It's just FUN...and decisions, decisions

Ever since my lesson the other day I've been thinking non stop about having another one. Trainer was available this morning and I jumped at the opportunity to ride Ben again. By the time of our lesson it was already 95 degrees. I had asked trainer for a flat lesson to work on myself more, but really I did so because my legs were killing me after my first lesson. Ben has a big stride, and a somewhat awkward left lead canter that can be hard to sit to. I haven't jumped other than the ocassional small cross rail in a while, and a course the other day really made my thighs and calves burn. I really, really need to get stronger! Well we started the lesson on the flat, and trainer says she really wants to see us jump again together...in the derby field. A wide, open, flat field with jumps that completely terrifies me. Now I know Ben is a steady eddy, but there is something about a huge field with no boundaries and jumps that freaks me out (why do I want to event again?) So we head off into the field and work on some figure eight canters in the field with lead changes down the diagonal. I have never in my life ridden a horse this fancy, and I haven't ridden a horse with changes in many, many years. Man, it felt good. After getting my confidence in the field we worked on some canter ground poles to start and getting 6 strides in between. We totally nailed it. Jumps were put up and we  did a little course of a cross rail, 6 strides to a vertical, around half the field, change direction over a little log jump, and then back over the two from the opposite direction. I really, really had to work on getting my strides, and keeping Ben focused on where to go, and not drifting. I usually only ride in the ring, and it's amazing how much I relied on the rail as a guide. It's a whole different world in the field! As I was doing an extended canter around the perimeter of the field and looking up over the hill at the tree line on this perfect day, and flying over these jumps that just felt like nothing, I had a smile from ear to ear, for like the first time ever. I felt amazing, and confident, and happy. Trainer said Ben responds so well to me, and that we are a great match. It just felt so right. Ben is for sale, but there is no way in a million years I'd be able to afford a horse as fancy as him. After my lesson I walked Ben all through the fields on a loose rein, thinking. After getting back to the barn trainer discussed a few options with me on what to do with Finn once he is sound.
1. Half lease Ben for a month, while trainer puts in training rides on Finn. Half leasing is big, big money, but something we could swing for just a month...definitely not longer than that.
2. Continue lessons (two or  so a week) on Ben, and put training rides in on Finn. (least $$ option)
3. Put all my money towards a month of training board for Finn, and have no lessons for myself. This would include Finn being worked 6 days a week, and equals out to what it would cost to half lease Ben and full board Finn with 1-2 training rides a week.
4. Return Finn to the MSPCA and full lease Ben for a year. This is my most costly option, but after a year of full leasing, the $$ from full lease would go towards Ben's purchase price if I decided to purchase him at the end of the year. With this option he is essentially mine during the lease, I can move him wherever, and do whatever I wanted with him.

So basically I wish I was a billionaire. Because if I was I would buy Ben tomorrow, keep Finn, and do whatever I could to make him well. Unfortuately, I am not a billionaire.
    I love Finn with all my heart and have tried so hard this past year and a half to help him. And...he just will not stay sound. I feel like if I returned him to the MSPCA it's like I'm giving up on him, and I'm not a quitter. But my fear is I keep treating and treating and treating for everything and he is still not sound. I feel like I'm always walking on eggshells with him.
    I am seriously leaning towards option 1. A month on Ben will do wonders to my riding, and I'll get to go on trail rides, go to a show, jump, and just have fun! Trainer can do some training rides on Finn and I'll be able to get her honest opinion on what she thinks of him. I really like and respect this trainer, and know she'll be brutally honest about Finn. If at the end of a month he is just not going well, and me and Ben really, really click then I'll have to reevaluate.
     I wish I had thought long and hard about the right horse for me before I got Finn, rather than go in with the mentality of need horse now. A 15 year old warmblood would have been much more wiser of a decision than a green 8 year old Thoroughbred. Argh...I don't know. I don't want a horse that's going to take me to the Olympics. I want a horse that will happily plug me over 2ft courses, will compete at BN events, possibly go further in dressage, hunter pace, that I can trailer anywhere and everywhere for trail rides, go to the beach, go to my family's house in Maine and ride the dirt roads. I don't want a serious competitor. I want a horse I can ride now, safely.


After 30 minutes of begging, pleading, and swearing Finn finally goes in the wash stall


  1. I'd defiantly get your trainers opinion :) not all TBs are hard to handle .. Just gotta find the right horse for you!

  2. The horse that makes you smile is worth every penny. It's not giving up to admit a horse isn't right for you and there's no reason on earth to keep a horse that doesn't make you happy. Let him find a place he can be happy, too.

    Give yourself a chance.

    1. Thank you...it's so tough to do, and I'm so torn. I know, am 100% certain, that a horse like Ben is the right horse for me and the one that will make me smile. At the same time I feel so terrible for Finn. I've done so much for him and have tried to make him the right horse for me, and we just haven't clicked. I've accomplished more in two lessons on Ben than I have in a year and a half with Finn. I'm afraid Finn might not be the right horse for me right now, but may be in a year or so...Unfortunately there's no way I can afford two horses.

  3. It's difficult to consider these options, and ultimately you need to do what's best for both of you. Maybe it would not only be better for you to move on to another horse, but maybe it would be better for Finn in the long run too. I don't think there's any shame in knowing that you tried your hardest. If only we were all millionaires!

  4. I think you already know what you want to do, and that's okay. If you want to confirm or get someone to validate your decision, do option 1. That way you can enjoy riding immediately (something everyone should!) and get your trainer's valuable opinion of Finn. It's a win win.