I feel like SUCH a bad mom!
Wow-just thinking about a free lease of my semi-retired old guy and I am feeling SUPER guilty. However, in my heart I know he would be more than happy to be brushed and doted on all day, ridden only at a walk trot, and get care almost like where he is now. (Nothing is quite like where he is now, but close.....)
I am looking at a free lease to a therapeutic riding program, which i think he would be SO perfect for, especially since they now need larger horses (he is a clydeX) for their programs with Veterans.
But if this is such a good thing why do I feel SO bad? I hardly ever ride him anymore, fact is, as I have aged his size intimidates me. It is farther to the ground, you know....:) and he has made a couple of REALLY boner moves out on the trails the last couple years.....So, he would once again have a job. I think he would like it, but I also have a feeling my family will give me a really hard time, since he is a "pet" we have had for 17 yrs. It would be different if he was at home with us, but he is boarded, so rarely sees them anyway.
It will be difficult, but I do think it is best.....for all of us. I will no longer feel guilty when I don't have time to ride him, and he will be doing what he does best...hugs....all day. And we can visit when we want, he will be close.....
Am I a bad mom for even thinking of this?:-(
Absolutly not! i think your doing a good thing for him. And all the attention he'd be getting all day, what horse wouldn't love that! I think your putting his best interest at heart, and kudos to you for doing so.
I think what you are doing is wonderful. There is no reason to feel guilty about a free lease, he will always be yours, and now he will have a job helping others.
If it was me, I would feel MORE guilty just keeping him around in the pasture and not being used. I think your are being good mom by letting him go to someone that will be able to use him and make him happy.
My family has free-leased 2 horses out, in the past, to a therapeutic riding program I'm closely involved and invested in (my 10 year old cousin is a student there). RIDEABILITY.ORG One of the horses has now passed on, and the other is no longer sound enough to be used so he now lives at home with us.
When she got to ride JJ (he's the Paint in my avatar), the gelding who is now back home, she was always so thrilled.. Just hearing her go on about him made me so happy and knowing there were countless other children who must've felt the same way about him made it all worthwhile. I would try to make it out there and see your horse put to good use. Seeing the children will certainly ease it.. I have no doubt about that.
I understand, but you aren't doing the wrong thing.
I recently leased Jester to a girl (Scared to DEATH of horses, perfect horse for her) and when I was showing him he gave me a look that said "Are you really trying to sell me, Mom?" and I broke down crying. Even though I wasn't selling him, it hurt really bad that I wouldn't see him even though his hard competition days are over.
Thanks so much for all the support.....I do think this is the right road to go down, and think he will thrive there. They still have to come see him and approve, but I doubt that will be an issue. Helps to know others also think this is right.:-)
My mare went to a therapeutic riding program when she was about 28. In my case, I had to donate her, not do a free lease, and I felt horrible and guilty giving her up, but I knew it would be a good situation for her. She was like a grandma and LOVED taking care of kids. My old barn manager who became the caretaker at the riding program (she's the one that got my horse into it) used to always say that you could stick a 2 year old on her, go in and have lunch, and come back to find the kid still there (of course we never actually tested that theory :lol: ).
So after she left I got to visit her a few times, got occasional updates about her, and saw her on their website. She was having a great time, and everyone loved her. The kids would groom her all day, or they were happy to just walk around the arena. She was so sensitive to them, she always knew what they needed. It was the perfect situation for her.
She lasted there another 3 years before her old body just couldn't take it anymore. She went out to pasture, but had to be put down very shortly after that - so she basically did what she loved right up to the end.
It was hard to let her go, but she was much happier doing that than she would have been if she'd just gone out to pasture at 28. TBH, I don't think she would have lasted much beyond 28 if that was the case - I think the kids kept her going.
Of course you're not a bad mom! That's a great thing to be doing, both your horse and the kids will appreciate it. And it's not a donation, so when he's too old to be ridden anymore he can come back to your stable and live out his days in the pasture.
I think your doing the best thing fir her if she b enjoys being loved upon!
plus you cant be expected to pay lease with no return for another few years
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