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I need suggestions from horse people!

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  • I need suggestions from horse people!

    So I am not sure whether I just need to take a break from the horses all together or just mix things up a bit. I am in my late 20's and am finally in my permanent home/location with a great job. I have ridden my whole life and can't imagine a life without horses in it. The last couple of years have been a roller coaster. I had a horse that I raised from a baby and she ended up being too small for me and I sold her to a girl at my barn who loves her to death and will forever be with her. I really enjoyed all of the baby stuff. It was so great watching her finally mature and get things along the way and I am proud that I made a solid citizen even though she didn't work for me. I was in grad school at that time and just took it easy for the next year and a half so I could finish.

    Of course when I was done I HAD to have another horse. I wanted to really ride at that point so I got a green 6 year old. 3 months later he flipped himself over in the field and after another year and a half of trying to fix him, it turned out he had a debilitating disease and we had to put him down. About 4 months before putting him down I bought another horse thinking my other guy would be a lightly ridden/trail/pleasure/little kid horse (we didn't know about the disease yet) and my trainer was happy to take him and do those things so that I could afford another horse.

    Just my luck the next horse I purchased was a made teenager that I could go right in the ring with and about a month after buying him, I learned that I had to have surgery on both of my legs. Due to the new horses way of going and age, I knew that it would be a while before I would be recuperated and able to ride him before he got to the point of needing to move down a level so I sold him. I hated to sell the horse but I couldn't ride him and was probably never going to ride him to what his potential was when I bought him. I never want to sell another horse!

    So here is my dilemma, I don't know what I want to do anymore. I am at a barn that shows every weekend and am with my trainer who I love and have been very close to since I was a teenager. I am still taking lessons once a week but I am bored with that and don't feel challenged at all. I am riding saintly schoolies over 2'6 jumps which isn't hard for me. I thought getting another horse would make me happier but after everything I have gone through I find fault in everything and honestly I don't miss showing and going around in circles in the ring.

    My current place has nowhere to ride other than the rings which I hate but I love my trainer. I am kind of over the politics and gossip of the hunter/jumper world. I LOVE a fancy hunter and riding one that is super talented is so awesome but everything is so subjective I don't know if I ever feel like I am accomplishing anything with them. The thing I miss about having a horse is being able to go out and groom and reach goals and bond. I never want to have to sell another one but finding a new one is scary right now and in my current situation, I don't know if I want a horse. My trainer doesn't teach privates so I don't do different excercises or anything challenging.

    What do I do? Do I change disciplines and find something and some place I really like? Do I buy a baby that has a lot of potential to be what I want it to? I miss the horses but honestly I don't miss the saddle and I definitely don't miss the showing. Help!

  • #2
    Well, my suggestion is to lease something for a bit until you are more secure in what you want. You said you never want to sell again, then I wouldn't get another baby, as you never know what you are going to get with a baby. Might be too small again, or turn out to have more dressage talent, maybe it will hate jumping, etc. Maybe lease a green youngster so you can get that challenge, and you can groom, and bond, and go hang out at the barn and unwind, but if it's not working out, it's an easy out.

    I feel for you, even though I am still on the move and searching for my place in this world, so buying something for me is out of the question. But I understand missing that bonded feeling of a pony that only you ride/train/etc.
    When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.


    • #3
      It sounds like you don't know what you want. period. And that is not meant to sound harsh!

      I don't think buying a horse is a good idea. Nor do I think you should leap into a lease or any other expenses.

      You need to take some "me" time and maybe even get away from the horses for a wee bit.

      Everyone needs to take a step away from things-horses included-to get a perspective on one's life. Sometimes it's a job you never would have ever thought of taking, sometimes it's a road trip, sometimes it's volunteering.

      Just take some time and don't leap into the things that haven't been working for you. Change is a good thing. And as the saying goes, "If you keep doing the same thing, don't expect a different result."
      The Mighty Thoroughbred Clique
      Freaky Farm Hermit Clique


      • #4
        You loved starting a baby. You are not a beginner and have a good support system except for the fact that your trainer does not teach privates-sometimes when starting a youngster help is sooo necessary.

        Right now, in this economy,there should be a large number of reasonably priced 2-3yo available with excellent blood lines. At that age, potential size, way of going, temperament are much easier to evaluate.

        Go for it.
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


        • #5
          Did i write this?

          I am 20 years olde r than you are. I have had my share of horses that didnt work out or left me. Like you I am wonrdering what to do, where to go, and what riding I want to do. I do now I want to be with horses though--I took a break and am glad to be back though Ive never really been back (see above).

          You are in a good place though. No horses so you can easily try something else or buy something is your choice. What have you already done besides jump? Have you watched other riding--western, barrels, driving, endurance? Do any of those appeal to ya? If hunters is all you know you cant tell what else you might like. Or you may LOVE jumping and stick with that.

          MY friends DD tried english with a tyrant of a teacher. After several falls she lost interest. She now rides western and LOFFS it.

          Lots of ways to love horses! Goodluck.
          “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


          • #6
            Maybe you could try leasing or part-leasing a horse at a different barn that has access to trails? Or try a new discipline? Try foxhunting? Driving? Vaulting? Exercising some backyard ponies? Volunteering at a horse rescue, or volunteering for a riding program for the disabled?

            You have a good relationship with your trainer which is great, but there's also nothing wrong with wanting to change things up a bit. Maybe your trainer could recommend some other barns where you could try some different things. At the very least, you shouldn't feel guilty about exploring new things. You never know how it could turn out!