Old owner wants her horse back, my heart is breaking!
This is a super long post, but please read it to the end because this is just eating me alive. I am a teenager and about a year ago I started riding the horse of a family friend, and just fell in love with her. Her name is Sophie and she had basically been a pasture ornament for the past few years and I brought her back into work and took her in as my own. Her owner saw how much I cared about her, and so she asked if I would adopt her, since she had no time for her and we were such a good pair. That was about a month ago and since then I have bought her new tack, gotten her shod, paid big bills to get the vet out (the owner had not kept up with any routine vaccinations or floatings), created a work schedule to work off field board at my trainers barn, and signed the contract saying she is officially mine. Four days ago I finally picked her up and moved her to my trainers barn just as the owner and I had agreed I would. She settled in amazingly well. Nothing about the new place phased her. She gets along with her new herd, loves the extra attention, and I even rode her in the new ring and my normally spooky horse floated around beautifully without any sign of nerves. It made me happier than I have ever been in my life to see the horse I loved look so calm and content in her new home.
Here is the problem. Her owner has gotten cold feet. I had told her to come visit Sophie anytime she wanted, and she went by yesterday while the BO and I were at a show and when I asked what she thought she told me that she didn't like the new situation. What changed her mind is that Sophie is at the bottom of the pecking order in the new herd, and when the other horses are in the run-in shed they do not let her in. The weather is nice now and Sophie is not at all bothered by it, but her owner went nuts over it. None of the mares have EVER threatened Sophie before or been at all unwelcoming to her. I don't even think that they are really preventing her from going in the shed, I just think she has not gotten up the courage to approach them to go in yet. However, her owner insists that I either get Sophie more shelter or she takes her back, and I simply cannot afford to stall board Sophie and the although the barn she is at is very, very nice and well run it is small, there is no other field where she will have more access to the run-in than the one she is in. I could also tell from the way the lady was acting that she was having serious second thoughts about letting Sophie go. I had expected her to miss Sophie and knew she would be sad to see her go, but I'm afraid that with the way she feels about getting rid of Sophie anything I do to fix the shelter problem will still not be enough.
I am terrified that I will have to give up Sophie over this. Does anyone have any suggestions? I know this whole situation probably seems ridiculous but I just can't give this horse up, she is the first one I've ever owned and I've been riding and dreaming of owning a horse as long as I can remember. I really love Sophie more than anything and the idea of losing her is breaking my heart.