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Words of comfort and advice for heartbroken DD?

11 replies

GrumpyOldNag · 08/09/2013 01:49

Hi all, first time poster but long time lurker, I was hoping you lovely ladies could help me find the right words for my DD (17). Sorry this is a long one but I'd be so grateful if you stuck with it!

Currently she is away working on a ranch for the summer, living the horsey life of her dreams as she always been horse orientated but due to our family circumstances we've never been in a position for her to have one. While she's been over there, she found a very green (barely halter broken) horse being ignored basically as lawn decor, a welsh/Morgan/quarter horse type beast in her mid-late teens so very set in her ways, and has been working with her teaching her basic manners, with unbelievable results (so I've been told by the owner). This horse has formed a real bond with DD, she was formerly very spooky, uncatchable and nervous of everything, but now DD's first attempt at training has built up this mare's confidence and trust so that she will walk with her through the ranch and on the trails without a halter, just a lead rope over her neck for safety. I am obviously hugely proud of DD, and know she is proud of herself too but she is just in pieces about coming home and leaving this (completely inappropriate!) horse behind, not helped by all the staff saying if she could get this mare home she could have her for nothing, but it's not that simple. Whenever I speak to her she just cries and cries, and wants to use the money we've put into her pension (early I know, we're worriers) to get her over here but it's still not enough, and we've got no land to keep her on anyway.

What can I say? I've never seen her like this, not even over losing friends or boyfriends. I hate to see her like this, please, any suggestions?

OP posts:
Lovesswimming · 08/09/2013 11:29

Hi grumpy, I have a 17 year old daughter as well, I keep thinking about your dilemma. I haven't come up with any advice yet except for saying to you that I wouldn't bring the horse over either. I'll have a think and post something when I can. Just didn't want to read and run. It's a difficult one for you x

mrslaughan · 08/09/2013 14:34

AS hard as it is - it is a real life lesson though isn't it? She has probably made the mares life better, and if she has done it with this mare - she can do it with another....probably not something she wants to hear......I don't know, sometimes I think I am quite heartless when it comes to these things.......

Well you could say - come back, get a job, save your own money, to transport it, and also for its keep and insurance and then we can talk about it?

I don't know - I just never would have bothered to cry down the phone to my Mum and dad about something like this as they would have had ZERO sympathy for me, and probably given me a bollocking for even asking, presuming you are somehow financing this dream holiday.....(I went on a similar life changing trip while in University, I had to save for part of it, and they financed a small portion) - could you try the heartless, no sympathy route?

Backinthebox · 08/09/2013 20:39

It's a really hard lesson to learn that you can't just have everything. I know plenty of adults who have emigrated and had to sell beloved horses they have owned a long time because the shipping costs are beyond their reach. Lovely as it might be that your DD has worked so well with this mare, she is basically asking for nearly £10k (I am assuming you are talking about US/Canada to Europe) to bring over an older, difficult horse that she has only known a few weeks. If your DD is that good at horse training, she could buy a lifetime's worth of older, difficult horses over here and have plenty of change from that amount of cash! She will find other horses she loves, once she can afford them herself.

Pixel · 08/09/2013 22:57

Perhaps you could use the angle that it wouldn't be fair on the horse, it would be very stressful and she'd be in quarantine a long time etc (you'll probably have to do some googling to get some facts on this). Tell her the horse only trusts her but she won't be able to travel with it so it will be with strangers and very frightened, something like that anyway, lay it on a bit thick so she feels better/less guilty about leaving it behind? Maybe ask her if it wouldn't be kinder to the horse to help it bond with someone else before she leaves.
Also that way you will be seen as looking out for the horse's welfare rather than being cast as the villain.

(for possible future horse ownership I feel I must point out that very few of us have land to keep a horse on, we have to rent somewhere Smile)

Littlebigbum · 08/09/2013 23:49

How far away is the horse? to far work on that angle. Find her somewhere she help out with youn horse closer to home

GrumpyOldNag · 09/09/2013 01:32

She's on the wrong side of the Atlantic, and there is no way at all we can get her home, not a snowball's chance in hell, and that's not me being harsh that's me being realistic! She's been working every weekend since she was 16 saving for this trip, and given how hard she's worked we felt it was fair to pay the rest. I think the horse's well being is the best approach, thanks Pixel. I can't be tough with her in this state, I think she knows too that it just can't work and she's very sensitive anyway. She's not angry with us, she's just desperately sad. It's very upsetting for me Sad as well as her as I'd like more than anything to wave a magic wand to give this to her, year after year she's proved she's capable of doing this but were just in no position to have any horse let alone this one.
Thank yo everyone

OP posts:
PerfectlyChaotic · 09/09/2013 10:02

I agree with pixel and genuinely think that the horse probably would be terrified travelling all that way!

Upsetting for all of you though... If she's really proving herself can she come back here and find horse related work? I'm sure in the long run it's for the best that she doesn't have the responsibility of this (probably) difficult horse. Horrid life lesson, hope it all works out x

dappleton · 09/09/2013 11:01

I also agree with pixel. It's a long time in quarantine - it sounds like the horse has not been stabled for long periods before so quarantine may be quite traumatic, plus its a long flight. Depends where she is in the US but if its a hotter climate then the change to the English climate wouldn't necessarily be ideal for an older horse - just thinking rain, cold and mud when the horse has perhaps been used to the Texan sun!
I'd advise your daughter to spend her last bit of time on the ranch getting the mare used to another person that can carry on the training (or at least maintain it).

annieapple7 · 10/09/2013 23:14

Hi Grumpyoldnag
Lots of sympathy here. Tell your daughter this happens to nearly all girls who work on horse ranches in the US. It happened to me. We fall in love with a horse and have romantic notions of bringing them home. I fell in love with a beautiful black 3 year old called Stormy when working on a ranch in 1995. All the ranch hands told me how he had a special bond with me. I researched bringing her home. Thousands. It was agony to leave her. The previous summer another British girl had done the same thing - fallen in love with an aged palomino called Trigger (obviously!) She had actually bought him, and planned to fly him to the UK, but of course, never did. Assure you daughter that she is not alone and that there will be other horses as special as this one. Because there will be. But it is going to hurt. Wine

GrumpyOldNag · 13/09/2013 02:53

Thank you all for your help, DD is home now so we've been keeping her busy which seems to help. She seems much better and is perkier during the daytime, I can hear her crying most nights Sad , but that's less so now. I think knowing she isn't alone will definitely help. Thanks so much for your help ladies.

OP posts:
frostyfingers · 13/09/2013 09:24

See if you could find somewhere that she could work locally - is there a rehab or rescue place....? Long shot, but distraction may work!

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