amy.luxford

Putting A Dangerous Horse Down?

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my equine teacher and I were talking about this today in class.

Would you ever put a nasty/dangerous to sleep?

A horse that was just downright dangerous to ride, handle, ect?

My equine teacher, for example, knew of a gelding who had been through the mill (bought from the sales as a rescue), and was horrible to ride and handle.

as he was being rehab'ed, he was calm. Until he started to get some weight and began to feel good again.

The owner, at a complete loss as to why her horse was so hostile, sent him to trainers. He would do everything in his power to cause some kind of injury to his handler or rider. The trainers eventually gave up on the horse, deeming him "Frankly dangerous."

In the end, after a dozen people had tried to help his owner out with handling and general training, and countless vet visits to try and address if there any medical issues that was causing him to be so downright mean, the owner sought vet advice again, after ignoring trainers suggestions of having the horse PTS.

This particular vet gave his honest advice, to put the horse to sleep, because he would never be able to sold on (as it was blantantly irresponsible of the owner), and that despite how much she cared for the horse, it was much safer for all parties involved to have the horse humanely pts.

I found this to be the best option for horse and owner. It saved the owner any more injuries (of which could have eventually resulted in something serious), and in a way, saved the horse from being sent to another home, where he could have ended up anywhere - causing injuries to inexperienced people who saw "a pretty horse", the kill yards - the list goes on.

But, what do YOU think?

If you were (or have been) in this situation, what would you do?

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For his sake and the sake of possible future owners, I'd have him put down. Especially after having given him chance after chance, checking for medical problems, etc.

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If all everything was done to help this horse, differnet trianers, methods ,vet check nothing physically medical,....

If mental ,no help,

plain mean tempered..

yes...

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I would have to agree that that would be the safest, best option at that point, as hard as it would be. If I owned a viscious dog that tried to attack people all of he time and could not be trained,and had no treatable contributing health issues I wouldn't hesitate, and this is the same imo.

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I've only met one truly mean horse in my life. He wanted to hurt you at all times. I would have gladly put him to sleep, but he wasn't mine. I was riding him for his owner back in the days when I wasn't scared of anything.

I currently own a horse that is considered dangerous. He can be ridden, but you never know when he will explode into PRCA bucking. He can't be tied. He has to be handled just "so" or he'll blow up. I've owned him for 11 or 12 years now and have learned to manage him safely. Many people, including his vet, have recommended putting him down. He's healthy, sound, and a companion to my other horse. I can't really see putting him down. The difference between the two is that the first horse wanted to hurt me, and Snip does not (not intentionally).

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Though there are exceptions .... many horses who end up on a kill truck get there for a reason. Feeding a 'rescue' up to find you have a maniac is a fact of life and must be weighed when getting involved with any venture of that nature.

Sort of like buying a very old horse in poor condition. If he DOES come back and ride for you .... you will be forced to make hard choices in what will seem like a very short time. Same with buying a lame horse thinking you can help him and finding out it's a degenerative bone disease and you have to make the hard choice that his previous owners copped out on by taking him to auction.

You need a pretty good eye, knowledge and a lot of luck to successfully 'rescue' horses from auction. Not to mention deep pockets and the resolve to make a hard choice if issues like your friend's 'rescue' horse arise.

The horse described has no purpose except to be consuming resources that could be used for a totally rehabable, honest horse.

The slaughter industry is (was) there for a reason and he's the type of prime candidate that given humane transport methods and swift, unabusive death on the kill floor is only useful to feed to good dogs.

I'd sure wish to save my euthanasia and burial money for a horse who had earned planting and let this horse go on down the road to the canners while recouping some of the money it takes to keep a good horse fit, healthy and happy.

Glad no one's been permanently injured by this horse. Hug your friend, show her The Wheelchair People who got their wheels from a horse wreck and advise her to get out while the gettin's good.

Some VERY nice horses are fractious and difficult to manage. Good hands manage with horses who'd be dangerous in other hands daily with a lot of success stories. There's a BIG difference between those 'cowboy's/cowgirl's horses' and a straight up killer. The trick is to know the difference, truly assess your own skills, needs and what's ultimately best for the horse and the horse world at large.

