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What to do with a lame horse?

how is everyone? My family and I recently discovered that we have to retire my current horse. We haven’t been able to ride him for the past year and we found out what is wrong with him so we are putting him out in a pasture to live his years. My parents are furious that we had to pay so much money and he’s not even rideable, which I understand. They have a greed to buy me a second horse to do what I want, but they are nervous that this horse will also get hurt and we will be stuck with it.
We would be planning to sell the horse after I go to college in two years, but they asked me what we would do if we got in the same situation where we couldn’t sell the horse because it is lame. I told him we would be able to give it away as a pastor pet, but they need more convincing than that. What can I tell them to help convince them,

There’s nothing you can say that would be entirely truthful that would assure your parents that the next horse won’t break, because that’s always a risk with horses. Not many people want an expensive pasture ornament, and giving a lame horse away just so that you don’t have to foot the bills anymore always comes with the risk of the horse slipping through the cracks and ending up in a terrible situation, no matter how convincing the person was when they said the horse would have a good home. So many stories of people’s old show horses ending up a bag of bones being run through some low end auction after they were given away to a “good home.” If your parents can’t or don’t want to take care of another horse should it end up lame, don’t buy one because that is always a possibility. Sounds like leasing something would be your best option.


No, you probably won’t be able to give it away as a pasture pet. There are not enough homes out there for every unrideable horse that needs to be a pasture pet. You’ve got two chances of being able to give away an unrideable horse: slim and none.

If you have an unrideable horse and you can’t afford to/don’t want to keep it as a pasture pet yourself, in almost every case the only ethical option you will have is to have the horse euthanized.

I know that probably sounds harsh to you, but it’s the reality.


Why don’t you try leasing something? That way if it breaks unexpectedly, you’re not on the hook forever.


100% what @endlessclimb suggests.
Until you are able to at least contribute to the expense of owning a rideable horse along with keeping the retired one, it seems fairest to give your parents the option of leasing.


Thanks for giving your lame horse a retirement. Unless you can afford to take another horse off to college, lease don’t buy another now.


OP, I’m sorry about your horse situation. The advice you’ve already received is good.

However, since you’re planning to go to college in two years, I would advise you to pay attention to your grammar, spelling, and punctuation in everything that you make public at this stage in your life. When it comes time to start filling out college applications, those things will matter – down to each pesky little comma and period.


In your situation, you are better off spending your money on a two year lease. Then there is no chance you will end up having to pay for the horse’s retirement. Reality is that there are very few good pasture pet homes out there.


i’ve been trying to find a lease but they are all too expensive in my area.

i promise, i usually have very good grammar! i wrote this post after a long day and am tired😅😅


A huge number of horses given away as pasture pets will ultimately be flipped and resold without their history being revealed or will end up in the slaughter pipeline. If you don’t want to take care of your lame horse for 15+ years, why would a stranger? Some people are quick to offer up a home because they need a companion for a horse but if they experience financial hardship, that pasture companion may be the first out the door.

If you are looking to sell in 2 years you should lease, ride lesson horses, or take some time off. Especially in our current COVID times it could take months to find another horse and you should plan on advertising a horse at least 6 months before your “have to” sell date. Really, you’re looking at about 18 months. That’s not long to increase the value of a horse and in our uncertain times ahead, the economy could tank. The horse that is worth X amount today may be worth X - 10% in 18 months. If your parents expect to get the amount they paid for the horse or more back, buying is a really really bad idea.


You might need to be creative about what sort of leased horse you will work with - maybe your trainer knows of something that needs more milage or a different job but isn’t being advertized for lease right now.

In wild agreement with everyone else who says it’s the wrong time to buy something new.


Good. Now go back and use the edit function. Perfect practice, same said about riding.


I would suggest leasing unless you plan on bringing your horse to college. Which happens more than you think :slight_smile:
The only way to know that the horse will have some sort of resale value if it breaks is to have a mare with good bloodlines. Then it is useful for breeding.


I can’t agree more with everyone here that leasing is your best option. You can’t guarantee that your next horse won’t become lame either and like GracelikeRain stated, there really isn’t that much time to flip a horse and make a decent profit on it, especially in these unforeseen economic circumstances. Use your trainer and other connections to look for any unadvertised leases in the area, wait for the right lease to come up or take lessons on lesson horses.

Aside from that, what is the injury/condition that has caused your horse to need to be retired? That could influence your options.

We treated his for navicular for about two years, but he didn’t respond to it. We had a specialist come out and told us he had torn his suspensory along with bone even before we got him. he is a one person horse, and can get aggressive towards other people which is one of the reasons we never thought of giving him as a pasture horse.

Your parents sound reasonable. They also sound a bit sour of the experience. That is unfortunate. Do you ride at a high level barn? Perhaps consider a lower level barn that would be more likely to have “free” leases, or a nice part lease available. It is easier to find a lease if you are willing to move barns to be at the owner’s barn. You could also look for an older horse (to buy) with a seller that is willing to take it back to retire it. This happens more than you think.

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This is unnecessary. The point about the grammar issues was made, now we can all move on and either give the OP constructive advice on the topic at hand, or just not come back to the thread if it’s that bothersome.


See if you can find a half lease if you cannot afford a full lease. You’ll still get a few days each week to ride, yet your expense will be less. I wish you luck.


I’d suggest a lease. If not, a thorough PPE and insurance.

There’s just always a risk with horses. No convincing your parents otherwise unfortunately!