Emotional Help in Selling Horses


New Member
Hi everyone, please excuse the novel I'm about to write, but I am hoping to get a little emotional advice about selling one of my horses. I have two horses that mean the absolute world to me (all you horsey people will understand that!). One is my competition horse; he has brought me to many a winner's circle and still has many years left and lots to teach me. Though I could get quite a bit of money for him, I doubt that I could ever sell him because he is my soulmate and my heart horse. My other is a 5 year old greenie, and she is my baby girl. Whereas my first horse doesn't show a lot of emotion at all, this girl has loads of personality. She is gorgeous, and really she is just my baby girl. I can't put the feeling into words. However, she is a little small for me and would probably do best in the western pleasure or western dressage world, and I'm a dressage and hunter/jumper enthusiast. I have run into financial issues (well, who hasn't these last few years) and am realizing that if I want to take a risk to pursue my dreams I'm not going to be able to take both horses with me. I can tread water and keep doing what I'm doing, barely getting by, and afford to keep both, but is that really fair to me or even to my horses? I want to be able to compete both, but that just makes money even more of an issue. Am I being selfish in wanting to keep them both, or is it selfish to sell one for my own benefit? Should I try and sell my greenie and let her become someone else's dream horse? How do I cope with the loss of my baby? I know, it's not like she's passed away or anything terrible like that, but to me it is still a loss. Has anyone been in this situation and regretted selling or not selling? Any advice or experience would be appreciated!


New Member
First trick is to not attribute human emotions to horses. Most horses - although not all - do not care what they do all day, as long as their physical needs and herd belonging needs are met. Some need a job, so you'd have to know that about your horse. Having two just means more cost, so it's about if you can afford it and it seems you can, and finding time to meet the herd needs. If your horse needs a job, then yes, find her a home where she can be happy. You have to consider putting her needs above yours in that case, hard as it can be. There is happiness in knowing your horse has the right home. And perhaps she could be someone else's heart horse; if finances are not an urgent problem, give yourself time to see if her heart human is out there somewhere. If you keep her, she deserves to get her share of attention and you should finish her training so that she has an insurance policy if you ever do need to sell her quickly. She will be much safer in the long run if she is fully trained and ready to go. That also gives you emotional protection, knowing she can be successful and not thrown away later by someone who doesn't know how to train a greenie.


Is a hard thing to do, give up a horse. It came down to give up horse or give up spending on daughter after I got divorced (I pay a lot of child support).
It was hard since I live on the horse farm where my guy is boarded, seeing him every day. Then the new owner not have much time to spend with him and ride him asks if I would mind riding him when I got the chance, and could I feed him now and then? You bet I could!


New Member
I have a mare that is now 24, I got her when she was a year old. I can't ever imagine having to part with her even today and don't believe that kind of loss is any less different than the death of any pet. The grieving is the same. Its how you handle it that makes it different. That being said and with some of the things I've seen over the years boarding at different barns, I would like to offer what I would do if it were me....

I would first try to find the very best person I could to take her, someone I knew personally that had the room for her. Even so, I would also request a contract of sale and include an abandonment clause or something that would force them to contact you in the event they decide to get rid of her. By then you may be better off, financially to get her back.

I've met some very caring people but I've also met those that pretend to be.. When the horse doesn't perform or they get bored with it, they trade it out for something "better". We "sold" a mare which I was in love with but she belonged to my daughter. We included all of her equipment, feed buckets, water buckets, saddles, pads, the works but supposedly the party already had everything. A few years later, we received word that she had died. To this day I hope that it was a mean spirited rumor but am doubtful considering where the information came from...

I'm sure people will chime in and I hope that they do. Some may agree and others may not. But you should do what you must and just hope for the best.

Good luck to you and I hope you find the right person for her and it all works out for you!



New Member
If you're not ready to sell, consider leasing one. Perhaps a free-lease where they take over boarding, farrier and routine vet. It would give you more time to make a final decision.


New Member
Thank you everyone for sharing and for the advice! Now that I've slept on it, I'm a little calmer about the whole thing. I think what I will do is continue to train her for a big show in April where she will debut in dressage. We've been planning this show for a while now, so she's getting prepared physically and I'm prepared financially. After that I will put her up for lease and see what comes of it, and possibly sell to the right home. Thanks for the support! I really appreciate the kind words. :)