You are right--the OP is not the one who is doing the horse wrong--but if she is considering taking him back, I would encourage it. Maybe I didn't make it clear in my post, but haven't had a hard time financially because I have had several riders interested in leasing my older horse. It has worked out fine and hasn't been a hardship. I also have become a better rider because I am riding 2 now. And I have enjoyed having my horse "teach" new riders. Not trying to "guilt her" but pointing out some of the neat aspects of having an older schoolmaster type horse.
Anyway, it's my philosophy (with dogs, cats, horses, etc.) that I have a responsibility to them for life. I have sold my horses before but if I found out that they are in a questionable situation, I would take them back. It's something I would do even if I had to pinch pennies to afford it. That's me--I realize not everyone has that outlook.
So after having long talks with BO, my trainer, and myself (), I have decided that I can't risk bringing him home.
Why? Well, the pro already owning him is having trouble moving him. I would have to pay (reduced) board until I found him a situation. If that didn't pan out in a few months, it would start to hurt financially. Then if the leases didn't work out or when those folks were "done" with him, I'd be right back there again.
This wouldn't be an issue if I owned property, but alas, I can't take them all back. I don't feel guilty about it--I GAVE him (as a trade) to someone who said they'd have him forever--then found out after the fact that he was traded on (and the current owner lied to about age and other pertinent details).
So I will try to set up a free lease/home situation "from afar". I have a few emails out to trainers that should remember this horse from a few years ago when I was campaigning him. I will take inquiries if folks on the BB are interested and forward them on to the current owner (ie, I'm happy to be a go-between). He is currently in central VA, I'm in central NC.
From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.
You are probably already steeling yourself for some guilt-trippy responses, but I am glad you don't feel guilty. I've been feeling for you because I know this same situation would have me up at night, battling between heart and mind.
It got me thinking about some people in my barn who take amazing care of their horses, beyond just treating them well and keeping them comfortable, but additionally offering them the best training, veterinary care, quality, well-fitted tack, tons of love and treats, chiropractor if needed, pasture rest if (unfortunately) needed, etc. But they do go through horses as it's a quasi-business (as much of a business as the AA with horses can have, importing, training, campaigning and selling them. Kind of a hobby that occasionally pays back, I guess). So, should she feel guilty if one she sold is offered back and the barn is full, or she's already maxed out on expenditures? No, not at all. She did right by the horses when they were in her care, sold them to the best homes she could find, and then she continued on with new horses. She's not bound to them for life.
On the other hand, I think that there are every once in awhile the horses we dedicate ourselves to for life. I have one right now who I've had for ten years, and she's old enough at this point that I know there's not anything good out there for her beyond my home, so I'm prepared to keep her forever. But that's not a decision everybody has to make, and really, it's not a practical decision for most people. On the other hand, I have had horses in my life who I have sold on to good homes, and if I was offered them all back, it would put me in the poor house and would make my husband crazy! I just couldn't do it, and in those cases we can't feel guilty if we gave those horses the best while they were in our care.
So I am the person who traded with the poster for the fancy young horse. I needed a YR horse for my daughter and did not have the money. The poster was going to sell the horse in question. He is very "special needs". I never said I would "keep him forever" because you never know what will happen tomorrow. And she knows that too.
The horse in question reared and flipped over on my daughter -she amazingly kept riding him-then he had a severe deep digital tendon injury while we were away on vacation. We got him totally sound but thought he would not go on to do the upper levels and found a excellent home for him with some good professionals for $1. I was FULL DISCLOSURE to them about the horse-there was even and article in the local GMO newsletter about all of the above. BTW he is only 18 this by his USDF/USEF papers and the person who bought him as a 4 year old verified that.
When their working student moved and could not take the horse they were looking to rehome him and told a friend of theirs -the trainer of the poster. I was unaware he was available or that they were contacting others clearly b/c I do not read the COTH forums! . Someone actually told me yesterday this whole diatribe was posted here. I am sure the owners thought because of the past experience with my daughter that I would not want him back. Which is understandable.
They emailed me last week when I was out of town. On Wed we met half way and I picked up the horse.
My daughter is thrilled because she loves him. warts and all, and I feel that with this horse in particular he needs to be well cared for in a controlled environment.
It always amazes me how things can be interpreted and spun out of control. At the end of the day though, you have to keep what is right in the head lights and keep driving.
That's a WONDERFUL happy ending - Beet Pulp I'm so glad you were able to take him back and offer him a good home! Sounds to me as if you've done your best by this horse throughout the time you've had him - it's refreshing to hear.
....horses should be trained in such a way that they not only love their riders, but look forward to the time they are with them.
~ Xenophon, 350 B.C.