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Have you ever considered giving up horses?

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  • #41
    I feel you. I have gotten discouraged right now, struggling with young TB's back that I thought I fixed but then it flared -- it's really just a management thing, but I had entry fees in, had to scratch one, withdraw from one, and it added a LOT of stress for a broke girl among a life personal tragedy and I have been wondering if I am just kidding myself with my aspirations of a T3DE (just someday! doesn't have to be this year!). I didn't make it with my heart horse, he is semi-retired now due to injury, but still healthy and rideable.

    In the last two days, two things happened -- a friend lost an amazing horse suddenly and unexpectedly from beneath her saddle. And then I read jlee's post (the finder of my special TB) and I realized something: he is a good horse, kind, with a wonderful mind and a huge heart. We are working through a rough patch of me figuring out what works best for his management but he has good legs, good blood, and a freaking adorable face. I need to just enjoy that, to relish it, and to accept the gift that both he and my older horse are to my life and not get pulled away from that by sporadic horse shows and such things. I have them because they are a balm to my heart and soul and just watching them from the gate makes me feel better. Because I have learned several times in the last few years, very cruelly, that nothing is guaranteed to last. So I am making a decision to first, enjoy them, and all competitive goals come a distant second to that.

    It is PERFECTLY ok, to take a break, horses will always be here and there are 101 ways to have them in your life without owning them. Give yourself some breathing room and don't push yourself into any corners.
    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
    We Are Flying Solo


    • #42
      there was a great article on EN today about someone who took a hiatus! not exactly directly about taking time off, but it definitely gives you insight.


      • #43
        I have taken hiatuses in the past, and I definitely hear you on how exhausting it is to try to maintain a horse during a series of setbacks. I've been battling a soundness issue with my horse since August and even now, with the end in sight, he's had another problem crop up. It's emotionally and mentally exhausting, even above and beyond the physical things we do to our bodies and the utter wasteland of a bank account after vet bills.

        I'm looking at my life and thinking that kids are in my not-so-distant future and it's going to be hard to justify spending so much money to board a horse - much less two horses when I retire my current horse. Unless I can move to my own land it won't happen. There are tons of really compelling reasons not to just go from losing a horse to buying a new horse again immediately.

        I agree with the poster who said it sounded like you were burned out not necessarily on horses, but on horse ownership. Try taking weekly or bi-weekly lessons for a while, or volunteering at events, or working with a Pony Club. Find ways to spend time and engage with horses without the constant stress ownership. You may find that after a little while you get the spark again - or you may not, and you may continue very happily as a lesson taker and volunteer! There is no wrong answer, really, as long as you are happy.
        life + horses


        • #44
          JLeeGriffith -- THAT's IT! Those of us who can afford exactly 1 horse are doomed to living in fear of lameness issues. I am quite likely not to ever own another horse, because my sweet girl is young, lame, and retired. I know there are many sacrifices associated w/ owning land on which to keep horses, but at least you have the option of having a spare horse!
          I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
          I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


          • #45
            Originally posted by Lori B View Post
            JLeeGriffith -- THAT's IT! Those of us who can afford exactly 1 horse are doomed to living in fear of lameness issues. I am quite likely not to ever own another horse, because my sweet girl is young, lame, and retired. I know there are many sacrifices associated w/ owning land on which to keep horses, but at least you have the option of having a spare horse!
            Yes, I think that really adds to the stress of it all. However, I can have a bunch of personal horses and they can all be lame and they I have to pay for farrier/vet/feed/etc for several lame horses. Sometimes one lame horse is better than owning several lame horses

            I try to just allow myself to enjoy the small things. I don't even know if I have goals anymore and I am okay with that. I really am enjoying the joy of watching the whole ottb movement build and staying busy retraining horses. People really seem to appreciate the methodical approach that it takes to correctly bring along a nice young ottb so I stick with what I am good at.

            I wish some of you lived closer who just want nice sound horses to ride & compete. I have more than enough to go around!


            • #46
              Unfortunately I have. After I had to put my boy down 2 years ago, I decided after 40 years with horses, I was done. I cannot afford to live and have a horse, And I have decided buying a house is more important.
              But when I look at eventing photos of all you folks I> get that old familiar Feeling. Will always love them!


              • #47
                I have. I am horseless for the first time in 35 years or so. I don't know if I will own another due to the cost as I look towards retirement but I'll hang onto some tack and stuff just in case. I did find another hobby I love dearly that is much less expensive but that doesn't replace these wonderful equine partners.


                • #48
                  Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                  JLeeGriffith -- THAT's IT! Those of us who can afford exactly 1 horse are doomed to living in fear of lameness issues. I am quite likely not to ever own another horse, because my sweet girl is young, lame, and retired. I know there are many sacrifices associated w/ owning land on which to keep horses, but at least you have the option of having a spare horse!
                  So for me, I had to look at my situation and decide on owning a horse that had a much higher probability of staying sound given the lifestyle that my horse/pony would have to live. I realized a life in CA at boarding barns where my horse would have to spend much of their time standing in a stall was not a good fit for having a OTTB that most likely had some sort of issues. Or a big Warmblood that needs room to MOVE.

                  I also ended up having to board at a barn that maybe didn't fit in with my goals 100% (with all the "good" trainers at barns with small box stalls and little turnout), but allowed my horse turnout for 6 hours a day in a small pasture.

                  As a boarder, it's sadly all about compromise.
                  On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog