Horse have been apart of my life for a very long time now, I can remember the day when I begged mum for riding lessons day after day untill she gave in, Or when I had my first ever lesson and stared wide eyed at the instructor when she wanted me to trot with no hands on the lunge for the first time.
I have grown up owning horse after horse, and I'm not going to lie I need a biiig break.
Most of you know I own a horse called Joe who I have basically rescued and am now re-training. I am 15 now and honestly I think about quitting horses every day, and was happy at the thought of not having horses around next year because I am studying 6TEE subjects.
The truth is now I don't want to lease Joe to a girl who will call him her own, I want to own him and ride him, but I don't know if I will be able to keep my heart in it and he deserves so much more.
I have been told if you balance everything out it should be easy, but I agist Joe and it is really hard to go to the stables and go riding after a hard day of school.
I told mum I don't want to ride next year, but now I'm not so sure. I guess I am just being selfish is all, but i'm really scared Im not making the right choice about my life and everything.
It's normal to feel apprehension when you're making a big decision.
If someone is willing to lease Joe, this might be a good way to "try out" not riding him and looking after him every day without losing him to an outright sale.
Could you try it for six months and see how you feel about it when you have had a break? If you pine for your horse, you still have him. If you find out you can indeed let him go, you'll have that much more experience dealing with it.
Good luck in whatever you decide.:D
Sounds like leasing is a good option, in fairness. That way, the horse will be given attention and ridden while you figure out whether or not your heart is still in horses, but it's not nearly as irrevocable a decision as selling him. He's still your horse. Leasing also has a lot of permutations and you can find the option which best suits you. There are half-leases, where the leaser rides a few designated days per week, full leases where the leaser pays a weekly or monthly lease fee and rides as many days as they want, what we called "free-leases" where the leaser does not pay the owner a fee, but takes on financial responsibility for board, vet care etc. In a lease agreement, you can specify that the horse must stay at a designated facility, or allow the leaser to take him to whatever barn they want. You can specify that the leaser must have your permission to take the horse off the property for shows or clinics. You can also do things like explicitly state in the agreement that the leaser isn't allowed to let anyone else ride the horse without your consent.
In other words, I have seen leases run from the extremely laissez-fair (leaser can do whatever they want as if it's their own horse), to the extremely strict. The owner can basically retain as much, or as little, control as they want.
I have also known people to lease out their horse to a riding school or therapeutic riding program, if they are unable to or don't want to ride for a while but don't want to make the ultimate commitment of simply selling the horse. Obviously not all horses are suited to riding school life, but if yours is, it's something to consider.
You don't need to ride him everyday, if you want to give him a year off there is nothing wrong with that. In fact outside of many Australian cities are spelling facilities, where your horse can live in a paddock and will generally be checked, fed hay etc. You could go out once a week and check on him.
The last good horse I had I sold when I was in year 11, it wasn't just the school work that got to me, but the whole lifestyle. I don't regret selling her because I ended up doing lots of interesting things in my life but I absolutely adored that horse. Ever since then I have just had rather dodgy horses that were cheap.
The thing is though, if you're doing a heavy workload you are probably looking at going to uni? Well that is going to be another big thing, you might move away, or move out, and for a while you might not have the time for a horse. Its not true about balancing things, maybe for people who have a less time consuming hobby, like many of them are, but not horses. I know when people do their HSC often the don't have time for anything at all, and when you do have spare time you might want to catch up with a few friends, or something. Having a horse can be a real drain.
Consider your options, no one can make the decision for you but in my experience it was best to get out of horses for a while, you can always get another horse, go back but you only have one shot (more sometimes, but they take a lot of time) for your education.
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