You can't keep every horse forever, so here are five reasons it may be time to sell yours.
If you love horses, you probably can't get enough of them. But owning dozens of horses is not practical for the average person, so most equestrians have to choose just one.
While it's never fun to say goodbye, there are some very good reasons to find a new home for one horse and buy another. Here are just a few.
You've outgrown him physically.
This problem rarely applies to adults, but with children and teenagers who are struggling through various growth spurts, it is one of the leading causes of horse shopping.
A child may look cute on a 14-hand pony when she's seven, but by the time she's 10 the picture is bound to look very different. And looks aren't the only consideration; being too tall for your horse can affect your horse's performance as well.
You've outgrown him mentally.
A good rider knows that you never stop learning, but that doesn't mean you can't master one particular horse. Some horses never stop presenting challenges, but others will consistently do their job once you've learned to ask correctly.
If you've learned everything your horse has to teach, it may be time to let him teach someone else and continue your equine education with another horse.
You want to go further than he can take you.
Let's face it, not all horses are equally talented. If you enjoy competing and have big competition goals, but a horse that physically or mentally can't help you reach them, you may want to consider finding him an owner better suited to his abilities and finding yourself a horse that is able to compete at the level you want.
As in any other relationship, the horse and rider need to be compatible.
He's getting older but doesn't want to retire.
All horses deserve a good retirement, but some horses (particularly show horses) aren't too keen on it.
If you find yourself with a horse that is unhappy in the field but can't keep up with the grueling pace of the show circuit, it may be time to find him a different home where he can still feel useful but enjoy less physical exertion; maybe as a kid's horse or lesson horse.
You bought the wrong horse.
Humans don't always get things right. Though you shopped and shopped before you made the purchase, there is still always a chance that you simply picked the wrong horse. Horses are individuals, and just like people, not every horse gets along with every rider.
There is no shame in selling a horse for this reason, because you will be doing a favor for both yourself and your horse -- helping both of you find the right partner.