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I Really Love Him But . . .

Just as a warning this post has turned into a bit of a rant from me, and if I’ve offended you I don’t really care. You probably deserved it. This is my blog and therefore MY opinion is the one that counts here!


Please do not call me, e-mail me, or contact me in any way about retiring your horse for free. The answer is NO. I can’t afford to retire your horse for you. I have my own retirees that I am supporting.

And while we’re on the subject I’ve got a news flash for you. If your horse is truly unrideable and pasture sound only, no one else is going to want him. Look at the thousands and thousands of horses that are shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter every month. EVERY SINGLE ONE of those horses could have used a companion home like the one you are seeking for your horse. Do you know how many truly good “companion” homes there are out there? VERY FEW in case you are truly interested. There are lots and lots of horses out there that have lost their “value” as far as riding horses. There are a few people out there who will take these horses as they feel sorry for them but the ratio of horses needing kind people who will assume the responsibility vs. people who are trying to dump their liabilities on someone else is pretty dramatically skewed, and not in the horses’ favor.

Does it really make you feel better to go on and on about how much you love Dobbin and how great he is and what a wonderful horse he is as you are trying to dump him? And for the love of all that is holy please don’t tell me how you can’t afford him anymore since you now have a new horse to ride. The issue here is not that you can’t afford him it, is that you won’t afford him now that he is no longer rideable. If you could afford him when he was rideable, and you can now afford another rideable horse, the only problem here is that you don’t want to pay the bills now that things aren’t perfect anymore. I think my favorite part about these predictable conversations is that you will be checking references and a good home is a must. So you will be demanding that someone else step up and do what you aren’t willing to do, and apparently they need to be willing to give a lot more than you are!!!

Since I’m on a roll now I have a few other tidbits for you to think about. The therapeutic riding facilities are not on the hunt for unsound horses. They need horses that can work in their programs. The horse rescues aren’t standing around going “gosh, I really hope someone brings us another horse to take in today. We have all this space, time and money but no horses to take care of.” The university equestrian teams need horses that are suitable for riding and showing.

To summarize things here, the bottom line is if you really care about Dobbin as much as you claim to, suck it up and do the right thing. Either cough up the money to continue to support him, and if you are absolutely unwilling or unable to do that then euthanize the horse. Trust me when I say there are far, FAR worse fates for a horse than euthanasia. I’ve had more than one horse show up here after it was given away as a companion, only to be given away again and again and finally wound up starving somewhere. These two horses were lucky because in each case a good Samaritan was willing to take the time and effort to track down the horse’s story and find the old owners.

Oh, and in case you are wondering I have walked in your shoes. I had to retire my horse young due to injury and I basically didn’t ride for a few years. I wasn’t in a position to replace her and support another one at the time that it happened. So yes, as a matter of fact I do know what it feels like to be dealt a bad hand of cards. I chose to support my horse because I wasn’t stupid enough to think that someone was going to do it for me. Or maybe it was just that my parents taught me about this thing in life called responsibility. Or maybe it is just that I really do love my horse. Bridget gave me everything she had when I was riding and showing her and I couldn’t have looked myself in the mirror knowing I had dumped her to an uncertain fate. She is still with me today at the ripe old age of 16 years young and I smile every day when I see her.

Bridget in September of this year

Bridget packing a friend’s sister around in short stirrup. I don’t actually have any pictures of me showing her saved on my computer. She’s jumping the snot out of this tiny little jump, she jumped the kid loose!

Bridget napping with her roomies in October 2007. Bridget is the one in the middle lifting her head, I disturbed her nap when I walked up with the camera.

Bridget under the lights in my arena; I think I took this in 2001

December 2002; Bridget letting me know she wasn’t too happy about being kept in for a few days due to weather. She has never lacked for opinions! This picture was actually published in the Chronicle of the Horse a few years ago, Bridget rearing with a mouth full of hay!

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