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I am simply done with dressage...for now

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  • I am simply done with dressage...for now

    I have created a clever Alter so I can vent, I guess.
    I have a dream horse that is the epitome of what most would ever want for dressage. I look at him everyday and really feel like he should be in a place where he can really live up to what his potential is.
    I am 100% overwhelmed by how hopeless it it so have a truly nice horse and know that there will be very little progress due to having a low income, living 3 hours from a competent trainer for help, and always riding alone. I am a lower level capable rider. It is not my dream to win in the local schooling shows and be the "queen" of the little local clinics. I have high standards and goals, and now that this horse is at the age where he should be "doing" something, I am faced with the reality that, it is not going to happen. Living out here, everything is so hard. All shows are also 3-6 hours away and it is not a sport for the lower income bracket people. Even if I decided not to show and focus on training, again the distance and expense makes it not a reality.
    Yes, he does not know he is a "nice" horse and could care less if he ever gets out of Trg Level. But he is a valuable horse and I feel like the RIGHT thing is to sell him to a rider who will be able to be successful and appreciate him. I have another horse I can ride and putz around on and still work on dressage with.
    Yes it all SOUNDS good, but it will kill me to sell him, I raised him since he was born and I will never have a chance to own a horse of his quality again, I could never afford it. I am his breeder, got lucky with what I ended up with.
    Has anyone else ever had to make a decision like this? It is very practical, I suppose...

  • #2
    I hate the word "should." He should be doing more. He shouldn't be just a TL horse. I should sell him.

    Maybe his talent is not upper level dressage (potential is nothing if it's not what you want) but instead it's being the best all-around horse ever. Your all-around horse.

    He's your horse. Do whatever you want with him. Period. End of story. Stop worrying so much and have fun with him. If you don't need to sell him, don't.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't think your horse stands at the fence looking at you, asking "Why am I not a show horse?" It's obvious you love him, so keep him and just ride. Owning a talented/valuable horse does not equal dressage shows. I'll bet there are many people on this Board, who have equally talented horses and do not show due to circumstances in their lives, but would never give up riding.
      "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach

      Comment


      • #4
        Have you ever looked into doing lessons by video? It's not ideal, but it works really well for some people. If you could afford one video lesson a month, you might find yourself advancing enough to make you happier.

        Comment


        • #5
          First, let begin by saying I'm sorry you're having to go through this because I know it's not pleasant. In reality we all face very tough decisions and have to come to terms with what we decide to do. For me it's putting down a horse that I feel I moved heaven and earth to get on the ground (but there are now health reasons for which there is no cure). I will be following through on my decision on Wednesday. Your decision is whether to sell or not; so, personally I think it could be worse. Yet, again, I do understand the turmoil you're burdened with. I think there are a few things here though that you need to re-think or clarify (not to us) to yourself if you haven't already:

          1. Do you need the money? If so then sell.
          2. How can you say you'll never have another? You got lucky once. You could get lucky again. Sure the odds may appear to be against it; but, unless your crystal ball is better than mine you just never know what the future will bring (both good and bad).
          3. Are you happy just trail riding and/or training a horse with less talent or will that horse "suffer" for not being what you almost had?
          4. Can you afford to take care of both horses. If you can then there is no moral/ethical reason to get rid of the horse. Things could change, someone could move closer or who knows what circumstances may present themselves. I've seen many talented horses start late in life - low mileage isn't always a bad thing.

          Whichever you decide to do, there is no right or wrong answer. Again it all comes down to what you can live with day in and day out.
          Ranch of Last Resort

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          • #6
            I've got to agree that what your horse "should" be doing isn't something to worry about. Show ring potential is all well and good, but that doesn't mean the horse has to live up to it. If you enjoy working with him, can provide him a good home where he is happy, and don't want to sell him, then why on earth would you feel like you shouldn't keep him?

            I mean, I might be willing to listen to the argument if we were talking about a horse that was somehow guaranteed to rival Totilas or something. Since I doubt that's the case (no offense, I hope you know what I mean), I don't think you need to worry about it.

            Of course, I have a really fantastic young horse that started out with a bang but now I mostly just trail ride because I school other people's horses all day and I like just relaxing on mine, so I'm a bit biased.
            exploring the relationship between horse and human

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            • #7
              How many horses with potential never get anywhere because of a stupid injury or illness? Hoe wmany more don't get anywhere because of "training issues?" The majority, I think.

              If you can afford him, and he suits your needs, keep him. Obviously, if either you need the money or he didn't suit your needs (not a good trail horse or not enough time to ride him, etc.) then don't keep him.

              In my view, there is nothing wrong with keeping him. What is tragic is seeing a horse with potential lost due to stupid accidents, etc. and that happens more often than not.
              "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller

              Comment


              • #8
                Posted by exvet:

                In reality we all face very tough decisions and have to come to terms with what we decide to do. For me it's putting down a horse that I feel I moved heaven and earth to get on the ground (but there are now health reasons for which there is no cure). I will be following through on my decision on Wednesday.
                Sorry to hear this, exvet. Hope it isn't one of your cool Cobs.

