At some point in our life with horses, we each face a point where we ask ourselves just what have I been doing? Where do I want to go and how am I ever going to get there? I have been having a lot of those thoughts lately.
Where JR is concerned, he has hit that point all ready and only wants to cut. That's it. He has no real interest in anything else. The Quarter Horses are his and I'm fine with that. Where I enjoy pretty much all things horse related, I have run into a few crossroads lately.
After losing Tess, I really have no jumper in the barn anymore. I have the horses, the ways and means to create more, but it would take a few years to get there if I did. Around 5-6 years or so. A year for the foal to 'arrive', 3 more years before we start under saddle work and another year or more before we start over fences. That's if I breed the horses this year, which the season is getting near the end already. So I am considering selling my jumps. Three sets of standards, several cups and the rails or poles to go with them. I can always buy or build more later on...
Then there is the pony stallion. He wins at halter every time we go to a show. He takes to everything quickly and once he figures out what you want, has the attitude of "Sit back and watch THIS!" giving you everything, exceeding the limits of what you asked for or expected.
In being so disenchanted with a lot of local horse people lately, their wishy-washy ways, noncommittal thoughts and changing their minds on a whim, I have not offered him as a breeding prospect for a few reasons. One of them being, I have no say over where the foals end up and he has one really nice filly out there at the moment that is unaccounted for.
Then this morning I found an ad from a person seeking a pony with his coloring, his talent and temperament, as an addition to their breeding operation. I hadn't thought of selling him and I hadn't thought of offering him to the public either, but there it is. The ad has been up for quite a while and was renewed just last Wednesday. I contacted them and was blunt and brutally honest about it. I have not entertained the thought of selling him, but it is not out of the question either and I am open to negotiations. (I may even throw in the meadowbrook to sweeten the deal.)
There is a lot going on with all of this and should the pony be leaving I will retain a few breeding's, but I would also like to see him go on to bigger and better things. I like driving and I love my pony, but which way it all goes from here is something to seriously consider.
Then there is the other question of another horse on the horizon. It's a gelding, by a stallion I want to breed my TB mare to, a breed I love and he's awaiting a new home in a good place... But he too has a small issue that would keep him from jumping. If the pony sells, I can breed my mare and get a future jumper. Then the wait begins and I am grounded for a while. Or at least back to doing only flat work.
So how many of us have come to the point of crunch time, serious thoughts and decision making? Which horses stay, which ones do we let go of, which direction do we want to go and how do we go about getting there? I know a couple of other people who each have a number of horses and no clear focus on what they wish to do in the industry. A few of them have been advised to sell off the majority of their herds and buy a select few really nice horses, bred and trained to take them to the top and enjoy the ride.
When you narrow down your focus and zoom in on what you truly want, it becomes a lot easier to find and get what you need to get there. There are always sacrifices to be made and it seems like I may have a bit of deep thought processing to do for a little while. Of course I will let everyone know how things turn out. Sheesh. Did anyone think I wouldn't?