Being responsible

So, I was standing with the vet, my farrier and Storm. We all had that look of “despair” that only comes with not really knowing how to help your animal friend.

Storm is suffering right now, his main symptom is sleep deprivation caused by anxiety. He is being looked after to the best of our abilities. He is well fed, with a nice grassy paddock, next to other horses, and gets fussed over by us on a regular basis. He is not starving or mistreated; he has a safe home, and will always be cared for. While, I find it upsetting and worrisome that he is not happy, I know he is in a safe place until he crosses the “Rainbow bridge”.

For this I am very grateful.  Not all horses are so lucky.

Horses are a luxury, are expensive, and time consuming. I see so many horses for sale with comments like:

  • “Due to life change….”
  • “Due to going to school…..”
  • “Old Companion horse ….”
  • “With a sad heart….”
  • “Rider not able to fulfil horse potential…”

What happens in the long run to these horses that get passed on?  Hopefully they find good loving homes, where they are correctly cared for. This does not always happen.

Thanks to the “wonders” of the internet, I see so many animals that have been abused, starved and let down by their human caretakers. I know that life is not perfect, and sometimes, your only option is to sell. Is possible, make sure you know where that animal is, and with whom.  If the new owner does not agree to let you know how the animal is, then be suspicious.

Currently shelters and rescues are overflowing, and this is due partly to animals being bred because someone thought it would be a “good idea”.

If you decide to bred, ask yourself why?

What is the plan for the foal? (Or for that matter, puppies, kittens, goats or any other pet animal you may have?  )

Do you have the time, money, expertise and experience to raise a horse that will be a good citizen, and if the worse happens and you have to sell, will they have a chance of finding a good home?  A poorly bred horse, which bad conformation, and no training is at even higher risk of ending up in a bad situation that a horse that has good training and a “leg at each corner”.

For my part, I bred storm, and this is what I did to help ensure he would have a good start in life:

  • Made sure my mare was up to it. She was grading with the British Sports horse Registry, and was awarding good marks.
  • I chose a well-known stallion, standing at a reputable stud.
  • He was registered and got a passport
  • Made sure I was financially stable, and had an income that would allow for the keep of an additional horse
  • Made sure there was an emergency vet fund. Insurance can be beneficial, but make sure you have appropriate coverage

Please, just be honest with yourself about the reason you wish to bred.

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