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Breaking up with horses -- Doing the right thing?

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  • Breaking up with horses -- Doing the right thing?

    I'm sadly ending a crappy four-year relationship with a guy I thought I was going to marry. He has two girls, who are great and I am very close with them.

    I sold my horse so his daughter, let's call her Suzy, can have a horse. She inherited all of my tack, too. I bought a trailer a few months ago. She shows, lessons, etc. I have been 100% responsible financially and time-wise for the horse hobby. It's bled me dry. Suzy is passionate and responsible, I did not want to deny her the opportunity, and I thought she would get some support from her parents. She does work when she can and that goes toward show fees and lessons. She is not even old enough to drive.

    I have arranged free board in exchange for labor. I do a lot of the labor, Suzy does a lot as well. In the summer she does it all but in the winter, during school, it does take two. It is a great facility. It is a lot of time and work. I pay for shoes, vet, supplements, etc. Gas to get to/from the barn. All the necessary things. I also pay for gas to/from shows and lessons, lessons when she has no credits and I have paid for shows.

    Jerk-face cannot purchase the horse outright, even though I offered to sell her to them for the amount I paid which was $1,500. I could sell her for probably $2,500 in this market. I don't trust him to make payments and I don't want to lease her so one day I all of a sudden have a horse back on my pay-roll when he decides it's too much work and money. So, I am thinking of gifting Suzy the horse.

    If they keep the horse, they won't have time or money to show her or haul her to lessons. The money she makes is through my friends, I manage it, and I'm not sure if that will dry up or not. Plus, her trainer, formerly my trainer, pays her with lessons. She could take lessons on a school horse, but the facility is nearly an hour each way, plus the one-hour lesson. Both of her parents wouldn't fathom doing that for her. So, they won't need the trailer. No doubt, I am getting rid of it. That's my move-out money.

    Then, there is all of my tack, including my saddle. I'm considering selling all of it to them for $750, which is as much as I paid for the saddle alone and I know that Suzy has that in her savings.

    Jerk-face will need to reimburse me for the board down-payment of $400.

    Does this sound fair?

  • #2
    Um. Welllll . . .

    Well, when you leave, the horse and all your stuff should go too.

    If Suzy can't even get to the barn and her parents can't afford board then what good would giving them the responsibility of a horse plus taking $750 from a kid do?

    Otherwise I see an appearance on Judge Judy in your future.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible

    Comment


    • #3
      As sad as it may be I think you have to break up with the father and the child. That means taking your horse and your stuff and doing whatever you see fit with it. Hopefully when she is an adult you two can have a relationship as friends instead of as a parental figure because its obvious you care about her. Until then she is stuck with the parents God gave her.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
        As sad as it may be I think you have to break up with the father and the child. That means taking your horse and your stuff and doing whatever you see fit with it. Hopefully when she is an adult you two can have a relationship as friends instead of as a parental figure because its obvious you care about her. Until then she is stuck with the parents God gave her.
        This.

        If I read this correctly horses and YOU were the thing-not horses and Daddy.
        Once your gone-probably the kid is out of horses unless she can get Daddy to chunk up. Sad for her..but such is life. If she really wants to be around horse she will find a way. WE all did..
        Hugs to you for getting out of that crappy relationship before it became too late.
        the NOT!! Spoiled!! Arabian Protectavest poster pony lives on in my heart

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        • #5
          Wait...at first you said you sold the horse to his daughter, but then it sounds like the horse is still yours.

          If the horse is yours, the horse is yours. If they can't pay the purchase price, how are they going to pay board/care/feed/etc? And how are they going to be able to afford 750 for the tack? You have a responsibility to look out for that animal's welfare, and you must do that.

          ((((hugs)))) and strength, it's not going to be pretty or easy to break away.
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh absolutely is the girl is passionate about horses she will find a way. But I would not 'gift' her a horse because what you really are doing is gifting the ex and putting the horse in a precarious situation of non horsey type owners.

