My daughter will be leaving for the Air Force in about a year and naturally she can't take her horse with her. She doesn't want to sell him though, and quite honestly ol' Mom doesn't need or want a horse around who will just be sitting (and eating groceries) for however long until she finds a place to keep him close to where she ends up being stationed.
I'm sympathetic to her plight, but realities are realities.
Last night I tried to explain to her that 1)we would certainly try our best to find him the best home possible; or 2)we could see about leasing him out to someone until she did get settled. I also explained to her that with horses as with life there are no guarantees, no matter how we try. This little gelding of hers is a nice, sweet horse, but he's nothing really special, except in her eyes -- not the type to be in high demand by anyone, or so reason leads me to believe; of course I don't want to see him sent down the road to an uncertain fate, but selling him may open up that future possiblity and of course it has her completely freaked. She also doesn't cotton to the idea of leasing him as she's worked very hard to make a good horse out of him (he was saved from the auction house and from his behavior was treated pretty roughly at some time) and naturally doesn't want to see all of her hard work go for naught; plus she doesn't quite trust the way some area folks take care of their horses (she's got a point on that score unfortunately).
So I'm trying to explain the situation to her last night, and she broke down in tears. Her comment: "well, it's just a lose, lose situation, isn't it?". Help!! http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...ilies/sigh.gifhttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_c...icon_frown.gifhttp://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/cry.gifhttp://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/no.gif
My girl has the potential to rise very high in the ranks working in linguistics, which in turn would pay for her college education and set her up for a good career (and give her the wherewithal to support her equestrian inclinations). She's also done a super job with not only this horse, but also in helping with mine, her sister, brother, and step-dad's horses -- she's not had the opportunities to really become a big name show kid, but she's proven herself a very good young horsewoman (and one of her goals is to get stationed in Germany in order to learn more about horses over there while serving in the AF). I certainly don't want to see her throw this opportunity away, and I'm afraid she might just to keep and be close to her beloved Sam. I also completely understand her fears and her love for this horse.
How can I reach out to her about this in a way that won't break her heart? It's a horrid thing to see your child so anxious and know you've played a part in it. What can I do for her, and for her horse?
The throught of the horse in a bad situation tears at me too -- he's a super little fellow, and to send him to an uncertain future, unwillingly or no, I can't abide with either. http://chronicleforums.com/images/cu...milies/cry.gif
I need some advice, suggestions, support -- you name it!
Honestly, if it is at all possible, I'd keep the horse. Sounds like your daughter is a responsible citizen who has worked with all of your horses with no pay (probably???). How long will it be 'til she's settled?
"Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com
I completely understand your plight. However, it would seem to me that your daughter is giving up a heck of a lot and taking on a tremendous responsibility to do something that most kids her age would never do: She's going to serve her country and will be sacrificing quite a bit to do so. It would seem to be that feeding one horse isn't too much to ask in return. But that's just my humble opinion.
It sounds like you keep your horses at home. If that is so, how about having her cover his expenses at your place, while she is gone? It will be cheaper for her than boarding him some place, and will relieve you of the expense of having him around.
She sounds like a wonderful girl. Her life is going to be changing drastically as it is. It would be nice for her to have the anchor of knowing that the horse she had done so much with was home, safe and sound.
Originally Posted by Alagirl
We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.
sounds like you raised your daughter right.
I agree you should keep her horse for her.
as an aside (I speak from experience), many women in the military these days are labeled gay if they turn down unwanted sexual advances from men. then they have to fight to stay in. as you probably know the military let a bunch of linguists go (including Arab speakers) several years ago for being gay (or perceived as gay).
she should contact sevicemembers legal defense network if she gets harrassed.
thank you daughter for serving for me.
also, you can go feed the horse a carrot when you are missing your daughter!
A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton
I second Louise's post. Since she will be getting a paycheck from the Air Force she could contribute to his expenses at home and it wouldn't be that much extra bother to keep just one extra horse since you said you have others there.
It sounds like it will just break her heart to lose him and as you said she's done wonderful work with your horse and other horses belonging to family members so maybe they would assist you in caring for hers while she's away if you need a day off once in awhile.
She must be extremely attached to this guy if you think she may give up her plans for the Air Force in order to keep him and I know I would never be able to sell him on her if I was in that situation.
Also by forcing her to make this awful choice she may harbor resentment towards you for a very long time and it may damage your relationship with your daughter since her choice at the moment is to either give up her future or to give up the horse she loves so deeply and is so bonded to. If there was no possibility to keep him where he is until she gets settled and can move him to where she is going then she might understand but since it is possible to keep him there but at the moment you just don't want to that would make me feel very hurt and very angry if I were in her shoes.
Besides she just wants to leave him there until she finds a place near where she'll be stationed right? So it isn't forever.
I always thought families tried to help each other and be supportive of each other - I would keep my daughter's horse for as long as I needed to if I were in that position.
Add me to the chorus. I think it's an absolute shame that you would begrudge the space for one horse who is ALREADY living with you. Harsh realities are for when there isn't any choice. Supportive families are one of the things that help you AVOID harsh realities for cryin' out loud. I'm quite sure your daughter would be more than willing to pay for feed & basic expenses for him (she will, after all, be earning money in the AF). I'm rather shocked that you're encouraging your daughter to do something that may well get her killed for the benefit of her future career & telling her that in addition you can't be bothere with her horse.
