When to quit-tough conversation. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-09-2013, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2007
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When to quit-tough conversation.

So, as some of you know, DH has a debilitating disease, and is therefore forced to retire earlier than planned. Therefore, we had a "budget " meeting of sorts. DH (who is wonderful, but NOT a horse person)-"so, just how long do you think you will have horse and keep riding?"
Me-"As long as I can."
DH-"Well, when you are 70, in another 12 yrs, do you REALLY think you should take the risk?"
Me-"I am not ready to talk about giving up horses or riding. I will let you know when that time comes."

This is a tough one guys. We have been SO blessed in our lives and have been able to afford all that we wanted. I am now looking at getting my nursing license back, just to go to work to pay for our health insurance as of next year.

This was definitely not in the "plan". I have one out on a free lease to a therapeutic center, thank god, but those days are limited. Eventually he will be back on my "payroll", until he dies. My current guy is only 10.....I am just not ready to say I am done, and realistically, there will come a time when the barn will be the only time I have away from caring for the DH.

When do you stop? When is the time to sell the current horse so that he has a future with another home? I know I will keep my old guy forever, and am obligated to that........

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post #2 of 17 Old 09-09-2013, 07:30 PM
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Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
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Very sorry to hear of your hubby's illness. I tend to agree with you, keep riding and doing what you are doing with your horse until it becomes a hardship. We keep & ride horses for our pleasure, we take care of them properly, as for a future in the showring? No, you don't owe any animal that, nor do they care.

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post #3 of 17 Old 09-09-2013, 07:33 PM
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Location: Saskatchewan
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Only you can call that one, and what sort of future at another home?

I am keeping Ace until either she passes, or if her other mum moves, as I suspect she may, then we will have to decide who gets custody!

Of the others, well it depends, if I still have Emmy when quitting time comes she can just stay and hang out with me, and if all I can do is love on her, and brush her a bit, then that's what we will do. She may be a nice arab, with nice lines, she may do well with someone else, but equally she is happy just hanging around, and she is great therapy.

If you can keep a horse in the budget, and it gives you a great reason to get out, and yes get away from home for a while, then the horse has a useful purpose. Keeping a person sane is as much a meaningful life for a horse than winning ribbons with someone who thinks they are a machine.

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post #4 of 17 Old 09-09-2013, 07:35 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Well, I had to let my babies go so as to put off facing a bankruptcy, due to DH's medical problems & emergency surgery & related bills. It was a tough time, but finally after a court hearing we are going to be OK. We can now meet our bills w/out me working, & I go pick up my new horse on the 17th. I know many people still riding into their 70's & 80's. If I have breath in my body, I want my own horse! Ialways figured to keep on riding so losing my horses was quite a blow-I cried buckets & was quite depressed. Now I'm fine & looking forward to the future. I bought a mare-always been my preference-& who knows -the vet said she is good to go for breeding.
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post #5 of 17 Old 09-09-2013, 07:44 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2013
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If you can afford to I would say keep your young guy another year or two, and then reevaluate the situation at that point. This would give you time to get your new situation figured out, you won't be making any rash decisions, and he will still be plenty young and "marketable". At that point you will have had some time to sit on the decision, weigh it with your husband and finances, and have a practical discussion with yourself. While there are quite a few people out there who are willing to take on a 17 year old horse, but at that point he will be a much more difficult sell. You don't have to decide tomorrow, but if you do think that you need to sell him don't drag your feet for many years on end.

All that said, I don't know your situation. If spending x number of dollars maintaining your horse over the next couple of years will put a big strain on your future, then the decision may have to come much sooner. As far as "taking the risk"? That is your decision alone (well, maybe with your husband's help...) to make. Even in your 20s riding a horse can be a risk, and things can go wrong in an instant. Just because you hit 70 doesn't mean that the risk climbs exponentially, just that you don't mend as quickly!

Oh, and selling your current horse doesn't mean that you are necessarily quitting. Maybe you will end your riding career, maybe you'll take a brief hiatus, or maybe you'll start with lessons or leasing immediately. Who knows- that's up to you and what your family can afford. By considering these options you are keeping yourself from being stuck with the large expense of retirement care for a horse that you can't use, and if you ever decide that the risk of riding is too great then you can stop when you please without suddenly having to make arrangements for your horse. There's no law that says you can't ever ride again once your horse is sold :)
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-09-2013, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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I feel that horses are such a huge part of your life and if you are able to work something out to keep it that way, you will be happier.

It's hard when people don't quite understand and only see the bills that come along with it--which isn't exactly cheap. But the enjoyment and comfort and fun and love that horses bring is so worth it.

If bills get tight, maybe look at partially leasing your 10 year old to help pay for his upkeep

Best wishes
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-09-2013, 08:35 PM
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I had to quit for a time when one of the kids was very ill. The worry... medical bills... travel to where she was being treated... Very stressful time. I was able to get back to horses and riding.

I always wondered how I'd manage if that had been permanent. In my work I've met many, many people who have had to stop riding and it had been their work and/or hobby. Some do better than others, but all seem to adjust. On the other hand, I know many who ride into the late 80s.

We're all dealt different cards and have to play the hand we get. I don't know what my future holds, and I wish many happy years of riding for you.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-09-2013, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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I won't discuss the money topic, everyone's finances are different.

I will discuss age, I started at 42, everytime I get on my horse I wish
I started in my youth. I have never felt so relieved to hop on and hit the trail.
All week long we watch the weather, figure what we are willing to deal with
and go camping every weekend we can.

We have many older riders in our group 70's to early 80's.
I am now 51 and plan on riding until I no longer can.
I got at least another 30 in me.

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post #9 of 17 Old 09-09-2013, 09:05 PM
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last year I camped next to an 82 year old lady still endurance racing and camping alone and still doing well btw
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-09-2013, 09:06 PM
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I think you keep him as long as you can afford to give your horse a quality life. Feed, vet, farrier and board: as long as you can provide the essentials. Your horse does not care if you have a 1000 dollar saddle, and won't sit in his stall saying "I wish my rider would load me into the big box and drive me somewhere I have never been". There may come a time when going and just being with your horse (grooming, fussing or "hanging out") may be worth more what he costs to maintain. You can't really put a price on mental health and if your horse plays a role in maintaining your mental health than don't let him go until you HAVE to. Yes, you should plan for a rainy day but you don't have to do a rain dance.
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