            The girl WILL remember all that you have done for her though so when you leave, keep the door open for her to keep in touch. She will when she has the chance

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SuperSTB View Post
              Oh absolutely is the girl is passionate about horses she will find a way. But I would not 'gift' her a horse because what you really are doing is gifting the ex and putting the horse in a precarious situation of non horsey type owners.

              The girl WILL remember all that you have done for her though so when you leave, keep the door open for her to keep in touch. She will when she has the chance
              Very smart. Talk to the girl, tell her you are moving the horse and she is welcome to come ride etc at any time. Leave it at that.
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?

              Comment


              • #8
                As I understand it, you sold your horse to buy this horse for Suzy? So, the horse is yours along with everything else, right?

                I agree with the others that it sounds like the kid will not get to continue with horses when you're gone. Giving the horse to her would probably make things more difficult because she won't get anywhere near the support that she's getting now (with you). Talk to her and explain that you think it's best for her to not be weighed down with the responsibility of owning a horse right now. If she's astute, she'll know that she won't get the kind of support she needs from her parents. Perhaps she'll be able to find a way to continue with lessons and shows on a school horse. In the meantime, you can sell the horse and trailer (or not) and hopefully one day - probably when she's driving - you guys can pick up where you left off.

                I'm confused about the tack. "She inherited all my tack" sounds like you gave it to her. Has she just been using it, or does she think it's hers now? If she thinks you gave it to her that would be a tough blow to find out that on top of everything else, she has to buy the tack she thought was already hers.

                Emphasize that just because you won't be part of the family anymore, doesn't mean that you're giving up on her. You two can find a way to do horses again later when you don't have to be the only one responsible for getting Suzy on a horse.
                Y'all ain't right!

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                • #9
                  I would be very afraid that somehow, despite Suzy's best efforts (and she does sound like a great kid), the poor horse would somehow end up getting the short end of the stick--sold to God knows who, or worse.

                  She's a minor, so technically the horse would belong to jerkface and he could do with it what he would. I'd take the horse to make sure he has a good home. As everyone is saying, Suzy will remember the wonderful things you've done for her, and if she's really serious about horses, where there's a will, there's a way. Hopefully, your old trainer will help her.

                  Kim
                  I loff my Quarter horse clique

                  I kill threads dead!

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                  • #10
                    I agree, from what you are describing in the family, it is not fair to the horse to give it to a minor who is under the control of a non-horsey dad. Too easy for him to sell it, or worse.

                    Just talk to her straight. The horse is the important thing, you and she both must make the best choice for this animal. It's not fair to her either to put this responsibility on her at her age when she doesn't have full family support. If she loves horses, she'll understand this, though it will be disappointing.

                    The idea that she can keep in touch and come ride with you is the best, if it can work.
                    Ring the bells that still can ring
                    Forget your perfect offering
                    There is a crack in everything
                    That's how the light gets in.

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                    • #11
                      Take the horse. Suzy doesn't have the final say on when to call the vet/farrier/etc. I bet you jerkface won't spend the money on the horse's care. Or even if he's willing to, he just won't know enough.

                      Horses are in danger when left in the (ultimate) care of the non-horsey. I still have the shudders from hearing an awful story last night from a very nice, very well-meaning neighbor who hasn't a clue and as a result lost a mare recently in a very bad way.

                      Sometimes the worst part of breaking up are the family members you have to leave behind.

                      You did good for Suzy while you were there. You ignited her passion for horses. She'll remember, and come back to horses when she can.
                      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the advice.

                        Keeping the horse and letting her ride when she wants is not an option. I don't want to keep the horse. First, she is just not my kind of horse and second, I'm done with horses for a bit. I need to get my life back, first, then I'll probably lease a horse and get back into it that way.

                        The tack is mine. The agreement was she could use it while we collected all of the other stuff she needed like boots, show clothes, blankets (her horse takes a different size), etc. Then, she could start getting new stuff, either buying it herself or asking for it for a birthday or Christmas. If I take it, she will have a few grooming items, a halter and leadrope, two saddle-pads and winter blankets. If I sell the horse, selling the tack is a no-brainer.

