What to do with mare?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  MHBTAvatar 2 years, 8 months ago.

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  • ridermom Original Poster
    Topics Started: 2Replies Posted: 4

    I have an wonderful mare that has OCD. I’m trying to decide what the best life would be for her going forward. Because of her OCD, we only walk and trot her. She kicks going into the canter to swap her hind lead. We have to board her so unfortunately, we can not afford to board a horse that can’t be used for her intended purpose. We have the option to put her out to pasture at a farm where she would be given the bare necessities. She would be fed twice a day but that would be the only human interaction. She would not be ridden or groomed. She is only 9 yo and would be out with two other horses that are 30 years old. That doesn’t sound like a desirable life to me but I don’t know much about how horses think. I know she enjoys human interaction. Am I putting too much emphasis on the way we spoil horses these days? I would like opinions on what the best life would be for his mare. I would love to find someone to ride her lightly but consistently or use her for a broodmare. However, I have not found anyone to take her for that purpose. She has wonderful ground manners but can be strong and forward when ridden. However if she’s only being walked or trotted, she stays fairly low key. Thank you for any advice.

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    Hi, ridermom–thank you for introducing me to a condition I knew nothing about. I sympathize with your dilemma! I took on an older gelding (16) knowing he has EPM, and that he will probably never canter with me, just to give him a good life. I’ve never asked him to canter, since he’s a trail horse and has a fine, long stride at the walk. Plus I’m probably too old to go cantering (okay, so I prefer to gallop!) up and down our windy dirt roads, although I sure do miss it.

    I think your mare would be fine turned out with other horses, even though they’re mostly old. Horses are herd animals by nature, and happiest with others of their own kind. Do you have the option of dropping in on her from time to time, just to see how she’s doing and to give her treats and maybe a good brushing? I’m not sure about using her for a broodmare because she will gain a lot of weight, which will put more pressure on her weak leg. Have you discussed this with your veterinarian?

    I’m impressed that you’re willing to turn her out to pasture for the rest of her life, if that’s what it takes, instead of selling her. With her history, she would eventually end up at a slaughter yard–which is where my horse was until his previous owner rescued him. It’s too bad she’s so young! I hope you find someone willing to lease her to use as a trail horse. Good luck to you both, and let us know what happens.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    My boy, when I met him, would only canter on his right lead (except after a jump, when he would take the left, don’t ask me why), and cantered with his neck streched out and his head sideways. I took him back to kindergarten, and worked mostly on basic collection, balance and flexibility. He finally (took several months) will pick up his left lead when asked, keeps his head where it belongs, and is beginning to understand the concept of flying lead changes only when asked to do them.

    I would suggest that you have her checked to see what physical issue might be causing this, and if there is none, work on retraining her on a sort of basic dressage regimen.

    It is never the horse's fault

    MHBTAvatar
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 31

    My guy is decidedly a ‘people horse’, but when I broke my hip and turned him out for a few months with 2 other horses and 7 donkeys on 120 acres, I think he was in heaven! I think most horses really do adjust very well to a people-less life as long as there’s plenty of grass, water and other horses to help them feel safe. I assume she’d still have her feet, teeth and basic vet care handled?

    Would she still be yours, or would you be giving her up completely? Is it possible for you to take up the turnout option for her now, and still get her back if she seems unhappy or you find a situation you think she’ll enjoy more?

    Last thought – – could she be a candidate for light therapy work somewhere, either just as a groundwork therapist or walk-trot for some stronger riders? There are a lot of good, well-funded equine therapy operations out there who take excellent care of their horses and are always looking for good ones.

    I’m sorry you’re finding yourself in this position. She’s lucky to have someone so invested in her well-being. Good luck.

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