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Should I sell my horse??

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  • Should I sell my horse??

    I know this is really my decision to make in the end but I'd like some advice and opinions!

    I've had my horse for 2 years and he has taught me everything I know. He is now 17 years old and still going strong. Our strongest discipline is jumping and our weakest is dressage. We have really being struggling with our dressage for the last few months. He isn't hasn't done much dressage previously and since he was a racehorse in his younger years, he has a old racing injury which prevents him from being able to bend correcting and use his neck muscles properly which doesn't effect anything, but our dressage. This is something we have been trying to work on for the past year or so but I haven't seen any improvement on it at all, which is a problem as I'd like to continue moving up the levels in dressage and it always makes me really down after having a dressage ride, knowing that we aren't getting anywhere. Jumping is a whole different situation. My horse is a ripper jumper and has given me so much confidence with jumping. We are jumping roughly 90cm to 1metre and I know that he is doing it easily now but I'm worried that because he is 17, he'll start needing to slow down on the jumping soon.

    This is such a tough decision for me as I love him with all my heart and he is honestly my rock and I couldn't imagine life without him, but we can't afford another horse and leasing him out isn't really an option.

    Please give me your thoughts on what I should do? I've been thinking of selling him for a while now because we are really having a hard time with our dressage but it's so hard for me to think of letting him go.


    Also please don't say that I'm giving up on him. Because I'm not. I'm only asking on whether you think that I should sell or keep him and I don't need to be put down and told that I'm giving up.
    Last edited by rosie123; Jan. 10, 2019, 07:22 AM.

  • #2
    “He is now 17 years old he has a old racing injury which prevents him from being able to bend correcting and use his neck muscles properly.”

    No. Selling such a horse is a likely death sentence. If you get REALLY lucky you might be able to give him away to someone who will use him lightly.

    Comment


    • #3
      My thoughts were along the lines with SP. He's an older horse with past injuries which will not get better and, in all likelihood, get worse.

      Can you afford to retire him someplace or work out some type of lease where he stays where you can monitor him but he does get some ongoing light exercise... a younger rider than needs confidence builder maybe?

      If he were mine, I'd be so afraid of where he'd end up down the road. True, I might not know where he might end up or even if that would happen but the thought would be in my head. True really for any horse you sell but with a few strikes already against him, I'd be a bit more concerned.

      I'm of the opinion that there are things for a horse worse than death (not suggesting in any way that this is a consideration for either you or him at this time).
      Your life is made of 2 dates and a dash; make the most of the dash.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by SnortyPants View Post
        “He is now 17 years old he has a old racing injury which prevents him from being able to bend correcting and use his neck muscles properly.”

        No. Selling such a horse is a likely death sentence. If you get REALLY lucky you might be able to give him away to someone who will use him lightly.
        I get where you are coming from but if I did sell him I would only sell him to someone I trust as a forever home where he could be ridden by someone who would like to build confidence with jumping etc.

        Comment


        • #5
          The gist of your situation, from what I understand, is that you want to do more but your horse is physically limited in his capability to do so.

          He is aging. He has an old injury that limits performance.

          What you don't mention is why anyone else would buy him (or what circumstance people would be in who would be interested in him). Does he have virtues that are desirable to the market? Is he a babysitter/packer? Can he be trusted with absolute beginners and teaching them the ropes of very small stuff over fences? If your horse is this sort of citizen, then there may be a market for him where you can sell him and find him a very good home.

          However, if he isn't completely beginner friendly, then the reality is that you are trying to market an older horse with physical limitations. The market is not kind to horses like this. You are looking at the type of horse who tends to either never sell, or sell and get passed on/fall between the cracks into less ideal situations.

          Be completely honest with yourself about him and his prospects. As his owner, this is your responsibility. From a purely goal-driven perspective, yes. You would be justified in selling him. (The bare bones is that you want to do more and he cannot do more.) But you also need to consider your personal ethics and the responsibility you have to your horse, who is older, with an old injury. Unless there is a market for the type of horse he is that creates value/demand? I could never sell. Like Where'sMyWhite above, I would be too afraid of what would happen to a horse like this.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Where'sMyWhite View Post
            My thoughts were along the lines with SP. He's an older horse with past injuries which will not get better and, in all likelihood, get worse.

            Can you afford to retire him someplace or work out some type of lease where he stays where you can monitor him but he does get some ongoing light exercise... a younger rider than needs confidence builder maybe?

