Retirement Options or Lack of

Hi all! I’m looking for a few last retirement options before putting my horse to sleep. Background follows.
I rescued the horse five years ago, she’s sweet, has taught me a lot but is also holding me back. While I certain few trainers can ride this horse beautifully I cannot. I’ve never been able to canter her safely-she bolts. Unless warmed up properly or when in a panic she rears. we had a pretty significant accident 2years ago. My riding has regressed & it’s no longer enjoyable. I’ve spent tons of money on advanced vetting, chiro, and trainers. She requires regumate and do to repro issues cannot be bred.

The horse does not do well on field board, too low on the totum pole and doesn’t like it. I’m debating listing her as a companion horse but am concerned about her being redirected back into the slaughter pipe line. Am I overly concerned? Does anyone know of any reputable partial stall board retirement homes? Our last option is a short, full care retirement followed by putting her down.

Advice? Thanks!

In all honesty I’d be more concerned someone would try and ride her if given away as a companion horse.

I’m not sure about reputable retirement facilities for horses, I’ve only heard horror stories.

Your best bet might just be to put her down because she’s dangerous or see if a cowboy would like to take her as a personal project horse (long shot).

Maybe post your general area? I would think you might be able to find a reasonably priced backyard type place (we do this kind of thing at our place if you’re in the MD area.) But ideally you want one you can visit occasionally and check up on the horse. It doesn’t have to be retirement specific, either-- there are plenty of low-key barns with a mix of show/ trail/ retirement horses. You could certainly offer her to the trainer who rode her successfully but I probably wouldn’t just give her away to someone you don’t know given her issues.

I think there were some typos in one sentence of your original post, so I’m unclear–have trainers ridden her beautifully or are you saying that you’re sure someone could, but that hasn’t been done yet?

I would be interested to know what happens with a trainer aboard or an otherwise more experienced/confident/capable rider. Not because I want to see them killed mind you, but because from your description, she sounds kind of fearful and lacking in confidence.

Having had a horse like this once upon a time, I know that it can be easy to fall into the mindset that no one can ride the horse well–but I also know from my experience that it’s not necessarily the case.

I would be inclined to put her in training, and if she is going well, use the connections of trainer to rehome or sell the horse.

If that’s truly not an option, then I’m not opposed to euthanizing a nutjob horse–even a young one. You don’t want people to get hurt and you don’t want the horse to fall into the wrong hands. Once you sign over a horse, your control of the situation is gone. Done. I think it’s far more humane to cut a life short if you can’t find the right situation than to risk abuse later on. But that’s just me.

What do you need in a “retirement” farm? Just because a horse is being retired from riding, doesn’t mean she has to be sent somewhere special. If she doesn’t do well just kicked out in pasture, she’s better at a place where someone (you) can keep an eye on her and she gets stalled as needed and whatever care if required to keep her in good shape.
My mare is retired and she just lives next to my other horses at a regular boarding barn.

Good morning all, many thanks for your constructive advice, I was worried I’d get a lot of hate mail. The mare requires lunging as a warm up or she rears upon mounting. There is a panic button that gets hit at times, at which time she rears. She’s reared until I’ve come off or in our accident flipped onto her side.

Two trainers can ride her canter. Other trainers have watched her panic and said no way. The mare moves well my current trainer and a judge at our barn said it would be 8s for gaits however at shows she gets fearful, two out of five times panicked.

I’ve put five years and untold amounts of $ into her, training, vetting, chiro. At the end of the day none of us believe she would survive a winter on field board.

Based on the advice given I’m going to partly retire her in place (lunge for movement/exercise/routine) for a few months. I figure I can catch ride during that time. Many, many thanks for your constructive advice!!!

Highflyet-I am in the Northern VA area.

Can she be turned out with cattle or donkeys?