SAD is really tough, it just saps motivation right out of you and makes you tired all the time.
I'd wait it out as well. If the $ is not an issue, then maybe see if you can find a horseless teen through 4 H or Pony Club who would be interested in taking your horse on as a project or free-lease at your current barn. They could help you out with chores maybe a few hours one day a week or every other week to 'pay' for their riding time. Your mare doesn't sound dangerous, just a little bratty, and that will likely be better if she is in regular work. Sounds like she *has* all the basics and at this point just really needs some regular mileage.
So try that for a while and see where you stand. Your mare will be getting some mileage and regular riding, you won't feel guilty that she is sitting there without a job, and you can concentrate on your morgan.
If you still feel like you need to sell her after a few months of this arrangement, then that's what you do. Maybe the teen will fall in love with her and they'd be interested in buying her. Or maybe you will decide that she is more fun to ride after some additional mileage.
I'm sorry for your loss. Give yourself time to grieve.
Another factor to consider is what kind of problem you have- It's a problem of abundance. That's a GOOD problem. You have two beautiful, sane, talented horses so nice you can't decide which to ride. Yay! Millions of people would love to be in your shoes. In these SAD days make a real effort to count your blessings. Take better care of yourself, rest, and be patient. This too shall pass. In your situation, I'd be praying and looking for the Lord's guidance but if you're not religious, you can count on yourself to know what's the right thing to do when the time is right to make a decision. Breathe deeply and relax. Give thanks for what you have. (((HUGS))).
Tif_Ann, I really do know what you are going through. I have also thought along those lines last year. But I had been working more than usual for two years and had been doing a lot of dog stuff. When I did have time to ride, it was raining/cold /hot dark. I felt I was only doing the chores and not spending enough time with them.
However I have four horses, three are riding age and the 21 year old TB gelding is retired, blind in one eye. (Yes, rideable, but. . . )
My two younger mares are 7 and 8. I started them myself, gave them very nice foundations, but didn't keep them up for these last two years. However, they just take a small effort to get back into it comfortably and safely. Yes, they are very green for their ages. Yes, I feel bad about that. I certainly considered selling one.
The one I would not sell is very much like your mare!! She's small, great minded and a nice mover. I have 'relationships' with these horses, and fortunately things changed and I can ride two a day a few days a week. I am sooo glad I didn't start to advertise anyone for sale!
So I am in line to say wait and see. If you sell your mare, once she is gone, she's gone. And I wish mine only cost that much to keep, LOL . Although it is much better in the summer when they have grass, of course.
I also agree with praying for the right outcome, or intuition, whatever works for you, but let it come from within your heart, don't overthink it.
I'm sorry I know it is hard to follow, and that's probably why I'm at such a loss with what to do. It's probably something I shouldn't even worry about right now, but it's eating me up. I do about 10 hours a week of chores at my boarding barn right now. I usually work them both Friday mornings after I do the morning turnout chores. Right now, it's very cold and we have very short days in South Dakota. I go to work M-Th at 5:30 am and get home at 6:00 p.m., and it's already dark. In the summer I have sunlight until 10:00 p.m. and there just seems to be so much more time! I've also been working overtime for the past 3-4 weeks AND we have a newborn foal in the rescue which means our home chores are taking 1-1.5 hours instead of the usual half hour or so. I've just been so overwhelmingly busy between the rescue, overtime, chores, holidays, etc ... that I feel like there's no way I can devote enough time to two horses to keep them both happy!
I don't know - maybe my sister is right and I just need to wait the winter out and see where things are in April/May. At that point, maybe with the longer daylight hours, the better temperatures, no overtime, etc., it won't seem so overwhelming and I'll find it's a moot point. And I really don't know how much the loss of my heart horse is affecting this - I still miss him every single day.
I guess my question is more do I listen to that internal voice that's saying I should find her a better person, or do I give it some time and chalk it up to winter/grief blues and see where things are in a few months? And how to find balance between two horses so differently suited - if they were both lovely dressage horses it would help because they could go to the same shows, etc. What would YOU do?
OMG you sound just like me. Not about a horse, but about my house. I go on and on, should i sell it, should i keep it, but i like it in the summer...etc, etc.
