Should I buy a horse?

Up until recently, I’ve not had the wherewhital to own my own horse. It’s been years since I had my arab, Jordan put down. I kept him here, on my five acres. But then things got in the way…he had to be put down with Cushings, my then husband divorced me, I was in school at the time, and had only a part time low wage job. Meaning, I had little if any discretionary income. Horses were not in the equation, at least not for any length of time.

Fast forward several years, I’ve remarried (and am very happy with THIS husband), the house has been paid off, etc. And, for the last several years, my friend, Sue, shared her horse, Raven with me. I paid for supplements and did all the appointments while Sue went to work.

Then we had to have RAven put down, last August. Twisted intestine. And I fell ill, with an ailment I have only now, in the last month, begun to feel normal again.

Sue bought a new horse last month.

Now, with Raven, it was love at first sight..with both him and me. I mean it. The moment I met Raven, he insisted I was his mare, me and Sue, and Sue finally aquiesced. He was happiest when it was ‘just us three’. That’s how the partnership started up.

With Marty, Sue’s new horse, there is NOTHING. I mean, between him and me. He’s ..just another horse.

So sue hit me up the other day with a question…why don’t I buy a horse of my own?

Wellllllll, I can afford one, now.

But. I’ll be 66 in May. I fell off of Raven 1.5 years ago and was grateful that nothing was hurt, not even my pride.  What hurt me was having to have him put down.

I don’t think I can handle the fear of colic. Laminitis. Or falling off.  The first is the most concerning to me, I can’t handle the dread that comes when you show up at the barn and everyone is in the arena walking a sweating horse in pain. I’ve been told walking doesn’t help the horse at all, so I suppose it’s more to keep a colicking horse from rolling and twisting an intestine.  Maybe it’s the same sort of task doctors used to give a worried husband (back in the days before women had babies in hospitals), that task being boiling water. What did it do? Well, maybe the doctor used it to wash his hands, but I think it was more to get husband out of the doctor’s hair by giving him something to do.

In other words, I fear the inevitable colic that would put a horse I’d come to love down.

Am I afraid of the emotional suffering? Yes. Part of my illness was due to stress finally overpowering my system. I can’t afford another go round.

So……I don’t know what to do. Part of me wants a horse. Part of me dreads it. Part of me fears and part of me says, I’m too old.

I don’t know what to decide.

About subodai213

Retired U.N.C.L.E agent. Living in Laurasia.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Should I buy a horse?

  1. Oh M, I sympathise with your dilemma and just have to respond!
    I know how much Raven meant to you and how hard it was to lose him. (Such a shame Marty is no worthy successor.) I also recognise the primal yearning to have that wonderful connection again with another horse, which (childless though we both are) I guess has similar, inexplicable gut origins to the emotional imperative of wanting your own child! Don’t dismiss your common sense though. What kind of horse would you take on and, even if it is already “old” in horse terms, will you still have the active energy and physical strength left in you to see it through its natural lifetime, to keep it exercised and nursed through illness, to avoid being injured if it makes any unexpected moves….and if something happens to you, will D cope? We are about the same age, so I’m never going to say you are too old! But taking on a new horse is never a short journey, and the first six months to a year can be extremely challenging. How will you cope at 75…80..?
    You will know from my old posts I speak from experience. When I was desperate to take on a new horse 10 years ago, I very nearly bought a friend’s 15 year old Lusitano that I rode regularly and knew very well, he was also extremely well trained and could have taught me loads. Instead everyone ummed and aahed and I didn’t buy Athos but took on an 8 year old Spaniard with a James Dean complex and you know the rest …! I love Pom to bits, but Athos would have been the more sensible choice by far, he remained sound and active, but, alas he died suddenly from a stupidly avoidable injury 2 years ago.
    Now, I’m 10 years older and tireder, with osteoporosis and a more fearful and anxious mindset, coping with a still very lively 18 year old horse. We have a wonderful rapport now but I hardly ever ride as I don’t want to chance going out alone and breaking any other bones far from home. E and I are completely tied to home unless we can get good horsesitters, rare as hen’s teeth, and much as I always believed in horses living out as naturally as possible, the Spanish princeling absolutely insists on spending his nights in a comfortable “room” in the barn, so every day begins and ends with the stable routine. Then there’s lugging hay bales or nets, pooh picking, hoof picking, field maintenance, the expense and worry of vet visits. I’m not complaining, but I wonder if I will cope when he’s 28 or more. (The Pie is 34 now and still going strong!) Yes, owning a new horse – it is almost as all-encompassing as adopting a child!!
    But your heart and gut will provide the answer. Maybe there’s the right horse at the right stage of his or her life that could just be the answer to your yearning. Or maybe another horse on your yard that you never really noticed before needs a stepmom, or there’s an owner struggling who’s trying to make it look like she can cope… maybe a rescue farm needs help or there’s a teenager who wants to go to college and just wants someone to look after her horse whilst she’s a student … I’m sure you’ve weighed up a the possibilities.
    Good luck, I really mean it, and I hope there’s a horse out there ready to make that special connection with you in a way that’s right for you both.
    (By the way, loved the siamese cat joke! Are S and D still well … we now have 2 again, never saw that coming!)

Comments are closed.