Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Selling a dream

Recently a Facebook status caught my eye.  It was in regards to a message to her horse's former owner updating the lady about his progress.  The reply she got was along the lines of:

"I'm happy for you but please don't keep updating me.  It reminds me of how much money I wasted.  I did my duty by finding him a good home, but it was nothing but pain for me to have had him"

Of between 20 - 25 comments (not including mine or the original poster's) there were only about two other people that didn't dump all over the previous owner.
I can relate though.  Its painful when you have a horse and have dreams and hopes for him only to have it not work out.  Remember Quinn?
I had a lot of dreams for him... he was going to be my 'step up' barrel horse.  Hopefully a 2D horse that could move up to 1D.  Unfortunately it didn't work out that way.  I held onto my dream for him, and him, hard and tried hard and it was a very bitter end.
(in fact if I was a different person 
he probably would have ended up as a steak)
I sold him to a friend of a friend and had a couple messages to let me know he settled in well and they really liked him.  That was nice to hear and I was glad that he had found a place with good people. 
Then through another friend I'd hear about how AWESOME he was and even kids could ride him and blah blah blah.
Yeah that stung.  It made me feel like a big fat failure.  I totally doubted whether I should even own horses and was considering quitting horses all together.  
(other than Cessa,
who would live out her days as a pasture ornament)  
So obviously I didn't really want to hear anymore of those updates.
I did talk to the buyer again, she let me know the only reason the kids could ride him is that it was a total 'no pressure' situation for Quinn.  Anytime anyone got on him and wanted him to "work" or had any expectations besides toodling along in the pasture on a total loose rein,  mindlessly wandering along well then Quinn would revert to his former badass which had caused me to sell him.

So I get it.  Its nice to know that the horse you've sold is in a new home doing well.  To be updated after that and reminded of what didn't work out for you, the lost dreams, the lost time, the lost money (let's be honest, for most of us money IS a factor!)... well that can hurt. 

Oh, and as for Quinn... I recently messaged his buyer to see how he's doing.  He's pretty much living his dream life now as a pasture ornament.


  1. I think I'm fortunate in that I only sell young stock. I do the ground work, and maybe a couple of rides under saddle, then sell them. No dreams to be dashed, no bitterness, only hopes that I have given someone a good horse to ride.
    I feel for the facebook poster and you; but it wasn't your failure, it's just the type of horse, not being what you needed.

  2. I bought and sold lots of horses over the years and I enjoy hearing their success stories, but I'm always worried of the not-so-successful placements. I haven't heard of any problems but I still worry. Overall, I think I'd rather not know because it's easier for me to put that horse in my past and not constantly worry.

  3. I am owned by an OTTB. I've contacted his breeders/first owners and they are over the moon happy that he is kicking butt in his new life. He was never a great racehorse but they are happy that he's found his calling as my dressage/jumper/trail/pasture ornament. I am lucky that they are as happy as they are to hear about him because they had him for years and he cost them way more money than he ever made.

    But I understand the pain that is associated with selling a horse that you had such high hopes for. A friend of mine did that with her OTTB. The horse was too much horse for her and she sold her. I see the pain in my friends eye when someone tells her how great her old horse is doing and that she's being used as a lesson horse. I know I'd feel exactly the same way.

  4. Totally agree about giving up the dream and how it sometimes hurts to be reminded.

    Sometimes I still wish I could go visit Baby Doll, but I won't because I know it will be too sad for me. I know she's in a good home. I recently found out that the people who bought her from me, the two newlywed college students, had to rehome her because of money issues.

    They sold her to a family with 3 kids and take lessons on her. At first that bothered me that the didn't contact me first in case I wanted to have her back, but then I had to be honest with myself and admit that I don't want her back.
    And then I felt like such a loser that kids were riding her and taking lessons on her.
    But then I was told that the kids never ride her out on the trails and only ride her in an arena or round pen.

    That felt a lot better, because that's the main reason I sold Baby Doll, because she was barn sour and never really felt comfortable out on the trail. She loved the arena....and I didn't. I wanted a trail horse.
    So, that made me happy for her. She'd doing what she loves, which is the way it should be.


  5. Good post and a good thing to remember. I try to update people I've gotten horses from, especially former slaughter bound horses, but I know in the last case, the horse we bought off Craigslist that was SO bad, I don't update those owners anymore. They know my email. They didn't care for the horse and don't need to know over and over how much I love him, or that I've won money on him. I don't need to rub it in that we get along with him better than they did. That's just life, and some things/horses don't work out. I always say "Everyone is different" and it applies to horses and lots of other relationships. Sometimes it's just not a match, no matter how hard you try. It's a lot like a marriage, lol.
    This post by Buckskin and Bay really touched on this issue.

  6. People are so cruel and judgmental,

    Poor woman probably just needs encouragement.

    An old horseman once told me, "life is to short to ride a bad horse"

    You cant make them a good horse, if it just doesnt work, for either horse or human, then it is time to move on.

  7. Thnx for stopping by my blog. Your post is exactly what I was talking about. We need to be kinder to ourselves and others in these situations. Sometimes it's just not working....that's ok.


Wordless Wednesday ~ new trailer!