Starting over - finally. Totally overwhelming.
 
 

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Starting over - finally. Totally overwhelming.

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    12-07-2009, 03:39 PM
  #1
Foal
Starting over - finally. Totally overwhelming.

I started riding when I was 10.
I bought Romy (AQHA/PHBA) when I was 13.
I showed him through high school.
I took him away to college with me, where we both showed IHSA (he was drawn out of a hat!)
Senior year of college, I hit serious financial problems and had three options: (a) drop out of college and keep him
(b) sell him
(c) lease him out and pray for the best

As he's a 16.1 double registered lesson horse extrodinaire, he found a lease home relatively quickly and his present job is with a handicapped riding program. He's been there on lease for 2.5 years, and while I can visit him as often as I want to and ride as often as I want to, he's a little over an hour away and life has pretty much kept me from being able to really be involved with horses lately. My life has definitely been missing a big part.

My fiance and I have finally found a place to buy. It's not big, but its a start and for the first time in 2 years I think I may actually be getting close to bringing my boy back home.

We're supposed to close by the first of the year, and I'm planning on using my tax money to get the property ready for him to come home.

On the other hand, it's totally overwhelming. Where I need a barn, arena and fencing right now there is only 1/2 an ancient electric fence and a 15x15 concrete slab.

I need to break it gently to his lease home that I'll be taking him back - there will be tears, lots of them. They want to keep him permanently and have repeatedly offered to buy him. His disabled teenage rider is going to be totally heartbroken, they've been performing in demonstrations for the program and suceeding incredibily well...when the time comes I'm going to feel like a total heel for taking him back, even though he is my baby he has also become their baby.
While I'm incredibly grateful he found a 100% loving lease home, it makes taking him back a happy/sad event.

He's never been alone. Ever. He's the sort that bonds closely with one other horse and, while not so herd bound its a problem, I'm not sure whether or not I need to be looking for a buddy. 2 horses would be even more overwhelming than one - especially since I'm of the 'keep them until they die' mindset.
I haven't even started really considering the options on that one yet.

Lastly, I was a broke college student last time I had him 100% in my possession. His stuff was piecemeal then, a compilation of clearance rack odds-and-ends; leftovers from friends and occasional gifts from generous fellow horse fanciers. He had everything he needed, but nothing matched and it was largely lower-quality stuff. I kind of figure he'll need all new everything at this point, as his blankie/sheets/etc are all close to 7 years old and his groomies are even older. My saddle's no peach either - I sold the western, I still have my lancers (if that gives you an idea of the age/quality) english and it'll work for another few years, but another saddle will be totally necessary if my fiance wants to ride (and he will ride), or if I want to teach any lessons (which I do from time-to-time).

Just kind of wanted to share. I don't have very many horsie buddies anymore (kind of been staying away since it hurt too much to be in barns without him).

Any suggestions for handling the various situations (barn building/lease ending/pasture buddy ideas /tack ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening
     
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    12-07-2009, 04:08 PM
  #2
Lis
Yearling
Sit down with your leaser and talk to them face to face. Don't try to do it in any other way such as a letter or a text. I've had it done to me and it was a lot worse than actually being told by the owner. I nearly did it to someone but that was because I rarely saw her and only had her mobile but as it turned out I saw her and explained the situation that I hadn't bonded with the horse and I didn't have the time he needed. It's the best way of doing it.
     
    12-07-2009, 05:04 PM
  #3
Started
Make sure your not breaking a contract with the riding stable.

Think about a small animal, like a llama or goat or mini. They make great companions. Electric tape is pretty inexpensive for fencing, you can also get a portable shelter for about 500-700. Luckily horse tack is probably the least expensive thing you'll need, and usually last years. I would talk to your local saddlery about what to get.
     
    12-07-2009, 05:42 PM
  #4
Trained
Why don't you consider selling him to the riding place and buying another horse. It sounds like he is happy and doing a world of good there? You're fine either way as far as I'm concerned but that might be a good option. Horses are cheap all over so you could find one pretty easily.
     
    12-07-2009, 06:02 PM
  #5
Showing
I'm thinking along the lines of Kevin's post. Many many years ago I had to sell a horse that I loved and had an incredible bond with. A few years latter, the person I sold him to, a close friend, was diagnosed with cancer and forced to give him up as well. He gave him to a facility like the one you sent your horse with the provision that if I ever wanted him back, he was mine.

I went to vist him several times and each time, he knew who I was and I was asked not to let him see me when he was "working". He looked wonderful. He carried those children and adults with the same care that he did for me - with a lot of patience. I couldn't take him with me. He was getting all the love he could possibly have and he gave it back. He was where he really belonged.

His name is (was) Cat Nap Que (Jack) and just 3 years ago at age 30, he was still giving kids the confidence he was good at - even going to shows with them.

