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Heart Horse vs. New Horse (Long, sorry!)

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  • Heart Horse vs. New Horse (Long, sorry!)

    Ugh. I've been meaning to write this post for a couple of days, not looking forward to even talking about it. But here goes.

    Up until 2 months ago, I was riding dressage with 2 amazing instructors, having the time of my life. Then, a car hit me on the way home from the barn, giving me the 3rd concussion I have had in two years. This time around, everything is different. It is taking much longer to heal. I will likely change a lot about my life in the future, to accommodate the brain damage that accumulates from so many so close together. I have decided to quit competing, but my therapist has urged me not to give up on life or riding, and to distract myself during the healing process, I decided to look at safe family horses that myself, my husband and family could all play around on. Probably shouldn't have even started to look for a while, but hey, I did.

    And it looks like I found a great horse. We have him on trial and my husband can handle him no problem. He's been a perfect gentleman in every way, and he's getting x-rays today that will likely show nothing (he had a bad flexion, but his owner showed us that he was just sore on that hip after a too tight barrel turn she asked him to do-a chiropractic issue that has happened once before).

    The problem is, my husband has become adamant that we can only have 1 horse (due to money issues), and I already have a horse. A horse that I love. A horse that I do not ride, but whom I am absolutely crazy for.

    I bought my horse 5 years ago, after falling in love at first sight. He is a gorgeous, 18h European TB who was 4 at the time and who was doing low jumps. He had a knee injury from a kick to the leg that causes his knee to be permanently enlarged, and limits his jumping ability due to his that. I bought him despite the former injury, and have considered the injury a blessing ever since. I firmly believe that if my horse had not sustained the injury, he would currently be representing the U.S. in international competition and therefore I would never have had the chance to meet, let alone own, anything so nice. Even with the injury he's the nicest mover I've ever seen.

    3 years ago, when I had had my horse for 2 years, I quit riding due to knee issues and due to wedding planning and life stuff. My lovely boy became a pasture ornament. I was out for two years, got my knee back into shape, and a year ago I started riding dressage (without my boy, even though he'll be perfect for it). I figured I would learn on schoolmasters, then have my boy tuned back up and we would do it together. I admit I was a little intimidated to get back on him after two years in the pasture, and wanted to get atrong in the saddle before tackling him again.

    Now, my horse is the most lovable creature on earth, but he's extremely alpha, loves to intimidate people and other horses. My husband is very uncomfortable around him due to his size and temperament. When he was in work his manners were fine (pushy with people other than me, but good for me) but 3 years off and they have totally gone to heck. He's a brat. I know it. All I have done is brush and love on him when I go to the barn, figuring I would work on the manners again when he was back in work again. I never, ever intended to sell him, and believed him to be my forever horse.

    But now that I'm on concussion#3, my husband doesn't even want me around him. Plus he wants a horse that he can ride too. I'm getting a lot of pressure from my parents and relatives who have met the new horse on trial and really want me to buy him so that they can, for the first time, ride my horse as well. I think it's cute and want them to be able to learn to ride.

    But...that means selling my baby. Whom I love more than life, whether or not I can ever use him again. I literally have had stress dreams about losing him over the years, and have had a painful stomach condition ever since DH insisted we let him go. Plus, he would be a tough sell...gorgeous horse, beautiful mover, awesome guy but with riding limitations, huge, pushy and out of work for 3 years. Plus, the vet said recently his jumping days should be over now and I should only consider him sound on the flat.

    The 2nd horse is amazing too...honestly I think he's incredible and I highly doubt I'll find something as safe, cute and perfect for our needs as he is. He's great, and I know I could love him...but my TB is my ultimate. I know if we sell him I would miss him and wonder about his future for the rest of my life. What if whoever bought him decided they couldnt deal with him two years in and sent my angel to slaighter?? But if I keep him I may have a lot less riding in my future, plus it would be being selfish, because no matter how much training he has he'll never be ridable for anything less than highly trained riders and therefore my husband and family will never get a turn.

    I hate this. What should I do?

  • #2
    Originally posted by KiraSophia View Post
    Whom I love more than life, whether or not I can ever use him again.
    There is your answer!!!!!

    Imagine in a year or two you may be able to afford two horses and if you sold this horse now, you would regret it forever.
    ************************
    \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"

    Comment


    • #3
      But now that I'm on concussion#3, my husband doesn't even want me around him. Plus he wants a horse that he can ride too. I'm getting a lot of pressure from my parents and relatives who have met the new horse on trial and really want me to buy him so that they can, for the first time, ride my horse as well.
      Not to be a b***h, but if they want to ride, tell them to take lessons or buy their own horse. It doesn't sound as if you're the one being selfish here. Why does anyone other than you and your husband get a say in this? I assume your parents and other relatives aren't paying your board and vet bills.