Edited by quarterflash

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Ditto.

I'm glad you said that Flash - because that was my thought as well. Shipping the animal and recovering some of the cost.

* * * * *

BTW - on a side note.........there is a processing plant several hours away from me. I visited with an aquaintance just over a week ago who, because of his (unrelated industry) job has first hand information on the matter. He was told they are putting thru......this number seems astronomical.....a thousand horses a week.

A WEEK.

Can that be possible?

Wow.

CR

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Though there are exceptions .... many horses who end up on a kill truck get there for a reason. Feeding a 'rescue' up to find you have a maniac is a fact of life and must be weighed when getting involved with any venture of that nature.

Sort of like buying a very old horse in poor condition. If he DOES come back and ride for you .... you will be forced to make hard choices in what will seem like a very short time. Same with buying a lame horse thinking you can help him and finding out it's a degenerative bone disease and you have to make the hard choice that his previous owners copped out on by taking him to auction.

You need a pretty good eye, knowledge and a lot of luck to successfully 'rescue' horses from auction. Not to mention deep pockets and the resolve to make a hard choice if issues like your friend's 'rescue' horse arise.

The horse described has no purpose except to be consuming resources that could be used for a totally rehabable, honest horse.

The slaughter industry is (was) there for a reason and he's the type of prime candidate that given humane transport methods and swift, unabusive death on the kill floor is only useful to feed to good dogs.

I'd sure wish to save my euthanasia and burial money for a horse who had earned planting and let this horse go on down the road to the canners while recouping some of the money it takes to keep a good horse fit, healthy and happy.

Glad no one's been permanently injured by this horse. Hug your friend, show her The Wheelchair People who got their wheels from a horse wreck and advise her to get out while the gettin's good.

Some VERY nice horses are fractious and difficult to manage. Good hands manage with horses who'd be dangerous in other hands daily with a lot of success stories. There's a BIG difference between those 'cowboy's/cowgirl's horses' and a straight up killer. The trick is to know the difference, truly assess your own skills, needs and what's ultimately best for the horse and the horse world at large.

I'm really just going to ditto this than put the same thoughts in my own words.

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Ditto.

I'm glad you said that Flash - because that was my thought as well. Shipping the animal and recovering some of the cost.

* * * * *

BTW - on a side note.........there is a processing plant several hours away from me. I visited with an aquaintance just over a week ago who, because of his (unrelated industry) job has first hand information on the matter. He was told they are putting thru......this number seems astronomical.....a thousand horses a week.

A WEEK.

Can that be possible?

Wow.

CR

I guess so, CR. Especially with the lack of facilities in the US.

Keep RIGHT on breeding, folks. Horse babies are STILL so cute and a GREAT way to profit.

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I've met several that were candidates for euthanasia. Some were man made, some were born that way.

Appy mare, born and raised on the Blackfeet rez on a large ranch. The owner "didn't know she was even there" until she was 7 yrs old. He found her with a foal at her side when he gathered horses one day. He weaned the foal (it was old enough) and sent the mare to a friend of mine for training.

I've seen mustangs off the range, even older ones like this mare, who came around nicely. This mare was vicious. She would literally attack anyone who came near her. My friend did his best, but she wasn't having it. He was driving her one day, saddled with an old beater saddle, and she escaped. Took out a fence or two and took off. He lives waaay out in the hills...nothing but timber for miles in all directions (60 miles to Canada w/o crossing a road through that timber). He searched for days and never found her. About 2 weeks later she showed up nearby, missing all her tack and with her leg shredded up to the knee where she'd been tangled in a logging cable. She STILL had to be hazed into a corral and then into a trailer. She was canned.

Two horses i knew of would travel just fine and suddenly explode...no reason. One was man made, one born nuts. One gorgeous TB mare i knew would literally flip over backwards if anyone tried to handle her, even just halter her. She was also a man-made disaster but impossible to catch or halter to find a way to fix her.

I knew one gelding who was well bred, raised right, shown and performed well...but once in awhile he'd just break in two. And that horse could BUCK. A friend of mine owned him and a guy who judged a trail class she was in bought him. He knew the horse's history, but said "a year pushing cattle will change his attitude."