            If he were mine, I'd be so afraid of where he'd end up down the road. True, I might not know where he might end up or even if that would happen but the thought would be in my head. True really for any horse you sell but with a few strikes already against him, I'd be a bit more concerned.

            I'm of the opinion that there are things for a horse worse than death (not suggesting in any way that this is a consideration for either you or him at this time).

            I have considered retiring him, but I still would have to pay extra fees for agistment, farrier, dentist and even vet which we can't afford if I have another horse. I also don't really want to retire him yet, because I don't think it is time and he is still enjoying being ridden. My parents unfortunately won't let me lease him out, as we still have the problem of worrying about another horse If I did sell him, I'd sell him somewhere close by to someone I trust to keep him for the rest of his life. It would probably take me a while to find a home like this, but I won't let him go to anyone who I don't believe will take proper care of him.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Edre View Post
              The gist of your situation, from what I understand, is that you want to do more but your horse is physically limited in his capability to do so.

              He is aging. He has an old injury that limits performance.

              What you don't mention is why anyone else would buy him (or what circumstance people would be in who would be interested in him). Does he have virtues that are desirable to the market? Is he a babysitter/packer? Can he be trusted with absolute beginners and teaching them the ropes of very small stuff over fences? If your horse is this sort of citizen, then there may be a market for him where you can sell him and find him a very good home.

              However, if he isn't completely beginner friendly, then the reality is that you are trying to market an older horse with physical limitations. The market is not kind to horses like this. You are looking at the type of horse who tends to either never sell, or sell and get passed on/fall between the cracks into less ideal situations.

              Be completely honest with yourself about him and his prospects. As his owner, this is your responsibility. From a purely goal-driven perspective, yes. You would be justified in selling him. (The bare bones is that you want to do more and he cannot do more.) But you also need to consider your personal ethics and the responsibility you have to your horse, who is older, with an old injury. Unless there is a market for the type of horse he is that creates value/demand? I could never sell. Like Where'sMyWhite above, I would be too afraid of what would happen to a horse like this.

              Yes exactly. I would love to go on and do a bit more dressage but his injury and lack of experience is what's holding us back!
              I think my horse is suited to people who want their teenager (or an adult wanting to build confidence) to learn the ropes of jumping and eventing. Even a pony clubber would be suitable because he has done up to grade 1 cross country and jumping with me, but he isn't quite the beginners horse. I just think that he isn't suited to anyone who wants to do more than the basics in dressage as that's the only thing that his injury effects. He is more suited to a showjumping home as in my opinion, he has a lot of years left in him.

              It would probably take me a very long time to find a home for him, but I would make sure that they are in my area and that I trust them.

              I'm just so stuck. I'm scared to let my boy go but I just can't see us going anywhere!

              Comment


              • #8
                And how do you feel about changing your goals for the time being?

                I originally bought a horse to event. Given where we both were at a point, it was clear eventing wasn't going to happen for us. I could sell him on to another home (there would have been a market for a horse like him) but I decided that I would change what I did in my riding to stay with him. So we ended up going into dressage instead, and had reasonable success. I learned a ton, surprised myself with how much I liked it (because I was riding a horse I enjoyed and was working with good instruction), and I didn't mind shelving my original riding goals because of it.

                If you can't stand to sell him this is essentially the option you're left with.

                Based on your description above, I maintain that I would be very nervous trying to sell a horse like this: even if you find what you think is a good home, you have to consider that horses at this age can start to require more and more maintenance which people may not be alright with. Even if you sell him as a 17yo that requires, say, hock injections 1x a year, that may change to something more - adequan, previcox, etc etc etc. Someone might have been willing to put down the money for a 17yo that doesn't require much maintenance but not for a 17yo that has a slew of special requirements, which are things you can neither predict nor control.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Edre View Post
                  And how do you feel about changing your goals for the time being?

                  I originally bought a horse to event. Given where we both were at a point, it was clear eventing wasn't going to happen for us. I could sell him on to another home (there would have been a market for a horse like him) but I decided that I would change what I did in my riding to stay with him. So we ended up going into dressage instead, and had reasonable success. I learned a ton, surprised myself with how much I liked it (because I was riding a horse I enjoyed and was working with good instruction), and I didn't mind shelving my original riding goals because of it.

                  If you can't stand to sell him this is essentially the option you're left with.

                  Based on your description above, I maintain that I would be very nervous trying to sell a horse like this: even if you find what you think is a good home, you have to consider that horses at this age can start to require more and more maintenance which people may not be alright with. Even if you sell him as a 17yo that requires, say, hock injections 1x a year, that may change to something more - adequan, previcox, etc etc etc. Someone might have been willing to put down the money for a 17yo that doesn't require much maintenance but not for a 17yo that has a slew of special requirements, which are things you can neither predict nor control.

