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So what's wrong with me?

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  • So what's wrong with me?

    After not riding for four years I started riding again last fall. I've been taking lessons once a week from an eventing trainer and I really enjoy it. The problem is that I've kind of maxed out how much I can do with the school horses. They are really nice for school horses but the one that can jump the most is usually leased out. The other horses can't jump more than cross rails or else there is a large pony I can ride who is very fun but I'm never going to get past 2'6" with her. The trainer thinks I need to get my own horse and he is right. Here's where the problem lies.

    I grew up riding, evented successfully through prelim, showed in the jumpers and was the kind of kid who rode anything and everything. I've always liked training young horses and I've trained and sold several OTTB's over the years. I wouldn't consider myself a full professional but I did have a few students I taught and horses I schooled at my farm when we owned one.

    Then I then went through cancer and the side effects and after effects from treatment combined with a run of bad luck with unsound horses got me burnt out. So I made the hard decision to re-home both of my horses and I stopped riding.

    Fortunately I started a business that is horse related so that has kept me involved with horses but it was hard seeing my friends ride and going to shows but not competing and like any horseperson the thought of owning a horse was always there.

    I'm finally at a point where I can actually entertain owning a horse again but I'm lacking the excitement I think I should be feeling. Maybe it's the older and wiser voice inside of my head who keeps pointing out the potential pitfalls and expenses involved with having a horse. I know if I buy a horse I'm going to want to compete and that's another huge expense and time commitment. If I do something I do it all the way and I've never been much of a pleasure rider so if all I'm going to do is ride at the farm then I don't know if I can justify the expense. What if I wind up having to sell the horse because of something out of my control?

    I worry too about what I would do if the trainer I ride with moved to a different location that was too far away. The other thing that bothers me is that I can too easily ride or not ride. In my former days I rode five to six days a week without fail. I love being at the barn when I'm there but it's like I live in two worlds, one with horses and one without and I'm happy being in both. I like to think that I'm not committed because I don't have my own horse but I just don't have that giddy feeling I had about horses and riding when I was younger. Some days all I can think about owning a horse again and other days it's the last thing on my mind.

    So do I just jump in and buy or do I wait? Leasing isn't an option because there isn't a horse I can lease at the barn I'm at and I like having my own horse. Plus I would rather take a lease fee and put it towards the purchase price. I'm looking at getting something off the track as that's where my budget is and at least I won't be showing for awhile. Maybe I'm just worrying too much about the what ifs.

    So wise Cothers, what do you think I should do?

  • #2
    Oh I could have written so much of your post.

    I'm not sure what the answer is, I wish I did! However, I think taking your time and finding a horse you REALLY enjoy makes a huge difference. Something you really love and are excited to go out and ride and handle.

    Maybe low maintenance, well broke? So you don't have the stress of training, or dealing with a high-needs horse?
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

    Comment


    • #3
      Leasing isn't an option because there isn't a horse I can lease at the barn I'm at and I like having my own horse. Plus I would rather take a lease fee and put it towards the purchase price.
      It's an option if you WANT it to be an option. Why does a lease horse have to come from your own barn? Ask around. Advertise. Lots of leases happen via word of mouth. And for a lower level horse, there are RARELY "lease fees" other than paying for board, shoeing, and routine vet bills. Everyone would "like" to have their own horse, but you gave several very good reasons why it may not be optimal for you right now. Are you shooting yourself in the foot on purpose by not considering making a lease happen? If so, then I'd say just keep taking lessons for a while, volunteer, and wait for the "fire in the belly" to come back for real.
      Click here before you buy.

      Comment


      • #4
        Still at work so this response is very brief. Speaking from experience of riding all of the time, then no riding, then taking lessons on a very forgiving, talented horse.
        You and your body have been alot, especially cancer and treatment. Plus age and you have a different mindset than when younger and invincible. You have to redefine what type of equestrian you are now. What are your realistic goals as opposed to what you wanted to when you were riding all of the time. In short just how important is say compete at Prelim again or will you be happy at BN or Novice level? Do you really want to compete again, compete part-time or jump in feet first?

        You have been back at it for only a few months and for most folks, IMO it takes 6-12 months to really 'come back". I would consider staying with this trainer since you are comfortable with her. Maybe look for another instructor who has access to a wider variety of horses to push your comfort zone. Remember the right horse for you today is not necessarily the right horse for you 12 months from now.

        And no it is not just you. I am trying to get back into the saddle so I can realistically look for another horse to event, h/j, trail ride and maybe foxhunt with. But first I have get me back in shape, easier said than done.
        "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
        Courtesy my cousin Tim

        Comment


        • #5
          I would get a horse. If you can afford it, no worries if you don't ride every day. You are not on a tight schedule to train and show, just have some fun. Once you actually have the horse, your feelings may change and you will want to be back to riding almost daily. If not, a few times a week is fine too.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by deltawave View Post
            It's an option if you WANT it to be an option. Why does a lease horse have to come from your own barn? Ask around. Advertise. Lots of leases happen via word of mouth. And for a lower level horse, there are RARELY "lease fees" other than paying for board, shoeing, and routine vet bills. Everyone would "like" to have their own horse, but you gave several very good reasons why it may not be optimal for you right now. Are you shooting yourself in the foot on purpose by not considering making a lease happen? If so, then I'd say just keep taking lessons for a while, volunteer, and wait for the "fire in the belly" to come back for real.
            That's a good point and one I hadn't thought about much. I guess I've always thought that if it was a free lease then there was an issue with the horse either with soundness or training.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think the "what if" thinking really gets in the way of everything. I've noticed in myself that whenever I make up a big story in my mind about what might happen...I can write the whole script...but when the future becomes now, it is almost always completely different than I had imagined. So, I really try to replace the what if thoughts with "I don't know" and I don't know is perfectly okay.

              When or "if" you come across a horse that is "the one", you will get that giddy feeling...trust me. You know the one...the one you want to buy all that "stuff" for...

              Comment


              • #8
                There is a lot in your consideration about the process of riding or owning, and not much about the goals. I believe defining your goals will help you to trim down your desired riding mount profile. Do you want to get a medal or a qualification level? Or would you simply enjoy the fox hunting, constume hunting, hanging out with friends at the shows? I'd say, horse ownership is a financial decision, not a riding decision. If you really ride well, people will give you their horses as to a sub rider, and sometimes to show. Young horse requires hot skills, and no finacial concerns, plus it involves delayed performance timeframe. I'd vote against a young horse partnership for you.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by fooler View Post
                  Still at work so this response is very brief. Speaking from experience of riding all of the time, then no riding, then taking lessons on a very forgiving, talented horse.
                  You and your body have been alot, especially cancer and treatment. Plus age and you have a different mindset than when younger and invincible. You have to redefine what type of equestrian you are now. What are your realistic goals as opposed to what you wanted to when you were riding all of the time. In short just how important is say compete at Prelim again or will you be happy at BN or Novice level? Do you really want to compete again, compete part-time or jump in feet first?

                  You have been back at it for only a few months and for most folks, IMO it takes 6-12 months to really 'come back". I would consider staying with this trainer since you are comfortable with her. Maybe look for another instructor who has access to a wider variety of horses to push your comfort zone. Remember the right horse for you today is not necessarily the right horse for you 12 months from now.

                  And no it is not just you. I am trying to get back into the saddle so I can realistically look for another horse to event, h/j, trail ride and maybe foxhunt with. But first I have get me back in shape, easier said than done.
                  Thanks for that. I've always been in really good shape as it does so much towards keeping you in a secure position. It's fun getting that "feel" back!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by plainbay22 View Post
                    That's a good point and one I hadn't thought about much. I guess I've always thought that if it was a free lease then there was an issue with the horse either with soundness or training.
                    No, not always. Right now I'm in a position where I have a young horse who needs miles on her - and nowhere to ride. There is nothing wrong with her, just with my truck, so I can't trailer her anywhere that we can work.
                    I hate that she's just hanging out in the pasture.

                    There are lots of horses who's owners would jump on the right lease - through no fault of the horse. Just start putting feelers out - you won't know what's out there unless you ask.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by plainbay22 View Post
                      Thanks for that. I've always been in really good shape as it does so much towards keeping you in a secure position. It's fun getting that "feel" back!
                      Let that "feel" return. Then you will have a better idea of the next step. Good luck and remember to have fun.
                      "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                      Courtesy my cousin Tim