Although I've had many horses since then, none have ever been Jack or ever can be.
     
    12-07-2009, 10:28 PM
  #6
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
Why don't you consider selling him to the riding place and buying another horse. It sounds like he is happy and doing a world of good there? You're fine either way as far as I'm concerned but that might be a good option. Horses are cheap all over so you could find one pretty easily.
I've considered it, and horse prices aren't the issue (though he's bred through the nose and a fairly expensive animal, quality wise).

As iridehorses said, there are just some horses who can not be replaced. I've had him since he was 2 1/2, I trust him completely and totally. In college I once cried myself to sleep in his stall, only to wake up to my trainer informing me my giant horse was squished up on the other side of the stall, because he wouldn't lay down where he might hit me.

My son is too young to ride yet, but I know without question that when he is old enough to hold the reins I can trust my guy to take care of him and show him the world and freedom I first experienced on the back of a horse. He can trail ride all day, or play games with other riders and know, as I did, without question his horse is 100% trustworthy and will take care of him - even as he crosses the railrode tressle on a dare, tries to canter backwards, rides him into the ocean to swim, has his bridle yanked off by a friend on a trailride, tries to mount and dismount off the wrong sides/wrong ends (in other words all the exceptionally stupid things I did as a young rider).

My fiance has had both his legs broken at the knees - Ro is the only horse he will get on, because he trusts him. If I want him to ever ride with me, I'll have to keep him.

I know he's doing good there, but I also know he has a lot left to give my family as well. It may be selfish, but I want to keep him.
     
    12-07-2009, 10:57 PM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplysouthern    
I've considered it, and horse prices aren't the issue (though he's bred through the nose and a fairly expensive animal, quality wise).

As iridehorses said, there are just some horses who can not be replaced. I've had him since he was 2 1/2, I trust him completely and totally. In college I once cried myself to sleep in his stall, only to wake up to my trainer informing me my giant horse was squished up on the other side of the stall, because he wouldn't lay down where he might hit me.

My son is too young to ride yet, but I know without question that when he is old enough to hold the reins I can trust my guy to take care of him and show him the world and freedom I first experienced on the back of a horse. He can trail ride all day, or play games with other riders and know, as I did, without question his horse is 100% trustworthy and will take care of him - even as he crosses the railrode tressle on a dare, tries to canter backwards, rides him into the ocean to swim, has his bridle yanked off by a friend on a trailride, tries to mount and dismount off the wrong sides/wrong ends (in other words all the exceptionally stupid things I did as a young rider).

My fiance has had both his legs broken at the knees - Ro is the only horse he will get on, because he trusts him. If I want him to ever ride with me, I'll have to keep him.

I know he's doing good there, but I also know he has a lot left to give my family as well. It may be selfish, but I want to keep him.
Sounds like quite a horse and they are rare. I withdraw my previous advice I think you should keep him for your son. Learning on a horse that is that trustworthy is what makes life long horseowners.
     
    12-07-2009, 11:15 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by iridehorses    
I couldn't take him with me. He was getting all the love he could possibly have and he gave it back. He was where he really belonged.
I hope to never find myself faced with that decision.
You however, reaffirmed any faith I once had in the human race, however rare
That may be anymore.... -Lw
     
    12-08-2009, 01:56 PM
  #9
Weanling
I am unsure where you are but you could try Craigslist for everything you need to buy... And I wouldn't worry too much on having mismatched tack.... Your horse wont mind ;) I have gone through something similar. I have had my mare for nearly 16 years now, and at one point, I was told by my ex husband to sell her (after he had already sold her miracle baby!) and I had to make a choice... Sell my horse or divorce my husband and raise my baby and care for my horse by myself... I know I made the right choice :) I wouldn't trade her for the world. Good luck, I can see you will make the right choice... it may not be financially easy, but you love your horse and your family! You can make it work.
     
    12-08-2009, 02:58 PM
  #10
Showing
You said you lease him? Would you be able to keep him there a little longer and use that lease money you are getting to replace or buy those things you will need? There are lots of things online from eBay to kjiji, to Craig'slist to various local adds where with time, you can slowly replace all the things that need replacing. I just had 3 years off riding and it took me that time to slowly replace everything I owned that needed replacing(plus a few more things I didnt really need ).

As for company, would you consider going out to get a miniature horse for him? Or even a miniature donkey or a goat? They make absolutely phenomenal company animals. I bought a mini years ago as a company animal for my first horse. There are adds online for really cheap or free animals. If you were to look it up online or put an add up, that you are looking for a pasture companion, I can almost guarantee you, you will get at least one phone call. Also, auctions are a good place to get very cheap animals that will make great companions.

Money wise tho, you may not be able to get the best equipment right away, but you should be able to get some gear fairly cheap and get those better toys with time.

Good luck, and congrats on your new place and the engagement
     

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