I think he sold the horse to a rodeo contractor for a bucking horse, not sure.

A dangerous horse is not worth keeping, not when there are so many good horses out there.

We need horse slaughter facilities in the US. Period.

Bumper

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Honestly...I do not know what to say on this...

I have never met a truly mean horse.

I have met lots and lots of nutty ones and scared ones and pushy ones and fussy ones...ones that have bad habits and stuff.....

I have had my hands on a few I thought were going to get the best of me..and I was in over my head.....but....to soem degree or another...they would give me something back and I would work it out with them.

I'm not saying the truly mean ones don't exist......

There was this one filly in one of my dad's herds way way back in the 80's that her mom was a flight horse to the point where she was dangerous to herself...and she passed that idea on to her filly. I guess learned behavior form mom.

The baby ended up running herself into a post and had caused herself to have a "tick" like Tourette's syndrome. She always seemed even more "off center" after that and coupled with the learned behavior form spooky nut mom horse...she was getting more dangerous.

She was never mean...neither was mom...but dad was hoping she would settle down into the herd...he had alot of $$$ invested in mom and baby....mom was a King mare...daughter I think....and baby had both King and Doc Bar blood in her...bred to a son or g-son of Doc Bar (that stud is still alive right now...he is 32...and a gelding)

Anyway...mom was a nut....and baby was going kind of psyco....and running into stuff in a panic when the herd would move.

It became obvious at around 5 months old that baby was to be put down...she was going to hurt someone.

Dad sold the mare to a guy in Illinois who said he would breed her for her bloodline and put babies on a surrogate.

That was the closest to "dangerous" I have ever seen.

Would I have done the same...if you would have seen the situation...yes...even at twelve years old where I would cry at every sale or Euthanasia....I was okay about this one.

I just knew it was for the best....

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absolutely I would! It would be the best thing for the horse, as well as for everyone around it. I know someone who had there back broken because a horse that had a chemical imbalance that caused it to be mean. The pony was euthanized after she broke her back, but it was a little to late. She now had to live with the consequences for the rest of her life.

Flash I could not agree more with what you said!

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I'm Dittoing Flash also.

Just like every other creature on earth, some are just not "right".

Straight to the kill buyer he would go

because my land is reserved for the burial of the "Good" ones.

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I think there is a difference between difficult and dangerous. My mare was difficult she required constant management and was never able to be trail ridden but after several years adjusted to the show grounds and went on to win many ribbons.

I unfortunately had a run in with a dangerous horse at a schooling show. The horse reared and pawed at my horse in a small arena the size of a larger round pen while both horses were being ridden. The rider had a hard time controlling the horse and me and my guy were both shaken up as we ran out of the arena-I also had my flight instinct. A 1200 pound animal lunging at you 8 feet away is pretty scary and my horse could not go in that arena again-even today. My point is that 1200 pounds of dangerous is a sight to behold and truly not worth the effort when there are so many sweet horse souls out there.

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I have a friend with a horse like this. She bought it to save it from being shipped off to the slaughterhouse, and it stayed completely dangerous for years. She finally recently decided that there was just no hope of ever making a riding horse out of her, and decided to just keep her in retirement at the barn. Problem is, even there she is a danger to the other horses, as she attacks them violently all the time, and trying to get your own horse out the field is dangerous when she is out there too.

A week ago, I guess one of the horses must have decided they'd had enough (I am afraid it might have been my horse, one of her favorite targets) and gave her swift kick in the mouth which ripped off her bottom lip and took her out front teeth, top and bottom. I feel sorry for her in a way, as she can't graze anymore, and is likely to spend even more time antagonizing others, and getting more injuries.

I think she would be better off being put down, personally.

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One of my horses was responsible for the breaking both wrist (one at a time), moving a kidney, and destroying my foot. As a teenager/young adult I just learned to be more alert, move faster and NEVER let my guard down. He was a pretty goood ride if you could survive him on the ground. I did sell him full disclosure and he did live out his life with that owner.

Flash forward 20 years - As an adult, I would put him down. He was dangrous to the barn crew and just about anyone else. The main problem is these animals usually do end up with

teenager who are still way too imortal to be concerned or a newbie who wants to help a horse.

