What is your opinion on this?

Discussion in 'The Corral' started by Stateline, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Stateline

    Stateline New Member

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    Thunder is a 20+ appaloosa gelding that has been in my lesson program for several years. For the last 4 years he has had cancer on his sheath. He had a surgery 2 years ago that cost $400 and now he is having trouble again. He is swollen and bloody in the sheath area. We took him to the vet today and was told the surgery would be $1250 to fix him. This area needs to be removed by laser. I went in the vets office only prepared to spend $400-$500.
    I did not leave him at the vets. I brought him home. I am so torn on what to do. I will most likely have to put him down once the weather gets warm and the flies come out. I told my husband that maybe we should just pay the $1250 but he is against it. He thinks Thunder is too old and we really don't have that money to spend. He suggested I put a donation box in the barn and see if people could donate and we would pay 1/2 the surgery. A lot of kids love him and he has touched so many lives. This horse is so good! I just feel wierd about asking people for money but if I don't ask we will have to put him down. Opinions.....Should I put the donation box out? I would have people write the check directly to the vet and if we did not get enough I would return the checks.
     
  2. lori

    lori New Member

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    You could... but I would say that borders on tacky since you are a business owner and he is part of the cost of running your business. However, it is a horse's life we are talking about. Will taking donations impede your ability to make future decisions on Thunder? It will just make a messy situation IMO but if you are that desperate and willing to accept the mess, the idea that some may feel its tacky etc, then it may be worth it to you.

    What if rather than donations you gave them some value for their $ that goes to help Thunder? Like a benefit show for lesson kids. Or a couple of extra "clinic" days where you teach them something outside of normal lessons, i.e. prepping for showmanship or something. Or you had that pony poop in the arena party--that sounded so funny.

    I'd tell my husband we WERE paying it if there was any way to swing it. So you were willing to pay $500. Counting your time, fuel expense, vet expense, what's it cost you to get a replacement lesson horse up and going? $500 more? That's like $1000 bucks--only another $250 to pay on account of emotional attachment. (Side note: is your husband a horsey guy? Does he have a good understanding of how much longer Thunder may be able to work?)

    Are there any kids looking to purchase a horse like him who would pay for all or part of his operation? Will the vet negotiate? Cheaper vets? etc.

    That was more than a yes/no answer to should you put the donation box out, but I think you're used to that from us by now? :D
     

  3. AppyGSP

    AppyGSP Senior Member

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    Retire him now and put him on pain meds. Take plenty of pictures to remember him by, and then euthanize him in a couple months. Don't put him through the pain and agony of surgery. He deserves to finish out his days happy and pain free. There's nothing more that can be done for a more reasonable price.

    There are MANY other homeless horses, especially well-trained lesson horses, who are healthy.

    Thunder has served you well...give a healthy one a chance to live.
     
  4. Stateline

    Stateline New Member

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    I know this is a tough one. I don't know anyone that wants a horse with cancer and really I would be afraid to give him away. I know that he will not suffer with me. If I have to I will put him to sleep and I don't want to give up that right.

    If he was 10 yrs. old the surgery would be done. His age is a big part of it.

    I thought about pony poop bingo but the surgery needs to be done before the weather breaks. I need to decide if this is going to happen fast. Not sure I could pulll off selling 100 squares.

    I don't know. It may be tacky but I think I am going to give the donation box a try. I love this horse and don't know how I could walk him out to put him to sleep if I did not try to do something. It sucks because we have the money in the bank -but we also have our insurance due and thousands of bales of hay to buy real soon. It sucks! My heard says to do it ut the businesws side and my husband say we can't. I just lost Bingle and had to retire Surprise within the last year. My original lesson horses from when I started teaching are all old now. I was afraid that I would lose them all at once and it seems like that is what is happening.
     
  5. Stateline

    Stateline New Member

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    Vet said he is not in pain. He said probably itchy and slightly irritated but nothing to really worry about medicating him for. He did not put him on bute. He also can still be ridden. He just would have to be put to sleep (without surgery) because the area would have problems with flies/maggots in the summer. He said we could put swat on it but that really won't do the trick 24/7. It is ard since Thunder is a happy, healthy horse. Not old and worn out. I have a cute picture of him on my website (I don't know how to post it on here) www.statelinestables.zoomshare.com Click on parties. He is the appaloosa dressed up like a princess. The girl must of forgot he was a boy!

    I wish I knew where there were good lesson horses. I look all the time and still have not replaced Bingle. There really aren't that many good ones out there. It takes a special horse to be a lesson horse!
     
  6. STARSKI

    STARSKI New Member

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    I agree it might be tacky to post the box after they are already paying for board and lessons. I agree that a fundraiser show, games, barn party...something of the sort might be a better idea and get a larger turnout. Do you have an indoor? If so, you can have a small indoor fun show for boarders and students. Egg and spoon, obstacle course, ride a buck classes.... It would be a lot of fun.
     
