly has more then earned her keep. Dolly will never have another owner. She is worth her weight in gold, and will be myself and my mother's care for the rest of her comfortable life.

Roxy is young, she is almost 10. Much older then I remember, considering a first met her when she was 4 1/2. I've had the sweet mare almost 5 years, and in those five years she has taught me such an incredible amount. I love my little dun mare more then anything in the world. If I found out tomorrow that she would never be ride able again (but would be pain free) she would be the most doted on and loved mare in the whole world.

How many of you have been able to truly make this promise? To give your horses a forever home for the entire remainder of their life? That means not sending them off to pasture when they are too lame to ride, and it also includes prolonging in their life when they are uncomfortable. How many of you love your horses that much?


  1. Pippi has a forever owner in mom and I. I often get mad at her and frustrated but I freak anytime mom mentions selling. I'll have to gain more experience on her and then after college get another (:
    I like your idea of keeping your mares.

  2. Sometimes prolonging their life even when they are uncomfortable IS suffering. So its not so black and white, but more shades of gray. Also I don't think its a bad thing to turn them out in a pasture when they can no longer be ridden, especially if you are still paying pasture board, keeping up with vet and farrier and if your horse is very sociable, visiting with them. I think that is actually the best retirement of all for any showing or riding horse and personifies a forever home.

    1. I agreed to your first statement, prolonging their life can cause them to suffer. But, that's not what I meant to pasturing them. It's common in Southern California that once your horse gets old you send it away to an agency that pastures old horses. You have no contact, and never see them again. I doubt they get their hooves done often enough, and any vet work. Putting them into a pasture that you own/board them at is a fantastic life for retired horses.

  3. I've kept two from the time I got them til the time I euthanized them, so "how many of you have been able to truly make this promise?" is a bittersweet question for me. I am pretty terrible at selling horses - I get too attached - so I tend to keep what I buy for the rest of its life :) Dixie's not going anywhere!

  4. Well, you found Boyfriend's blog, so you know the answer to this one =)