If you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for the next amazing opportunity. Be it a new horse, a new trainer, or a position as WFP’s working student (I dream about it). So, when that super expensive imported warmblood pops up on your Facebook feed for half the cost, you want it right? That is, until you remember your parent’s famous words- “We can only afford one horse.”
Here’s where the problem comes. We all love our first horse, even though he’s too old and sore to compete above training level. Try all you want to fight with your parents but the truth is, they don’t see horses like you do. In their minds, horses are money-vacuums (they also cause you to track mud through the house when you get in from the barn, clogging and eventually breaking the real vacuum).
You’re faced with a horrible and seemingly impossible decision- let go of your best friend for the other horse, or be happy staying at training? How could you ever give up this horse that has introduced you to the event world, even if he’s never won you a ribbon? Plus, you’re doing it all for a horse that is smarter and better than you. The famous words that Ralph Hill screamed at me when I didn’t change my lead fast enough have always stuck with me- “You’re SUPPOSED to be smarter than the horse.” It is hard to accept that an animal that has been-there-done-that 5,000 times with 5,000 kids is going to take over on cross country and it’s for your own safety. So do you really want to give up your dull, micromanaged horse for that? I personally don’t like being outsmarted by a horse, but it happens frequently. But then again, you have to think how awesome this will be for you to hopefully move up and grow as a rider.
So what do you do? Think about it. This old guy is really holding you back. If you actually have the potential that you think you do, wouldn’t it be better to let him go to a new little girl that will dress him in pink sparkles and peace signs? Plus, she will totally let you visit whenever you want. Then two little girls are happy. You get an amazing teacher (honestly, horses are better trainers than trainers), and she gets to spoil this old gelding with Stud Muffins and sugar cubes. In the end it will all work out because your new packer won’t let you pick a distance even if you see a good one- it’s for your own safety, so thank him.
Just don’t forget to grab mane- you never know when he’ll see that long distance.