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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Opinions Please!

I've gone over this and over this... still not 100% sure what to do. That's why I'd like your opinions. I know not a ton of people read this, but to those who do I need you to share your insight with me. I might not decide to do what is suggested but it will give me more input and perhaps bring up something I hadn't been seeing in "the big picture".
Here is my dilemma, I know I will be selling Quinn and I have a possible lead on a buyer that I'm not sure if I should take. I'll start with some background.
Quinn is a very good looking guy. He is about 15.3, very solid built, dun (some say buckskin) gelding. White snip on his face, nice head and ears, two hind white socks. He's 12 years old now, a SPB registered APHA. He was supposed to be my new "everything" horse. One I could take barrel racing, trail riding in the forest, ride in the ditches around home, pony off... the one I could trust to do anything with. Physically he is that. He's gorgeous (to me... not perfect but definitely a "hottie" lol) and on the ground we get along great. Here's where the problem comes in, I can't ride him anymore. I literally can't. The last time I tried to ride him (which was almost a year ago) I had a full blown panic attack. Shortness of breathe, shaking, crying. I've NEVER had that happen to me. Not in dealing with horses, work, car accidents, etc. I have had some pretty bad stuff happen to me and I can never remember having a panic attack like that.
Quinn is well trained. He is not what I would call well broke. When I used to ride him it was lovely. He was smooth, responsive, liked to "work". Then we had a few incidents. The first was when he spooked and I got bucked off while warming up for a jackpot. It was my most frightening "unplanned dismount" to date. I got back on, finished warming up and competed in the jackpot. In fact I took him to 5 more jackpots that winter and rode him all winter in an indoor arena. I was at the point that I could ride him in the arena with no problems.
In the spring when we went out to ride the ditches and back roads around "home" I was okay until he started getting really spooky. I was losing my confidence and my nerve. I was still okay in an arena (indoor or outdoor) but didn't feel quite right riding "out". I also was losing trust in him. When he'd stretch his neck or lower it I'd always think "is he getting his head down to buck?!" He never did buck with me again... but it was always in my mind.
Quinn had another incident with a girl who was supposed to be riding him to help keep him legged up. (he needs riding, at least 5 or 6 days a week, more than I had time for with two other horses). She was "training" on him and poorly. I asked her to lay off. She ignored my instructions and had a wreck. (that will be its own post one day!) As a result Quinn was injured and had some time off.
After he had physically mended I started working with a trainer to see if mentally he was okay. She rode him fine. I rode him okay. Again just in the arena for me. Then he got a cut on his leg and was off work until it healed. Once he was healed the trainer and I couldn't get our schedules to match and that was when I tried to ride him and had the panic attack.
Quinn has not been ridden by me in almost a year. I have come to the conclusion that while he could have been "the one" I will not be able to get my confidence/nerve back to ride him. He doesn't necessarily need an advanced rider. He would be fine with an intermediate rider. He likes to work and doesn't pull any tricky or dirty stuff. He needs a rider that has confidence. (sadly that's not me right now) Quinn has been gone for almost a month having miles put on and some tuning up by a girl that barrel races in SBRA with me (also she's having a good CCA season). She's pretty sure he could go on to a good home and that she might be able to help me some in the way of selling him.
Now after all that we get to the nitty gritty... I know I am going to take a loss financially on this horse. I got screwed over big time when I bought him (not really complaining, it was my fault for trusting someone not to screw me). My dilemma is this: I have a potential buyer for him. He would be out riding pasture and working cows. Something Quinn has experience at and enjoys. The guy is said to take good care of his horses. But he doesn't pay a lot of money for them. IF I sell Quinn to him I will be taking an even bigger loss than I had planned. (like getting 30% of what I paid when I was hoping for 50%). So do I sell him to this guy and take the bigger loss. OR do I try to sell to someone else for a better price (still a loss but not so much of one)? Chancing that if he doesn't sell that this guy MIGHT still want to buy him? Don't forget in the meantime I'm either paying a trainer to keep riding him or paying board and trying to suck up the nerve to get back on him to try to keep him somewhat in shape for buyers.
I keep chasing this around in my head and just can't come up with a solution that I feel is right. I feel like there is a piece missing that I'm not seeing. (maybe because I don't want to see it??) Feel free to give me your opinion. Like I said it doesn't mean that I will just blindly follow it. I'm not being asked to be told what to do. I just think that it might clue me in to that missing piece. I need to talk to someone besides myself! I know he is going for sale. He is too young to be a pasture pony. He also needs more exercise than just being a pasture pony (he is the definition of easy keeper!)