                        One thing I do need to decide is whether or not they truly can't help her keep the horse. I haven't decided whether or not it's been an issue because they know I will or if they truly cannot. One one hand, I think I'm being taken advantage of. On the other hand, I'm not sure if they can/will do without some extras, as I have been doing, in order to help out for the next year or so until she gets her license and is old enough to hold a real part-time job. When push comes to shove, will they do it? That's what I need to think about before I hand them the horse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Smalter View Post
                          I'm not sure if they can/will do without some extras, as I have been doing, in order to help out for the next year or so until she gets her license and is old enough to hold a real part-time job. When push comes to shove, will they do it? That's what I need to think about before I hand them the horse.
                          I think you pretty much already know they won't. You must have known these folks for a long time, and if you still have doubts? Probably you have those doubts for a good reason.
                          I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            From what you've said it sounds like the horse is something you did with his daughter. If you gift her the horse it is likely he will sell the horse and keep the money since he will not want to put money out towards board, shoeing, showing etc. Then you will be out completely and will probably end up kicking yourself in the butt for your misplaced generosity.

                            Sadly when you leave you need to take the horse and all of your and the horses stuff with you. Then put him up for sale at what the horse is worth. If he wants to purchase the horse for his daughter that will be his business and then the horse will be for him to do what he chooses with.

                            She isn't the first young girl who had to grow up and buy her own first horse if her father isn't willing to cough up the dollars. That said, it really is between her and her father whether or not her riding can continue. You are now out of the picture.

                            This is a tough situation. Good luck to you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would not leave the horse in that situation. Sounds like the horse would be the ultimate loser. Even if the father initially has the best intentions in the world (and from what you've shared so far, I'm not convinced that he does), do you think he really has a handle on the true care & expense that a horse requires? It sounds like he has been pretty uninvolved up until now. Even if he CAN afford it all, are you sure that he wants to?
                              -Debbie / NH

                              My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                They won't take proper care of the horse and you know it already. They can't or won't do it, and there's nothing you can do but find a better situation for the horse. Clueless owners who aren't even interested in horses or riding are a bad situation, and it won't end well. It is too bad for the girl, but there's nothing you can do to fix that for her.
                                You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  You also have to consider that because the horse thing was between you and his daughter, that he may NOT WANT her to continue with it and make it difficult for her just BECAUSE it was between the 2 of you. Sorry. But there appear to be asshats around every corner.
                                  In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Good gravy. Heavens, no. Don't give the horse to the kid.

                                    No way, no how would I be giving that horse to a kid who can't drive and whose parents can't or won't pay for the horse's upkeep. As others stated, if they can't afford a $1,500 purchase price, they can't afford to keep the horse either.

                                    It's nice that Suzy likes to ride, but she is going to have to find a way to make it work without this horse. Perhaps you could keep the horse and invite her to ride sometimes if that is feasible.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Smalter View Post
                                      One thing I do need to decide is whether or not they truly can't help her keep the horse. I haven't decided whether or not it's been an issue because they know I will or if they truly cannot. One one hand, I think I'm being taken advantage of. On the other hand, I'm not sure if they can/will do without some extras, as I have been doing, in order to help out for the next year or so until she gets her license and is old enough to hold a real part-time job. When push comes to shove, will they do it? That's what I need to think about before I hand them the horse.
                                      I bet they won't do what needs to be done.... If they want to step up and let Suzy continue to ride and show, etc., they'll be able to find another horse. Is there anything that you are providing in this scenario (horse, trailer, tack, time, $) that they wouldn't be able to provide if they wanted to? Maybe her parents will want to, and maybe they won't. I wouldn't put the horse and kid in that situation. True, it could turn out fine, but it could also turn into absolute hell for that child.
                                      Y'all ain't right!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by tikihorse2 View Post
                                        I would be very afraid that somehow, despite Suzy's best efforts (and she does sound like a great kid), the poor horse would somehow end up getting the short end of the stick--sold to God knows who, or worse.
                                        Especially if there is even the slightest bit of resentment between you and the ex (probably a no-brainer for a guy you refer to as Jerk-face, lol).

                                        The horse could be just one more way to get back at you. I wouldn't leave Jerk-face with that kind of ammunition. Make a clean break and get on with your life.

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