“I have a mare bred very well that is too talented to stand in front of a round bale. I have been wondering what to do with her and I was watching her in the winter pasture. She makes a big circle and sends herself does a sliding stop rolls back. She did this five or six times. My life fell apart and I cannot give her what she needs. If you know anyone looking for a beautiful mare that is very athletic. Please contact me. I want her to go where she can shine. Thank you for your time and attention to this. Gratefully” -Karen R.

This is a question that I get frequently and I would like to offer some creative solutions.

  1. Sell the horse: If this seems too generic skip to #2 and #3. This one doesn’t seem creative but many people are in this situation. For whatever reason they need to sell the horse (see my article ‘Should I sell my horse’) and they need to recuperate as much money as they can. Maybe they lost their job. Maybe they are losing their house. Don’t judge. In a perfect world we would all be able to always care for our horses…but this isn’t a perfect world. The best thing to remember in this case is that there ARE GOOD PEOPLE OUT THERE. Really. There are. Are you a good person? Do you know a good person? The biggest thing to remember is to be HONEST. To find the best fit for your horse you need to tell everything you know. If he bucks sometimes after time off then he should go to someone who can handle that (yes, they exist too). If you forget to mention it because maybe-it-won’t-happen then there is a bigger likelihood of him being quickly sold again or worse. Tell it like it is. List online and locally. There are tons of places to post. 

  2. Give the horse to a trainer. Now that’s creative! Why? Many horses that I see who need new homes also need training. Good training increases the horses knowledge, understanding and value. These all lead to better things for the horse. If you really need to move your horse and want to improve his life try finding a local trainer that is getting started. Or someone who is known for selling horses. Not all of them are evil (maybe some but not all), some of them are just well connected. People know that if they are looking for a horse they should look there. Evaluate the person. Look at their horses. Talk to people. Once-upon-a-time I was a trainer that was getting started and I trained and sold horses for this same reason. As for the giving part? If you decided to skip idea #1 you had already decided that there might be other things you valued more than selling for money.

  3. Give the horse to a rescue. Some rescues take horses in that are not in trouble yet. A rescue may spend most of their time focused on horses that are in big trouble but rescues also tend to be well connected. They are usually motivated by caring and they might even be able to make a profit on a horse like yours. You could be finding a good home, helping a good cause and making a difficult but good decision.

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