I think its a winter thing. I hate winter, it sucks. Makes me also sound confused and out of sorts. I would stick with what your sister says, sounds to me like she knows you better than yourself.
Thanks everyone. Yes, I can afford them both. No, I don't have a lot of extra cash, and I do chores to pay off their board, but that's because it's not hard work, it gets me to the barn several days a week, and it's nice to pay $50/month for two horses - one of whom is in a stall on full care. I also live exactly one mile from my boarding barn so it's very convenient. If money was the problem, I'd move the Morgan to pasture to begin with ... or bring them home and let them take the places two rescue horses are currently using! (much cheaper at home to care for them). I think that's a big part of it - it's cold and miserable and chores take longer. Heck, just getting dressed to go outside takes 10 minutes!
I'm sure everyone is right, including my sister. Even my barn owner told me I was nuts to think about giving up my mare, as she really likes her. Last night was the first night in 3-4 weeks that I did NOTHING. I got home from work at 6:00, my sister had nearly all the home horse chores done so all I had to do was fill the water tanks (and she yelled at me for that, told me she could do it and I needed a night off) ... and I made a frozen pizza, shut my computer off, and just caught up on a TV show on DVR. Went to bed at 9:00! Was really nice to not come home after working 10 hours, do 1-1.5 hours of chores, make/eat dinner, and then spend 2-3 hours on overtime work, getting to bed around 11:00 and up at 4:30 to start the day over again. Perhaps I am simply exhausted and need a break. I just know right now I feel like SOMETHING has to give and I look forward and think - when am I ever going to find time for TWO horses this summer? I originally thought I would take Nya to the local shows and show her hunt, and only take the Morgan to dressage shows; but we have to trailer 3+ hours to get to any dressage show so it would be really convenient to take him to the local shows for experience, which leaves my mare out in the cold again. I can't ride them both in the same class!
I do think the thoughts have some validity, though. I would ideally like to find a horseless rider that could work with her, but as I said, she needs an intermediate rider and it seems like everyone that I know that wants to lease needs beginner safe horses. I don't think she'll ever be a beginner horse - she's very athletic and green enough she still needs a rider confident enough to not let her be in charge. I have a horse-loving friend who is always wanting to get back into horses, asking to ride, but she can't afford a horse. I've mentioned perhaps she could take over some of my chores to half-lease Nya; the problem is she has been unreliable in the past. But it might be worth it, and would also give my sister and I an additional trail riding friend, local show buddy, etc.
I don't know. I think the last four weeks have been a wakeup call that something has to change. But I also think I say that every winter, when chores are taking forever and we can never get warmed up from the cold. I have clear goals and future plans for the Morgan - I can see exactly where I want to go with him. With her, I just don't know.
I think it's very Cold and Dark way up in Sioux Falls, and you have a lot of darktime on your hands, leading to overthinking, leading to First World Problems, which is the only one I see here. As in, "A problem, which is no problem, is NO PROBLEM!!"
Wait, you're in Sioux Falls?? No wonder you're in the midst of SAD. In the winter, that is one dreary town, no offense intended. But, as a former big rig trucker who drove through there in all seasons, I can certainly attest to the blahies.....
What about cutting down the hours of chores you do during the winter, and for those 4 months or however long just pay more for boarding? Or bring one of them home during the lessened daylight time?
Then in the spring, make it a *fun* resolution to do more with the mare. Set a goal- two shows, x number of rides per week for a straight month, or similar. At the end of that goal, reassess how you feel about the mare, her progress and handling that schedule. If it's not working out, move onto a plan b.
Does your bo or a trainer know of any kids that would be interested in free leasing or catch riding? If there is a trainer at the barn, maybe the mare could be used in a lesson per week. Same responsible rider each time, etc. It sounds a bit like a situation i would be interested in, because it's like what I'm doing now. My trainer owns the horse, and i ride him every lesson. However, i can't really afford a lease, but my trainer also really just wants him in regular work, so i come and ride whenever I can after work or on my other day off. (Honestly I think she wants ME to get the mileage as well because I'm- truly- not a natural talent, but responsible and careful, and it makes lessons better for me to have a practice ride or two!)
MrB's attempt at talking like a horse person, "We'll be entering in the amateur hunter-gatherer division...."
