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Emotions and Selling A Horse

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  • Emotions and Selling A Horse

    I never thought this would ever happen but, I am most likely going to have to sell my horse.

    I am going to try to make this short. I have had my mare since she was 6 months old. She was a gift from my mother when i was 16/17. I have been the only one who has trained her. She is now 6 years old and is the nicest, kindest, smart, mare ever. I adore her.
    I am now in a place in life where i am trying to move out of my child hood home. I work part time, which covers board and whatever else is needed. (Luckily no needed vet visits often)

    i am moving out of state and unsure of my future financial situation. As rent and other bills will be crucial. I really really can not fathom selling my horse. She has been with me through some of the hardest times and she brings me joy. I am so sad that i feel that if i sell her, i would never want to buy another one even once my finances stabilized eventually. Horses have been my life... I just am lost and have really no options to keep her. Where i live, there are very few options for boarding and leasing too...

    What should i start to do?

  • #2
    Originally posted by ledmonr View Post
    I never thought this would ever happen but, I am most likely going to have to sell my horse.

    I am going to try to make this short. I have had my mare since she was 6 months old. She was a gift from my mother when i was 16/17. I have been the only one who has trained her. She is now 6 years old and is the nicest, kindest, smart, mare ever. I adore her.
    I am now in a place in life where i am trying to move out of my child hood home. I work part time, which covers board and whatever else is needed. (Luckily no needed vet visits often)

    i am moving out of state and unsure of my future financial situation. As rent and other bills will be crucial. I really really can not fathom selling my horse. She has been with me through some of the hardest times and she brings me joy. I am so sad that i feel that if i sell her, i would never want to buy another one even once my finances stabilized eventually. Horses have been my life... I just am lost and have really no options to keep her. Where i live, there are very few options for boarding and leasing too...

    What should i start to do?
    Well, I would imagine the Covid 19 pandemic is going to maybe postpone this.

    It's perfectly OK and very common for young adults to need to sell their childhood horse in order to make progress with their adult lives, whether that's college or work, or travel or marriage and kids.

    I put my own mare on pasture when I was in college and basically retired her. I returned to riding in my 40s when I finally had a good job.

    Many of us on COTH have been in your position. Find horse a good home, keep in touch, and go have some great adventures in your life.

    When you are ready for horses again, you will find them again

    Comment


    • #3
      At a time of such immense change in your life, striking out on your own, now an adult, leaving home, it can seem overwhelming. Your horse has been, and is, an emotional anchor. But, as an adult, you also point out why you can't keep her. Tough but right. Find her a good home where she can continue to be busy. You will always have the memories as you go forward. Horses will come back into your life - if they ever leave you.
      "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

      Comment


      • #4
        First, have a video made of both under saddle and free moving. Capture some of her interacting with you to show her sweetness! Have her spotless for the video and any showings. Decide if her tack will go with her or not. Since she is a mare, is she registered for future breeding? If not, can she be? Require a home visit to ensure the potential buyer has adequate fencing and cover and another horse. Also, require a Vet reference. Ensure the contract allows for you to visit the horse at least once a month for the first year. If the horse is not adequately being cared for, per a Vet, the contract should allow you to get the horse back with a refund of the purchase price.

        Another option rather than an outright sale, is a lease to purchase. This would allow you the opportunity to get to know the potential buyer. It would likely make the transition more comfortable for you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Keep in mind that finding your lovely horse the right home may be the best gift you can give her. When daughter went to law school, she sold her horse to pay for it. The new owner (now his owner for 10 years) made him the focus of a blog. He landed well --he went from our small barn in the midwest and a job as an upper level event horse to a much, much nicer facility in SC and FL where he continued his career at higher levels --despite buying the horse for eventing, the owner almost immediately switched to Dressage ---again a lucky break for the horse as a dressage career is generally longer than that of eventing. And when the gelding became ill --the kind of treatment (surgery) and care after would have been out of our financial range --the new owner had him treated at the finest facility and brought him back slowly. He continues to dance in dressage! I think he's close to 20 now. Daughter eventually bought a new horse, right off the track, and while she misses and occasionally speaks of her old friend, she greatly enjoys her job (only possible by selling the first horse and going to school), and her new horse.

