October 2, 2012

The bitter tast of reality...

I feel like I'm a blogging downer these days. The huge irony is that my horse is doing quite well! So what is so bitter?

When you are pregnant people tell you stories about how women grieve the loss of their "birth plan". HA! That's easy to avoid I decided. I simply choose not to create one, beyond the fact that I would go to the hospital and have a baby, ever which way he decided to come out. In less than six hours I had an adorable baby in my arms. It worked like a charm.

What I didn't do was avoid making a post-baby riding plan. Oh, yes, you all may recall how I was going to get right back in the saddle, Rose and I both would get back into shape, do a couple local schooling shows and finish the season off with a rated show or two. Unmet expectations. I now realize what a ridiculous first time mom goal that was.

The reality is that if I'm lucky I will get to ride my horse two times a week (Saturday & Sunday) at most. No easily getting back into shape, no schooling shows, and definitely no rated shows. No baby green hunter debut. There is just no way around it. Both my husband and I are self employed which is great, in that it allows me to be a work at home mom and keeps Jr. out of day care. It is bad however, because due to taking care of Jr. my income has been greatly reduced. This means that I can't afford to have a baby sitter watch Jr. while I go to the barn four days a week. Since my income is reduced, hubs can't spare his time to watch Jr. for me to get my horse fix either. That leaves me with the weekend only. Argh! Reality you are very very bitter tasting.

Rose - the horse I got to see twice in the month of September.
What is one to do? Personally I have a hard time justifying the cost of maintaining a show horse that I ride once or twice a week (a show horse, who for a while looked more like a bloated yack than a warmblood). However, the thought of selling Rose to only turn around and replace her in two more years (when I once again have free time to ride more often...hello preschool) seems foolish. The thought of selling her at all is one I don't like to even think about. Not getting to ride at all for two more years...that I could not deal with at all. Better one day a week than none. What to do?

Half-lease. This is the only thing I've been able to come up with. I've never lease out one of my horses so I'm very nervous about doing it and will probably have so much red tape involved that I'll never find a lessor, but I see no other choice at this point. Ironically I'd love to have EB lease her, but I don't know that she can afford it as a college student. She's been doing such a great job with Rose though that I couldn't be happier. Truly, EB has been a life saver this past month.

Have any of you had any good leasing experiences? Any tips or advice?

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


  1. Before I finished reading I thought LEASE! I think it's a great idea to find someone. Start with your local trainers you trust and be open to possibilities. Maybe just even getting her ridden without someone really paying much, like EB, is worth it just so your mare is in work and progressing while you're doing the mommy thing. The right situation will work itself out :)

  2. So, I'm due to have my baby here in two weeks. Back in January I purchased a rather untouched and VERY green off-the-track-thoroughbred with grand plans to get him to his first baby event by the end of this year. Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant! Lovely!

    I had to swallow my pride that I would not be the one putting all the training on him like I had wanted to, that I wouldn't be taking him over his first jump, etc. I was able to put the first three-four months on him which was mostly lunging and groundwork. Then I put an ad up on craigslist that was quite literally a free lease situation. I didn't feel justified asking someone to pay ME to train my horse, and I certainly didn't (and still don't!) have the money to put him with a trainer, so I offered him as a free training project: I'd take care of all expenses, you come and put a solid foundation on him. I specifically outlined in the ad what I wanted in a rider and asked a few questions that I wanted them to specifically answer in their response to me. It was interesting to see that only one of all the responses I got properly answered my questions in their initial email to me! BUT, I found a gal who I've come to really trust with my horse, she's a bit more of a hunter/jumper type rider than I (I'm an eventer with a solid dressage background), but she is good with the basics. And what's most important, is she listens to what I want to see in my horse and if I ask her to work on something with him, she does! I've really had to swallow my pride and let her take the reins, but it's worked out.

    I've told her that she is more than welcome to continue riding him through the spring next year, as with a new baby and school and maybe even work still on top of it I will most definitely NOT have time to ride and he's too nice of a horse to just sit around. I've tried to be as realistic as possible with after-baby riding goals. Probably because I'm also a college student I've already accepted the fact that i'm just not going to be doing much showing until I'm done with school anyway.

    But, anyway, all that rambling is to point out that leases (with the right leasee) can be very very beneficial! Just be picky about who rides your horse and HOW and don't be afraid to step in and say if you want something changed. It's your horse, your rules. :)

  3. As a mother of a 4 month old baby, I totally get how hard it is to make it out to ride on a normal basis. I was actually horse shopping when I got pregnant, so now I am the one leasing from a college student who rides with my trainer. I am riding a half- lease and another very competent (better than me)rider is riding her horse on a quarter lease, so her horse is getting basically free training and exercise, and she gets most of board taken care of. I get to at least very slowly regain all that muscle and ability that went dormant while I was pregnant.

    You could always let EB do a quarter lease, and then find someone else to do a quarter lease or half- lease, that way you at least know one of the other riders. As long as you set ground rules, including your right to terminate the lease at your discretion, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding someone.

  4. A few blogs I read half lease their horse - and they have worked out well. I think as long as you are clear on what you are looking for and your expectations, it can be a good option for all parties.

    When my daughter was younger, we leased 2 different horses - over a 4 year span. One - the owner still rode the horse occasionally and was more involved. The other - we rarely saw the owner. Both sitiuations worked well for us - my daughter was able to take lessons, ride whenever she wished, and take the horses to compete.

    I hope it all works out and you keep Rose - I so enjoy reading about her as her and Riva are so close in age and breeding.

  5. I would lease my horse in a secondif she was appropriate for a lease! I will probably end up leasing my gelding once he's all grown up. I don't have kids but life can make it hard to get out to the stable. There are def horror stories w leases but I've seen more good than bad by far. In fact I've only heard rumors about horror stories and never directly known a person w a bad story. We have a lovely teen leasing at my barn, my good friend has a lessee, on another good friend had 2 people leasing her mare. She had a 3 yo at home and isn't working do the lease helps financially and time wise. You will never be able to replace her if you sell her. I vote lease!

  6. I vote lease too! Please don't sell Rose! You've been through so much with her. I'm sorry you aren't getting to ride and that money is tight, but it will work out. I've never personally leased so I can't help you there, but I'm sending good thoughts and keeping my fingers crossed for you and Rose. :)

  7. Also wanted to ask, is it okay if I use your disclaimer on my blog? I love how you've worded it and it covers everything lol. Thanks!

  8. Well... you have great writing skill so I would share it with my friends.. Specially your horse pics as he is very beautiful.



Related Posts with Thumbnails