For the past several months, horses have taken a huge backseat in my life. This was due to a variety of factors including traveling, weather, and working hard on my grad school applications. If I’m being honest, it’s also due to me needing a break. Buying Roman, although a huge learning experience, wasn’t what I thought it would be. Horses began to be a stress instead of a relief, so I got my trainer and my great barn friends to help me ride him and I started only going out one or two days a week.

Lately, Roman has really turned a corner in his training. His canter work is feeling so much better and my rides, although still sporadic, have been pretty damn enjoyable. I’m starting to see all the wonderful qualities of this horse more clearly. His brain is way quieter than Simon’s. He doesn’t get rattled easily, and now that his flat training is at a better point he’s starting to shine. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s still for sale! But instead of thinking “This is a nice horse but not a match for me” I’m starting to think, “If I didn’t have Simon, I would keep this guy indefinitely.”

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Photo by Heather F

However, I do have Simon. Taking a look at my finances, possible life changes and available time I know that I can’t keep two horses. So Roman is still for sale, but I decided it was a bit less of an urgent matter. Maybe I’d even get him to a show or two early this spring – he should be ready by then!

Then on Friday, Simon’s leasee gave notice… about seven months earlier than I thought she would. It came as a surprise to me, but I am not angry about it. She has been really good to him, and I understand her reasons for switching. I would be lying though if I said this didn’t put me in a sheer panic. As I tend to do, I went through a range of dramatic emotions.

I CAN’T AFFORD TWO HORSES WHAT WAS I THINKING I AM SO STUPID!

I DID THIS ALL TO MYSELF WITH MY POOR CHOICES AND I’M AN IDIOT AND I DON’T DESERVE ANY HORSES!

I SHOULD GIVE AWAY THEM BOTH AND STOP BEING SO IRRESPONSIBLE WITH MONEY!

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Photo by Heather F

As I was texting my best friend about how stupid I am and how foolish to even put myself in this situation, she reminded me that perhaps buying the second horse was a bit of an impulse decision based on grief. It isn’t something I can change or even feel overly guilty about, because it happened. She added that if I choose to adopt a Pug or get any other animals in any way, she would hold an intervention… but I shouldn’t blame myself for the horse.

So I stopped blaming, and made an action plan.

I would put Simon up for a six month lease with a fair fee. He could go off the property. The money would save me from paying board on two horses, and help some of the financial bleed that has been #learningexperience. Of my two horses, my trainer agreed it would be easier to lease Simon than to sell Roman in a quick period of time. I decided to start marketing him Monday, and promptly started to cry.

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Photo by Heather F

It wasn’t fair that I had to get rid of the horse that made me happy to keep the horse that I often struggle and haven’t super connected with. Simon is on an extremely short list of things that 100% are guaranteed to brighten my day. If I leased him for six months, I could sell Roman as early as January and then be without anything to ride for a while. Plus the idea of not being able to hug Simon’s cresty neck or let him lick my arm is too much. He whickers to me every time I call his name. Maybe I’m an emotional idiot, but I need that horse around.

So I made a new action plan after many panicked texts to my trainer. Between her and I, we’ll try to find him a lease on the property. I’d do a month-to-month full lease on him, or a long term half lease since my schedule is busy and not likely to change. If he doesn’t lease, I will pinch pennies until Roman is sold. Simon’s life won’t change, but Roman will move to pasture board this month since he’s a really easy keeper and the winter has been super mild here. I’m going to have a lot of horses to ride and pay for, but this won’t be forever.

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Photo by Heather F

Come 2017, I may be eating peanut butter & jelly for every meal but I’m very rich in Thoroughbreds. I guess there are worse things!

20 COMMENTS

  1. Have you considered drastically cutting Roman’s price just to move him along? I have done that in the past. It works. I don’t need to tell you that horses are a huge financial burden. And getting out from under that quickly is a huge relief. Sometimes it helps to cut your losses. Doesn’t mean you have to sell him to a bad home.

    • I have, and although I would accept any reasonable offer to someone who would take good care of him it’s often seen as a red flag to continually drop the price on a horse. I don’t want people to think something is wrong with him, because that’s truly not the case.

  2. For the last three months I’ve been in your situation! Paying for multiple horses, my mortgage and rent. It was a financial nightmare. However I just really buckled down in my extra spending- didn’t eat out, grocery shopped at Walmart, didn’t buy anything that wasn’t essential (which also meant I was living with only a sofa and bed in my new apartment for about three months lol). It’s been tough but doable and I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with my house sale going through and a horse getting sold. So hang in there! You may only need to tough it out for a month or so.

  3. Lauren I was JUST picking through Craigslist after searching “horse lease” here in Austin and I opened your ad for Simon and I was like, wait, what!? It’s Simon!!

    It’s definitely on my mind! Gonna see what my finances might be able to support.

  4. I just looked up his ad. I don’t know how he is priced for your area, though I know everything is more expensive in TX. I think he is a bit $$ for what he might be compared to what I see in CT/MA. Though add 6 months of getting solid under saddle and jumps and some shows under his belt and the price jumps quickly.

    I think you should put a good riding picture(s) and at least a video link on his ad.

    Moving a horse quickly helps you. Dropping the price a bit gets the boarding price off you… plus takes that out of his sales price… so makes your total profit better… I have taken a big drop in price just so I didn’t need to feed /board a horse for 3-6 months.

  5. Your friend is right and you shouldn’t blame yourself whatsoever about buying Roman. You gave him a good chance at being a better horse for whoever buys him from you than where he was! And you need Simon as much as he needs you. Good luck girly! Roman is super cute… I’m sure with the right Ad, the right person will swoop in.

  6. The right person for Roman will come along. Maybe taking him to a show or two (added expense, I know) he will get some exposure and it may speed up the process. Fliers and even having them announce he is for sale, might help. He is looking good under saddle.

    Or you could just hit the lotto, win big and never have to worry about $$$ again. We can all dream, right?

  7. Simon’s got the best momma around.

    There’s more than just PBJ — though it is SO GOOD. Check out the Budget Bytes blog. It helped me through college.

  8. Just remember it is only money. Everything will workout. I’ve had to go through a major budget change and it really has been enlightening. I haven’t really got anything for myself recently and I am addicted to saving money!

  9. I know exactly how you feel. I can’t seem to sell or lease my gelding because I have so much emotion invested in him that the thought of not being able to see him daily hurts. But I would probably sell my mares without batting an eyelash (granted they are newer additions to the family). So I don’t do certain things (like have a robust social life) because I have to budget and spend time with all of them.

    Good luck on finding a leasee for Simon. I’ll send good thoughts your way for Roman’s sale too. 🙂

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