If you’ve never sold a horse before, the best way I can describe the experience is that it can be extremely fulfilling (to pair a creature with another human and take pride in it being a good fit) and yet extremely frustrating (because you have to find an interested person to make a perfect fit with a creature with a mind of its own).
For the most part, it ain’t easy.
I know there’s a lot of people out there who could never consider selling a horse, and I can absolutely appreciate that. As equestrians we pour much of our hearts, souls, and pocketbooks into our horses, and it’s hard to watch all that emotional and financial investment walk onto a trailer and drive off into the sunset.
But for me, sometimes selling a horse is the right thing to do. I sold Ivan because even though I loved that big lout, he was occasionally dangerous to my health, and it wasn’t worth losing limbs or life in pursuit of a hobby. It also happened that I was a fresh college graduate in search of my first full time job, and while searching simply could not afford the luxury of a horse.
Even though I feel like those are excellent reasons, there are those who disagree, that believe that a horse is a lifetime pet. Again, respect to you guys. I want to have that horse that I keep forever, but sometimes circumstances make me decide otherwise. C’est la vie.
When those unfortunate decisions have to be made, I make a real personal effort to make sure the decision is just and valid, and then, quite frankly, attempt to emotionally distance myself from the animal. Isn’t that how breakups go? It doesn’t mean that you necessarily love the creature any less, but for a while you build a wall until you are strong enough to tear it down and appreciate the memories that you stuffed behind it. If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, yes, I am going through a similar process with Foster. Like I said, it ain’t easy.
What are your feelings on selling horses? Is it right- is it wrong? Have you had to part with a four legged beastie in your life? How did you approach the situation, and what advise would you give others going through similar scenarios?
PS- Life is cray right now between houses and horses and work, so expect a couple weeks of not-so-often blog posts. I will be back with updates on the House on a Hill 2.0 once the dust settles again.
I firmly believe that it’s way too expensive and dangerous to not be having fun and enjoying yourself most of the time. I am 100% comfortable selling a horse if our partnership is not working out. I sold the Red Mare because I was sick of falling off and getting hurt. She didn’t want to be an eventer. She now has a fabulous life as a low level hunter with a new family. Sometimes I think that it is unfair to the horse to make them fit into your box if it isn’t their thing. Sometimes finding them a new home is the best option for all parties involved.
I have no problems with selling a horse if it just isn’t the right fit, or if you can’t afford the time or money to keep a horse and enjoy it. While Dino is never, ever going anywhere and has a home with me for the rest of his life, I would not hesitate to sell another horse if we were no longer a good fit for each other. There’s nothing wrong with selling a horse.. after all, how would any of the rest of us acquire horses if no one sold them?!
I’ll sell a horse in a minute if it’s not right. Sometimes that means the horse is dangerous, and sometimes that means I just don’t like them. Simon has a life long home with me, but he’s the first and only horse I’ve made that statement about.
Nothing wrong with selling horses. In the process of selling a horse (my first time selling a horse, but only my second horse ever). Process is weird. I imagine I am going to post lots about later.
logically and philosophically, i’m all aboard the “we’re in it to have fun and horses are too expensive to keep if they’re not working” bus. and ‘not working’ is a very very broad category. emotionally…. i’m a bit of a hoarder and distrust my ability to let go should the need arise. which is one (of many haha) reason why i have yet to buy a horse of my own…
I’ve never sold a horse, but I agree with you that I respect both sides. At the end of the day, each person has to do what’s best for them.
I’m all for selling horses. I have done so before, am currently in the process of doing so now, and will do so in the future. Horses are too expensive and too much of a time suck to be stuck with one that makes you miserable. So many people are like, oh he’s just grumpy or he’s just a challenge. Sometimes that’s true and you need to push through it, but sometimes your horse is an asshole and you’d be so much happier with another one. I’ve also done a series of posts on what we owe our horses. I don’t just sell willy nilly and even though I’m selling Dijon he’ll be coming back to me to be retired when the time comes.
I owned a hot little arab for 8 years. I wanted a hot arab when I got him, something to challenge me. This guy also had an extreme case of sweet itch. I’ve never seen another horse affected so badly. I tried everything I could to make him comfortable. But living on the coast, and boarding right beside the water, I was fighting a loosing battle. And how many people are on the market for a feisty arab? Not many. I basically gave him away to a lady in Raleigh whose daughter turned him into a barbie horse (i.e. salon day everyday). The arab got relief and the situation worked out well. But I had 8 years of emotion invested in that pony. It wasn’t easy for me, but nessesary for him. I can empathize with you through this process. Hugs 🙂
I think a horse needs a job and if you can no longer provide a job (whatever it may be) then the best thing to do is sell or lease the horse out. We sold Spencer when I went to college bc it wasn’t fair to him to occasionally get ridden by whoever was able to while I was away. Plus he was older and still had a few years to teach someone else the ropes and he looooved to be in consistent work 🙂 I do think you’ve made the right decision in regards to Foster and even tough it emotionally sucks rights now, long term I think you will both be happier 🙂
Mom and I are trying to figure out what to do with Gus bc he is kinda in that limbo stage- unfortunately with him he keeps doing weird things to his body (he lost all the muscle in his hind end last year and we’ve finally got him building it back) so he’s not an easy horse to rehome. But I do think we’ll find him the perfect match bc he’s like Foster- needs all the attention!!! Hahaha 🙂