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Passion Missing?


I’ve been feeling extremely awkward and guilty for the past 1 - 2 years. You see, I cherished horses as a teenager. My family even had a pony for a few years at one point. When school got in the way of horses, we made the hard decision to find a retirement home for the pony. While not everything was sunshine and roses all the time with horse ownership, I can say that I felt very excited and passionate about horses.

After I graduated from high school and moved out of the area, I started longing for horses again. I resisted for several years, but finally let horses creep back into my life. I was excited by the idea of having my own horse again. I waited and waited until my family felt the time was right again.

Then, suddenly, the excitement disappeared. I am not sure when it happened, but shortly after I purchased her. At first, I thought it was just new horse ownership jitters. I thought things would normalize, and I would form a bond with my new horse.

It’s been 1 - 2 years now. I feel extremely guilty that I am not getting enjoyment from horses anymore. It takes effort to go to the barn. Once I am there, it’s OK. But as soon as I get home, I feel relieved. Like a “one more day down” kind of relief.

I do a lot of mucking and grooming when I am with the horse. Nothing is wrong, but I just feel pretty absent when I am there. I keep longing for the passion to come back. Like when I was younger, and I could watch horsemanship videos for hours on end. Or I could browse tack shops and fantasize over halters, boots, fly bonnets, etc. Now I just don’t even feel like watching videos or looking at horsey things. :disappointed_relieved:

Financially, I can definitely afford to keep her no problem. But having a horse usually means that we need to refrain from other endeavors if you know what I mean. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: And I do get a twinge of remorse when I think about some of the trips and hobbies that I might be missing out on. I grew up in a frugal household, so I am always scrutinizing my discretionary expenditures. I was hoping horses would really fulfill me, but I am ashamed to admit that I am tempted by other hobbies and experiences. I have one other hobby that my sister introduced to me. I think I am really starting to enjoy it, but I constantly feel guilty when I do.

I know there are so many people out there that can only dream of having their own horse, so I feel extremely ashamed for my lack of passion.

Is it time to move on? Should I keep giving it more time in case the passion returns? I am sorry for the rant! I’ve been struggling emotionally with this.

If you’re not enjoying it, then sell the horse. It’s way too expensive a hobby to keep going if you don’t even look forward to going to the barn. And it doesn’t sound like a different horse would change that.

Try some other things. If you decide later you want to ride again, horses will still be here. And if that happens, see if just taking a lesson once a week or half-leasing is enough. You don’t have to buy your own.


It’s possible that you just don’t like this horse. It’s also possible that your interests and passions have changed. In either case, there’s no reason to feel guilty or ashamed for the fact that you’re not enjoying horses as much as you used to or as much as some other people do. Sell the horse to someone who will enjoy her and move on with your life. Then if you find that you do miss horses again after all, you can always take lessons, lease a horse, or buy another horse.

ETA: It can be hard to admit to ourselves that something we think should make us happy actually doesn’t.


There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind about things. I know people who have had extreme passion for their hobbies and continued them for their whole life. But there are also people who tend to move from thing to thing every few years, and that’s okay too. Personally, I still enjoy riding but I don’t feel like I have that same kind of all-consuming passion that I had as a teenager. I take one lesson a week along with the occasional trail ride or small barn show, and that satisfies me for the most part. At this point even if I suddenly came into enough money to buy a horse, I’m not sure that I would. I have a bunch of varied interests and don’t want to invest so much time into just one.

If you’re really sure you want out, sell the horse. If you are still wobbling and feeling guilty about it, maybe lease her out for a year if she’s a candidate for that. Try pursuing the new hobby or doing some travel during this time and see if you miss riding. Maybe that will help you figure out if you really want the horse, if you’d like to ride more casually, or if you’re ready to throw in the towel.


What are you doing with the horse?

I have been riding many years, and have changed disciplines and general riding activities several times over the years. I no longer show, though I am getting into Endurance in a small way.

Check out the ‘just riding’ thread if you feel you have to be working towards a goal with your riding.

Thank you for all the input. I agree, it is hard to admit that horses might not be my passion anymore.

There was a point where I wondered if it was a different horse, that things would be different. She has a bit more “up and go” than what I am used to. I am not super invested in riding, so my sister rides her a few times per month. The trainer at the stables has been lunging her for us too. Even if I would feel different with another horse, I don’t think I could jump into horse ownership again emotionally.

I mainly groom and muck at the stables. At first I thought I would keep her for my sister to ride, but my sister also has other passions.

Sell your horse.

Thank you for all the advice. I have a difficult decision to make after the holidays I believe. :cry:

It doesn’t sound difficult at all.

Stop making yourself feel guilty. You’re an adult, and you can make decisions like this!

Ask your trainer/barn owner if they know anyone that might be interested in buying your mare. That would be the easiest way to do it. Ideally there is someone who is a good match and the horse can keep her routine, and you can do other things without feeling guilty. And, who knows, maybe you can go groom from time to time if you feel like it. (I hate to groom; if anyone wanted to groom my horses I’d be all over it!)

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If we all stayed as we were as teenagers… Oh dear heavens, I’m so glad I’m not 17 anymore!

We grow, we change, we evolve or we turn into fossils. Very boring fossils.

If you wish to retain some connection with horses after selling yours, volunteer at horse events. Fence judging at a horse trials, for example, allows you sit and watch tens of horses jumping past you - before you pack up your chair and go home until the next time. Or if you want more stress, e.g. secretary for a show. The demand for volunteers is endless and one makes friends and stays in contact with the horse world in a manageable way.

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first need to ask how much they would charge if they assisted in selling the horse