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What to do with emotions?
When it comes to improving in your horse back riding, how do you deal with your emotions? Do you ignore them or do you use them seriously in your decisions about horse selling and purchasing?
Just recently, my trainer gave me an opportunity to lease a horse that could go far (Like Maclay finals). The owners are desperate, they were thinking of (and are leaning towards) donating this $75,000 dollar horse to a local trail-riding facility. If they do give it up, the trail-riding facility would lease the horse to me for really cheap for two years. Only, if we give up our horse to the trail-riding facility.
I have been to this facility before, it's fine but the horses are never inside (they have a roof but no walls) and there are about 150 of the horses all outside together. The trails are in western saddles and his back is slightly swayed from the previous owners and I'm concerned about the effects of the saddles.
I know this horse and he has emotional issues, he's a bit traumatized from the racetrack and he absolutely has to trust his rider. I'm afraid with the camp he won't get that opportunity?
He's an old horse, do you think he would enjoy living the rest of his life with other horses and helping little boys and girls? I love him, if I do give him up I want to make sure he is happy until he dies.
What would you do? Keep your original horse who can't take you to the Maclays, or lease out the horse who could, but have to give up your original horse?
If i were you id keep the horse you have! Sounds like as nice as this other horse is, giving up your horse is only a short term solution. After two years not only will HE be in that situation AGAIN but so will YOUR horse. Besides. Why give up ownership of YOUR horse to borrow someone elses?
The only way to make sure your horse is happy and well taken care of for the rest of his life is to take care of him yourself. I would keep him.
A $75,000 horse with potential to go to Maclay and the owners are desperate enough to want to donate it to a trail riding center in lieu of selling it.... Call me jaded but that smells fishy to me!!
Anyone pressuring you into a snap decision is doing it because it is a bad decision. A legitimate owner wanting to "donate" or "lease" a Maclay horse would do it to you directly leaving you not having to make such a decision.
On the other hand, horses do need to retire eventually. I have retired some of my horses to great, private homes. They live outside, are fed well, have company and people who love them and ride them sparingly. If you can talk with the facility about what they do there and how your horse's emotional needs would be met (perhaps one handler?) then it could be a good match. Horses don't need to be inside, horses don't need private turnout. Horses need food, water, shelter, self exercise and socialization.
Good luck! And trust your gut. If anything seems "off" it probably is!!
I would never sell a horse just to move up to the next riding level. Riding is not necessary. My horses' well-being is. Once you give a horse up, his life is out of your hands. There is nothing you can do if the new owners turn out to be dickweeds.
Seriously. I have nightmares about selling my horses.
If you have any concerns at all with this place, don't do it. Besides, it sounds like he's earned a good retirement when the time comes. The only person who can guarantee that is you.
If I were in your situation, I would keep him. Is getting to the Maclay finals more important than him? weigh them out. Although I think the answer is clear, as you're so concerned about him even if he's going to a good place. You sound like you really love him. I would keep him and wait for a new opportunity, because eventually, it will come. Maybe this just isn't the right horse for you, no matter how expensive he is.
Why not keep your horse (if that is what you want to do) and contact the other horse's owners directly? That is a really strange sounding situation, and not one I'd be comfortable with. Talk to them about what you would like to do with their potential high level horse and see if they want to keep him but lease him to you directly, or what his sale price would be to you. As we know, what a horse is 'worth' and what they sell for are not always the same.
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