Monday, August 29th... They didn't have to kill him. We already had a trailer scheduled to pick him up.
Madabouttheraiders (pronounced Mad About The Raiders) came to us from a race track in early 2007. He arrived with a badly bowed tendon and sore shoulder. We called him Raider.
(not to be confused with our little arab gelding Raider who came to us a few years later)
His tendon healed, his shoulder healed, and in the summer of 2008 Raider was adopted by a trainer and her client. Soon we were getting updates about how great Raider was doing. He had started jumping. There were trail rides and camping with a church group. Raider was even used for riding lessons with beginning youngsters.
On Friday the trainer phoned and said Raider needs a new home. The owner is broke and can no longer pay expenses.
I told the trainer I would be happy to take Raider back. I said I will call you when shipping arrangements are made.
Yesterday, Sunday, I phoned the trainer to tell her our friend Sheldon can pick up Raider on Wednesday, when he gets off work. Sheldon should be there around 6:30 p.m.
The trainer said forget it. Raider was euthanized Sunday morning. It was the owner's decision. The rendering truck was coming Monday for another horse, so they might as well kill Raider too. Save the rendering truck another trip.
I am not an idiot. I understand nice, well trained horses are being put to sleep because owners are broke and finding new homes is like looking for a needle in a haystack. As goes the economy, so goes the fate of horses.
At the beginning of August I found out about a well trained warmblood mare who was put to sleep by a fancy barn because the owner is filing for bankruptcy. The trainer said we didn't think to call you. Maybe you could have found the mare a home.
And I am not going to write about the final end for a recent group of fresh from the track horses. All dead now, because there are no new homes.
We had a deal. I was to make transportation plans for Raider, which I did. He would have been on our ranch before the new month, meaning his owner would not have owed a nickel of board.
A whole bunch of personal and emotional issues, but the main question is this: Why would a vet kill a young healthy horse when arrangements for a new home had already been made?
Raider loved people. He loved attention. When they came at him with a needle I am certain he was as surprised as I am. And probably just as pissed...
The first 3 pictures are Raider on March 21st, 2007. The day he came to our ranch.