FWIW, as a kid/teen/college age I would have killed for a horse like your mare to ride. I'd try posting ads for a lease for her. I'd be shocked if you couldn't find a person who would love to ride her especially if all the lease entailed was taking over her share of the chores and $50/mo. Do you live anywhere close to a school (university especially), especially one with a collegiate equestrian program? Try posting an ad on campus or in the school paper. Ask farriers. Not just yours, but the others that come to the boarding barn. Ask vets. Ask around at local tack shops.
*Someone* will know someone who wants a nice horse to ride that is capable of doing a little schooling on it. Heck, at my barn alone there are 4 or 5 horseless teens that would be more than capable of taking on a sort of project horse like your mare, but they can't actually own a horse at this point.
Also? Your horse doesn't give a hoot how much potential she has. My Arab has the potential to be a really great endurance horse. He also could have done very well on the Arab show circuit. Do I have the time/money/inclination to get to the upper levels of either sport? Not really. Do I have an absolute blast with him with the stuff we do at low levels? Absolutely! Who cares if he could have gone to Nationals and done very well with a different owner. I bet he doesn't. As my horse, he gets to live out and be in a herd. He doesn't have to live in a 12x12 box 24/7. He doesn't have to live the stressful life of a top competitive show horse. As my horse if he doesn't enjoy doing something, we probably won't keep doing it (in terms of trying a new sport/event...he does have to do exercises and whatnot he doesn't like).
I agree on the waiting. Winter is HARD, especially working as much as you do! I'm exhausted reading it, and I keep a similar schedule. She's a LOVELY mare. I'd look into leasing her possibly, lots of people at a higher level of riding need a fun mount when they can't afford one (I've been in that place many times!) and it would give you a good bit of extra time to make up your mind, and see how you feel not riding her. *hugs*
I notice in your original post your sister wants to event, and you think your mare would be good at it...what about letting your sister ride your mare? Then she would be getting more work...and you could still keep her if you wanted.
Don't rush in to sell her, especially when you know that you're not at your emotional best right now. Once she's on someone else's trailer you can't undo it when the weather is 70 degrees and sunny. However, if you advertise at your local college that you have a half-lease in exchange for barn work, maybe you can have her ridden, and more than her share of the barn chores done, too. Even if the leasee was just to take your weekend chores, that would give you more time to ride your gelding. And if that works out and you still feel like selling, you can consider it in 5 months.
You might watch this 8 minute video by Canadian Vitamin D researcher Rhinehold Vieth (a ray of sunshine himself!). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5HiBtY3ccw SAD can be effectively treated with vitamin D and and can even be helped by UVB-dominant tanning beds. Why wait for spring when you can basically buy most of its goodness in a cheap bottle of 5,000 IU Vitamin D3? Seriously - Target, Walgreens...
Get yourself right and the horse 'problem' will right itself too.
I'm with you OP. I get a bit down in the winter, but I keep my horses on the family farm. Without an indoor or even an outdoor with sand (it's grass) and no lights, winter riding is tough. My horses basically get Dec-Feb off with occasional trailrides on the nice weekends. It's ok. It's a good break for both of us!
I'm with you on the 2 horse thing too. I've had my Quarter Pony since she was 2 (now 15...bought when I was 15) and have done everything with her. 4-H, western trail, gymkhanna, some hunter shows, a schooling horse trial, schooling dressage shows, etc. The way she is built (super-long back, not strong hind), just isn't conducive to dressage which is now what I'm starting to focus on. I started training my mom's green-broke Appy gelding and he is a dream. His ability and work ethic make nearly every ride on him one of those "grin ear to ear" rides. The Pony? Not so much. We'd fight sometimes, she'd get sassy, she gives only as much as you ask of her....etc.
I rode her a grand total of 2 times all year last year...and all before April. I'm at a crossroads where I'm terrified to give her up, but I know she would have a blast with some gutsy pony-clubber. I've thought about leasing and may consider that more in the spring.
I guess the point I"m trying to make is that sitting in a pasture for a year or so didn't kill her, didn't harm her head in any way (oh did I mention that until recently she would run from me if I brought a halter into the pasture? Silly girl). Wait it out. Daylight savings time is only 53 days away!
The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.