4 comments:

  1. Tough spot to be in:-/ I know what it's like to lose the confidence and it sucks. Q: do you like this guy that would buy him to work cows? Your post sounds "ify", but is it over the money or him? If this guy is a good fit, might be best to go ahead and sell to him- quick and you would save that money you would put into a trainer for him. Save you the trouble of the showing him to buyers.
    That's my 1 cent worth ;-)

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  2. I don't envy you position at all... here's my two cents.

    The guy who works cows- he is a good fit? is he someone you would trust your horses with? Taking a financial loss to ensure your horse would have a great, forever home where he would be a treasured working companion isn't a bad thing.

    Besides, as Denise said, it would eliminate the hassle of screening buyers, dealing with "tire kickers," and weeding out those who he isn't a good fit for. Your time is worth something, and if you think this guy is a good fit and someone whom you can trust to take excellent care of your horse then I say go for it!

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  3. That is a tough situation - when you are paying board/training, the costs add up fast when something isn't working out well...

    I agree with the other two ladies - is the guy a good fit with Quinn? If you know he will be well taken care of then that is a big relief.

    How is the horse market in your area? Are horses selling at their value? The market here is really bad for sellers - even a well-known trainer is having a hard time moving really good horses - that might be something to consider as well...

    I went (and am still going through) almost an exact similar situation. A couple of crashes/accidents - one my fault, one his; 2 injuries, one mine, one his, etc. My confidence with him is shot. I sent him to a trainer and everything. Out of coincidence, a girl at my barn fell in love with him. I'll be lucky if I get 50% of my money back at this point - but he will be ridden alot by a girl that rides him well, so I know it is better in the end.

    I've decided it is easier to take a big loss (lesson learned!) than to try and keep him and work with him AND/OR dealing with the tire kickers - it's not all that fun.

    Sorry for the long comment - but I hope it all works out for you!

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  4. Now that I finally have my post done I can look around and see what everyone's been up to.

    Ummm...

    Okay I have a little experience in this area, but can't tell you what to do.

    Your panic attack may not be solved by selling Quin. That maybe is what's behind you not coming up with a solution that feels good. If you know of someone, maybe a professional that you could talk to about your panic attack it may help you eventually arrive at a "feel right" solution.

    I battled for 2 years with some issues like that - and with the help of a calm quiet horse and some outside help I was able to over come them.

    Which brings up the issue of a calm quiet horse. I can't say for sure but there is a chance he is picking up your emotions and acting out with them - maybe there still is the chance of him being your "everything horse" in which case working through your issues and his issue will only make you stronger. Move him up to the top of your priority list. Get a hold of the trainer that worked well before or find a new one that has time for you, talk with someone about it, and work hard to over come this block in your path.

    On the other there is a chance that for whatever reason, like me, you are so shaken that you need to move Quin on to another more suitable home, and pick up a bomb proof kids horse for a year or so that you can work things out on "safe" horse, then you can move back up to your previous level. Maybe even maintain a buy-back option with Quin's new owners. Nothing will help jump start this process faster than by moving him along quickly, and not dwelling on it too much.

    If you are going through what I went through one of the symptoms is being indecisive.

    Hope that helps somewhat, email me if you'd like to talk more....

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