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          • #6
            Hugs to you, OP. The truth is, though, that going out and starting your adult life is exactly what you should be doing. Use this time to do the best you can for yourself in terms of education, skills, etc. to be able to establish a good career, with good colleagues around you to support and motivate you. When the time is right, you will have the opportunity and resources to get back into horses. Your mare sounds like she will be wonderful at making someone else's dreams come true, and maybe that's her destiny.

            FWIW, I got my first horse from someone in a similar situation to yours. I adored the horse and made sure both she and I both had support from good trainers, good vet care, etc., and we had billions of really great adventures together over the next 10 years until I had to put her down at age 27.

            It was really sad for the previous owner to sell the horse, but previous owner went on to establish her career, choose where she wanted to live, etc., and she recently has gotten back into riding and has bought a wonderful new horse and is ecstatic.

            So, network with your vet, any trainers that you trust, etc. Get all her vaccinations and hoof care up to date. Have pictures and video of your horse under saddle and on the ground. Try to be very, very clear about what kind of work the horse has been doing, and what kind of home she would continue to do well in. And trust your gut with the people who express interest in her.

            Good luck! It will be okay.

            Comment


            • #7
              This is a tough position to be in, I'm sorry. Many horse people have to step away from ownership for a few years as they transition and adjust to life expenses.

              With COVID you have a bit of down time for the next few weeks/months where it will be challenging to sell. This is a great time to brush up on core skills that set her up for a successful next home.

              A buyer is going to expect that the basics are in place:
              - Stands tied
              - Good for the vet/farrier
              - Easily handled in all weather conditions
              - Leads respectfully
              - Stands for mounting
              - Walk/trot/canter on a soft contact or loose rein
              - Trail rides
              - Loads easily
              - Rides well off property

              There are many horses that lack the above skills. For a very talented horse, there are owners who will work around challenges because the performance side of the horse makes up for things. For many other horses, these gaps can funnel them on to a path that puts them at elevated risk of changing hands quickly. A horse with good basics is always in demand and will be a deeply appreciated partner for the right person.

              Once things settle down, local shows can be a great way to show off a well-mannered solid horse. Your vet and farrier are also great connections as they often hear people venting about horse searches or have evaluated prospective horses for a client.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Arigold View Post
                First, have a video made of both under saddle and free moving. Capture some of her interacting with you to show her sweetness! Have her spotless for the video and any showings. Decide if her tack will go with her or not. Since she is a mare, is she registered for future breeding? If not, can she be? Require a home visit to ensure the potential buyer has adequate fencing and cover and another horse. Also, require a Vet reference. Ensure the contract allows for you to visit the horse at least once a month for the first year. If the horse is not adequately being cared for, per a Vet, the contract should allow you to get the horse back with a refund of the purchase price.

                Another option rather than an outright sale, is a lease to purchase. This would allow you the opportunity to get to know the potential buyer. It would likely make the transition more comfortable for you.
                OP is not a rescue. As a purchaser I would not be comfortable with once a month visits or the refund of purchase price especially for a young horse whose training I would likely be improving and thus improving her value. That is way too restrictive for a basic purchase. Most of these recommendations would have many good purchasers running for the hills.
                The video recommendations, registration and spotlessness are excellent recommendations.

                Understand I JUST got off the phone to adopt a hospice cat so jumped through a lot of questions and hoops. But adoption and fostering through a rescue is a totally different ball game than private purchase.
                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SonnysMom View Post

                  OP is not a rescue. As a purchaser I would not be comfortable with once a month visits or the refund of purchase price especially for a young horse whose training I would likely be improving and thus improving her value. That is way too restrictive for a basic purchase. Most of these recommendations would have many good purchasers running for the hills.
                  The video recommendations, registration and spotlessness are excellent recommendations.

                  Understand I JUST got off the phone to adopt a hospice cat so jumped through a lot of questions and hoops. But adoption and fostering through a rescue is a totally different ball game than private purchase.
                  Agreed.

                  If you can't stand to sell you can do a free lease. But then the horse might come back to you at a really bad time when you are far away and busy.

                  You can't put restrictions on a sale without scaring off most legitimate buyers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Arigold View Post
                    First, have a video made of both under saddle and free moving. Capture some of her interacting with you to show her sweetness! Have her spotless for the video and any showings. Decide if her tack will go with her or not. Since she is a mare, is she registered for future breeding? If not, can she be? Require a home visit to ensure the potential buyer has adequate fencing and cover and another horse. Also, require a Vet reference. Ensure the contract allows for you to visit the horse at least once a month for the first year. If the horse is not adequately being cared for, per a Vet, the contract should allow you to get the horse back with a refund of the purchase price.

