This is embarassing so please don't flame me....I really need advice.
Here's my info:
I'm in my 40's. Started riding when I was 6. Showed A circuit as a junior--did very well in Eq-. Took some years off of riding for college and grad school. Have had several horses since......Started them and sold etc....I sold them to show homes b/c I don't have the money to show much and I believe a nice horse ought to be shown.
Horses have been essential in my life and I can't imagine not owning one--I'm an amatuer with issues!.....AND have financial issues.... (in my area boarding barns are limited)
So..... Do I sell my mare.....or do what I can to keep her...... BUT...I don't ride like I used to .........
My mare (5) is really nice--16h, fancy, good mover, only done X's but brings her knees up....Best temperament I've ever had in a horse...and really any horse that I've encountered in my lifetime. Still very green....No issues (yet)........ I think she'll be an EXCELLENT AA hunter
I know if I sell her...I will never be able to replace her even if I had 30k to spend.
Since I'm getting older and more afraid....I know I'm not up for starting youngsters anymore...and that is all I could afford....
So part of me thinks maybe I should be done with horses........sell her pay my bills and go from there.
I'm not one who wants to have a horse just to bebop around on or take a lesson once a week.....I'm kinda all or nothing....
I know this post is disjointed....but I really need feedback....
I guess this would depend on how bad the financial problems are. If you can afford to, I'd say keep her. You'll have fun riding and she'll become less green with time. I'm a bunch younger (early 20s) so I guess I can't fully relate but I'd say she's worth more to you than what you could get for her. I'm not saying she isn't fancy or anything just that you're not going to be able to be able to get something else you want to ride and you do sound like you want/still like riding.
I'm sure that someone else will be able to provide more insight but if I were you, I'd keep her and play around in what ever shows you want to/can afford to go to. Maybe in 4/5 years you'll feel differently and think about selling then but it would be a shame if you sold now and then regretted it a few years down the road.
If the mare is one that you particularly like, and are very happy owning, keep her. find a way! It sounds as though you are capable of improving her, so enjoy the journey. Great rides are hard to come by.
Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.
Well I am older than you so I will weigh in. I bought my older TB in 1998 he was young and I got pregnant with my son in 1999. I bought him because I wanted to ride again, I had campaigned my mare before having my daughter in 1997 but I sold her when I got pregnant. He was (he is now retired) a great horse, a saint around my kids, fun to ride and did great at the local shows I went to from 2004-2007. I did not campaign him but he was great for me. I also had two kids in full-time daycare so I was very carefull about money. He was worth it, I do regret sometimes not doing more with him but it was my time to be a mother to two young children and further my career.
I am ten years older now and have a 6 year old OTTB. Yes, a young horse is a challenge now, he has had two years of full-time training and I will start riding him more this year (hopefully). I love campaigning but it is expensive, I want to ride again and if I can do more I will be greatfull. I don't think the newer guy will care how high he jumps and how many shows he goes to, I think he is just looking to belong to a family and be loved. Me, I just want to ride again every time I am not riding, I am miserable and gain weight.
Perhaps you could find someone in a competent program to part-lease her—they'd (ideally) be putting some extra rides and show miles on her, thus increasing her value in case you do ever need to sell her.
You know what you are doing so you can bring her along for less money that your average re-rider. And her great mind will stand you in good stead, no matter what kind of riding you do. If she's pretty sound, even better.
I do understand the necessity of having a horse on tap at all times. And I get the financial part, too. Personally, I'd realize that I had a "bird in the hand" who would be expensive to replace. So I'd decide what else I could cut out of my budget to keep this one.
You don't need to sell a horse that's "too nice for current purposes or budget." It's wonderful to ride a pretty, sound, nice-minded one. And it cost the same to feed a fugly POS. If someone offers you a great price for her, then call us back.
Wow, I've so been there myself recently and am still there now. I was sold a really nice (albeit quirky) horse for a fraction of his value because the lady knew he loved me and she was moving out of state. The pressure was too much to get him gone so she sold him to me for my budget.
Recently we've had issues and it's been weighing heavy on my mind for all the same reasons. I'm older, finances, he's been a pickle to ride, am i getting enough out of this yadda yadda yadda. Anyway I'm really lucky that a good friend suggested getting his hocks injected and now he's back to rock star status. Nothing beats the feeling of him cantering along like his normal self. It makes it worth the financial struggle then.
