Between a rock and a hard place

Things were going okay, until they weren't...As it usually is with horses, or at least my horse. Trainer was working Finn five days a week, and I was lessoning one. As is posted in my last post, he has had a bit of an attitude, but nothing that's been unmanageable, just an "eh, I really don't want to work today". When I moved Finn back to his barn, and put him into training, in my head I had made the decision that if he comes up weirdly lame again I really needed to find a horse that would stay sound for more than a month at a time. Then, yesterday, I get this email from her:

Hey, I'm thinking Finn may need the chiro he was really bad yesterday and today. He is fine when I am not asking him for anything but as soon as I ask him to step bigger or go into shoulder in etc.... He slows down and gets all choppy and when I push at him he squeals again and tries to be naughty:( Yesterday I got off to lunge him first and he was just an ass so we worked on being a good boy. But today when I got on he was good for like 5 min and then was like nope not going. So when I got off his back was sore mid back on both sides of his spine. Also.... His poll was really tight to the point where every time I touched him up there he freaked out??? So I think he needs a chiro appt. if you work him tomorrow I would lunge him first or when you get on don't ask for a whole lot! It's so frustrating. I feel like we take 3 steps forward, and 5 steps back.

My reply:

Hey, welcome to the past two years of having Finn. It is ALWAYS 2 steps forward, 5 back. I looked at my calendar and I had the chiro out September 9th, just over a month ago. I'm not sure if at this point I should just get the vet out. Honestly, I don't know what to do with him anymore. He is not fun, and I'm sick of trying to figure out the next thing wrong with him....It's like we go a month- 6 weeks with him being okay, and then it's another issue. He has been lame more than he's been sound in the past two years. I will most likely be up there tomorrow in the early afternoon. If things continue like this I think he might be headed back to the MSPCA. I don't feel like we ask a whole lot of him, and it just doesn't seem like he can handle it.

Her reply:

Yeah I totally agree, it's not like we are asking him to do anything really hard! I don't know how you have done it for two years!!! Bless you! I would think the next step should be the vet if that is a direction you want to go in. I just don't think something is right with him he shouldn't be so sensitive to everything you know? Maybe he has some sort of arthritis in his back which makes him so sensitive to every little change?? Who knows. You can check him out tomorrow and see what you think. Please please wear your helmet if you lunge him first!! He was really bad!!!! Yesterday at one point he tried to charge me because he didn't want to walk off after I changed direction. So please just be careful.

I can't do it anymore. I just can't.

If this was a horse I have had for 10 years, if he was 10 years older, I would have no problem with the maintenance, with everything. But, Finn is 8, I have had him for 2 years, we haven't done a single thing together, and he has been off more than he has been sound. And it's not like my trainer is asking him for a whole lot....He is asked to trot around for 20ish minutes (with walk breaks), and a 20m canter circle in each direction-- and he will not stay sound. I have seen ALL the vets, ALL the chiropractors, injected, x-rayed, gave time off, tried different supplements, corrective shod him, treated for lyme, treated for ulcers. I had his saddle fit checked, with thermographic imaging last week. I have spent a little over $25,000 in medical treatment in two years on a horse I adopted for $1,000, not including board, supplements, shoeing, chiro, etc. The next step would be trailering him to a clinic and getting him a bone scan, as I feel he has a multitude of issues that are beyond even the best local specialists. But honestly, I just can't do it anymore. I understand that horses require maintenance and big money, but this is ridiculous. I have done everything I can, and now I cannot. I can't keep throwing money at this animal who is miserable and giving me nothing back. I feel extraordinarily guilty and depressed about this whole situation and I just have no idea what to do.


  1. I am so sorry. I was really rooting for him to stay sound and happy. It sounds like he is neither sound nor happy. Maybe finding him another home would be best for both of you. You have done nothing but jump through hoops for him and I totally understand not being able to do it anymore.

  2. :( Bummer. All the best to you as you go through this very tough situation.

  3. 25k? THAT is above and beyond for a horse you can't do anything with. You've done all you can. It's time to explore other options, whether that means a new home or admitting that this horse won't thrive in work and needs to be in a permanent safe place.

    Hugs to you, best wishes to you both. Never a fun realization, but it sounds like the right decision.

  4. Awww. I'm sorry to hear about this too. It's so hard to know what to do

  5. Don't be embarrassed or depressed, you've explored a lot of options and poured in a whole lot of money, sadly this happens sometimes :( there is always an end point in every story.