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CAN'T AFFORD A VET!!!

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Cheri, if I sound a little harsh, forgive me. If you read my posts, you can see I just lost my horse yesteray. If I had listened to the first vet's office that I contacted, my horse would have died anyway, and she would have been in tremendous pain. (The vet was in emergency surgery, and couldn't come out.) We did everything that the first vet's office told us to do, and she got no better. I knew she needed a vet, and though money is a little tight right now, I didn't hesitate to call a second vet. I now have several thousands in vet bills that I will be paying off over a matter of time. For some things, yes, you can get help by asking here, especially if the vet's office is closed. But for some of the things I've read, the vet would have been the first call that I made regardless of the cost. And for others that I've read, they've been told by the vet that they need to do certain test to even find out what the problem is, but they say they can't afford the test. In many states, this would be considered neglect, or animal abuse. I had someone tell me years ago that you can always afford what's really important to you. If you can't afford the bill all in one shot, see if the vet would be willing to take payments. Another option could be a barter. The welfare of your horse should be your first priority. And if either option is not available, then maybe the best thing to do for the horse is to find it another home. Like I said, forgive me if this sounds harsh, but I've just been thru this.

[ 01-25-2006, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: Debi Z ]

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Cheri, if I sound a little harsh, forgive me. If you read my posts, you can see I just lost my horse yesteray. If I had listened to the first vet's office that I contacted, my horse would have died anyway, and she would have been in tremendous pain. (The vet was in emergency surgery, and couldn't come out.) We did everything that the first vet's office told us to do, and she got no better. I knew she needed a vet, and though money is a little tight right now, I didn't hesitate to call a second vet. I now have several thousands in vet bills that I will be paying off over a matter of time. For some things, yes, you can get help by asking here, especially if the vet's office is closed. But for some of the things I've read, the vet would have been the first call that I made regardless of the cost. And for others that I've read, they've been told by the vet that they need to do certain test to even find out what the problem is, but they say they can't afford the test. In many states, this would be considered neglect, or animal abuse. I had someone tell me years ago that you can always afford what's really important to you. If you can't afford the bill all in one shot, see if the vet would be willing to take payments. Another option could be a barter. The welfare of your horse should be your first priority. And if either option is not available, then maybe the best thing to do for the horse is to find it another home. Like I said, forgive me if this sounds harsh, but I've just been thru this.

[ 01-25-2006, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: Debi Z ]

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One thing I try to keep in perspective is that some people simply don't know any better.

They are probably doing what they think is right and are giving their horses the same care they'd give themselves.

Example: Someone's child is running a fever. Rather than go right in to the doctor, they might watch and wait a few days, or call a trusted friend to see what they should do. It's not that they don't care about their child, they just don't know at what point to be REALLY concerned and what warrants a visit.

I too get frustrated though. Like that whole Peanut situation a few months ago. It took me 3 WEEKS to get the people convinced to have him seen by a vet and he was DEAD LAME. It was like talking to a wall...they just didn't see the point.

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One thing I try to keep in perspective is that some people simply don't know any better.

They are probably doing what they think is right and are giving their horses the same care they'd give themselves.

Example: Someone's child is running a fever. Rather than go right in to the doctor, they might watch and wait a few days, or call a trusted friend to see what they should do. It's not that they don't care about their child, they just don't know at what point to be REALLY concerned and what warrants a visit.

I too get frustrated though. Like that whole Peanut situation a few months ago. It took me 3 WEEKS to get the people convinced to have him seen by a vet and he was DEAD LAME. It was like talking to a wall...they just didn't see the point.

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cheri, if you are refering to my post....

so do you think that it is okay to care for your horses but neglect your children?? no mattter what my financial situation...my child will always come first. sorry if you think that is judgemental but i call it having the correct priorities.

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cheri, if you are refering to my post....

so do you think that it is okay to care for your horses but neglect your children?? no mattter what my financial situation...my child will always come first. sorry if you think that is judgemental but i call it having the correct priorities.