      It sounds like your TB is more important to you than riding frequently. And if your husband knows that, I think it's pretty low of him to suddenly want a horse that he can ride while also crying about money issues that put you in a one-horse situation for now. If he is helping support your horses financially, he's within his rights to want to ride, but it seems churlish for him to ask you to sell your guy so that he can have something to plod around on. JMO.

      For you, I would suggest using the money you would use to buy Horse #2 to instead send your TB to a trainer to bring him back into work and give him a refresher course in manners. Maybe the trainer can help your husband work with him on the ground at some point so they'll at least be on civil terms.
      "Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense!"

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        He's not being mean about it, he just says choose one or the other ( and hopes I choose the new guy because not only could he get involved for the first time, but he believes my current horse will never be totally safe.) We need to replace a beater car and are looking at homes to buy as well, so our financial situation will be getting worse rather than better.

        Comment


        • #5
          Can you lease the first horse out? (That way he is still "yours" to spoil, but not costing any money...)
          "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

          Comment


          • #6
            What about leasing heart horse?

            Honestly it sounds like the new horse could easily turn into an heart horse as well and would better fit your situation.

            I can understand not wanting to lose track of the first horse, but realistically speaking you are more fragile now and he is in need of a rider able to deal with his alpha-ness.

            You can't keep both, your heart horse needs a good deal of training to maybe get to where you could ride him again and you can't provide that right now.

            Is there any chance he is leasable for a flat rider / dressage rider? Maybe you can find a lease to cover his expenses but kick in a bit to help with his training. That way you still have control if he should become the right horse for your riding again OR your finances change making two a possibility again.

            Comment


            • #7
              Honestly, my husband and our happiness together would make my choice. Love hubby, and if can ride too and enjoy this with me, even though it's one rider at a time, he's in.
              I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

              Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.

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              • #8
                Well, maybe I'm being a downer here, but I don't see much of a choice. Even if you were to choose to sell your current horse- it could take a year or more to find the right person for an out-of-work horse with no manners and a big physical limitation. If you already have the new horse on trial, I presume you only have a few weeks to decide. Unless you are prepared to carry two horses indefinitely, you can't take on another one now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Chardavej View Post
                  Honestly, my husband and our happiness together would make my choice. Love hubby, and if can ride too and enjoy this with me, even though it's one rider at a time, he's in.
                  I don't know about that. I would really resent the person who pressured me give up my heart horse. Most horses would be negotiable in situations such as this but a special one can leave you with regret for a long time.

                  And there is the possibility that hubby has a passing fancy with getting involved. If hubby were really interested in having a horse to ride, together with his wife, then they would find a way to have a second one, whether it be a free lease or even a partial lease or whatever.

                  I tend to think that maybe hubby 'thinks' he wants to be more involved but as soon as heart horse is gone, new horse is obtained and the novelty has worn off then hubby's interest will wane and OP will be left with a nice horse but not the horse she really loved for a myriad of reasons.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
                    Well, maybe I'm being a downer here, but I don't see much of a choice. Even if you were to choose to sell your current horse- it could take a year or more to find the right person for an out-of-work horse with no manners and a big physical limitation. If you already have the new horse on trial, I presume you only have a few weeks to decide. Unless you are prepared to carry two horses indefinitely, you can't take on another one now.

                    ^^^^^^ This.
                    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You've got to be realistic: A pushy, huge gelding that has been out of work for the last three years and with a knee injury that restricts his usefulness is a HARD sell, and has an uncertain future.

                      I would keep him or lease him, but I wouldn't sell him. Perhaps he can spend 30 - 90 days with a good cowboy to sort out some of the issues that make your husband uncomfortable around him?

                      What is your boarding situation like right now? Any chance of saving some dollars by moving to a pasture board situation?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If I had to choose between selling my "heart horse" (who I currently have and have had since the day she was born into my arms) and not riding.....I would not ride. I've been riding and have had my own horses for the last 27 years but there is NO WAY I could ever give this mare up. NEVER.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm reading that the OP had a knee injury, not the horse. How about a free lease to someone to get him back into shape? You have to decide which is more important, a pet or riding.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Gotta agree with Simkie. You've described a HUGE horse who has been babied by you for years, who is pushy and hard to deal with, and probably not liked by those who don't love him. I am not saying sell/lease him because DH says to, but look at you. In your post, I honestly see zero desire from you to ever ride him. Lessons, then a tune up, then you might ride? Really??