                  Yes I have been trying to focus on our jumping more and dressage less recently... it is still a little hard though because we can't jump every ride and have to do dressage/flatwork more to improve on our jumping skills anyway.

                  It's true what you're saying with selling. We've had a couple of different vets out to check his injuries out recently and they have all said that there is no sign of the injuries getting worse or turning into problems in the future, so hopefully it stays that way!

                  Thank you for all your help!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Remember if you sell him, even to a "forever" home, he belongs to someone else to do with whatever they decide.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by My Two Cents View Post
                      Remember if you sell him, even to a "forever" home, he belongs to someone else to do with whatever they decide.
                      ^
                      THIS X1000


                      "Forever" can turn into Sold Down the Road & you have zero control over that, even if you include a Right of First Refusal in your sales contract.

                      Help me understand why leasing your current horse is not an option.
                      Lessor pays all the fees, stabling, vet, shoer, etc, as long as the lease spells out theses responsibilities.
                      When lease is ended you will get your horse back & from what I am reading, parents will not support him if you have gotten another while he was on lease.
                      Is this the roadblock?

                      How about taking lessons on a Dressage Schoolmaster & leaving the jumping to your current horse?
                      'My OTTB was still going strong O/F in his 20s - I'd set fences at 2'6" (.8m) out of respect for his age.
                      He'd jump 3' (1m) anyhow.
                      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rosie123 View Post
                        If I did sell him, I'd sell him somewhere close by to someone I trust to keep him for the rest of his life. It would probably take me a while to find a home like this, but I won't let him go to anyone who I don't believe will take proper care of him.
                        As long as you realize that once you sign the Bill of Sale he is no longer yours and the buyer is free to do as they wish with him. You can search and trust the buyer but that is still no guarantee. What if the buyer falls on hard times and has to sell him? What is the buyer ends up being unscrupulous and moves him where you can't find him.

                        I understand all the issues with potentially keeping him but letting him go also has potential issues.
                        Your life is made of 2 dates and a dash; make the most of the dash.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rosie123 View Post
                          I know this is really my decision to make in the end but I'd like some advice and opinions!

                          I've had my horse for 2 years and he has taught me everything I know. He is now 17 years old and still going strong. Our strongest discipline is jumping and our weakest is dressage. We have really being struggling with our dressage for the last few months. He isn't hasn't done much dressage previously and since he was a racehorse in his younger years, he has a old racing injury which prevents him from being able to bend correcting and use his neck muscles properly which doesn't effect anything, but our dressage. This is something we have been trying to work on for the past year or so but I haven't seen any improvement on it at all, which is a problem as I'd like to continue moving up the levels in dressage and it always makes me really down after having a dressage ride, knowing that we aren't getting anywhere. Jumping is a whole different situation. My horse is a ripper jumper and has given me so much confidence with jumping. We are jumping roughly 90cm to 1metre and I know that he is doing it easily now but I'm worried that because he is 17, he'll start needing to slow down on the jumping soon.

                          This is such a tough decision for me as I love him with all my heart and he is honestly my rock and I couldn't imagine life without him, but we can't afford another horse and leasing him out isn't really an option.

                          Please give me your thoughts on what I should do? I've been thinking of selling him for a while now because we are really having a hard time with our dressage but it's so hard for me to think of letting him go.
                          Reading between the lines here I assume youre a junior because your parents have a say in whether you lease, and it's possible this is your first horse. And while you may be a competent rider for your age, you don't have much experience fixing horses. You are assuming that what you see is what you get.

                          Honestly, a horse that is jumping courses safely at that height, remaining balanced around from the corners and getting good distances to the fences and flying changes (I'm assuming all this because you say he's a great jumper), well that horse probably doesn't have any "old racing injury" that is going to affect his neck and bend and head carriage such that he can't be schooled basic dressage.

                          That is the kind of excuse the coaches make up when they want you to upgrade to a fancier horse, and riders make up when they don't know how to school their horse.

                          Go ahead and start schooling him on basic dressage (what in the USA would be Training and Level One). No, you probably aren't ever going to get piaffes out of him. But if you were put on a Grand Prix schoolmaster tomorrow you wouldn't be able to get piaffes out of him either.

                          Basic dressage is very basic about getting stretch to the bit and flexions and consistent contact.