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Owning horses is not a given right, but a serious responsability.

We should be sure first that we can handle reasonable care and some emergencies, before we decide to own one.

To hope we can make ends meet, when we know we can't and go adding yet another being to be under our care, that is not like adding a boat or motorcycle that can be stored or sold again, if we need the money and will not need immediate care that can't be put off.

Not fair to always depend on the good grace of vets or others, to get the horses under our care thru their needy times.

Vets and others also have their own responsabilities to tend to.

If you can't afford it, you should not buy/take responsabililty for it.

If everyone thought that they can have whatever they wish, that others will bail them out or they will have their charges go without, that just doesn't make much sense. [Confused]

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Owning horses is not a given right, but a serious responsability.

We should be sure first that we can handle reasonable care and some emergencies, before we decide to own one.

To hope we can make ends meet, when we know we can't and go adding yet another being to be under our care, that is not like adding a boat or motorcycle that can be stored or sold again, if we need the money and will not need immediate care that can't be put off.

Not fair to always depend on the good grace of vets or others, to get the horses under our care thru their needy times.

Vets and others also have their own responsabilities to tend to.

If you can't afford it, you should not buy/take responsabililty for it.

If everyone thought that they can have whatever they wish, that others will bail them out or they will have their charges go without, that just doesn't make much sense. [Confused]

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Debiz - [Huggy] I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your horse. My thought and prayers are with you both.

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Debiz - [Huggy] I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your horse. My thought and prayers are with you both.

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I see several things going on here. There's the "I can't afford the vet", There's the "my parents think horses are dum etc." and there's the "things are tight now". Everyone has a unique problem "at that time". Now I don't have and I try not to be too judgemental and if I am I keep that to myself because I'm not in their situation but could be in the future. How I approach the posting is this (in most cases). I disregard the posters comment about $$$$ and try and post useful and documentable answers. Especially with the younger crowd. One of the best resources is the internet and I've found a wealth of information there. In the serious cases that get posted I may get emphatic about getting a vet or farrier to see the animal. But I'm still not in their shoes and can only recommend. For myself I have my horses on a shoe string budget. Now how do I give quality care to them? I study,study and study some more. Whenever I'm with my vet I ask questions not only about the current situation but about things in general. I was and am still somewhat terrified of giving shots but now I have at least a basic understanding of prep., treatment, and after care. I've had to learn how to take care of my horses feet including basic trimming, corective work etc. and I'm no spring chicken either so it might take longer to do.

I'm glad and sometimes jealous [Wink] of people who can afford to call in a vet or farrier or what ever at the drop of a hat.

I'm impressed with someone who will take the time to learn and put into practice things that they need to do to take quality care of any animal.

And as far as the idiots on AP who allow the conditions to exist that places these animals in jeopordy I have a solution for them [Mad] .

Bottom line is this "we do what we can, when we can, and how we can" to give the best care that we can to our charges.

I hope this has made sense.

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I see several things going on here. There's the "I can't afford the vet", There's the "my parents think horses are dum etc." and there's the "things are tight now". Everyone has a unique problem "at that time". Now I don't have and I try not to be too judgemental and if I am I keep that to myself because I'm not in their situation but could be in the future. How I approach the posting is this (in most cases). I disregard the posters comment about $$$$ and try and post useful and documentable answers. Especially with the younger crowd. One of the best resources is the internet and I've found a wealth of information there. In the serious cases that get posted I may get emphatic about getting a vet or farrier to see the animal. But I'm still not in their shoes and can only recommend. For myself I have my horses on a shoe string budget. Now how do I give quality care to them? I study,study and study some more. Whenever I'm with my vet I ask questions not only about the current situation but about things in general. I was and am still somewhat terrified of giving shots but now I have at least a basic understanding of prep., treatment, and after care. I've had to learn how to take care of my horses feet including basic trimming, corective work etc. and I'm no spring chicken either so it might take longer to do.

