We just got back from our annual family vacation. We've been going on this trip for 30+ years and not much gets in the way of it. It was great to get away even if for just a few days. This past year has been super crazy busy and when I sit down to think of all that's happened in the past year, it's mind boggling.
But what I really wanted to post about today was the mare that we were asked to take in last month. We didn't get any specifics other than she was mid-twenties and was pasture sound only. I have to admit that I drug my feet on this request. I'm not exactly sure other than funding is a huge part of my stress lately. I need to make sure that our current horses are taken care of before I bring another horse in. I hate saying no to this horse owner because they have a tendency to dump their horses when it doesn't fit their needs any more, or there is a health issue that needs to be worked through. Unfortunately, the horse owner are blinded to what they are doing and thinking that they are "rescuing" horses from bad situations when in fact they are causing more harm and putting more strain on people in this area.
So I replied to the person and asked if there would be any potential funding coming with the horse and it was a resounding no. I guess I should have asked more questions. It turns out that this mare was a hard keeper and had neurological problems. Not the first time from this owner. Maybe coincidence. But the owner did right and put the horse down.
But the fact remains we were asked to take this horse. Had we said yes, we would have been faced with trying to keep this older mare not knowing she was a hard keeper and yet knowing that there was something neurologically wrong. So we would have put money into her to try and put weight back on, only to have to put her down because there's no way a horse with a neurological disorder that can't stand or walk correctly can handle a South Dakota winter. Perhaps the neurological disorder wasn't bad but I'm thinking back to Joe and his neurological disorder that he had and that rendered him "pasture sound". We would have gotten attached to this mare and had the heartache of making the decision and putting her down. We would have had to watch her struggle with a new routine, new horses, a new life.
I'm angry. Why am I the bad person for saying no and feeling guilty yet all the information wasn't provided. "Pasture sound" is WAY different than having a neurological disorder. When someone says pasture sound, you think lameness or back injury but not to the point of a neurological disorder (at least that's my thinking). I hope to god no one would ride a horse with a neurological disorder. But I sure as hell wouldn't say that they are pasture sound only. Sure they may be unsound but there's more going on.
Now is the time people are dumping horses and I can't do anything about it. I'm faced with too many bills and I need to be responsible. I have ideas for fundraisers and yet I can't do it alone. I stand in front of the horses and feel alone most days.
So I guess what I really wanted was to simply tell everyone that we did not bring the mare in to the Sanctuary. For the rest, I can only hope that I can take the horse owner's word as true.