                            Sorry. I'd rather have a horse I can safely be around and ride, than something that you described.
                            COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                            "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                              I'm reading that the OP had a knee injury, not the horse. How about a free lease to someone to get him back into shape? You have to decide which is more important, a pet or riding.
                              We both have knee problems, lol. We match

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Actually, your big guy is a horse that sounds like something I would be interested in, but then again, I like a challenge and am very used to dealing with opinionated horses. I generally find agreeable horses, well, boring.

                                I'm with the others who say try to find a lease situation for him. See if you can find something local so you can keep tabs on him. If you do decide to sell him, vet out the buyers well. I've sold some horses in the past and have their buyers as facebook friends so I get "updates" on their facebook page without having to be annoying and inquire about them. Plus, I always offer to be a continual reference/support system for any horse I've ever owned. If they have any problem, ever, they know they can call me any time. It gives both of us piece of mind.

                                There is always some risk when you sell a horse that the horse will wind up in a bad spot. You can only do so much checking on someone but even they can be duped in the end by an dishonest dealer and not necessarily intend for the horse to wind up slaughtered. You have to decide whether that's a risk you're comfortable with. If you're not comfortable with it and still decide on the other horse, then the kindest option would be to put the horse down if you absolutely can't keep him and won't rehome him.

                                I am in a long term relationship with someone and I made it very clear to him that my old mare is not negotiable. He knows to never ask me to rehome her but, as part of my compromise with him, with her being 19 and "special" if it became too much of a financial burden or if she got seriously ill to the point of needing to receive hosptial care, we'll put her down. That's our give and take when it comes to my heart horse.

                                My mare is much like you're guy - pushy, alpha, with soundness issues as well. I don't see much of a market for her and would rather see her to a peaceful end then try to quickly rehome her and have to wonder about her.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                                  I'm reading that the OP had a knee injury, not the horse. How about a free lease to someone to get him back into shape? You have to decide which is more important, a pet or riding.
                                  Here the OP is talking about her heart horse:

                                  He had a knee injury from a kick to the leg that causes his knee to be permanently enlarged, and limits his jumping ability due to his that.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Now that is not a very pleasant quandary.

                                    Few things I wondered: Is your horse boarded--who has day to day care of him? How do you all divy up the horse expenses?
                                    \"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.\" Anne of Green Gables

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                                    • #19
                                      I can totally understand DH not wanting you around a huge, pushy, no-manners gelding after you have had 3 concussions in what sounds like a small amount of time apart, plus have an old knee injury. To me it sounds like he is using the "I want to ride too" as a way to cover up "Hey, I'm REALLY worried this horse will accidentally kill you or leave you brain damaged forever." Perhaps he's hoping that by showing interest in a sport that you love you'll take him seriously.

                                      OP, I totally feel your pain on selling your heart horse. I may have to cross that bridge one day too, and the thought of it makes me sick. However, is there anyone in the area, preferably a trainer, who would be competent enough to take your 18h horse and put him back to work and possibly find a lease situation?

                                      As much as I want to say "Keep the heart horse!" OP, I just can't. Not when your health and safety are at risk by simply being around him. He may be "good" for you, but after being babied for three years with no work, at his size he could very, VERY easily kill or seriously injure you on accident. He is not a safe horse, even for you, and hasn't been (from your description) since day one. I do understand you love him, I really do. But by keeping that horse and dreaming that he will one day be safe enough for you to ride you are flirting with catastrophic results. A fall from an 18hh horse is a LONG way down, even if he just stumbles.

                                      What it comes down to is this...are you willing to put your family through your death or permanent, possibly incapacitating brain damage so that you may keep your heart horse?

                                      This is not an easy decision, and it is one that, while some say your DH has no right to force upon you, he does and should have a say in. Best of luck.
                                      runnjump86 Instagram

                                      Horse Junkies United guest blogger

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                                      • #20
                                        Does your husband know how upsetting this is to you? Is he willing to compromise? Maybe you can retire Heart Horse to pasture board for less money than keeping him at your current barn. Or you could half-lease one or both of the two horses so they "earn their keep."

                                        I'd not recommend trying to sell your first horse. An older, ill-mannered horse with soundness issues has a very uncertain future.
                                        LEGADO DE RIOS

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