I'm glad and sometimes jealous [Wink] of people who can afford to call in a vet or farrier or what ever at the drop of a hat.

I'm impressed with someone who will take the time to learn and put into practice things that they need to do to take quality care of any animal.

And as far as the idiots on AP who allow the conditions to exist that places these animals in jeopordy I have a solution for them [Mad] .

Bottom line is this "we do what we can, when we can, and how we can" to give the best care that we can to our charges.

I hope this has made sense.

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BTW -Debi Z- I'm sorry to hear about your horse also [Me Cry] . I'm in a similiar boat we lost one of our elders Monday afternoon. He was a retired 1st Cav. (Ft. Hood) TB. He was about 29 yrs. So I can understand how you or anybody could be touchy about care of their horses.

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quote:

Originally posted by Zakima:

Debiz -
[Huggy]
I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your horse. My thought and prayers are with you both.

Thanks. When I called my husband to let him know what was going on, he never asked how much. All he said was "ouch." He has complained at times about how much the horses cost, (my horse and my daughter's pony) but when push came to shove, he was there for me.

And as I said, things are a little tight here right now. I was in an accident last year, and totaled my truck. Even though it wasn't my fault, the insurance company raised our rates. (one vehicle, car crossed the line swerved to avoid the car, lost control in slush and hit a tree.) On top of that, our son was also in an accident, and we had to get him a seperate policy thru the state since he also had some tickets. His insurance alone costs more than the policy for the 3 of us cost previous to this. Him not having a vehicle was not an option. Even if he just drove one of ours, the fact that he lived in our house would have made the cost skyrocket, and he needed to get to his school. (automotive technology school half hour drive away) He's done, and starts work on Monday, which will help the situation greatly.

I've found ways to save on other things so I can afford the horses during this time. This is the kind of thing that you hope and pray never happens, but when it does, you need to be prepared to make some sacrifices. Until the situation eases, I've given up going out to eat, even at fast food restaurants, except in the case of an emergency. I've given up chocolate for the most part, and I've cut and split a ton of wood so that our heating bills are down. I will also, as soon as I get a clothes line, start hanging clothes out. I'm prepared to do this for the love of my horse.

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BTW -Debi Z- I'm sorry to hear about your horse also [Me Cry] . I'm in a similiar boat we lost one of our elders Monday afternoon. He was a retired 1st Cav. (Ft. Hood) TB. He was about 29 yrs. So I can understand how you or anybody could be touchy about care of their horses.

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quote:

Originally posted by Zakima:

Debiz -
[Huggy]
I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your horse. My thought and prayers are with you both.

Thanks. When I called my husband to let him know what was going on, he never asked how much. All he said was "ouch." He has complained at times about how much the horses cost, (my horse and my daughter's pony) but when push came to shove, he was there for me.

And as I said, things are a little tight here right now. I was in an accident last year, and totaled my truck. Even though it wasn't my fault, the insurance company raised our rates. (one vehicle, car crossed the line swerved to avoid the car, lost control in slush and hit a tree.) On top of that, our son was also in an accident, and we had to get him a seperate policy thru the state since he also had some tickets. His insurance alone costs more than the policy for the 3 of us cost previous to this. Him not having a vehicle was not an option. Even if he just drove one of ours, the fact that he lived in our house would have made the cost skyrocket, and he needed to get to his school. (automotive technology school half hour drive away) He's done, and starts work on Monday, which will help the situation greatly.

I've found ways to save on other things so I can afford the horses during this time. This is the kind of thing that you hope and pray never happens, but when it does, you need to be prepared to make some sacrifices. Until the situation eases, I've given up going out to eat, even at fast food restaurants, except in the case of an emergency. I've given up chocolate for the most part, and I've cut and split a ton of wood so that our heating bills are down. I will also, as soon as I get a clothes line, start hanging clothes out. I'm prepared to do this for the love of my horse.

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I didn't read every one's posts. But vet bills etc are EXACTLY why I DO NOT own a horse right now. Would I love to own a horse? Yep! (First time in my life since I was 8 I am horseless).