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Equestrian Insider View Post
                        There is a lot in your consideration about the process of riding or owning, and not much about the goals. I believe defining your goals will help you to trim down your desired riding mount profile. Do you want to get a medal or a qualification level? Or would you simply enjoy the fox hunting, constume hunting, hanging out with friends at the shows? I'd say, horse ownership is a financial decision, not a riding decision. If you really ride well, people will give you their horses as to a sub rider, and sometimes to show. Young horse requires hot skills, and no finacial concerns, plus it involves delayed performance timeframe. I'd vote against a young horse partnership for you.
                        I don't need to get back in the show ring right away but when I used to ride it was always a part of the training process and I really enjoyed it. But where I used to be very competitive, now I would be competing more for the fun and just being able to do it. I would be happy going novice maybe training if I do get serious again.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by fairtheewell View Post
                          I think the "what if" thinking really gets in the way of everything. I've noticed in myself that whenever I make up a big story in my mind about what might happen...I can write the whole script...but when the future becomes now, it is almost always completely different than I had imagined. So, I really try to replace the what if thoughts with "I don't know" and I don't know is perfectly okay.

                          When or "if" you come across a horse that is "the one", you will get that giddy feeling...trust me. You know the one...the one you want to buy all that "stuff" for...
                          I get that giddy feeling every time I go on CANTER!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by plainbay22 View Post
                            I'm finally at a point where I can actually entertain owning a horse again but I'm lacking the excitement I think I should be feeling. Maybe it's the older and wiser voice inside of my head who keeps pointing out the potential pitfalls and expenses involved with having a horse. I know if I buy a horse I'm going to want to compete and that's another huge expense and time commitment. If I do something I do it all the way and I've never been much of a pleasure rider so if all I'm going to do is ride at the farm then I don't know if I can justify the expense. What if I wind up having to sell the horse because of something out of my control?
                            Then you sell the horse. That is why they are horses and not kids: if they become untenable for whatever reason you can sell them. This should be a diminisher of worry, not an adder.

                            I worry too about what I would do if the trainer I ride with moved to a different location that was too far away.
                            Then you would find a new trainer.
                            Or, alternatively, move in order to stay with your trainer.

                            The other thing that bothers me is that I can too easily ride or not ride. In my former days I rode five to six days a week without fail. I love being at the barn when I'm there but it's like I live in two worlds, one with horses and one without and I'm happy being in both. I like to think that I'm not committed because I don't have my own horse but I just don't have that giddy feeling I had about horses and riding when I was younger. Some days all I can think about owning a horse again and other days it's the last thing on my mind.
                            Perhaps you will slide back into the same level of commitment you had previously, and that will be ok with you. In this case, keep the horse.

                            Perhaps you will slide back into the same level of commitment you had previously, and it will be too much for you, but you won't want to incur the expenses without maxing out your results. In this case, sell the horse, lease it, give it away, or put it down.

                            Perhaps you will find yourself participating in horses at a lower level of
                            commitment, and that will be ok with you. In that case, keep the horse.

                            So wise Cothers, what do you think I should do?
                            I think you should keep in mind that it is horse ownership, not slavery.
                            You have control over 75% over the factors that influence your horse ownership, and for the 25% of unforseen events you DON'T have control over, you DO have full control over how you react to unforseen events.

                            So just go about life in a manner where you make decisions, live with them, evaluate how they're working out, and when stuff comes up, you just make more decisions.
                            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                            Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                            The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sounds like leasing a horse for 6 months would be a great option for you. There are tons of horses whose owners don't want to "go down the road", so they keep them and lease them out.

                              Quite often these horses used to compete at Prelim or Training, and their riders went off to college... now the parents don't want to part with the horse, and don't really want it competing at Prelim either... but having someone to lease it works out ideally.

                              I have seen several of these situations, as the horse got older, it would be leased to do even lower levels (and it usually becomes more of a packer too). And the owner is always happy to take it back any time, because it's "their baby."

                              Alternatively, if you do go ahead with horse ownership, what about considering doing a half-lease on your horse? Share some of the costs and time commitment with someone else.
                              Blugal

                              You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by plainbay22 View Post
                                That's a good point and one I hadn't thought about much. I guess I've always thought that if it was a free lease then there was an issue with the horse either with soundness or training.
                                There are lots of horses to lease out there. Another thing to consider is to go buy your own horse and YOU share lease it with someone. That way you don't have to ride all the time and have someone to help with the expenses.

                                ETA: Didn't see Blugal's post before I posted....ditto what she said
                                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Well, DONT do what I did I had also outgrown most schoolies, and honestly, like going out to "just hack" as often as possible in the summer.

