Help! I don't know what to do. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-22-2011, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Help! I don't know what to do.

I am completely stuck on what to do. I've owned Whisper for 2 years and I absolutely love her to death, but I'm just not sure keeping her makes the most sense right now. I just got her back from the trainers who started her for me, but now it's all up to me, and with the time I have I don't thnk I'll be able to do her any justice. I am really only a beginner/intermediate rider and keeping up with a very green horse is feeling like a bit too much right now.

Not to mention that I feel too big on her as she's ony 14.1hh and I'm 5'8". I'm sure she has a little more growing to do, but I still think she'll be too small. I also really want to barrel race, and I thought Whisper would do, but not at this rate, I wont be barrel racing for a very long time. It seems that whenever I make progress, it's gone by the next time I see her. The thing is, I think it's mostly my nerves. I rode her a couple times at her trainers before she came home and she was great. It's like she just stopped tryng as soon as she got home, but I also feel like my nerves are giving her mixed signals. I can't afford any more training right now as I still havn't paid Whisper's trainer, and Persia is still currently in training. My SIL just bought 2 new totally bombproof horses, and I feel like riding her horses more than I feel like riding my own.

The hard part is I feel really guilty. I never thought I would sell her, even if she wasn't great at barrels, but keeping her is making the least amount of sense over keeping Persia, who I always thought would be the first to go. I have never met a horse sweeter than Whisper, ever. She seems to know that I really care about her and I'm agonizing over the thought that she might think I abandoned her. Then there's the fear that someone wont treat her right or she'll end up at auction.

I don't know what to do. I guess I'm just looking for some encouragement. I'de like some thoughts or advice from people who have experienced getting rid of a horse they were extremely attached to or deciding to keep a horse that wasn't the best fit. Thanks.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-22-2011, 10:45 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northern Illinois
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Whisper I honestly admire your courage.

I can't imagine having to make this decision. If you think the horse is too much for you, then you may be on the right track to sell her. It all depends on what you believe you can do. If you don't think you can handle her right now, then I would definitely think hard about selling her. Mind you, that does not mean you have to just let her go to anyone. If I was you and IF you decide to sell, I would be the pickiest person on earth (and I would make them sign a contract). I would only sell to someone who would love her and train her right, someone with plenty of experience, maybe even the trainer?

She may not make a perfect barrel horse, but you really need to weigh your options. Is that a deal breaker for you?

But you should know there may be some other options out there for you. Do you have any friends that are more confident than you with your horse? Maybe they can give you lessons. Or maybe you can have your trainer give you lessons at your place, and teach you how to help both you and your horse. You could have a horsey friend ride her and help teach her if you have one, they are way less expensive than formal trainers

If you really don't want to sell her, then don't. Honestly, you can save money up and train her later. Do what you feel comfortable with her and don't pick a battle you can't win. Just being your pet though is not letting her waste away in my opinion. In your care she is well fed, watered, and obviously well taken care of. She is still young right? I couldn't afford training with my first mare, so I did what I knew I could teach her well, and I saved up and then put her into training. I also worked part of it off..

My point being, NEVER let ANYONE tell you that a horse always wastes away because it isn't being ridden. Yes they need a lot of attention, but she has her basics. Keep working on them and perfect those ground manners while you save up. After all, ground work can always be improved

** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **

Last edited by Lakotababii; 08-22-2011 at 10:48 PM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-23-2011, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Lakota. You gave great advice. I honestly thought more people would have some encouraging words. Oh well, I really apreciate you taking the time to answer.

The only confident enough friend I have is the guy that trained her. He's got a family, a job, and horses of his own, so I really hate to bug him about spending even more time on my horse when I can't pay him any more. He did say he would continue to help me but I don't think he meant by doing what he's been doing for even longer. My sister and brother in law are really new to horses too, so there not much help. I know eventually her and I will get better, but I've had her for 2 years already and am just now starting to ride her, sort of. Convincing my husband that's NOT a waste of money is really hard.

What really brought on this feeling of wanting to sell her is basically that I can't ride the way I want to right NOW. Then there's the height thing. She'll never be the size I want her to be and her trainer even told me that if I ever wanted to get serious about barrel racing I would need a different horse.

I wish I could be one of those people that doesn't get so emotionally attached to animals, but I can't help it. If I do decide to sell her I will probably be a buyers worst nightmare.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-23-2011, 02:07 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
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Is there any way you could lease her?

