Selling a horse is always a painful process regardless of the reasons why. Sometimes it’s because as a rider you out grow your horses abilities and it’s time to move onto one that can take you farther. Sometimes it’s due to safety and you and your horse just don’t mesh. Other times its due to finances and sometimes it’s time constraints and realizing you just can’t give a horse enough time.
In each instance it can be heartbreaking. Whether we have had the best of relationships with our horses or some of the worst we always get attached to them. Many times upon realizing that selling a horse may be the best option it tugs at our heartstrings and we sit in denial or waffle on the decision for a long time. We feel guilty for thinking of selling them and even more guilty keeping them around. (Trust me I’m a classic example!)
Recently I have made the decision to sell my youngest horse Jack. (more like finally putting my heels down and actually decided it was time) He is an awesome horse and one that could really take me anywhere I wanted to go IF I had the time to put into him. With my job my work hours are crazier then I ever thought they would be. Some weeks I’m lucky to have time to pet my horses and others I can trailer out and take all the time I want but as a rider and a trainer I’m never able to be consistent with him. Jack is a 4 year old, almost 5 year old with so much potential and skill but he needs consistency to move forward with his training. He’s athletic and insanely smart…Somedays a little to smart…and 90% of the time he’s sitting in the pen staring at me with those begging eyes as I grab Cash-man and head out for a quick spin around the pasture. The times I do take him out we end up doing the same old things because I haven’t had the time to teach him anything new or to progress any of his training.
I feel my heart-strings tug knowing he wants more attention and when I’m in a pinch I grab the “old guy” because I know I can be lazy and still have a fun time and that leaves Jack to be worked on the weekends.
He’s a horse begging for a job and I have none to give him. So finally I know it’s time to offer him up to a new home. To someone who can be HIS human and give him everything that I can’t right now. In a perfect world I’d be able to manage work, school (oh yes I re-enrolled in college) and working both my horses but I can’t. I rarely have the energy to think about training them when I get home after working sometimes upwards of a 12 to 14 hour shift depending on the day. Dealing with a Young dog all day at work who’s learning, it can be really hard to turn around and deal with a young horse who’s learning and have the patience to deal with any “young horse antics” and not spiral into a frustrated snow ball.
Deciding to part with a horse is never easy but many times it’s the right decision. I always say plan to keep the horse until it’s time for it to leave this life, but it’s never good to have a horse just to say you have one. They get depressed just like we do and sometimes act out because of the neglect. Jack, thankfully, is neither, but as my days seem to continually get shorter I have to realize that what time I do have would be better spent on one horse and right now, at this moment in time, Cash is the horse for me and my current situation.
Cash is happy to stand next to me and eat treats out of my hand or walk down the trail and so long as there is food he could care less what we do. Jack is a horse who wants to be worked and gets bored just standing around (you can ask Cash just how ‘annoying’ he can be when he’s constantly trying to play). He’s a wonderful all round horse and really needs that stimulation. Whether it be riding or liberty work he likes that constant feedback, the constant challenge and so I am going to do my best to find him the perfect home.
If you’re someone who’s contemplating selling a horse, for what ever reason it may be, if you know deep down that it’s the right thing to do for both you and the horse then don’t let the guilt of saying goodbye keep your horse from having the home that is right for them. (Though please don’t dump at an auction!)
If you’re interested in Jack please check out the “Horses For Sale” page to learn more about him. If you have any comments, questions or concerns please feel free to send me a message either here or on my Facebook account.
Until next time