                Alterrcation, if you can afford to keep your nice young horse, I would keep him. Have fun. Your other horse still needs a buddy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Alterrcation View Post
                  :All shows are also 3-6 hours away and it is not a sport for the lower income bracket people.
                  I've got no idea what your current show expenses are, but every time I've been to a dressage show people appear to be spending all kinds of $$. Traveling those distances are not uncommon in eventing. We camp in our trailers at shows, live out of coolers for food, don't get new tack often, and warm ourselves up trainerless. Maybe you could look at your show expenses and see if you could get there?
                  Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.

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                  • #10
                    I have to second Blaster's recommendation for eventing shows. I've had the most fun there - it's such a relaxed atmosphere, and everyone has made me feel so welcome, even though I'm a wuss who refused to set foot on the cross-country with my Friesian! I camp, we roast hotdogs with everyone else, and just enjoy the atmosphere.

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                    • #11
                      Question...are you getting pressure from others about your horse? If so I've been there.

                      I got behind the "timeline" for my last two youngsters and you wouldn't believe the number of people who say "why aren't you do more with them by now...what a waste"? Sometimes circumstances get in the way, so I just blow it off.

                      I had people telling me that 18 years ago when I didn't even start some of my homebreds until they were 4. And they turned out just great!

                      SO WHAT, if he doesn't move up the levels at a predetermined pace. As someone else mentioned, he could be injured at any time and never progress at all...and if that happens he will still be with you, and not be sent "down the pike".

                      If it isn't about showing to you (and I'm sure he could care less...), then I would just do the best you can (video lessons that someone mentioned is a splendid idea) and enjoy this fine horse that you are so proud of.

                      Remember, just because someone owns a Masarati or Corvette doesn't mean they have to be a race car driver....
                      www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                      "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                      Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CosMonster View Post
                        I've got to agree that what your horse "should" be doing isn't something to worry about. Show ring potential is all well and good, but that doesn't mean the horse has to live up to it. If you enjoy working with him, can provide him a good home where he is happy, and don't want to sell him, then why on earth would you feel like you shouldn't keep him?

                        I mean, I might be willing to listen to the argument if we were talking about a horse that was somehow guaranteed to rival Totilas or something. Since I doubt that's the case (no offense, I hope you know what I mean), I don't think you need to worry about it.
                        Agree with this.

                        The horse has no idea that it has "potential." The horse just wants to eat grass and hang out.

                        If it is a nice horse that you enjoy riding, why give it up? You will regret it, I am certain. Good horses are hard to come by and if you have one I'd hang onto it and enjoy it, and be grateful the universe sent it your way! Who cares if you guys never light the dressage world on fire, what does it matter in the long run.
                        We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you sold or free leased the "other" horse would you be able to afford lessons on the more talented one?

                          Maybe you are considering selling the wrong horse.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Good point. "Dressage" horses love to hack out trail ride too when given the opportunity....
                            www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                            "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                            Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I "should" be at 3rd level by now on my dressage bred 17.1H Dutch warmblood, but much to my dressage trainers dismay, but seemingly my horse's approval, we are now doing endurance---barefoot.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Do you enjoy riding him? Then keep him!

                                I bought a very fancy, beautiful mover. He turned out to not be suitable for dressage because he couldn't handle collection (long story but part physical, part early training errors).

                                I felt terrible about not riding him to his potential.

                                I also didn't have the money to stay in a program, schelp to shows, etc.

                                I started foxhunting him and found that he was amazing at that. He loved to jump, he loved to be out and about watching the hounds and he was a blast. I always got compliments about what a lovely mover he was .

                                Foxhunting was less expensive, closer and more convenient to boot.

                                He never knew that he was bred for dressage. He loved foxhunting.

                                I guess my message is don't get trapped into thinking your horse has to excel at a particular discipline.
                                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by sign of Grace View Post
                                  I "should" be at 3rd level by now on my dressage bred 17.1H Dutch warmblood, but much to my dressage trainers dismay, but seemingly my horse's approval, we are now doing endurance---barefoot.
                                  Cool!!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Bogie View Post
                                    I guess my message is don't get trapped into thinking your horse has to excel at a particular discipline.
                                    This!

                                    I love all the stories of people enjoying their horses, whatever the discipline and whether they are showing or not.
                                    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      You have more than one horse but...

                                      You don't have enough money to campaign this one? Why not sell the putzing horse, and focus your resources on this one? I don't see why THIS is the horse, of the two, that you'd think of selling??

                                      I guess I don't get the vent, when you've chosen to own multiple horses. I own one horse and am very poor. I can't imagine owning two! Seems to me you could go down to one horse and better pursue your dressage goals.

                                      I agree with all the other posters that your horse doesn't care if he's a big shot dressage horse as long as he's loved and gets attention/exercise. I still don't understand the complaint when you've tied yourself to two horses.
                                      2007 Welsh Cob C X TB GG Eragon
                                      Our training journal.
                                      1989-2008 French TB Shamus Fancy
                                      I owned him for fifteen years, but he was his own horse.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                                        Agree with this.

                                        The horse has no idea that it has "potential." The horse just wants to eat grass and hang out.

                                        If it is a nice horse that you enjoy riding, why give it up? You will regret it, I am certain. Good horses are hard to come by and if you have one I'd hang onto it and enjoy it, and be grateful the universe sent it your way! Who cares if you guys never light the dressage world on fire, what does it matter in the long run.
                                        This! Your horse will be fine.
                                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                        ---
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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