I dunno. I'm terrible with advice. I can commiserate a bit though because I've had to have selling Abby in the back of my mind for months because of financial issues. I bought her on a whim because I had the money at the time, but now I need it more for my car (old car died and I needed one I could drive on the highway as much as I do, so I am financing a 2009) and just food and basic living essentials. I don't want to sell her because she's exactly what I want in a horse and we have a fantastic understanding of each other. If push comes to shove, I have a couple friends I could probably keep her with..300 miles away. It would cost me a bit to get her there, but I doubt they'd charge me much to keep her there, if at all. Luckily, I know she can sit for months and pick up where we left off like I'd been riding her every day.

I hope you find a solution and good luck with whatever happens.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-23-2011, 02:48 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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I was just going to say that!
As far as leasing her goes, it was the first thing that I thought of, simply because I had a somewhat similar problem once. I ended up leasing out one horse, while riding the other and got to keep both.
Because I, Like you, Whisper, get extremely connected to my animals.

It is the only solution I would be able to bear, unless absolute necessity overtook all else.

Maybe you can 1/2 lease Whisper and give yourself rotating days with another horse as well, that rides more like you want to. That way neither you nor Whisper gets burned out or frustrated and you will still be giving her the benefits of the work and the path that you are choosing to take her on.

Also, I agree with what Lakota said. Being a pet is not wasting a horse. Not at all and I have never believed that. If she is getting what she needs, she will be just as happy. I know a couple who have horses as pets only and you can get on and ride if you choose, but if you don't, be prepared to be followed around by a herd of over sized puppies.

Anyhow, good luck.

If you are looking for actual advice... Mine is, do not sell her. It is obvious that you love her. Your money has not been wasted at all(explain to your husband) because you (and Whisper) can ride more comfortably now, you are more knowledgeable about your horse now, and that is priceless.

Keep her, keep working her if you choose, at a pace you choose and don't let anyone tell you you CAN'T. I've seen several riders who looked awkward on their horses only to be blown away by their mutual dexterity while eventing.

These are my two cents.
I hope that helped at all.

He knows when you're happy
He knows when you're comfortable
He knows when you're confident
And he always knows when you have carrots.
~Author Unknown~
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-23-2011, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
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I couldnt imagine having to deal with this situation with my horse :( its horrible!! I suppose you could see about loaning her off to exsperianced people. This may do you a favour. xxx

Goood luck hunie!! xxxx
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-23-2011, 01:22 PM
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How old is Whisper? Depending on how wide she is really matters about the height thing. If you want to be serious about barrels now, it would be easier to have a more finished horse. But it depends on if you want to stick with whisper or not. If you could lease that would be a great option, but not every lease goes as planned. I will say though, the longer you wait the harder its going to be to sell if you want. I've had a horse for 8 years, bought as an unbroke 2 year old. She's not really what I want, but im so attached anyway. But she's also competitive at shows. What you really need to think about is how bad you want to progress as a rider, and if whisper can't take you there, figure out other options. You can always choose where your horse goes, but unless you make a contract, you can't choose where she goes after that. Just sit down and think about it, think about your options and goals. Just don't make any rushed decisions. Sorry if I come across as rambling.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-24-2011, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your advice. I never considered leasing because I didn't think a green horse would apeal to anyone. I would also need the money from selling her to buy a new horse, so doing both wouldn't be an option. Persia is my husbands horse and a draft cross at that, so she wouldn't be great at barrels either.

BarrelRacer, Whisper is 3 years old and very narrow at this point. She has very little muscle that only consistent riding will fix.

Even though it will be really hard, I know what I have to do. I met with a lady yesterday that takes horses in trade. There are currently 2 horses at our barn that came from her and they are amazing. She loves Arabs and has a gelding that could be Whisper's twin. She also has a paint, 7 years old, ready to ride that she will partial trade me for. I almost trust this lady more than myself to find Whisper a good home. She doesn't hold anything back when telling you about the horses she has and absolutely wouldn't sell any of her horses to someone she didn't think could handle them.

It's not something that's going to happen right this second so I still have time to think it over. I wish more than anything that I had the finances to just let Whisper sit until I could get the proper training for her. Spending money on a hobby I'm not actually doing isn't doing us any good right now (according to my SO).
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-24-2011, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Indiana
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Depending on what breed she is, she might still fill out. My mare didn't fill out until she was 4, but she's a paint.
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