Yes, with so many nice horses out there, there is not space for a dangerous one.

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We worked with a 4yr old red dun mare that belongs to a rescue that was something else. She'd catch, lead and trailer good. But come feed time, she'd try to run over you for her food. We'd short tie her to something big before going to feed her. At the rescue she's got the owner buffaloed and would run over her to get to the feed pan.

In the saddle, she's just downright unruly. It takes a while to get on her and when you do, you have to ride her down till she's through bucking. Then she's still constantly trying to assert herself and you have to stay on your toes as she will buck again when she thinks you're not expecting it. The only thing she's never offered to do was kick. I figure that's just a matter of time.

And according to the rescue, she's ready for adoption, issues and all. [bang Head]

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My Aunt raised her first horse baby, a colt. He was adorable and was handled properly when he was born. He was just nasty in general. He was gelded young. This horse would charge you in the field. My Aunt trained him and he was generally okay in saddle, but always gave her a fight. Her daughter went in the field to get her mare to ride. This horse came running and tried to attack her daughter. She ran in the field to protect her daughter and ended up getting trampled, he broke her leg, and had a pin in it. He almost bite me a couple times. He would sneak near the fence and sneak up on you and try to bite the fire out of you. He would also try to corner anyone in his stall (even if he was tied) and kick the crap out of you. That horse should of be euthanized; he was dangereous. He would try to hurt you and sneak up on you to hurt you. He was raised from a baby and kept till he was 4. She sold him to someone that knew he was that way.

I bought this other horse. He was just nasty. He would try to charge you in the field and bite your foot when you were riding him. We sold him to a ropper who knew that he was a nasty horse, he said he didn't care he would do the job and the price was right. So, yes I think a horse that is dangereous to you and others should be euthanized or slaughtered.

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i used to groom a trotter that was downright nasty.she was wicked from the day she hit the ground.but she was out of a nice tempered mare.she was **** to break as a yearling,and line driving her was big drama.

i started grooming her as a 3 year old.she preferred women and hated certain people on site.my boss was one of them even though he had never mistreated her.she was on regumateand was still a nightmare to deal with,but without it she was unhandleable.you had to catch her head at the gate or you couldnt get into her stall.harnessing her and wrapping her legs were a job that took all your concentration.

all that said i really loved her and i think she loved me as well as she could.she would respond to my affection but there were days that she was so angry over something small that set her off that nothing settled her.she won her first and only start at a county fair ,but the win pictures didnt come out darnit!i left that barn at the end of that summer and she became so mean and unmanneagable that she was sold to the zoo for lion food.had she gone to a sale or sold to the amish she waould have seriously hurt or killed someone.

there are far too many decent horses out there to spend time trying to prove you can fix a horse that will be a chore to keep and ride and care for.

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i used to groom a trotter that was downright nasty.she was wicked from the day she hit the ground.but she was out of a nice tempered mare.she was **** to break as a yearling,and line driving her was big drama.

i started grooming her as a 3 year old.she preferred women and hated certain people on site.my boss was one of them even though he had never mistreated her.she was on regumateand was still a nightmare to deal with,but without it she was unhandleable.you had to catch her head at the gate or you couldnt get into her stall.harnessing her and wrapping her legs were a job that took all your concentration.

all that said i really loved her and i think she loved me as well as she could.she would respond to my affection but there were days that she was so angry over something small that set her off that nothing settled her.she won her first and only start at a county fair ,but the win pictures didnt come out darnit!i left that barn at the end of that summer and she became so mean and unmanneagable that she was sold to the zoo for lion food.had she gone to a sale or sold to the amish she waould have seriously hurt or killed someone.

there are far too many decent horses out there to spend time trying to prove you can fix a horse that will be a chore to keep and ride and care for.

