Being Pressured to Sell Horse -- Maybe it's not such a bad idea?
I have a 12 year old AQHA gelding, Diesel (in my avatar). He's my heart horse. He was my 1D barrel horse but I have also done endurance, sorting, roping, pleasure, and a bit of english with him. He's pretty amazing. However he's not an eventer which is what I have switched my focus to.
Needless to say he's been pretty neglected in the riding world. I go out and brush and love on him, and sometime take him out on the trails. He's being free leased to a pair of girls in 4H but they're starting to notice boys and with the weather he isn't getting as much riding.
I will be leaving in January to move to NZ for school. I will be there a minimum of 4 years. The graduate school I am looking at is in London.
I have had no intentions of selling him though. Even thinking about it makes me tear up and my gut tells me not to. I want to wait till I have the money to put him into a retirement facility and in the meantime he gets loved on by some 4Hers.
Now here's the problem. A week ago, my old BO who I still work for asked me if I was thinking of selling him because she had a girl looking for a horse. I said no but asked who she was. I said that he wasnt being ridden much so they'd be welcome to come look at him and would they be interested in a free lease. She said no and she didnt want to let them meet him if he wasnt for sale.
I've since been getting pressure about him from her. She says she would be the "middle person" and get 10% of whatever I sell him for. So according to her that'd be about $250 because she thinks I should sell him for 2500.
I was cleaning stalls the other day and she had the girl who is looking come and meet me. She's looking for her 7 year old daughter. I explained the situation to her and she said she was just worried about me coming back and taking the horse from her daughter (which I wouldnt do but I can sympathize). I made sure she was clear on where I stood but I told her she could come look at him in case she changed her mind.
My BO then told her she could take him on a week trial. Keep in mind they have still not met him. He will be at my barn in a stall but im not sure if the 7 year old will actually meet him as she doesnt know theyre looking yet. I agreed because I felt I didnt have a choice but I reinterated Im not really comfortable with selling him.
Am I just being selfish? I will be gone and they would ride him. But my gut tells me not to sell him. I would have first buyback, but the fact that they could dissapear, starve him, not pay for an elective surgery,etc scares me. I don't like not being able to make those decisions.
He is also not a push button horse. He will never do anything dangerous, but he will be stubborn and just not listen if you are not confident.
Is it time for me to let him teach someone new? Or would I be letting him down by selling him instead of waiting to put him in a retirement facility?
Sorry that was so long...this is really eating at me.