But I can afford board; I could afford to buy a cheaper horse. I own tons of tack, but I can't afford a major vet bill, or a lay up and this is why I do not own right now. It?s just not responsible to take on a horse that you can not care for if a situation arises.

Recently there was a post were some one was looking for a "free horse" because they could not afford to buy one. My question was, if you can not afford to spend 500-1,000 on a horse, how in the world are you going to pay for vet bills etc?

Just irresponsible in my book. Yes, you do not have to be "rich" but horses are a luxury, and you have to be able to afford them.

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I didn't read every one's posts. But vet bills etc are EXACTLY why I DO NOT own a horse right now. Would I love to own a horse? Yep! (First time in my life since I was 8 I am horseless).

But I can afford board; I could afford to buy a cheaper horse. I own tons of tack, but I can't afford a major vet bill, or a lay up and this is why I do not own right now. It?s just not responsible to take on a horse that you can not care for if a situation arises.

Recently there was a post were some one was looking for a "free horse" because they could not afford to buy one. My question was, if you can not afford to spend 500-1,000 on a horse, how in the world are you going to pay for vet bills etc?

Just irresponsible in my book. Yes, you do not have to be "rich" but horses are a luxury, and you have to be able to afford them.

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Ok - I can only speak for myself here, but I am mostly talking about those horses with OBVIOUSLY bad injuries/illnesses. Heck, I dont call the vet out to every little thing either!

I mean I remember a while ago someone posted that their horse had gone through a fence, and it had stripped the leg down to bone. Now this person (dont remember who it was even)had taken time to take photos, and post them up on here, then asked what they should do, and when told to call a vet immediatley, they relplied they couldnt afford to get a vet out!?!?!?!

With the rescue thing - I mean, its brilliant when someone rescues a horse, but its not so great when you rescue a horse that may have serious problems, then dont have the $$ to give it the specialized care it needs, or the expensive feeds/shots/feet care it needs.

Im not talking about those who dont call the vet because the horse nicked itself, or got a kick but they know how to treat it.

Again - if you cant afford to call a vet out to an EMERGENCY situation - then dont have horses. Its that simple.

I also seem to see the excuse 'oh but the vet clinic is too far away' alot. Tough, if you live far away from a vet, you should factor that into your emergency vet costs BEFORE you buy a horse!

I will admit I dont know a heck of a lot about the vets in America, but in NZ at every vet clinic there is a vet on call. This means they can be contacted at ANY time day or night for emergencies. (I had to call one out after hours at 8pm when Amber punctured her knee).

Really there isnt much excuse for not calling the vet out in an emergency, and when you dont - they have a word for it....neglect.

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Ok - I can only speak for myself here, but I am mostly talking about those horses with OBVIOUSLY bad injuries/illnesses. Heck, I dont call the vet out to every little thing either!

I mean I remember a while ago someone posted that their horse had gone through a fence, and it had stripped the leg down to bone. Now this person (dont remember who it was even)had taken time to take photos, and post them up on here, then asked what they should do, and when told to call a vet immediatley, they relplied they couldnt afford to get a vet out!?!?!?!

With the rescue thing - I mean, its brilliant when someone rescues a horse, but its not so great when you rescue a horse that may have serious problems, then dont have the $$ to give it the specialized care it needs, or the expensive feeds/shots/feet care it needs.

Im not talking about those who dont call the vet because the horse nicked itself, or got a kick but they know how to treat it.

Again - if you cant afford to call a vet out to an EMERGENCY situation - then dont have horses. Its that simple.

I also seem to see the excuse 'oh but the vet clinic is too far away' alot. Tough, if you live far away from a vet, you should factor that into your emergency vet costs BEFORE you buy a horse!

I will admit I dont know a heck of a lot about the vets in America, but in NZ at every vet clinic there is a vet on call. This means they can be contacted at ANY time day or night for emergencies. (I had to call one out after hours at 8pm when Amber punctured her knee).

