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Horses and children - looking for some positive stories!

(13 Posts)
Leela5 Fri 05-Dec-14 07:58:27

I'm 8 weeks pregnant and have put my beloved horse out on full loan because we need to save money for baby and also because he needs lots of exercise and schooling and I thought I would struggle whilst pregnant and it would be fairer to him to let him go to someone who can give him lots of time and exercise until I can take him back after baby. I had a miscarriage before this pregnancy so didn't want to be trying to do too much or riding this time.

I've had awful struggles since buying him because of livery yard politics and overbearing yard managers who thought they knew better how to care for him. It had caused a lot of stress and upset and to be honest I was worn out and needed a break (work wasn't helping - it's been a tough year).

He's now settled in his loan home, I visit once a month and get on brilliantly with his loanee who adores him.

I have started worrying though as she keeps saying she wants to buy him and it's started me thinking whether realistically I can ever have him back sad

I adore him but worry that, with a young baby, will I be able to cope with the work/exercise he needs? I know people do have horses and young children, but they seem to have people to help them like family, whereas my family live at the other end of the country.

I'm desperately sad at the thought of parting with him, but keep thinking perhaps loanee can give him a better life and I should maybe just let him go?

Can anyone give me stories of coping with kids and horses? He has to be exercised 6 times a week otherwise he's like a firecracker. He's a good doer so not that expensive to care for, but he was late stallion so can be a bit riggy and I wouldn't let kids handle him.

Leela5 Fri 05-Dec-14 07:59:27

*late gelding not stallion.

RainyLion Fri 05-Dec-14 08:12:41

I have a horse and a toddler and it's been great. He is retired though so I don't have to worry about riding him (he is stabled). I'm on a yard where there are loads of young kids which helps. If you have access to a school you can time your ride during your baby's nap time (a routine is a must in this case) and the baby can sleep in their buggy on the edge of the school. Maybe get a sharer for a couple of times a week? I'd be lost without my horse, being at the yard keeps my dd entertained and gets me out of the house. Having said that it would be quite full on if I had to exercise him everyday.

laurenamium Fri 05-Dec-14 08:45:58

A big yes to riding or lungeing when toddler is napping. I used to pull my car right up to the arena door so I could see DD at all times and could get off as soon as she woke.

The only thing I struggled with was turn out and bringing in with a baby. I started carrying her and leading horse but was kicked in the arm (luckily on a day I didn't have DD) when catching my mare. They thought I fractured my elbow, if I had my DD in my arms she could have been dead. After that I always had someone either watch DD or turn out for me. Is this a possibility?

I had a horse share as I couldn't ride 6 times a week and wanted to keep her competition fit, so I found someone that came to ride her 3/4 days a week and she helped towards the livery and mucked out those days too. Just took the pressure off a bit! Would the person loaning him now consider this when you are ready to get back in the saddle?

This time around my very lively gelding is just having some time off until This one is born and I'm signed off, he's too naughty to risk asking anyone else to ride/ loan so I have no choice really! grin

laurenamium Fri 05-Dec-14 08:49:20

Are you due in the summer? As an afterthought, does he turn out over night in the summer or could you move him to a yard that does? That would take the pressure off you iimmensely in the early months!

Goingintohibernation Fri 05-Dec-14 08:53:57

Will you be working as well after the baby arrives? I found I could cope with DS and horse without too much trouble. It was when I went back to work things got too much. I had a horse on loan at the time, and had to give her back to her owner. Once DS got his free hours at pre school I got another horse though, in my case on loan again. It is a lot of juggling, but it all works out well now. Would the loaner be willing to keep your horse for the next few years?

couldbeanyone Fri 05-Dec-14 09:10:08

Hi I have managed with horse and baby but would say that needing to be ridden 6 times a week will make it quite full on. If you have limited help from family, no sharer or full livery where they are able to help exercise, you would be better off with something that requires maybe 4 rides a week. I have kept horses competition fit on this regime with as much turnout as possible, but they had to have the temperament that meant they didn't go loopy after 2 days off. It is lovely having your own time not being mummy you just have to be realistic about what time you have and to some extent choose the horse/yard etc accordingly. As always most of this is down to finances!

