Recently, a friend of mine began having some serious health issues that have affected her life in such a way that she had sell her two beloved horses. She wasn’t sad for herself; she was sad and scared for her horses.
One of her boys had Insulin Resistance and was being treated with For Love of the Horse herbs; the other horse had nothing wrong at all. She wanted to keep them together, and fortunately found someone who took them both. She and her husband did all they could, but will they be kept together and taken care of? Will the new owner keep up on the herbs and treatment for the horse? Are they willing to keep pasture time at a minimum and watch what he eats? She is very sad that she had to make this decision.
I understand her fear and sadness, as I also have been in positions in which I was forced to rehome horses. You try not to think about the “what if’s” of them falling into the wrong hands, but you can’t help it. You feel you made a commitment to that horse, by choosing to purchase and care for them, and now you have to turn their lives upside down. They don’t get a choice. Their life is in YOUR hands.
The best thing that can be done in any situation is to tell the truth. If you hide things to make it easier to place your horse, it could make it much worse for the horse. Tell the prospective buyer that your horse has a health or behavioral problem, that specific treatment is needed to prevent further problems and that the horse is healthy and happy now and you’d like to see it continue. If the buyer is more informed, they can also make the decision as to whether or not this horse is going to be a good fit for them. It’s not much fun to buy a horse only to find out later on that it has major problems that you didn’t disclose.
Life sometimes throws a curve ball and things happen that we didn’t expect. If you find yourself in a situation in which you must rehome your horse, do as my friend and her husband did and be honest. Take your time choosing an owner and don’t be afraid NOT to sell to a particular person if you don’t feel right about it. Trust your instincts as well as your horse’s instincts. If your horse is mostly friendly and steers clear of a particular person, there’s probably a reason for that. Listen.
My hope is that you never find yourself in this situation, but if you do, go slow, be honest, and pray your horse finds a good match. I’ll be thinking about you and your beloved equine friend……