For me, I ended up with an old lady horse, who I love dearly, but she's still an old lady.
When I bought her I wanted to show, I wanted to jump, all sorts of stuff, but at that point she wasn't well enough trained to do any of that. Now that she is well enough trained, her body can't handle it (27 years old, I got her at 23).
I love her dearly and though she's holding me back in the things I'd like to do, she's teaching me some much more about other things.
It turned out that she adores trail riding so we spend most of our riding time, trail riding. We go "exploring" through neighborhoods and through the woods we have access to. I used to be a nervous rider (still am sometimes) but she's taught me that she's generally pretty steady and that every little scary thing isn't a huge deal. She's teaching me about keeping a horse at home, which I wouldn't be doing if she were younger because her current situation is really set up for trail riding and not a lot else.
So yeah, she's holding me back from the things I want but she's also teaching me valuable horsemanship that I might not have gotten from a horse that was capable of the things I want to do. And you know, now that I've had her for 4 years, I find showing/jumping/etc becoming less and less important to me. I'd sure like to show one day, just for funnsies, and I miss riding in an English saddle but my Aussie saddle and a good trail ride is close enough for now.
She's more important to me than my desires and since I'm letting her, she's teaching me so much more than I ever even considered needing to know. I know what you're feeling.
If you want to keep him, sometimes a change of perspective is all that's needed to take a "less than" situation and turn it into a "more than" situation. :)
Fabio - 13 year old Arab/QH gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat
Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat
Rest peacefully, Lacey.