From my personal experience if your loaner wishes seriously to buy your horse I would personally snap their hand off. However only you can make that decision.

Booboostoo Fri 05-Dec-14 09:58:31

I think you should stop worrying. Your horse is happy where he is and you are not obliged to sell him, he is yours to do with as you please. Wait until the baby arrives and see how things work out. Is your loaner nearby? Maybe you could end up sharing your horse with her?

Bonkey Fri 05-Dec-14 10:02:09

Before I got pg I had a TBx mare. I had had her for 4 years, loved her to pieces but she was high maintenance and could at times be a pain to ride.

I knew I couldn't afford to keep her when baby arrived nor would I have the time to start with so I loaned her out to a lovely lady and teenager. When ds was 4 months old I went for the first visit since having him and she looked so happy and content. I asked them if they would be interested in buying her and they did.
The way I looked at it was there was no way I could give her the care and attention(and money) that I used to and that they were currently. I was worried that at some point they would want to give her back (contract was for 18months and they had made it clear they wanted to stick to that). If I had to have her back then it would have been horrendous for me, both money and time wise. She would probably would have had to be sold.

I put her out on loan with no intention of selling but a baby opened my eyes and made me more realistic. I figured that they knew her well enough to know all her quirks and I knew them well enough that she would be cared for. I don't doubt she will be with them until the end of her days.
I was devastated and it took me a long time to come to terms with it but deep down I knew I did the right thing.

Ds is now 7 and I have not long got a 'proper' horse again that needs riding and work (had shettys and babies for a while). Even with him being a only and at school all day I find it hard to squeeze it all it but it is much much more manageable than it would be when he was a baby.

If you say your horse is in a good home with good people and they want to buy him then I personally would really think about the long term. What happens if they give him back and you can't afford time or money to keep him uptogether?
Its hard but sometimes its the best .

Saying all that - if I could have held on to her I would have done but that most likely depends on how many people you have to help around you, both horse and baby, obviously money, and how much you can take mentally ...baby brain will hit you at some point! wink

Floralnomad Fri 05-Dec-14 14:31:08

I would look at it from a financial POV , I've had horses and DC but mine were all on full livery so all I needed to do was visit . You have already loaned him out because you need to save money ( amongst other reasons) so unless you envisage your finances becoming a lot better I can't see how having him back will be a good move . The problem with just leaving him on loan is what happens if they don't want to keep him / long term injury etc he is then your problem ( financially) .

Leela5 Fri 05-Dec-14 15:39:24

Thanks for all your replies. Money will be fine as we've paid off the debts now that were crippling us just in the six months since he went. It's the time I'd be worried about. I might look into putting him in part livery once baby is here, as then he'll be much more manageable in a routine and I could see if a sharer could ride half the week.

Loanee lives too far to share unfortunately. I may need to make difficult decision about his welfare and happiness when the time comes. If he's settled and content I'll consider whether taking him back is the right decision for him.

Thanks so much everyone, I've got lots of advice to think about

CQ Fri 05-Dec-14 15:54:10

I would definitely wait and see. I had 2 horses up until I was pregnant with 2nd child. Rode gently up to 6 months with the first, but soon after getting pregnant the second time I managed to find a loan home for them both. Always intended having them back.

But you know, your life changes when you have children, and suddenly my all consuming passion for horses was replaced by another passion. I decided to leave the horses where they were, both in good homes with lovely people. In the end I sold one and gave the other one away (rather than permanent loan with the risk of him coming back one day). I have never regretted it.

I now ride only occasionally and do not miss the mud, muck and wet rugs in the winter, that's for sure smile. A good friend however has always had horses, while bringing up her DS as a single mum.

Don't sweat about it too much now, you have much more important things on the horizon and right now your lovely boy is happy where he is. The right solution will present itself.

mrslaughan Fri 05-Dec-14 16:15:21

I would sell him....for so many reasons, but mostly because he has a good home and that can be so hard to find.
Also reading between the lines, financially it will be hard for you to be not working, managing baby and paying for horse. Yes its hard to say goodbye to those we love, but at least you can do this and know he has a good home, will be loved and cared for.
You don't want to get into a situation where you can't afford to keep him, but you can't afford to wait until you find a good home for him, so he has to go to whoever can afford to pay.
you need to be practical.

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