Really there isnt much excuse for not calling the vet out in an emergency, and when you dont - they have a word for it....neglect.

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ditto.

its all about responsibility. If they do not plan for their horses getting injured at some point in their lives, the owner may not have the money; and the horse will suffer from that. Thats the problem when some people rushing into buying a horse, and soon they buy another; because they are "Fun". They spend all their money on the horses, board, tack, all thoes other little things. And when and if their money does get tight, they don't have enough money to go around if one of their horses does get injured. Now im just ranting...but some people need a SERIOUS reality check...

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ditto.

its all about responsibility. If they do not plan for their horses getting injured at some point in their lives, the owner may not have the money; and the horse will suffer from that. Thats the problem when some people rushing into buying a horse, and soon they buy another; because they are "Fun". They spend all their money on the horses, board, tack, all thoes other little things. And when and if their money does get tight, they don't have enough money to go around if one of their horses does get injured. Now im just ranting...but some people need a SERIOUS reality check...

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quote:

Originally posted by Cheri Wolfe:

I can't believe EVERYONE here is THAT judgemental. Surely someone on this board is less hateful and a little kinder toward people that have few resources but a great love for horses and what they can do for a youngster.

I've have lived in an economicly disadvantaged area ALL of my life. I've helped 4-H kids and families keep their horses healthy and been their advisor for for feed and care. I've spent nights and weekends helping them care for a sick or injured horse because they could'nt afford to take it to a vet.

I would never think of telling them that they shouldn't have the joy of owning and working with a horse because they don't have thousands of dollars to spend for state of the art vet care.

The Kids buy a big bottle of liquid horse wormer for $25.00 and then when they come out, it costs them $2.50 to deworm a horse instead $12.00 to $15.00 for a tube of the same stuff at a store.

The horseshoeing school in Ardmore, Oklahoma comes here every 2 months to the ranch with 22 students. They were here last Friday. They shoe the 4-H horses brought here for $10.00 (even corrective shoes since half of the horses these kids ride are old 'gimee' cripples). The school owner feels like I do (Bless his big heart), that helping them keep their horses sound and going is worth all the time and effort.

These families all live way below the poverty line. For some, their horses are the one bright spot in their lives. They go trail ride with us. We have loan some of the kids some of our old trail horses when they didn't have a horse to ride. They try to train their horses for the county fair horse show and several have gone to the State Horse Show and won State Championships. Some of these old $500.00 or free horses have gone there and beaten $10,000.00 + show horses. They raise money to help pay for going to the show by holding an annual trail ride on a big ranch (25,000 acres) and charging people for a barbeque dinner held at noon during the trail ride. The ranch owner doesn't get a penny. The briskets served are smoked by a local businessman that said he had the smoker going anyway so he didn't mind putting a few extra briskets in. This ride has been held every May for nearly 15 years.

All of you that are so judgemental should lighten up a little and be a little more understanding and a little kinder. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

[Not Worthy]

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quote:

Originally posted by Cheri Wolfe:

I can't believe EVERYONE here is THAT judgemental. Surely someone on this board is less hateful and a little kinder toward people that have few resources but a great love for horses and what they can do for a youngster.

I've have lived in an economicly disadvantaged area ALL of my life. I've helped 4-H kids and families keep their horses healthy and been their advisor for for feed and care. I've spent nights and weekends helping them care for a sick or injured horse because they could'nt afford to take it to a vet.

I would never think of telling them that they shouldn't have the joy of owning and working with a horse because they don't have thousands of dollars to spend for state of the art vet care.

The Kids buy a big bottle of liquid horse wormer for $25.00 and then when they come out, it costs them $2.50 to deworm a horse instead $12.00 to $15.00 for a tube of the same stuff at a store.