                                  I personally, don't like free-leases. I've done a few, and they don't usually end super well unless the owner is a total absentee for me (I board at a barn that does not prefer visitors the BO does not know personally).

                                  I was looking for a steady eddie, maybe older that could also do some lessons. Didn't have to be pretty - but something that could hop around a BN course would be nice.

                                  I bought an unbroke, ungelded 4 year old (who has turned out spectacular by the way) that I needed a ton of help with to get broke and rideable.

                                  if I were in your shoes depending on your goals I would buy a horse that is not super young (8-16 range), sound (barefoot), and is steady and well broke w/t/c/j. A horse that you can either just putz around on, or give him a little polish for dressage and go show if you want - maybe he's not fancy or flashy, but at least conformationally capeable of doing some dressage. As fancy as you want - but this horse I discribe can be had in this day and age for well under $5000 in most of the US and Canada if you're not picky about breed (lots of great TBs, STBs, and QHs out there!). Try and find a horse that can be left out as a pasture puff for 4 days a week then pulled out for a decent lesson. Pass on "high maintnance" types that must be ridden 6 days a week or their brain falls out. My current guy is sustainable on 2 rides a week, and so if I have to go away for a while it doesn't cost me a mint to keep him excersized.

                                  The above horse I've described can likely also be PBed out at some point should you have less time for him.

                                  As for your coach - coaches move (though mine hasn't in 20 years and probably never will). There will be others. Some are worth the occasional trailer out to if they are not far though
                                  www.felixfjord.blogspot.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    OP I empathize with what you are going through. No specific advice, but I can tell you what I went through a few years ago- a similar situation.

                                    A few years ago I didn't have a riding horse. I had sold my resale, and my personal horse got lung cancer and had to be PTS. All I had was my old retired guy. Shortly after all that happened, I went through a whole bunch of weird and unpleasant life changes (not cancer, but life changing none the less).

                                    I started taking lessons again on school horses, which was unsatisfying. Because of my life issues, I decided to lease a horse vs buying one. I did a paid lease, primarly because I wanted something not green and all the free leases I could find had odd strings attached or were really green or were unsuitable. The lease didn't last long because the horse had some undisclosed issues, but it was a blessing! I felt like I was renting an apartment, my hard work was increasing someone else's equity. LOL.

                                    After the few months of leasing, I decided "life problems be damned! I'm buying another horse!" So I went to the track and bought a nice 4 yr old. It was the right decision for me. I have since then seriously gotten back into competing and training, of which I had gotten burnt out on in the mid 2000s. All of this was the right choice for me. Astonishingly as I've gotten older, I have gotten a lot braver and I now again have some ambitious horse related goals lol.

                                    I guess my point, if there is one, is play it by ear. What's right will happen
                                    Last edited by Judysmom; Mar. 22, 2013, 10:07 PM. Reason: flipping spelling
                                    Unrepentant carb eater

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      OP, I stopped riding when I went to college and did not ride in my early 20's when I was entering the working world. But, as you said, once a horse person, always a horseperson.

                                      I did not have the money to buy a quality made horse so I bought a green 4 year old and my trainers and I brought him along until he and I were ready to go A/O. We even won top ribbons at WEF! I had him until he died and always think of him fondly because he was an important part of my future in horses.

                                      I don't know where you are, but if you are anywhere in the East or mid West, have you looked at the New Vocations horses? If not, "Like" them on FB. They post their adoptees there a day before they go up on their site. And they have some gorgeous, beautifully bred horses!

                                      Why not fill out an application for them and see what happens? You need to be pre approved because the really nice horses go within an hour of being posted. And their adoption costs are in the $500 range.
                                      "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism"

                                      Charles Krauthammer speaking about Trump

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I went through a similar experience. I got out of horses in college and grad school and didn't really miss it. Once I finished grad school and was only working full time, I stumbled back into horses more out of boredom than passion. I rode lesson horses for about a year and leased for another six months. I enjoyed my time at the barn, but could have taken it or left it. When I finally summoned the courage to buy a horse (having had all the same pragmatic debates you seem to be having), it finally clicked for me. My best friend used to say that something magical happens when you write that check, and I would laugh at her. Once I wrote that check, something magical happened and horses became a passion once more. I think buying your own horse will be the thing that puts most of your fears and doubts to rest and reignites your passion for the sport and the partnership.

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