A decision has been made
A decision has been made
A major decision was made today: we shall start to look actively for a new home for DiDi.
The euphoria following the Festival results eventually died down and we started to look forward and make plans. Slowly a certain awareness came over me and my wife. Yes, DiDi and The Countess have qualified for the finals of the Petplan Festival next year but the competition is not to be held until April which is eight months away. We had even planned for DiDi to enter further Petplan events at Elementary Level because DiDi might do even better at Elementary than at Novice level, but does it matter. Long term, the key issue has always been to find the horse a loving, caring, knowledgeable family. DiDi is a complex horse and she calls for a special understanding. If she is to progress in the dressage world for which she obviously has the ability, then she will need a knowledgeable and fully committed young owner/rider.
The issues which have brought the matter to the fore is an awareness of both my and my wife’s ailments. We are well into retirement age and we both have recently developed unresolved health issues which are unlikely to disappear. Neither of us are riding as often as once we did and the stables are eighteen miles away across an expensive toll bridge. Whereas I used to go up to Joe twice a day - I rarely trip across to DiDi more than twice a week. The pills I must take daily interfere with my balance. In reality she is not my horse anymore, she belongs to The Countess - who in truth has made her into the dressage Diva she now is. I have morphed in ‘An Owner’.
The fact is that DiDi is in peak condition. She is muscled up and ready to perform. She is also 11. Next April she will be 12. The clock ticks. Tempus Fugit.
The emotion which was aroused in making this decision cannot be understated. Whilst the horse has been a disappointment to me for my riding purposes, she is a lovable, beautiful creature. She’ll stand alongside me, head to head, taking part in any conversation I care to have, which involves her. OK, some of the time she is hankering after the biscuit which she knows to be in my pocket but it is not all cupboard love. She’ll tolerate my grooming her and my hands running all over her. She expresses affection to me for being one of those humans whom she trusts. She’s been with me now for three and a half years. I know her inside and out.
Her temperament is undoubtedly modfied by her seasonal hormones but the additives help as does a little understanding of her condition.
Sorting out the realistic price for her has to be resolved. The advert must be composed.. We have an idea of the sort of person who is likely to be interested in such a horse. We shall have to sift out the dealers, the ignorant, the incompetent and the day dreamers. Selling a horse is not a process I fell comfortable with. The very thought of passing control and ownership of the animal, my animal, tears at my soul. And when finally DiDi has moved on to pastures new, there will be a hole in my life which will never completely disappear. But I must be realistic. The fact is that the horse can easily live longer than either I or my wife. Whilst putting economic issues to one side, it is an undeniable fact that DiDi needs to belong to a younger, active, riding family.
When I announced my decision to The Countess, slowly but surely the tone of her voice changed. I think she is a little more caring towards my Girlie than she will admit. She will however have full participation in the re-homing process including a positive veto as and when called for. But the facts of the matter are staring us in the face: we should offer DiDi to another family, preferably before she reaches her peak - which is undeniably now.
Let us see what happens.