I've come to a crossroads with my very lovely homebred and half of me knows its time to go ahead and sell him and the other half of me bursts into tears at the very thought. Many close friends have told me that when they decided to sell one of their horses it was always the right decision but I'm having trouble believing them. He was my first homebred which makes it even more difficult I think.
Have you ever regretted selling one? Or has it always seemed to be the right choice?
I have only sold a handful of horses in my lifetime, and I have never regretted selling any of them. I keep some contact with all of their current owners, and let them know that if anything ever happens that the horses are welcome back at my home. I see the new owners around at different shows and it is wonderful to watch that new partnership build.
There are quite a few I have sold and thats just the way it has to be sometimes. When you start them and hang onto them for 2-3 years it is especially hard. But I have kept in contact with many of the people I have sold my horses to. There are 2 that I think of very often and wonder how they are. Sadly, I am friends with one on facebook and just a couple of months ago I saw on her FB that one of her horses had to be put down. My heart sank...I knew she had 4 horses, and I thought, oh no, it can't be him! But it was my dear gelding that I sold many years ago. I was heartbroken but knwo he had such a wonderful home with her and so much love.
I have never owned horses as part of a business. I have sold three personal horses. They all haunt me to this day (the first was 40 years ago). The first was dead within three months of the sale from a mistake made by the new owner. The second I know had a good life with the person I sold to and I was given approval on the person she in turn sold to. Whether that was her last owner or not, I do not know. The third, I sold to a trusted horse friend who turned around and sold to an unknown party after I moved out of the state. Once you sell, you never know what will happen and you have no control. I got out of horses for 25 years after selling the third. When I returned, I made a commitment to the owners I bought my horses from and to my two horses that they have lifetime homes. Still, can I really guarantee that? Which means I could find myself in a position where I have to sell, as you have. If you have to, you have to. Consider adding a right of first refusal. It will weed out some buyers, but isn't that what you want to do?
There would not be much of a horse industry if people would not sell and buy horses as they and their horses needs changed.
We have always tried our best to place our horses right and were happy with where they went.
When we started not being so happy, the horse industry, the whole world was changing, we quit breeding.
We can use hindsight to teach us, or to make us miserable.
Try to be happy you did the best under the circumstances and with what you knew.
Sure, when our circumstances change, some times we wish we still had this or that horse, or the horses go on to do great, maybe they would have for us also.
On the other hand, maybe not, so we are glad for those that bought and did well with that horse.
The last horse I wish I could have kept was an older horse I sold last spring.
A great horse, that fit me so well, but was not happy here with little riding.
He wanted more to do and was taking his extra energy on other horses, biting them for entertainment.
He is now in a great home, gets to share whatever the kid is eating or drinking, the pictures are hilarious.
He is loved more than most horses could be and most important, he is happy there, with all that is going on in his life now, not a pasture ornament any more.
When the kid outgrows him, he will come back, or not, he may become, then older yet, their loved pasture ornament.
I don't think that letting a horse we like go is regrettable, it is just part of life.
The more horses that pass thru our hands, the less horses we get to keep to the end, no one can keep them all, unless they don't have but a handful in their lives.
As for any horse that fell in hard times, well, that can happen and we will feel terrible about it if it was our horse or not, that should not happen to any horse.
There are three horses I've sold that I think a lot about. Two have since gone over the rainbow bridge; one I never heard updates on, and always wished I had. The other I know lived out a wonderful retirement life on a great farm after doing very well with his new owner.
The third I really wish I'd hear updates on, but he's not my horse anymore so I can't expect the new owners to keep in touch. I just hope they honor the right of first refusal clause I put in the contract- although I likely won't take him back; I sold him because in the end he did not suit my needs. I was just in love with his personality. Would be nice if they contact me anyway so that I have an idea of how he's doing.
I don't regret selling any of them- either my needs changed, or theirs did.
We had a medium pony a long time ago who was a total nutjob, and I really didn't like him at all. He would jump the moon though. In hindsight, we should have kept him for a pony jumper and then sold him for more.
-I "rescued" a starving TB.
-Fattened him up, retrained him and found him what I thought was a great home.
-Visited him 4 months later...poor thing was being mentally destroyed by a crazy ignorant owner.
-I had to sell a young jumper to buy him back (he's an expensive TB, he's worth lots more than you sold him to me for).
-I kept him for 20+ years and finally gave him to an old lady who always wanted a horse.
-A great horse and my friend.
I've sold 3. 2 went to great homes and I have no regrets. The 3rd one haunts me, she was sold with right of first refusal to what I though was a reputable person, who dumped her at an auction 10 months later and hid the fact from me for a month. I was at that person's farm weekly for lessons and whenever I asked about the mare she'd say 'oh, she's at the upper barn' or some other vague answer. The worst part is that if she'd told me she didn't want the mare anymore, I'd have paid her a lot more to take her back than she got for her at auction. She knew I was very fond of the mare, who was a tad difficult, and I didn't want her to end up in a bad situation.
