And this is not about money, it is about the responsibility you have when you decide to buy a horse in the first place. Like all other pets, we are responsible for looking after them, feed them, give them vet care and stand by their side ─ and we can’t stop doing that when they get older!
And then you have people who claim they can’t afford a horse they can no longer use. And this is the point where I get pissed off. Truly angry. What the hell?
Imagine you had a dog, you spent 10 years together and your dog is starting to get older. It can’t be a huge shock, can it? Animals age, just as humans do. You knew it when you met your puppy and fell in love ten years ago. It can’t join you on long hikes and adventures anymore, and maybe it need help walking up and down the stairs in your home. Would you try to get rid of the dog, simply because your best friend wasn’t young anymore? «I’m sorry Fido, shelter next, I will get a new puppy instead. Thanks for staying faithful, I won’t.» In my opinion that is nothing but heartless.
It is the same with horses. Your show jumper, a horse you have owned for a decade, can’t compete anymore due to an old injury or a tired back. But it can join you on hacks in the forest, and you can still enjoy many happy years together ─ why on earth would you get rid of your old friend, simply because of your own egoism?
If you can’t afford your horse when it is time to retire him, you can’t afford a horse in the first place. An old horse cost approx. the same as a younger horse since I checked, unless you are dealing with health issues or your horse needs expensive medication. But that should not be a huge shock either, if you know the basics of biology.
It is not a question about what you can afford or not; it is a question about how big your heart is, and how much you really did love your horse. Because if you love someone, you won’t leave them because you want to reach a higher level in a sport or do more fancy tricks!
Yes, keeping horses is expensive as hell, I’m well aware, I have one myself. But when your horse will run through flames for you, travels across the country in a box on wheels and always stay by your side through your life, both ups and downs, and truly give you everything – the least you can do in return is to continue to care for your friend when the age reaches 20. When the legs aren’t as fast as they used to be, the muscles aren’t as strong as they once were. The coat not as shiny, but his love for you is greater than ever.
Peace, love and Friesian hugs,
Batman and one angry Matilde
Feel free to share if you agree.