  7. AppyGSP

    AppyGSP Senior Member

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    My opinion was harsh ONLY because of his advanced age....I hope you know that. Consider his quality of life, that's all I'm saying.

    I ended up spending $6,000 on a young 6-year-old horse with a unresolved colic issue, and I still had to put him down after 10 days in the equine hospital. The vets only gave me 50/50 chance that the surgery would even work, and I opted not to do the surgery. He was suffering, so I gave them the OK to put him down at midnight when they called. I was devastated. :'(

    When things start happening to my 26-year-old gelding, I'll closely watch what is spent and will eventually make that decision for him too. I already have his grave site picked out on our property. He too was a lesson horse before I bought him 5 years ago.
     
  8. lori

    lori New Member

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    When you say 20+ are you saying... 20, 21, 22... or 25...26... etc?

    We have a 23 year old barrel horse who runs 3D. Just turned 24 this year, she may not be shown much but only because the owner's other horse is 1D. And while she WAS a 1D horse in her youth, you know 3D horses are still pretty uh, "peppy." Where my daughter lessons, they have a 24-yr-old they put the brand new beginners on. And it's not because she's too brokedown to misbehave, she simply has exactly the right personality for the job. I'd think both of those are still worth the investment of $1000-1500 because you couldn't replace them for that price.

    This place, I know it costs her a pretty penny every time she has to replace a horse. She travels in a pretty wide area to shop, it takes awhile to find a horse, and she is EXTREMELY careful about what horse she brings in. Then she has the instructor and the barn helper ride the horses for months, and sometimes even sends them to a trainer for MORE work before she puts a lesson kid on them. I know she probably spends $1-2k+ on the horse, but it's probably got to cost her at least that same amount in her time, fuel, and employee time before it makes her a dollar in the lesson program.

    Shannon I know a lot of that you probably can do yourself, but it's still such an investment to get a new one (assuming you can find another good one!)--if you can keep him working for you, doesn't it almost make sense business wise? (Not that I'm arguing you have to keep him alive, it's totally your choice, but if you are looking to justify it as a business decision, I'm arguing it may make sense even to the business side of your brain!)
     
  9. Blueyz2

    Blueyz2 New Member

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    I understand what everyone is saying about the donation box, but if I were in your position I would probably put out the donation box. But I do like the idea of a fun indoor show also!
     
  10. STARSKI

    STARSKI New Member

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    One more idea I just thought of if you do the party... Set up a Thunder kissing booth!
     
  11. Shelley

    Shelley Senior Member

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    Awww, the Thunder kissing booth is a cute idea.

    What are the odds that surgery will cure him or what are the number of non-wennie issue years if he does have surgery? Maybe that will help you decide to move forward with fundraising or just let him enjoy what good time he has left.

    It's a difficult decision to make but that is our lot in life when we choose to have horses and keep them forever.
     
  12. Michele

    Michele New Member

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    I would wonder what the prognosis is for him? Maybe do a raffle with the winner getting a certain amount of lessons going to the winner. Or a pony party (if you still do them) Just ideas! Good luck Shannon, I hope things work out for you and Thunder. ( I love your avatar picture, your baby is sooo cute)
     
  13. Pixin

    Pixin New Member

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    Call around and see if you can get it done for less.
     
  14. MyTeDun

    MyTeDun Senior Member

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    Have you contacted the universities? Purdue is pretty close to you, call the equine dept. of the school.
    They are usually much cheaper then the local equine vet.

    IF he is in pain, do what you know needs to be done.

    IF he can have a few more years try to get the surgery done, as stated by other posters do a fun show with the proceeds going to his surgery. Make it barn show and invite the local barns to compete. This way you can have it pretty quick.

    If you decide to do something like this IM me------ this is for the care of a horse so I might be able to help with some ribbons for the kids.

    Good luck
     
  15. Stateline

    Stateline New Member

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    After more thought We are going to Play Thunder Poop Bingo! I am going to sell 50 squares for $20 each. Winner gets $350. The rest of the money will go to Thunders surgery. I have 50 spots to sell-ANYONE WANT TO BUY A SQUARE?
     
  16. Stateline

    Stateline New Member

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    GOOD NEWS!!!!!! My Grandpa just came over and gave me the money to get Thunders surgery. Gotta love him!
     
  17. Buffy

    Buffy New Member

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    That's GREAT news! It's nice to have supportive family. Gramps must know how much Thunder means to you and your program.
    Congratulations! Keep us updated on him! :)
     
  18. Blueyz2

    Blueyz2 New Member

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  19. MelW

    MelW New Member

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    :th_congratulations:
     
  20. Refuge Ranch

    Refuge Ranch New Member

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    I was reading through this thread and feeling so torn for you at such a difficult decision. . .then click on page 2 and. . . . . .what a great twist!

    Yay!