2/01/2009

Quote for the Week

So think about him and know that someday this beautiful horse will be old. Plan his future so that when his work is done worries are yours and his will be none.
This is Freedom teaching the support crew chief's niece to ride a summer ago. Freedom is 43 years old and is still growing strong. He joined the DOR's herd three years ago. He is an amazing, grand old man.
Freedom has lost all his molars and has very little of his front teeth left. He eats 50 lbs of special mush twice a day. This fall is the first time that the DOR noticed that he has started to show his age.
Here he is on a trail ride two years ago. Silly old fart argued every time he was asked to walk. He wanted to trot the entire way...the support crew chief made him walk because he didn't want him to get too tired. Freedom is fearless, energetic, opinionated, and one of the finest horses around. We call him the energizer bunny and his theme song is Elton's John's "I'm Still Standin"
There was a time when he was a youngster and his owners adored him. Freedom ended up in a bad place three years ago and the DOR saved him. He had to have been well taken care of to make it to his age. The fact that his teeth were gone required that he get special care. The DOR says his old owners either didn't know what to do or couldn't/wouldn't give him the care he needed.
The point of this post is that there are so many older horses now finding themselves needing to find a new home. It is a sad thing to see a horse that gave everything it had to a beloved owner when it was younger now facing the possibility of being homeless. The DOR's grandfather believed that it is more important to see a horse out with dignity then it is to bring it along.
I want to encourage all DORs to make long range plans for that special horse's old age from the minute they get them. Please just don't send your old horse off, retire it in the manner it deserves. Make sure it is in a safe place, well cared for. If you are unable to do those things when your horse is older and needs to be a pasture pet consider humanely euthanizing it if you are unable to keep it until it passes away. Freedom has seen the horrors of a lot, he will tell you there are a lot worse things than crossing the rainbow bridge.
I am glad that Freedom is here, he has taught us all so very much. He has shown everyone who has seen him that old horses still have value. Freedom is here until he decides that it is time to move on.

Have a great day and don't forget to hug your DOR

6 comments:

deserthorses5 said...

We have made arrangements for our horses as well as ourselves! We have to think about that, too, as our children don't want our horses!

Leah Fry said...

It is my intent that my Boyz have a forever home with me, until they either pass on their own or until such time as it becomes the loving thing to do to help them on their way.

The horse I learned on was 35 and what a great old trooper he was.

Betty said...

That was a beautiful and sad post.
Please give Freedom hugs and smoches from me.

Pony Girl said...

What a great post, so true what you said. I think Freedom must have a great spirit and the stories he could tell at 43!
I hate seeing ads on craigslist for free horses, mostly older horses that people want to "clear out" so they can get a newer, younger model. It appears they don't want to honor the senior citizen's life. I know it's expensive to care for a horse that isn't rideable (Freedom is obviously an exception here) but to just cast aside an animal that have given you years of service and companionship, that seems so sad.

Home of the Broncs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cactus Jack Splash said...

Glad you guys have plans for your horses, so many humans do not.
Pony Girl Freedom is now retired, except for an occasional putter around the ranch if he shows the interest in doing so. The DOR wants him to relax and Freedom wants to be busy-they are having a battle of wills...I think he will win. He has more than earned being spoiled rotten for doing nothing.
Right now he has his eyes on the new claves bing born...he is trying to see if he can steal one for himslef. The DOR is thinking about getting him his very own calf this year.
Betty, I will make sure to pass on your hug to Freedom

 

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