Editor's Postcard

Saying Goodbye: When You Have to Sell a Horse

Saying Goodbye: When You Have to Sell a Horse
Catherine Madera

When You Have to Sell a Horse

by Catherine Madera

My daughter Haley and our old gelding Imperial Outlaw (AKA: “Cowboy”)

My daughter Haley and our old gelding Imperial Outlaw (AKA: “Cowboy”)

I loved the book Black Beauty and read it several times as a youth. It’s a beautiful story but a sad one, too, especially the way it explores the selling of horses. Some “win the lotto” when they are sold, in terms of an excellent home, but for others a sale marks the beginning of the end: the end of understanding and thoughtful care, the end of a good relationship with human beings.

While winning Sport Horse In Hand Open Stallions at Donida Farms last summer was a thrill, it hardly compared with running into the current owner of a beloved horse we had sold. She was at the show riding for a client. The horse in question, a kind Quarter Horse gelding, had fractured his hock and could no longer be used for gaming. While we sold him to a responsible home, for light riding only, I wept after dropping him off at his new barn. It seemed so unfair that this fine gentleman had no say whatsoever in his future. To hear, nearly 3 years later, that the horse was still healthy and loved did more for my heart than any ribbon.

Life changes and sometimes hard decisions must be made, but I’ve never been good at selling horses, saying goodbye and forgetting about them. With summer on the way, I’m thinking of the many buying and selling scenarios that will take place this season. If you are thinking of buying a new horse, please remember each animal is an individual. Make a plan and be realistic about your needs as this will minimize turnover. Also, be mindful of its current training and living situation. Horses are creatures of habit and a change in care and handling can profoundly affect behavior. A most noble creature, horses deserve a thoughtful approach when they change hands.

Lastly, if you need a new barn for that new horse (or a better one) I can’t think of a finer company to build it than Barn Pros. Feast your eyes on some of the options on page 6. Got a buying or selling story? Email me at editor@nwhorsesource.com.

Ride On!

 

Published in March 2015 Issue

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Editor's Postcard
Catherine Madera

Catherine Madera attended Walla Walla University in Eastern Washington where she majored in communications/journalism. After winning a national competition for Guideposts Magazine in 2004, Catherine concentrated on non-fiction inspirational stories. Since then, she has published numerous personal and ghosted stories for Guideposts and their affiliate publications. Catherine has published in many regional and national magazines/newspapers and her work is included in several anthologies. She specializes in equine-related topics and profiles and serves as editor of The Northwest Horse Source. In 2010 Catherine’s non-fiction story, A Hero’s Work, received the Merial Human-Animal Bond award given by American Horse Publications. She has also authored three works of fiction and provides editing/writing assistance through Word Horse Writing Services.

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