Moving On

by DFS-Pet-Blog on October 18, 2010

**Guest post from Monica S.**

Genie in the field at my aunt's farm

Genie in the field at my aunt's farm

Ok horse lovers, if you’re like me, when you purchased your last horse you swore you would own her forever. You would NEVER sell her. She would be yours until she (or you) took the final breath. You NEVER dreamed there would be a day that would come where you would find yourself struggling with the decision to let go of your “old faithful mount.” BUT, again, if you are like me, there are external forces that play a role in this decision. For me, it is finances, for others its time. There’s a myriad of reasons behind why you are a “One-Horse-Household.” 

This summer, while riding in my weekly lessons, it became apparent that my mare Genie just couldn’t keep up with what I was asking of her. She’s 23, and at that “young” age, she’d seen & done more than most horses. She’d been a very talented Reiner; she’d taken a very lucky little girl to some pretty big Quarter horse and Buckskin Association shows. She’d been an accomplished broodmare. Then she came to me, at the age of 15.

When I became Genie’s mom, she probably thought she’d hit the JACKPOT. I was 25 and VERY scared to be on a horse’s back. Don’t get me wrong, I loved ALL things equine, but I had had some pretty scary falls. The last of which had busted me up pretty badly, and prompted my parents to sell the 3- year- old, 16 hand, green-broke  Appy gelding I had, and vowed that there would be no more horses until I could pay for it all myself. I was thirteen at the time, and it would be twelve years before I would “connect” with the horse that would turn it all around for me. You guessed it; it was Genie!

Well, I bounced. And I bumbled. And then bounced some more on Genie’s back for a few years, and while we did really well at the small, local shows we attended, there was no beauty in my riding. I DESPERATELY wanted to take lessons, but when you board at your aunt’s farm & not a big show barn, it’s REALLY hard to get a trainer to come & give lessons. AND, if you don’t own your own trailer, well, you know where I’m going with this.

I moved here to Rhinelander and decided that I needed my “girls” (by this time I had bought back the mare that I had owned as a baby) closer to me. I went on a search, and with my good friend & riding buddy Terri’s help, I found the PERFECT home for my kids. Genie has been at Rose ‘N Wood Acres now for about 4 years.

Genie & me ... notice the feet NOT in the stirrups!

Genie & me ... notice the feet NOT in the stirrups! (I'm still working on the posture!)

Being at a bigger barn, with more riders that want to take lessons has been a godsend. We had a very nice trainer, Wendy Konichek, for a while, but then she moved south to help her parent’s with the family farm. Alex came into our lives this spring & it was a PERFECT fit. She just clicked with all of our horses & us. I had her take me back to the very beginning. That meant handing over the stirrups on my English saddle! GULP! Thank God that I did. So much better balance … Alex says it’s time to step it up.  We started adding leg yields and “turn of the fore” and sadly, it became evident that Genie has a lingering shoulder issue from her days as a Reiner. I’m an Equine Massage Therapist, so I worked on her, and worked on her … the Chiropractor, Dr. Wayne Hietpas, has also been out for regular adjustments.

Genie is sound again, but I know she’ll not be able to show again. So, now I must decide. Sell my beautiful “old-faithful” and get a younger horse, put my showing dreams aside and stay with Genie, or donate her to a therapy barn.

I have talked to a wonderful trainer, Jeanie Carleson, and she runs a therapy program for children with spinal cord injuries. She has agreed that Genie will make a wonderful addition to her Therapy Herd, but right now has no room for her. I’ll be doing some fancy, financial juggling for a while, but that’s ok … because that means that I get to keep my “old lady” AND bring home my young new hopeful, WF Roses Are Red. Stay tuned …
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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosemary October 18, 2010 at 10:46 am

I’ve always been a horse nut. I rode anything I could as a kid, all belonging to friends and neighbors. We never could afford a horse, and also never had a place to keep one. I haven’t ridden in about fifteen years now. The last time I rode, the cinch broke, and I fell off onto a very hard boulder. As a result, I have bursitis in my right hip. That’s not why I don’t ride, though, I would love to ride again, but I don’t have the money or the time it requires.

People are always saying “If you love horses, why don’t you get one?” My reply is “The fact that I love horses is why I don’t.” There have been times I could barely afford to care for the cats and dogs. A lot of people think the the purchase price is the big expense, never thinking about regular farrier, feed, and vet bills. Omolene and hay are not cheap, and you have to have a negative Coggins to do anything. The farrier has to come every couple of months, even if the horse is kept barefoot. Then there’s shots, teeth floating, dewormong shedules, and anything else that turns up. Plus, you need tack, grooming supplies, and I think I’ve gone broke just thinking about it.

Monica S. October 18, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Hi Rosemary! Thank you for your comment! Its so very hard when you love to do something and you can’t fit it in, for whatever reason. You are ABSOLUTELY right, most people believe that once you purchase your horse, the financial burden ends there. Sadly, that’s not the case (I’d have WAY more horses if it were). While I know its hard, its VERY honorable of you to put your dream on hold for the good of the animals. Kuddos to you! Keep the faith, some day you’ll be riding again.

If you REALLY miss it & want to get back in the saddle, call some local barns. Most horse owners, myself included, do not have the time to ride as often as they would like. You may just get lucky & find someone looking for help exercising their horse. Its worth a try! Good luck!

Monica S. December 20, 2010 at 10:45 am

I am posting the following that I received in an email. Was SO proud to hear that my wonderful mare has passed on her legacy.

I just want to thank you for putting up that article on Stefani’s Investment. For years I have been trying to research my mare’s mother and haven’t been able to find anything. I finally got to see her, now I see where my mare got such a refined face from! My mare (Miss Tawny Beau) is out of your mare and One Impressive Beau. “Josie” has done very well for herself too! I’ve had her since she was two and have been barrel racing for the last 5 years. She has made it to NBHA world twice, won 2nd at Nationals, won multiple high points… LOTS of money! Last year we got accepted into the Professional Rodeo Association, and I’m hoping to take her to both Congress and AQHA world in 2011. **Elizabeth Hermanowski**

David January 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Inlaws own a 23 year old Belgian in North Central Kentucky and can no longer care for this horse. Any ideas on a home for this horse?

Monica S. January 5, 2011 at 1:29 pm

David, my best advice is to have them contact a local horse rescue. Have them go online & see what they can find. There’s TONS of groups out there that can help or at least point them in the right direction. Here’s just one link that I found doing a quick “google” search for “North Central Kentucky Horse Recues” http://www.ohorse.com/organizations/horse-rescue/local/north-america/united-states/kentucky/

Hope that helps!

Karla July 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

Our mission is to rescue and rehabilitate animals, particularly horses, that have been injured, abused, neglected, abandoned or orphaned. We carry out this mission by providing good nutrition, medical care and emotional support in a safe and nurturing environment.

It takes a lot of time, work and financial resources to operate any type of rescue. Animals that find their way to your door often need a lot in the way of physical care, emotional support and medical treatment. They also need shelter and room to exercise. Shelters and exercise areas need to be erected and maintained.

Together we can make big difference.

For more details on Help Save Horses

Thanks

Karla

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