I have a student who is 12 years old. She has been riding for almost 4 years now and is what I would call a natural rider, everything just comes so easily to her and she is a beautiful rider. She is successfully showing and jumping on the 'B' circuit now and is slowly migrating into the 'A' circuit.
Here's were the problem lays: she's been riding this quarter horse who is about 16hh and has just reached his 18th birthday. He's getting arthritus in his legs and jumping just plain hurts him. He's still really sweet on the flat and everything. Karli (my student) has leased this horse from our farm for the last 2 years and is crazy about him. But, she's TOO crazy about him. I talked to her parents and Karli (separetly) and Karli really really wants to start doing some eventing. Thor (the horse) just doesn't have it in him anymore. Even to do cross rails is tough on him. I talked to her parents and they said they did have the funds to start looking for a horse for Karli of her very own. Something that she can grow up with and learn from without spending a whole an arm and a leg for the horse. I can't seem to get it in Karli's head that it's time to give Thor a life-long break. It's not like he is going anywhere! He will stay right here on the farm and she can see him everyday and hack around on him whenever she wants! I'm thinking that maybe she is thinking that if she doesn't love him, no one will. (Which definitely isn't the case!) Any ideas/suggestions to get into this little girl's mind that it's time to move on? I've shown her lots of different horses, we've even gone to look at other horses, and she ALWAYS finds something wrong with them, and reasons why they wouldn't work for her! I'm at teh end of my rope here and don't know what to do!