The horseshoeing school in Ardmore, Oklahoma comes here every 2 months to the ranch with 22 students. They were here last Friday. They shoe the 4-H horses brought here for $10.00 (even corrective shoes since half of the horses these kids ride are old 'gimee' cripples). The school owner feels like I do (Bless his big heart), that helping them keep their horses sound and going is worth all the time and effort.

These families all live way below the poverty line. For some, their horses are the one bright spot in their lives. They go trail ride with us. We have loan some of the kids some of our old trail horses when they didn't have a horse to ride. They try to train their horses for the county fair horse show and several have gone to the State Horse Show and won State Championships. Some of these old $500.00 or free horses have gone there and beaten $10,000.00 + show horses. They raise money to help pay for going to the show by holding an annual trail ride on a big ranch (25,000 acres) and charging people for a barbeque dinner held at noon during the trail ride. The ranch owner doesn't get a penny. The briskets served are smoked by a local businessman that said he had the smoker going anyway so he didn't mind putting a few extra briskets in. This ride has been held every May for nearly 15 years.

All of you that are so judgemental should lighten up a little and be a little more understanding and a little kinder. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

[Not Worthy]

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This is an interresting thread. As a few others have mentioned, I see both sides.

I'm not an "independantly wealthy" woman. I need to do everything possible to save what money I can, when I can. I vaccinate my animals myself, keep my horses (and my daughter's pony) on my own property. I can't afford lessons or showing. However, routine vet care is a part of life. There are things I can't do, like floating teeth, that need to be done, so they will be done. They are a part of the household budget.

Unless it was an emergency, I'd probably watch my horse for a bit before calling out the vet. I might even post on here to see if other people have had a similar experience and could shed some light on whatever was ailing my horse. However, it's also being cautious financially to take the horse to the vet when it is obviously necessary. It keeps the horse from suffering more than it has to, and if you're financially concerned? don't let a health issue get out of hand before dealing with it!

I guess the bottom line for me is that my wallet isn't deep enough to handle any emergency, but that's why I have an emergency credit card. I hope I don't have to use it, but if it becomes necessary, it's there.

Edited to add - I recently posted on this forum when my mare cut her leg on a gate. I knew it wasn't a horrible situation, and I think more than anything I wanted to hear reassuring words from other horse lovers. I sure hope nobody felt too judgemental that I dealt with the injury myself. Just food for thought...

[ 01-25-2006, 03:20 PM: Message edited by: e.s.dressage ]

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This is an interresting thread. As a few others have mentioned, I see both sides.

I'm not an "independantly wealthy" woman. I need to do everything possible to save what money I can, when I can. I vaccinate my animals myself, keep my horses (and my daughter's pony) on my own property. I can't afford lessons or showing. However, routine vet care is a part of life. There are things I can't do, like floating teeth, that need to be done, so they will be done. They are a part of the household budget.

Unless it was an emergency, I'd probably watch my horse for a bit before calling out the vet. I might even post on here to see if other people have had a similar experience and could shed some light on whatever was ailing my horse. However, it's also being cautious financially to take the horse to the vet when it is obviously necessary. It keeps the horse from suffering more than it has to, and if you're financially concerned? don't let a health issue get out of hand before dealing with it!

I guess the bottom line for me is that my wallet isn't deep enough to handle any emergency, but that's why I have an emergency credit card. I hope I don't have to use it, but if it becomes necessary, it's there.

Edited to add - I recently posted on this forum when my mare cut her leg on a gate. I knew it wasn't a horrible situation, and I think more than anything I wanted to hear reassuring words from other horse lovers. I sure hope nobody felt too judgemental that I dealt with the injury myself. Just food for thought...

[ 01-25-2006, 03:20 PM: Message edited by: e.s.dressage ]

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There are many degrees of "I don't know what's wrong" "Call a vet".

Some are 100% always a serious vet problem. The horse in severe pain and an obvious major colic is ALWAYS a 'call the vet - now' situation. Probably 3/4 of the things I see on this board are safely treated by an experienced horse person. Some of the chronic things and minor things may work themselves out with proper supportive treatment or a little time or stall rest or ??? Spending hundreds of dollars on these things right off the bat is not an option for many of the horse owners that live in our area.

