Thursday, June 30, 2011

Do I really need that second horse?

I have decided to give Pete back to his owner. She asked how things were going last week, and told my trainer that in August she would only have one horse on her property, and she would take Pete back if I was ok with it so he could be a pasture buddy.

I had to make this decision with my head.

I like Pete. He can get bratty under saddle, but he's not vicious. He's not trying to get me off, he's just expressing his displeasure at being worked in the heat or having too much time off. And on the ground he is the sweetest horse ever. He's super affectionate, and will come up to say hi in the pasture, even if you're all the way across the pasture from where he's eating his hay. He comes to the gate when you come out to the fence. If he could be trusted at the canter he would be the perfect Pony Club horse for a little girl.

I like him a lot.

But I don't have a trailer. I'm trying to save up for a trip to Japan in the next couple of years. And I have a perfectly sound horse to ride that's mine.

Spending $300 a month because I like a horse doesn't make too much sense at this point.

Pete taught me a lot. I am more confident in my leg, and I have a much faster reaction time to misbehavior or bad situations than I did before I started riding him. I know how to do a shoulder-in now, and I use my outside rein like I am supposed to. I have the confidence to loop the inside rein and trust that the horse will stay on the bit. Stuff that would have thrown me for a mental loop a year ago doesn't phase me today.

It was worth having him, especially while Avalon was lame. But I think I have learned the important things I could get out of riding him. My trainer thinks so, too. Horses will always continue to teach you, but I think in this case it's time for me to start concentrating on my own horse again.

I think I would have come to a different conclusion if I had a trailer. Showing Pete would have been something that could have really helped me gain confidence in the show ring. It's funny, I don't 100% trust Pete at the canter, but I doubt he would get as worked up as Avalon does going off the property. Going to a show where you can concentrate on your riding  and your own nerves instead of your horse's nerves would be a great thing for me to experience - but I need a trailer to do that. And the Great Trailering Accident of 2010 (also known as the I Hate Alabama incident) took care of that.

I need to save up for a trailer. I'm doing a good job of knocking my debts out one by one, but I haven't made much progress towards the trailer as a result. $300 a month can make a big difference.

And Pete's owner loves him as much as I do. It's time to give him back.

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