Thursday 5 April 2012: Borrowing.
There is a problem with borrowing. Risky is borrowed. Well, not entirely... More like loaned with a small monthly fee. A fee which I am soon to stop paying, because he is being sold :(
In fairness, I was offered first refusal. Not only that but they were willing to just give him to me. No cost, just a change of ownership, from them to me... With the one condition that I continue to give him love and attention as I have done for the past 6 months. Sounds ideal, doesn't it? Unfortunately it's not. Risky is 16 years old, not ancient in horse years but definitely getting on a bit. He's also very difficult to keep in condition, so he eats a fortune in feed. He has a dodgy jaw, which means he requires bi-annual equine dentist visits to make sure his teeth are not causing him any problems. His legs are like matchsticks, proof of which being that he has already survived a fracture to his front right leg nearly 4 years ago. Then there are his feet, which are awful in almost every respect. So the decision has already been made for me really. Truth is, I could probably just about afford the care and maintenance of a normal, healthy, sound horse... Unfortunately this horse does not fit that description. If anything, agreeing to take on full ownership of him would mean fulfilling his very namesake.... Risky.
I've said all of the above in a horribly matter-of-fact manner. In all honesty I'm gutted, heartbroken even. He's a lovely animal, and it is by no fault of his own that he is in this situation. His owner is my age, spoilt rotten and stubborn. It doesn't help that her boyfriend is a dickhead and refuses to spend time with her if she's been near the horse (stable yards smell)... So she's pretty reluctant to ride nowadays anyway. After breaking his leg, Risky was required to spend 6 months recuperating in a stable to prevent him from causing any further damage to his already serious condition. This meant no riding for his owner, who probably began to lose interest at this point. Her parents already threatened to sell the horse around 6 months ago, which is where I came on to the scene. It was obvious then that she still cared about him, as she chose to give me only part-loan of him, rather than allowing me to have him full-time, plus she refused to move him to a cheaper yard where I could better afford his upkeep. This time round it's a similar situation. Having a pet horse is an expensive hobby, and he'd be better with someone who would appreciate and enjoy being around him. Part of me thinks I should just bite the bullet and take him, but with his track record it'd be a huge mistake for me financially. The whole business is hugely frustrating, as they've waited this long to decide that she's still not interested... Meanwhile I've had just enough time to become completely attached to the poor animal, following 4 months of cleaning out his stable every week and patiently waiting 'til he's sound enough to ride.