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.
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 …
Other Horse-Related Posts You Might Enjoy:
- Horse Weekend – Story about one of those great weekends that every horse lover lives for.
- A Horse of a Different Color – Continuing story of a beautiful baby horse, Notta, who is not yet weaned. His daily fun and games will bring a smile to your face.
- When It Comes to Helmets, Don’t Horse Around – Wearing an ASTM/SEI certified helmet when you ride a horse can save your life, as this horse enthusiast found out first hand.