                    Another option rather than an outright sale, is a lease to purchase. This would allow you the opportunity to get to know the potential buyer. It would likely make the transition more comfortable for you.
                    Umm, just no to most of this.

                    Require that the buyer pay in full at the time of the sale. At that point, let the horse go; it is no longer your horse. The more you obsess about the horse's new situation, the harder it will be for you.

                    Don't frame this as "poor me, I have to sell the horse I got as a kid", but as "Gee I was really lucky to have had a horse as a kid, most people don't"
                    Visit my Spoonflower shop

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I could have written your post word for word when I was young and leaving home for school. My advice would be to network and figure something out and KEEP her. Do you not have a friend or someone you trust and you can park her somewhere for now? When you say you cannot fathom letting her go...........then do everything in your power not to do that.

                      My mare's story is a sad one and for many years I couldn't not even tell it without becoming emotional. My girl fell into terrible hands and I had no idea. I finally learned about it and tracked her down and she had landed with a great owner but was no longer able to be ridden. The new owner was shocked that I had been my county fair champion year after year in horsemanship and equitation both western and english, not to mention versatility championships. A horse who could gallop through fields and then go show and love it. Never lame - never sick. Like yours, she was sweet and so easy.

                      I could have networked and figured something out but didn't think about it. Never thought about horses falling into the wrong hands.

                      The ONLY way I forgave myself over the years was that I would never, ever again sell a horse unless it was someone I KNEW and knew my horse would have one loving home for life. I've only let one horse go in all these years (39!) and it was to my dental vet. Otherwise I keep them to the end.

                      There MUST be a way to network and park her somewhere OR find an incredible home for her with someone you know or has an impeccable referral.

                      Can you share your location? Can we help you?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I couldn't stand to let my horse go because she was exactly the type to end up in bad hands. Feral horse turned dude string turned hotrod little yeeehaw teenagers horse. The people who loved her tended to be other yeehaw teenagers. So we paid pasture board of $50 a month forever on her. I thought I would return to riding and get her back in work but I never did. I did feel guilty about her all those years though she was happy on a field.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Where are you located? Maybe we all can help you find someone?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I do not mean this in a harsh or judgmental way at all.

                            But can you not keep her? Work two jobs to keep her if you need to? It sounds like she means a lot to you. I worked two jobs (60-70hrs a week) while doing nursing school prereqs to afford to have my horse and live on my "own" (with roommates). Was it a lot of work? Absolutely. But I don't regret it one bit and if I had sold my horse I know I would regret it. When in the nursing program I continued to work a job and a half to afford multiple horses at the time. I understand things are definitely different now in the current environment with this pandemic going on. But I maybe you don't have to sell if you're able to have two part time jobs or a full time? You can also post in a FB group in the area you're going to and scope out boarding situations. Sometimes you can find someone with extra space at their house and keep your costs down. Or find someone needing a bit of barn help in exchange for board. There's definitely options out there if you decide you want to keep her.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Interstellar View Post
                              I do not mean this in a harsh or judgmental way at all.

                              But can you not keep her? Work two jobs to keep her if you need to? It sounds like she means a lot to you. I worked two jobs (60-70hrs a week) while doing nursing school prereqs to afford to have my horse and live on my "own" (with roommates). Was it a lot of work? Absolutely. But I don't regret it one bit and if I had sold my horse I know I would regret it. When in the nursing program I continued to work a job and a half to afford multiple horses at the time. I understand things are definitely different now in the current environment with this pandemic going on. But I maybe you don't have to sell if you're able to have two part time jobs or a full time? You can also post in a FB group in the area you're going to and scope out boarding situations. Sometimes you can find someone with extra space at their house and keep your costs down. Or find someone needing a bit of barn help in exchange for board. There's definitely options out there if you decide you want to keep her.
                              If OP is moving out of a suburban rural type situation to a city to pursue a career bringing along a horse is neither practical or smart. Honestly there is for many of us a point in early adulthood when holding on to a childhood horse holds us back financially but maybe even also emotionally. I was lucky in that I got to pension off my horse so I always knew where she was. But I ended up traveling, working overseas, doing an MA in another city and a PhD in another country, before finally surprisingly getting a good job in my home town and returning to horses. I couldn't have done any of that being actively involved with horses.

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