Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sharing the Wealth

I've made a decision that I feel is the right one, but yet it kinda tugs on my heart strings.

I've decided to half-lease Champ to a young rider at our barn.  I feel good about this decision but it also kind of makes me a little sad too.  Sure, Champ's still my horse - but now I'll be sharing him with someone else.  Now there is someone else riding my horse, grooming him, interacting with him.  I'm no longer his prime person.

Why did I decide to do this?

For starters I may be 'retired' but I'm not turned out to pasture.  I hold a part time job, have ongoing commitments, new opportunities popping up (which I could never entertain when I worked full time), and two horses at home who also need my attention (see my Post, "Sometimes It's Right Underneath Your Nose", 2/21/10).

After being retired for 90 days, I find myself averaging about three rides a week on Champ.  Although I stop in and check on him as often as I can when I don't have time to ride, Champ's been sitting idle in his stall an average of four days a week.  As much as I'd LIKE to get out more often, I CAN'T and the fact that he's sitting there makes me feel terrible - it really bugs me.

Yes, I could bring Champ home, save the board costs which I budgeted into my fiscal plan when I decided to retire.  But I love this barn, the people, and the facility.  Now that I'm retired it's wonderful to have some place off the ranch where I can always go to - where I'm always welcome.  Even if I'm not riding I'm still part of it.  If I leave the barn, I can always visit but I will no longer be part of it.  I'll be a visitor, not a member.

Enter Katie.  In her teens, she and her sister share a horse which they used to board at our barn, these days they haul in each week for lessons.  I know this family and they know me.  They take incredibly good care of their horse and tack.  Both are well respected and awesome young riders.  This year, they find themselves competing in the same age division so sharing their horse isn't an option.

Both Katie and I take lessons each week from Hero Trainer so the "message" to Champ will continue to be consistent.  We ride different disciplines so Champ will continue to get to mix up how he's ridden.  Since I learned the hard way how easily bored Champ can get, this will be good.

Katie took three lessons on Champ to see if they got on well together.  I came up to observe a lesson but caught her at the tail end, taking Champ back to his stall.  I heard Champ had tried a few tricks with Katie but she was onto him like a bee to honey.  What I saw made me smile - a young rider cooing and loving all over a horse and a horse happily accepting of the attention!  Good stuff.

Sharing the wealth is good karma.  It's good for Champ - who will be in good hands, well taken care of and ridden by someone who knows what they're doing.  It will be good for Katie - who now has a horse to ride in this year's show season.  It will be good for my horses at home who will benefit from having more time spent with them.  And it will be good for me - who will no longer fret about not having enough time to get up and ride Champ every day.

And you know what?  I'm thinking Katie and Champ just might have a very successful season!  It will be fun to stop by a show and cheer the two of them on!


  1. good for you! I hope this works for all of you!

  2. What a wonderful win-win-win situation! I'm sure it was a hard decision to make, but it sure sounds like the right one - for all three of you! Looking forward to hearing more about what the trio experiences :)

  3. I'm new to your blog and am enjoying learning more about your journey. It's a generous decision, and I look forward to seeing how it goes!

  4. Wow thats awesome you can do something like that. Sounds like it will work well.

  5. I just found your blog listed on another one this morning! I'm over 50 and about 2 years ago I had a riding accident with a friend's horse and I haven't been back on one since. I'm hoping to start riding again this summer. So nice to find you! Please come visit me!

  6. That is so great!! I bet Champ will be happy with the arrangement. It sounds like a win/win. :)