- Published on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 10:44
When my best friend gets old. cont
* Am I willing and able to provide this horse with a comfortable retirement?
* Would it be kinder to have him humanely destroyed at once?
There is always a lot of sentiment surrounding the decisions as well as a lot of usually rather strong opinion from friends and family. Always remember what counts most for the horse is the quality of life you are able to provide until the end. Ask yourself if you have the finances, time, determination and the correct facilities to provide for the needs of the retired horse.
There is often no better reward for one’s investment than the joy of spending time with your old timer reminiscing on the experiences and life challenges you have faced together over many years. However taking on the task of caring for your old friend comes with heavy obligations. Older horses require a good feed of concentrate feed and good quality roughage twice a day. They require shelter from the elements and still require all the medical and veterinary care they required while working. Even more so than young horses the older horse needs to have its teeth checked at least once a year. Deworming, hoof care and vaccinations are all still necessary. Often health issues such as arthritis, cancer and other age related conditions require more medical treatment and attention. Thus turning your old retired horse out to pasture with no one taking care of it and doing daily checks should not be an option.
You have one final responsibility imposed, which is your duty to decide when it should end. Your feelings and emotions are not priorities here, what is important is that the horse’s welfare and quality of life are placed first. The moment their life becomes a burden the decision must be made to humanely destroy the animal. Loosing a horse is a huge emotional trauma, especially if there was a strong emotional bond, allow time to grieve and feel the loss. It is a special privilege to have loved and shared a bond with a horse in one’s life. Keep the horses prayer close to your heart.
Till next time.
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill”
“It is not enough for a man to know how to ride; he must know how to fall. ~Mexican Proverb”