This is the second installment of a two-part piece about selling a horse when the partnership just isn’t working out. Read part one here.

After nearly a year of battling health issues, taking a tough fall, and starting and stalling in our training, I decided it was time to sell my horse. I was tired of trying to force a partnership that just didn’t seem to be there.

This wasn’t an easy decision to come around to. It’s just not in my nature to give up, and I was convinced I could find the root of his troubles, fix it, and miraculously riding my Thoroughbred gelding, Mikey, would be fun again.

My husband became worried – what would life look like for him if I didn’t have a horse? I’m pretty sure he didn’t want to know, and he encouraged me to keep trying, despite the all the money we’d already poured into trying to heal him.

Still on the fence, I decided to list Mikey for sale just to see what happened. Tire kickers have come and gone. One person came out to give him a try, and sure enough, he turned up lame on the day the potential buyer showed up to ride.

I decided to try to pull my horse together enough to show him once or twice for the photos, videos and experience that would help me sell him. I wasn’t hopeful for good results, because let’s be honest, neither one of us are in the greatest shape given how little riding we’ve been able to do together. But any miles were good miles, I concluded, seeing as though my gelding had barely been off property.

The horse show date came up quickly. Mikey had put weight back on and most of his ailments were seemingly under control. It was just a small schooling show not far from home, and I’d compete in divisions full of children less than half my age. But my horse would surprise me that day.

Mikey ended up being as cool as a cucumber that day, happy to hang out ringside, game to school every jump without issue, and to stand at the trailer for hours. We’d end up getting reserve champion in both our divisions and put in a series of solid rounds over fences. I was so shocked to say that we both were relaxed and ended up having a lot of fun.

Feeling a confidence boost after this show, I entered him in the Hunter Trials, hosted by our local fox hunting troup the next weekend. Mikey would have to jump natural obstacles in and out of an area and canter up and down hills in big open fields, all things he’d never had the chance to do before. Much to my surprise, he came off the trailer happy and up for the challenge, and I had a smile plastered across my face all day.

Maybe this is what we needed – a few no pressure, out of our normal routine kind of rides to remember why we do this. Because now I’m not so sure I want to give up on him just yet. His ads are still live. But there’s no pressure. I’m thrilled to just enjoy this streak of progress and fun rides for as long as it lasts – be it until Mikey finds a new owner, or until I know for sure he’s meant to stay with me.

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