We live in an area where nearly every house you pass in the country has a horse or 2 or 3 in their backyard. None of them is thin or neglected and their owners do the best they can. Their kids ride and they ride. Some belong to the local round-up club and some of the dads are local team ropers. We're not talking about big time ropers - We're talking about little local roping practice ropers that never or seldom compete, even in jackpots, because they don't have that kind of money. It's a place that they can go and take their kids and let them practice running the barrels and poles. They will never compete in that iether unless it is at the County Fair. They drive 10 or 15 year old pickup trucks and they forego many of things other people take for granted so they can keep their horses.

I have kids that come out here and I know families that have not had a vet look at their horses in many years. The local cow vet goes to the biggest feed store in the county and does Coggins tests every spring for $12.00.

I have had kids that came to a 4-H meeting without their horse because they said they could not afford gas for the pickup or it wasn't running good. The rate of people in the SE quadrent of OK without any health insurance is over 25%. Many of the counties have unimployment rates higher than 10%. In the 80s it was over 20% in some counties. Wrangler closed all of their jeans factories near here and moved to Mexico. The paper mills and plywood mills have closed in SE OK. A lot of men used to cut pulp logs and haul them to the mills. Now they cut firewood and try to sell enough to scratch out a living. many have lived here for 3 or 4 generations.

To tell these people that they shouldn't own a horse because that horse might get real sick or hurt sometime and since they couldn't afford a big vet bill, they shouldn't own him at all is not my idea of being kind or decent or helpful in any way.

And, you know what? I've know some of these families for over 20 years and some have never had a veternary crisis. I think many of the over-fed, over-indulged in pampered horses are some of the least healthy and least sound horses I have ever known.

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There are many degrees of "I don't know what's wrong" "Call a vet".

Some are 100% always a serious vet problem. The horse in severe pain and an obvious major colic is ALWAYS a 'call the vet - now' situation. Probably 3/4 of the things I see on this board are safely treated by an experienced horse person. Some of the chronic things and minor things may work themselves out with proper supportive treatment or a little time or stall rest or ??? Spending hundreds of dollars on these things right off the bat is not an option for many of the horse owners that live in our area.

We live in an area where nearly every house you pass in the country has a horse or 2 or 3 in their backyard. None of them is thin or neglected and their owners do the best they can. Their kids ride and they ride. Some belong to the local round-up club and some of the dads are local team ropers. We're not talking about big time ropers - We're talking about little local roping practice ropers that never or seldom compete, even in jackpots, because they don't have that kind of money. It's a place that they can go and take their kids and let them practice running the barrels and poles. They will never compete in that iether unless it is at the County Fair. They drive 10 or 15 year old pickup trucks and they forego many of things other people take for granted so they can keep their horses.

I have kids that come out here and I know families that have not had a vet look at their horses in many years. The local cow vet goes to the biggest feed store in the county and does Coggins tests every spring for $12.00.

I have had kids that came to a 4-H meeting without their horse because they said they could not afford gas for the pickup or it wasn't running good. The rate of people in the SE quadrent of OK without any health insurance is over 25%. Many of the counties have unimployment rates higher than 10%. In the 80s it was over 20% in some counties. Wrangler closed all of their jeans factories near here and moved to Mexico. The paper mills and plywood mills have closed in SE OK. A lot of men used to cut pulp logs and haul them to the mills. Now they cut firewood and try to sell enough to scratch out a living. many have lived here for 3 or 4 generations.

To tell these people that they shouldn't own a horse because that horse might get real sick or hurt sometime and since they couldn't afford a big vet bill, they shouldn't own him at all is not my idea of being kind or decent or helpful in any way.

And, you know what? I've know some of these families for over 20 years and some have never had a veternary crisis. I think many of the over-fed, over-indulged in pampered horses are some of the least healthy and least sound horses I have ever known.

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