I will hop on board with keeping her. Imagine what your life is like without her. What would you do on a Saturday morning? Or a Thursday evening? Would you feel like there was a hole in your life? Could you fill it by riding in lessons or hacking for trainers? Tough questions only you can answer. But here you're more likely to get keep her than sell her.
In my opinion...if you can swing the costs and not sell...don't. A "horseperson" is only whole when owning/riding a horse they enjoy!! Your mare doesn't lay awake at night dreaming of higher jumps and more intense showing. You will be miserable if you give up a horse and riding and this mare sounds like one you are happy with. In the interest of YOUR mental health...I'd keep her!! You are a LONGGGG way from retiring from the riding world. I've got 25+ years on you and still come away from a good ride with a smile and a good feeling. Good luck.
I'm a decade younger than you, but I'll put in another keep her vote assuming you don't have a pressing financial need to not have any horse. She sounds like you wouldn't be able to replace her and that you enjoy her.
I'd consider trying to find a part leaser to ride and show her. Set up the terms so its beneficial to both of you. I know I would have jumped at a chance to ride something like your mare in my teens/early twenties. If someone else is splitting the costs of showing/training her, could you afford to do more with her? I would have jumped at the chance to show and take lessons on a NICE horse like your mare even if she is relatively green. I wouldn't have been able to afford (well still can't really...) to take on ALL the associated costs of owning and showing a horse like that, but I would have been able to swing splitting the expenses with someone.
FWIW, your horse doesn't give a hoot if she's just dinking around at home or if she's out campaigning. I have an Arab gelding now who would do/have done very well at the national level on the Arab circuit, but that's not my cup of tea. However, instead of traveling the country, being clipped and pampered and not getting to live like a horse, he lives in a field, has buddies, good food and we have a ton of fun together doing local stuff. Anything from learning to cut cattle to jumping, dressage and he's my field hunter. I can't believe he would choose trading this life over the life of an Arab on the national show circuit. Is he living up to his potential in that regard? Certainly not. Do I care? No. Does he? Doubtful. I have a very pretty, sane, sound buddy to have fun with.
In my mind, a horse doesn't care if you show it or not. This past summer, I bought a very nice, well-bred, fancy jumping mare who had been broke out about 6 months. I'm probably "wasting" her by not having any interest whatsoever in showing, but who cares? She doesn't know any differently. I love riding her, we click, and she makes me genuinely HAPPY. That to me is what it's all about.
There are so many options to solve financial/riding/training problems. Let me suggest getting a quality half leaser. Even if you have to charge less to a quality rider, its worth it because they will A) train you horse for you for free B) put show miles on your horse. Let this person take care of your horse like its their own, dont be a high maintenance owner. Trust them and have a great relationship with them.
I understand this from the half leasers standpoint. Im a more than qualified rider, i just cant afford a lot of horse on my own. My horses owner lets me take lessons, show and do my thing with her horse. I pay her a reasonable fee and she benefits by her horse staying in a program and getting "seen", and getting great care.
I also show other horses for ppl, I just pay entry fees which keeps my costs low and their horse gets mileage win/win.
Obviously be selective about riders but im sure there are so many ppl in your area who would jump at a chance to help you with your girl.Plus your girl will be worth more in the end when/if you do sell!
Another vote for keeping her. Once she's less green, and if she is as fancy as you say, you might even be able to find an up and coming pro who would pay to show her for a chance on a nice horse in the greens.
She sounds fabulous!! I personally have a fancy mare who really should be in a top show barn, but she's so much happier in a lower-key environment, with her person. She doesn't care that she can jump GP level stuff. (I think!!)
Horses are a nice way to escape from everything else. If you enjoy it and can afford it, do it!!
I have a part lessor to help make it more reasonable. That could help you down the road.
I say keep her! I'm in a similar situation where I have a very nice horse but because of the time demands from my job combined with not making the kind of money I need, I'm not able to ride much and campaign him. I have done just about everything I could think of to keep him... shorter-term full leases, half leases, show leases. I'm so glad I did and I still have him. It sounds like you have had the horse bug since you were little, and if you are anything like me (and most of us here, I would guess) you won't be happy without a horse in your life.
If she is just going to sit around then sell her. It will be harder to sell her when she is 9 or 10 years old with no show experience. You can always find something older and level headed to lease/purchase in the future.