Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Reverting to Plan A

Falling in love with two Haflingers was never my intention. That just happened. Don't let Pippin and Doc know, but they were Plan B.... well actually it was never really planned! I knew that I wanted horses and my original plan was to foster some horses from a nearby horse rescue program. Then, I went to an auction and fell head-over-heels in love with my boys. I mean, really, do you blame me?!

They weren't being auctioned until the next day, so hubby and I had time to talk it over, do a little research and search our souls. Buying them and bringing them home was one of the major events of my life, right up there with graduation from college and marriage. As anyone can tell who has read any one post about the boys, you know how deep my love lies. They truly are my children, my fuzzy children!

Like any parent, I want my children to be happy. Although my horses get unconditional love from me, get good food and proper care and have a clean barn and paddock everyday (well,  OK, so maybe not a clean paddock when we have snow on the ground),  I think they are missing out on something. My boys want to work. They want to be busy, both physically and mentally.

And I can't give them enough. For the last year or so I've been involved in a mental tug-o-war with myself. It goes something like this:

I should ride one of the horses today.
I tiled (painted, nailed floorboards) and I'm too tired.
Pippin's looking at me. He really wants me to come
down and do something with him.
It's too windy (cold, snowy, hot) to work with the horses.
I should drive Doc today.
This ground driving is a lot of fun, but I can only walk so far.
We've been working for 30 minutes. 
You have been wonderful.
Should I push the horses a bit longer? Shall we go a bit faster?
No, they've been great. Let's stop now.
It's a beautiful day. I have an hour. Let's go!
By the time I get you groomed and saddled,  I'll have to stop.
I'm thinking that Pippin is ready to pull the carriage.
After all, he used to drive all of the time!
It's not new to him!
But what if he bolts? What if he doesn't respond to me?

I love my horses, but:
  • my energy level and strength aren't on par with what they put out. 
  • things get in the way that limit my time to work with them. 
  • there is that niggly, hidden deep inside seed of fear that has taken root and shows itself now and then. 
My horses are in the prime of their lives. They are still young (9 & 11). They should be driven. They should be ridden. They should be busy almost every day in my opinion. I can't do that. Not with two of them.

I gave some thought to keeping one of them so I could focus on one horse. That is doable. But first, I couldn't decide which one, and second, I couldn't split them up. They are a team. So, with tears flowing down my face, I am letting all of my friends know that I have decided to put my team up for sale. It makes me sad. But I want them to have more. They deserve it.

I talked to a trainer who works with driving horses. He is going to take the horses in June and give them a driving tune-up. Then he will work with me to help sell them. Doing this will give me additional time to decide if I truly can live without horses in the back yard. I may find that I can't sell them, and after their tune-up, I may be more comfortable driving them. Ha! You will have to pull the manure spreader... you'll have to work for your measly ration of hay! However, at that time, if I believe I have made the right decision to make someone else a happy Haffie owner, then, who knows, perhaps I'll revert to Plan A!


  1. You are going to make me cry!
    I can understand what you are dealing with, though. It is tough to have that love for them and know what is best for the boys.

  2. Well know what? We are moving - building a house - on 10 acres, with 27 acres across the road. And everyone keeps asking me if I'm going to get animals. I keep saying, 10-15 years ago I would in a heartbeat, but now, I think I'd be too tired to mess with them. I'm 53, soon 54. I don't know how old you are, but I know it doesn't get better!The thing is, we've fallen in love with Pippin' and Doc too. So,here are the rules!
    a) if you do sell them, you still have to blog.
    b) the next person has to open a blog and tell us about Doc and Pippin!
    c) I don't know about c...haven't thought of it yet!

    Cindy Bee

    1. Aww, how neat that you have grown to love my boys, too. I must have done an OK job of telling their stories because they really are neat horses. I certainly plan to keep blogging. It will be harder to come up with things, some days, without the hi-jinks of Doc & Pippin, but I am still Living A Dream. Thank you for your thoughts and for caring.

  3. I'm very sad, but I understand where you're coming from. Would it be an option to keep them, but have someone work them for you? "Lease" them out to someone who can't afford a horse, but who wants one? They could still live in your back yard, you'd still have access to them, and you'd earn a little bit of money from whoever leases them.

    I know that the livery has a lease program - for a set fee for the season, the leasee can come up and use the horse whenever he/she wants (with 24 hour notice). When the leasee is not using the horse, the livery uses it on the dude string. Every year, we get a handful of people who do this because they want to ride, but don't have the space to keep a horse of their own. Maybe you could do something like that?

    1. I was thinking this morning of suggesting a leasee, too! It is a great way for people who cannot afford a horse or have the space to still be able to work with a horse and ride/drive!

    2. I love it when people help others think through issues. Truly, I do. Thanks! Leasing is a possibility, and I do have two folks who are working them a bit. It is a possibility IF I can find the right people. It's nice to be able to say that at this time money isn't part of the equation.

    3. I hope that you do find the right people! Then you could have the best of both worlds: your boys and the work they need.

  4. I understand that you want them to be happy and they most likely need to work to really be in top form. It is going to be so hard for you to let them go..but they are a team. Who knows what will happen..plan c or will all work out. Sending you a hug:)

  5. It is a pity to sell your pair but I'm going through similar issues. I have two gypsy cob crosses and I find with work not enough hours in the day. They aren't broken in yet but when they are I'm going to have to be super busy giving them the work they need. It is tough to decide so I do feel for you!

  6. So sorry to hear that you are having to consider decisions like that... I can see your point, but at the same time, it is a very tough decision. It is a good idea to send them to a trainer for a while to freshen them up and maybe re-evaluate how you feel....?

    1. This decision has been difficult. I've been dwelling on it for a while now. And yes, I can reexamine my feelings when they are at the trainer. I have already planned to visit them, drive them, and see how I feel then. Thanks

  7. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes, because I have come to love them too. I really wish you could find someone to lease them, work them, and so on. I understand where you are coming from. I have two working breed and one mix of two working breeds dogs that I have not been able to work at all this year. I worry about Samson, the young one, all the time. But it's so much easier to give him what he needs, of course. I really feel for you and I hope you can work it out so they can stay if not with you, close by.

  8. What is plan A?? I am sure all will work out great for all of you. I so understand:)

  9. I haven't been on blogger for about a week. I thought, "I need to see what Dreaming is up to." Wow! I'm glad I checked in on you. I know from personal experience that a decision like this does not come easily. You love your fuzzy boys and you know what is best for them...and for you. You've contemplated this for a long time and have come to a wise decision to give them a tune up with a driving trainer and then take it from there. It will work out.

  10. Awww. That's hard. See how you feel while the boys are at the trainers. It just may be that you're in need of a "horseless" time in your life for a little while?

    At any rate, my best wishes to all three of you. =) Doc and Pippin are so sweet!

  11. Oh wow how did I miss this?? This is so sad. :( I like the idea of leasing them so they can be exercised, but stay with you (or near you). All I know is that the two years I went without a horse were miserable!! Maybe the driving tune up and a few driving lessons will help with your confidence. Do you have a wagon that they can pull together? If you drive them as a pair you're exercising both of them in half the time. Anyway I wish you luck whichever way you decide to go.


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