My family aren't horse people to put it mildly, but you bet when I was at a rough spot & needed some help they gave it with a smile & a hug.
Do the right thing for both your kid & your horse.
I agree with the others. It sounds like the rest of the family has horses...your daughter is making a huge sacrifice and being a responsible...I don't understand why you have to sell the horse! Why not try looking for someone local who is currently horseless that would come to your place to ride him? Then, he'd get attention and exercise but you could monitor his care and you daughter wouldn't have to worry!
Since you already have horses, why can't you work something out (have her send money if needed) so that he can stay with you? My parents paid board for my horse all through college and grad school (even though he was basically hanging out) because they knew if I had to choose between going to school/selling him and working/keeping him, I was going to choose his welfare over my long-term future. Might be stupid in many people's eyes, but I wasn't joking about it, and my parents knew that.
Because my parents were wise, compassionate and generous, I was able to earn an education that has greatly benefitted me and allows me a nice life. I also had the joy of keeping my horse until he passed away just a few years ago at 34. When I spoke about the situation with my mother last year, she said "Well, we knew how you felt about him, and we just couldn't make you sell him. Not only would you have gone into a tailspin and done something stupid, but that's hardly the way to reward you for being so responsible about his welfare. Look how it all worked out--there is no doubt that we made the right choice for you and everyone else in the family, including him."
"If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you." -Don Marquis **CEO of the TQ "Learn How To Ride or MOVE OVER!!" Clique**
I wouldn't worry to much about the "gay" issue. I was in for 8 years and never had any problems. The military (especially in certain career fields, such as the Air Traffic Control Combat Comm group, that I was in) is predominately a male environment. Learning how to deal with men's bathroom humor and sexuall innuendo jokes is essential. I was always amazed by women who think that if a man makes a sexual joke, it is sexual harassment. Generally a few well chosen, sarcastic words puts a stop to offensive behavior. Of course, I was raised with 3 brothers, so my tolerance level may be higher than many without that particular situation. Face it, in most women's perception of civility and manners, men are pigs...cute pigs, but pigs just the same. But in general, their comments really don't mean anything and is just that they tend to communicate differently. Drawing a line, and putting a stop immediately to truly offensive behavior is necessary, but don't expect to turn a bunch of men, in a male dominated atmosphere into a bunch of sweet, non swearing, non sexual/bathroom joke telling gentlemen...It ain't gonna happen, and you're in for a rough time if you think it is.
Wow... if I were in your shoes... I'd keep the horse. I couldn't break my daughter's heart. If I were your daughter and my beloved horse was sold I'd be heartbroken for quite a long time & I'd have quite a bit of anger and resentment towards my parents.
If at all possible... please keep her horse... I agree that it is reasonable to ask her to pay for board or somewhat towards board.
A friend of mine's father sold her horse out from under her over 30 years ago... she's still bitter about it. He was a bit of a difficult horse and she was one of the few people that got along with him. She was terrified that he ended up in a bad home or getting sent on down the road. I don't know if she still does, but she used to carry a photo of Charlie Horse in her purse. If at all possible... don't let that happen to your daughter.
Going into the military and leaving home is hard enough... please give her the peace of mind to know that her beloved horse is safe and he'll be there when she comes home.
To you he may not be anything special, but it sounds like she thinks he's one special horse!
from your daughter's point of view: I was there once and lost my horses to some strangers because my mom was not able to care for them. She is a divorced mom with no support from my dad. I am still upset about the loss of my horses and do wish that I had known of my mom's problem so that I could somehow step in to help care for my horses.
From your point of view as a mom: It sounds like you have a farm and that you have room. However, you do sound like you don't like to have a pasture ornament and that you'd appreciate some help with the feed and vet care. If that will make you feel better, have a lease arrangment on your farm or have the horse transferred to a farm where you know that the horse is being cared for. Set up an agreement that the pictures and "letters" from the horse sent to your daughter on a daily basis. You go over and check on the horse to be sure that he is not being mis-treated. Or, you can have your daughter send in a bit of money each month to care for the horse which I think she will be very happy to do so just as long as she has a peace of mind and soul knowing that her home meaning you, family, and horse are being well cared for while she goes out to grow up on her own which is not an easy feat for a young woman like your daughter. Thus, I think that the latter part is going to be easier on both of you because caring for her horse is just like you have your daughter at home. It is going to be very heart breaking and difficult to see your daughter leaving your nest. So, the horse is a way to help make the transition easier?
(((hugs))) to both of you please keep us posted.
Will get a dream horse!
More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting
I agree with everyone else. My first thought was 'keep the horse!' Your daughter sounds wonderful and reasonable, and she has put so much time and energy into this horse. Why are you so set against keeping him? She'll be getting paid in the AF, so she should be able to cover at least part of his expenses. And if he's such a good guy, I don't see why someone wouldn't be interested in doing a partial lease or something where you keep the horse, they pay to ride him a few days a week.
Seems to me that if you really want to support your daughter as she makes the transition to becoming a responsible adult, you'll help her figure out a way to keep this creature that she loves dearly (and deserves to keep as a catharsis during potentially trying times ahead). No offense meant, but this situation epitomizes the 'disposal society' mentality that drives me insane. There are plenty of ways to make this work rather than send the horse on down the road at the expense of your daughter's feelings of attachment and loyalty.