Well, I really need to stop spending so much time here. But I really need someone to talk to.
Does anyone else feel like raising a horse from birth is an emotional burden? Like everything rises and falls on how well I can get my young horse trained? And what if I fail?
If I go out and buy a horse and he's less that perfect, I can work towards what I want him to be. I can always blame it on his past and work towards his future.
But now, raising my first-ever foal from birth, I feel this emotional weight on my shoulders. Because if I don't succeed in turning him into a good horse he has no future. And that's a lot of weight to carry around, you know?
I want nothing more than to keep him and have him be my trail partner for life. And he's not a horrible youngster. He's not aggressive or anything. But he's not perfect either. And I am afraid that at some point I will have to give up on him and then what? Send him out into an uncertain future? I don't want to give him up and wonder what happened to him. If he ended up at slaughter I couldn't forgive myself. That somehow I "ruined" him and he died because of me. So then what? Euthanize him? I don't know if I could live with that either. Keep him as a pet for the next 30 years (and perhaps give up on riding altogether?) He was supposed to be my young horse, the one I could have and ride for the next 20 years.
I plan on "riding this out" so-to-speak until he is old enough to send to a trainer for saddle breaking. I am prepared to put around 3 months of saddle training on him. I just don't know if I can make it emotionally until then. Like I would like to be able to lead him and not have him get ahead of me, or ignore me, or nip at me. And I would like to be able to pony him out off another horse so he can get some exercise. I CAN do this, but it doesn't make for a relaxing ride. He is always trying to chew on my tack, drags behind, etc. Once when he was about 6 months old he climbed up the back of the horse I was riding. Ponying has caused me stress ever since.
So I dunno. I am going to play the game out to see how it ends up. You never know, he might mature mentally and if I stick at it he might turn into a good horse. But I am so afraid I will fail and have to give him up. There are no easy answers. I just pray I can get him saddle broke. If I can send him to a trainer and get him saddle broke and he doesn't rear, buck, or bolt I think it will be okay. I am a much better rider than I am at ground work.
I worry EVERY DAY about this. It is almost too much of a burden to bear. If I bought a horse, he is what he is. But this horse's future rests with me. It's almost too much responsibility for me emotionally to handle. So many people on here seem to have "perfect" colts. They never challenge them. Never nip, aren't rowdy being led. I feel like a lion tamer always carrying around a whip. I cry almost every day about wondering about his future.