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i used to groom a trotter that was downright nasty.she was wicked from the day she hit the ground.but she was out of a nice tempered mare.she was **** to break as a yearling,and line driving her was big drama.

i started grooming her as a 3 year old.she preferred women and hated certain people on site.my boss was one of them even though he had never mistreated her.she was on regumateand was still a nightmare to deal with,but without it she was unhandleable.you had to catch her head at the gate or you couldnt get into her stall.harnessing her and wrapping her legs were a job that took all your concentration.

all that said i really loved her and i think she loved me as well as she could.she would respond to my affection but there were days that she was so angry over something small that set her off that nothing settled her.she won her first and only start at a county fair ,but the win pictures didnt come out darnit!i left that barn at the end of that summer and she became so mean and unmanneagable that she was sold to the zoo for lion food.had she gone to a sale or sold to the amish she waould have seriously hurt or killed someone.

there are far too many decent horses out there to spend time trying to prove you can fix a horse that will be a chore to keep and ride and care for.

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I also ditto Flash but there is a difference in dangerous horses and difficult ones, as catch has stated too.

I have known a really dangerous horse (not owned him) and I now have a difficult horse. There were many times when I wanted to give up with Comanche but I stuck it out. Somedays even after two years I am still on the fence about the issue. But he isn't dangerous just difficult and I get frustrated at times. But I am particular about what home he would go to and there may not be one here that I would approve.

But yes - a dangerous horse should be euthanized.

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a friend of mine called me up and wanted me to try to find a home for one of his horses. This mare was nuts. You went into the barn and she would turn around in the stall and double kick at you. she would charge the fence and try to bite ya. told him that there was no one i would sell that horse to except one person.

I called up my stock contractor buddy. He came and picked up the horse. Took her home and put her right into the bucking chute. She came out and bucked maybe a few times and started to run as fast as she could around the pen. Still she was goofy. he then put her in the back pens with a fwe of his broncs. She learned right quick that she was not boss and the other horses where. changed her tude very quickly. Now she did not get beat up, but was just put in her place by the other horses.

My buddy then took her out and hello her tude changed, she no longer kicked, charged, bite. He broke her to ride and is now his back up pickup horse. So some horses can be saved, but some can't.

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Yes, I would.

I worked with a horse that was only described to me as"Gonna be a little hot!"for about 2 months and saw little improvements. Every day was a battle, no matter what method I tried. We Parelli'd, we did this, we did that, we tried his way, we tried my way, compromise, had my trainer out, had a cowboy out, had the owner out(Who tried to tell me how to ride him-Fail)

Every day was a battle. Ok on the ground, but dangerous under saddle. Fences, trees, the barn, vehicles, round pen panels were all his friend as he twisted, turned, bucked, reared, leapt, etc etc.

I don't know exactly what happened, but I do know I am lucky.

His owner had someone else try to work with the horse a year after I got hurt, and the man is in the hospital in a coma. Quality of life if he comes out of it is...iffy. He'll probably never walk again. I don't know what happened or how it started but he did get kicked in the face, tromped on, and is obviously in worse condition than I was.

The family is suing. The owner has been kicked in the face by this horse, it wasn't an accident, and the man was doing nothing out of the ordinary.

He will not put the horse down. The man is a VET for crying out loud. He has plenty on his feed bill, and has spent plenty of money on this horse.

Maybe the horse isn't nasty, maybe he is misunderstood. Maybe he hasn't had the right people come to him yet.

Whatever though, I'm not going to risk my life, and if I owned him, he would have been put down long ago in order to prevent what has happened. I certainly wouldn't be trying to sell him as rideable.

It isn't wrong if people's lives are at risk. And since technically we are at risk handling these animals daily...anything can happen...why waste time on a horse like that when there are plenty other nice individuals out there.

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Ditto QF and Jacks! I am a firm believer in giving a horse a chance. I gave a couple chances to straighten out and they did but it wasn't through methods that many are fond of.

One came out okay and is a great ride and prefect gentlman,..the other? Last I heard he was on his way to Mexico. Deservedly so.

I don't like to think there are that many horses out there that can't be found a job that suits them,..but I am also not stupid enough to think they all can be saved.

They can't.

But it isn't always because there is no one who can get through,..it's because there is no one who has the TIME to do it.

Some of the greatest horse trianer's out there are older and tired and not willing to risk their lives on rogues anymore.

I don't blame em and am glad they stuck to their convictions because if they hadn't,..they woudln't be here for me to learn from them!

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