Yes... I got a 3y.o Hanoverian mare when I was 16 or 17. We bought her from a hunter trainer who was jumping 3' courses with her at 3 years old... Ugh, I have no words. I bought her as an eventing prospect and she was lovely - great conformation, beautiful mover, great jumper (though pushed far too early), the whole package. She passed her PPE but I just had one behavioral problem after another. I chocked it up to her being a b*tchy mare but looking back with the knowledge I have now, I'm positive she was having pain issues. This was back before chiros/massage therapists and saddle fitters were commonplace and I just didn't know any better. I regret not going over her with a fine toothed comb to figure out what was going on and I regret selling what could have been a superstar. I would have loved to breed her too, I'm sure she would have had gorgeous babies.
Absolutely. I sold Daatje when she was a year and a half.
I had just gotten engaged and felt we needed the money I had spent on her the year prior (she was rather expensive).
I cried the ENTIRE way when I drove her up to her new owner. I cried every night after, I missed her so.....she was my bottle baby....my little orphan filly and selling her was something I instantly did regret.
Six months later, I got a call from her new owners saying that she was too much for them to handle and they were going to advertise her for sale if I didn't want to buy her back.
Was that even a question?
I was lucky. I got to buy her back and I'll have her 'till the day she dies. (she'll be 11 next month, so hopefully a long time from now!)
I'm not sure what type of crossroads you're at with the horse, but If you're that attached to your homebred, perhaps selling isn't the right thing to do?
I "sold" my first horse as a broodmare several years ago..for $1.
She went with a contract signed my myself and the buyer that I had right of first refusal should be be unable to be bred, buyer didn't want her anymore etc etc etc. When the lady came and picked her up I was beyond hysterical. The lady even offered to cancel the sale and let me keep her, but I couldn't afford a horse anymore.
Two years later, I found an ad on Dreamhorse.com for my mare....who had made her way to the Nevada desert. The photo attached made me want to vomit. Skin and bones - being ridden (NOT OKAY - she wasn't sound) by some crackpot lunatics with some wacky training ideology.
Since the mare was on a sale page, I called inquiring about the horse. She was for sale for $1 again, and I left a message saying I used to own her and I'd like to buy her back. Didn't mention a word about my disgust at their view of horse care. Next think I know I'm being extorted for a $2,000 sale price or trying to trade them the mare for, I kid you not, old tack, hay, a miniature driving cart, "organic beef???," goats and maybe some chickens. I thought I was in a flipping dream world.
So, in a panic, I contact original buyer asking her why my horse, who I had right of refusal on, was in Nevada. She said she never sold her. I then told her perhaps she should call said people and ask why they were trying to sell her property. Lies.
After that, they two parties must have conversed about something...because I got a call saying that I could have her back if I got her in a week...I live in NorCal. Get horse transport to Las Vegas in a week, yea sure sounds easy. Not so much. After randomly calling a Vegas H/J trainer and stumbling upon the fact that her husband was a hauler, I finally got her on the truck.
As soon as she got picked up I received an email from horrible NV seller alerting me that "she might be a little beat up" when she got to CA - she had gotten beat up in the pasture a day or two prior. Understatement.
My mare looked like a bobblehead she was so thin, had cracked and splitting feet filled with rocks, oh and happened to have her entire hind leg from the hock down completely crusted in dried blood. Turned out to be a 2-3 week old puncture wound. Cleaned twice a day my a$$. Not be mention the barbed-wire induced massive cuts and scrapes everywhere.
She is now fat and happy, retired in a pasture and loving life.
Long story short - I will live in the darn stall before another one of my horses goes anywhere.
Yep. Non-horsey parents got pressured/tricked into buying me a very fancy Oldenburg when I was 12 or so. No trial ride, it was the type of deal where BO told my parents "this horse is worth 6x his price you need to snatch him up now!"
By the time it finally warmed up enough to ride him (no indoor) it came to light that this horse was PETRIFIED of jumping.
Eventually we got to the point where he would jump pretty much anything if I was riding him, but it was NOT pretty and I rode hunters/eq. (The best was when a trainer of my friend told me to "see how it was done" at a show after my not so great schooling hunters round...he stopped at the 2nd fence with her )
Finally, after several years of trying to make it work, we sold him to an older woman who wanted a dressage horse. Tried to track him down a few times but came up with nothing.
I regret selling him because I often think that if I had known then what I know now, he'd probably be fairly easy to retrain, if I started from the bottom up. He really was beautiful, and tried very hard to please.
All I have to do is look at the "Missing Horses" section to know I'll never sell a horse. Too many people who look back on a horse they sold and wonder what-if? Animals aren't my business for good reason.
Yes. I sold one with mild neuro issues back to her breeder for a pittance because I thought it would be a "forever" home. Snort. Within a few months I had been contacted by the new teenaged owner who was planning to event the horse. I shared the horse's health history with the teen and also her mom. I believe they got their money back and then the horse showed up on another sale site. In hindsight I should have ethanized the horse rather than let it get passed around with its physical limitations.
On the other hand, I've had far more success selling horses into wonderful homes than not and that is its own reward
If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb