As stated in "End of the Trail" (April 23), a horse is often considered an extravagance by non-equestrians. But in a lot of cases, such as my family's, the horse is an old pet that has become a part of the family and as such is almost impossible to get rid of for emotional reasons.
My mother (a widow) and I (a new mother working part time) have to pool what limited resources we can to pay for our old horse's board. We've had her for 15 years, and she is lame, which makes pasturing her a risky proposition and makes her unsalable.
Our stable is currently talking about raising the rent by 20%, an amount few there can afford. Most of us are 9-to-5ers who have given up other pleasures (new cars, eating out, expensive clothes) for our pets.
The stable and the city's attitudes are, "We don't care if you can't afford it, we'll just get someone else in." So it's no wonder so many horse owners have been forced to do the unthinkable--turning their beloved pets over to the purveyors of flesh. Hopefully, my mother and I will be spared that decision.