                          You will learn more from schooling this boy in basic dressage than you will from getting your parents to buy you a shiny new horse.



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Nobody can promise a forever home, nobody can see what lies ahead and life’s challenges can have a nasty side.

                            You are still young and can’t help assuming nothing will change. People get sick, even die, get divorced, lose jobs or have a child with a bad diagnosis and the horse has to be gone. Since you are young and this horse is not, it wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen to you if you adjust your goals and keep him. Sounds like he can still teach you despite his limitations.

                            I agree his prospects as a sale horse are slim, between age and a performance limiting physical issue, he’s not a desirable kind of horse. If he does sell, what happens if that well meaning buyer suffers a personal setback and must sell him on? Would you buy him back? Can you promise your parents would be in the same situation they are today and able to buy and support him?
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Could you lease out your horse and then lease something for yourself instead of buying? Then you don't own two horses and you always have an out.
                              I also agree with the point made by Scribbler that if the horse is truly comfortable bouncing around 3 foot courses he should be sound for lower level dressage and some of your roadblocks may be improved by a different trainer, perhaps a solid dressage trainer who can put some rides on for you and show you what he's potentially capable of. You may never get amazing collection, but you really don't need that at the lower levels.
                              If you are set on selling him he might be a good acquisition for a lesson program or a college riding team. Those are basically situations where you can guarantee a steady stream of people wanting to do low level jumping forever. I'd guess many individual owners would outgrow him quickly and be more likely to pass him on. Just make sure to do your research on the program. Some programs are excellent and retire horses responsibly, some euthanize horses once they are no longer consistently sound and others will dump them at auction or with a horse trader.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                                Reading between the lines here I assume youre a junior because your parents have a say in whether you lease, and it's possible this is your first horse. And while you may be a competent rider for your age, you don't have much experience fixing horses. You are assuming that what you see is what you get.

                                Honestly, a horse that is jumping courses safely at that height, remaining balanced around from the corners and getting good distances to the fences and flying changes (I'm assuming all this because you say he's a great jumper), well that horse probably doesn't have any "old racing injury" that is going to affect his neck and bend and head carriage such that he can't be schooled basic dressage.

                                That is the kind of excuse the coaches make up when they want you to upgrade to a fancier horse, and riders make up when they don't know how to school their horse.

                                Go ahead and start schooling him on basic dressage (what in the USA would be Training and Level One). No, you probably aren't ever going to get piaffes out of him. But if you were put on a Grand Prix schoolmaster tomorrow you wouldn't be able to get piaffes out of him either.

                                Basic dressage is very basic about getting stretch to the bit and flexions and consistent contact.

                                You will learn more from schooling this boy in basic dressage than you will from getting your parents to buy you a shiny new horse.


                                Thank you, Scibbler. May I also add that you will learn a hell of a lot by keeping this horse and tuning into what can can really teach you vs. moving onto the next one after two short years. He has a lot to teach you yet. You’d be better off finding someone who can train you with that in mind. Honestly if you were my kid, that’s too bad- you got the horse and you will keep him long term. It’s a commitment.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  If you, with your long history and appreciation of this horse, aren't willing to be his "forever home", why do you think someone else would be?

                                  Originally posted by rosie123 View Post

                                  I get where you are coming from but if I did sell him I would only sell him to someone I trust as a forever home where he could be ridden by someone who would like to build confidence with jumping etc.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Scribbler well, well written! And so danged logical!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by TWH Girl View Post

                                      Thank you, Scibbler. May I also add that you will learn a hell of a lot by keeping this horse and tuning into what can can really teach you vs. moving onto the next one after two short years. He has a lot to teach you yet. You’d be better off finding someone who can train you with that in mind. Honestly if you were my kid, that’s too bad- you got the horse and you will keep him long term. It’s a commitment.
                                      In fairness, we don’t know a lot about this situation. Most of the teens I’ve been around have been forced to sell their horses at age 18 anyways. After all, they could not afford the horse any longer and their parents weren’t going to pay for the horse’s retirement. If this young person will have to sell the horse at some point anyways, maybe he would be better off if she started looking for a new home now. We just don’t know enough details about what the parents are expecting with a long-term plan.
                                      I have kept my old TB and honestly it’s been quite a luxury, and in large part possible because I never wanted children and the generosity of my parents. He is now 29 years old. This horse could have many years left, and it’s possible that OP is not going to be able to keep him.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by My Two Cents View Post
                                        Remember if you sell him, even to a "forever" home, he belongs to someone else to do with whatever they decide.
                                        Yeah true

                                        Comment

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