Although you might believe, as with many others, that owning a horse is a lifelong commitment, you may still find yourself in a situation where keeping your horse is no longer an option.? Whether it?s a divorce, unexpected job loss, or increased barn expenses, here are some tips on how to handle this difficult situation.
- Stop beating yourself up.? Remember, the reason? you are agonizing over this decision is precisely because you love your horse and want what is best for him.? If you can?t afford to pay his monthly expenses, never mind unexpected vet fees, are you really giving him the best home possible??
- Talk to family and friends, and your contacts in the horse community.? The best option is always to pass your horse on to someone you know.? Ideally you want to avoid having to run an ad in the paper or advertise on the Internet.
- Be willing to talk about different options.? Leasing can be a great option for cutting expenses.? Leases are very flexible, encompassing everything from a one day a week riding time to the leasee taking on all responsibility for caring for the horse.? With open dialogue, you might be able to find a way to hang onto ownership of your horse.
- When you do find the right person to take your horse, be sure to draw up a contract.? Indicate that if the buyer can no longer care for the horse that they have to give you the option of buying him back.? If you would like to be able to visit your horse, you might want to include this in the contract as well.
- Follow your gut and try not to make any impulse decisions.? If the person doesn?t feel right to you, then chances are they aren?t.? Move on to the next prospect.