Plan B

Since my realization last weekend that Chance very well may never be a show horse, I have been thinking about a suitable “Plan B.” Of course the “should I sell him” thoughts have drifted across my mind, and then there is the suggestions from my family that I should “cut my losses and get rid of him” so that I can go ahead and get something else. I have sold horses in the past, and it was not the end of the world. I moved on, got another horse, and furthered my career while my past horses settled quite well into their new situations. I am perfectly aware that I cannot keep them all, especially if I want to have a competitive career again – as well as start a horse training business once the farm is ready. However, Chance is just not like the other horses I have had. He is not simply going to settle into a new life just anywhere. He is a tough ride, highly sensitive, and thrives in a very specific environment. Also, he likely is never going to cooperate at horse shows – which is a major problem in this business. The fact that he has not competed much means that I would have to sell him in a low price range, making it highly likely that he would end up somewhere not so great. I think we all know how the horse world is. There are more bad barns and bad trainers than good ones.

Perhaps this makes me a bad business woman, but I actually do care about where my horses end up. Chance is not a car that I can just trade in for a nicer model. He is not an old piece of furniture that I can sell on Ebay so that I can but something new. He is not an old pair of running shoes that I can throw out and replace. He is a living, breathing animal – not a piece of equipment. Maybe this way of thinking will keep me from ever making a dime with horses, and will hinder my chances at a competitive career. But if having a cold, detached attitude toward these animals that I love so dearly is what it takes to succeed, then I don’t want success.

I am not saying that selling horses is a terrible and heartless thing to do. On the contrary, I think that it can actually be a good thing. Many horses can go from person to person and really thrive. Sometimes selling a horse is the best thing for the animal. For example, a horse may be maxed out and struggling with one rider, but then gets sold to a little kid and has a happy life jumping little jumps and teaching the kid how to ride. Most horses are going to be perfectly happy so long as their needs are being met, and they are treated well. I have always planned to eventually train and sell horses too. I would love to see young horses I worked with go on to have great careers with other riders. My hesitation to sell Chance is that he is not like other horses, and I know that it would be very difficult to find a good situation for him. He may never become a show horse, and he is not suited for an inexperienced rider. You see my dilemma? Perhaps I could find a good home for him, but I am not going to count on it. I am simply not going to get rid of him without a thought as to where he will end up just so that I can realize my ambitions unless I truly believe that it is the right thing for him.

I think that it may take a little longer than a week to figure out a “Plan B” for Chance. I am already planning on getting another horse once the farm is finished, so Chance may just end up being a practice horse – and a companion to the other horse – if he never ends up showing. I will just have to have patience these next several months. It is frustrating being unable to show, but I have to do what is best for my horse. The fact that so many people put personal gain before their horses is one of the biggest problems I have with this sport, and I certainly will not do the same. There is more to equestrian than colorful pieces of fabric, after all.

5 thoughts on “Plan B

  1. I really really admire your attitude about this! I know it’s frustrating, but the fact that you’re putting your horse first and figuring out a way to make it work for both of you is something I respect immensely!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How many shows had he been to before this? I know our shows are a different to yours but i dragged my TB for a year just doing led classes, tied up to the float or left in the stables. I am about to do the same to her daughter in 2 weeks.
    Might be worth a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Quite a few. He’s been good a couple of times, but shows have mostly just been a huge struggle. I am planning to get another later this year, or next year. I am thinking maybe he can just go be along for the ride, and hang out when I have something else to show.

      Liked by 1 person

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