Helping Someone Purchase/Lease a Horse

Hubby and I knew that Hubby’s best friend (Dr. Eric)’s kids were getting into horses.   In fact, our daughter went to ‘horse camp’ with his daughter last summer.

But since they live in San Diego, we didn’t know that the ‘horse thing’ had progressed to now BUYING a horse for their Son.  And not only that, they already had a horse in mind who had stolen the Son’s heart.

I was happy as a clam because anytime there is a good home looking for a horse, I get all warm inside.

Then, I received an email from Dr. Eric asking for my help.


So Dr. Eric called me from his station in Afghanistan.

(Let us take pause here and bow our heads.  Or, at least I will…  I cannot image the devotion needed and the horrors seen when one is a Navy spine surgeon stationed in Afghanistan.  I cannot speak for him, but from my point of view, being trapped on a base without any leave time, fearing that you are a target and also being ‘On Call’ 24/7 to receive poor young kids who are in agonizing pain and varying stages of amputation and/or paralysis – well, let’s just say it does something to a person…  I don’t think it is at all like MASH led us to believe…  So, thank you, Dr. Eric and family, for your many sacrifices that have enabled wounded troops to have the best future possible. )

Military operating room in Afganistan


This phone event was very odd in that Dr. Eric and I were talking about purchasing a horse for his Son while he was eating his breakfast in an Afghanistan battle zone and I was finishing my dinner safely at home.  Wow.

Anyway, Dr was very concerned that his son get the right horse.  He was relaying to me all the descriptions he had of the particular horse in question and was asking my opinion.  I told him that I could give an armchair opinion but really, a picture or video would be better.  I also gave the shorthand on what you DON’T want in a horse for their desired application.

He thanked me and I offered to speak to his wife about any and all of their questions (she was the one shopping) if they wanted.


Immediately after our transworld battleground phone chat, an email firestorm ensued where Dr. Eric’s wife sent me photos and videos trying to describe the horse who had bewitched their Son.

My take-away from these media-packed emails was how easy it is to sell any kind of horse to a novice owner.  And, this really upset me because there are so many of the ‘correct type for the intended application’ horses out there that need homes.  Why make a bad match where the horse will just be sold again or … worse?

Have you seen this 'right horse wrong application' video?


So, I was kinda in a jam.

How do you begin to gently educate someone on a horse they’ve already fallen in love with?  Do you point out the flaws and suffer alienation?  Do you suggest other uses for this horse?  Do you try to offer health aids this horse may need in the future should they purchase her?

What do you do when you jump onto a train that is already rolling down the track?

I felt like the guy who ruins a wedding after the minister turns to the assembly and asks, “If there is anyone here who does not think these two should be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace?”

Ugh.  I was treading thin waters.


I decided to point out the few obvious discrepancies between this horse’s attributes and her new intended use(s).

When that didn’t really work, I suggested, “Hey, I’ll ask around and see what I can come up with in your area so you can compare.  It would help you feel confident in your final decision.”


Then I got the next email.  They were going out to see her again and they were probably going to lease her because, “other people are interested in her.”

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  No!  It is a trick!  Wait!  Have them hold her just a few more days!  DON’T DO IT!!!,” I screamed in my head.  But instead of exclaiming my fears, I just remarked that there has never been a time where I didn’t hear ‘other people are interested’ when referring to  a horse being sold.

Uh Oh. High pressure sales emergency!


I tried to go back to work but I was obsessed with not letting Mom get that horse just because her son loved her.  Please pick a horse with at least one useful attribute for what Son wants… I was fitful and pacing.

When I had filled up with too much explosive angst… I did it.

I blurted.

I hate it when I blurt.

But what was weird about this blurt was the new form of communication.   I blurted over email!

Typing like a mad woman, this is what I blurted:   “Just come up and see Bodhi because he would be absolutely perfect for your son.  I’ll lease him to you for two years until Son goes to college and then you can send him back.”

I proceeded to flail at my keyboard and tell Mom how wonderful Bodhi would be for Son and why he had just about everything they were looking for…


OMG.  What have I done?!… My Bodhi, leaving?  I mean, Hubby’s Bodhi, leaving?  What was wrong with me?  What would I do without his tender nickers every morning?  Who will mow the grass daily?  What if Hubby decides he actually has spare time in his new job – which he hasn’t had for the last year – to ride?  How could I live without seeing his beautiful soft eyes every day?

I figured they wouldn’t take me up on it.

Sweet Bodhi


After an hour or so, Son called me and said he thought it was a good idea to see what I thought was a perfect horse for him.  He would arrive on Monday (which was yesterday).  He would bring Mom.

I sat with this information and digested it all.

I concluded that I was right.  Bodhi would be the perfect choice for Son. Hubby never rides him and probably won’t until his job settles.  Bodhi deserves the best attention and love he can get.  I certainly love him but I don’t fawn over him daily.  And, if he went to the Son’s riding stable with his own pasture and a trainer… and a million little girls who like to groom and put braids in manes and give treats to very sweet horses… well, I would be a fool to not let him have that.



Son arrived when I was out so Hubby introduced them.  When I returned home and approached the arena, I could see it from far away.  It was obvious.

Love at First Sight for the both of them.

Bodhi was nuzzling Son’s hair and Son was loving all the horsey kisses.  Son hadn’t even mounted Bodhi.  He hadn’t even felt his incredible ride.  He didn’t even know how forgiving and willing Bodhi would be during lessons.  He didn’t know how alert but quiet Bodhi was on trails.  He didn’t even know how absolutely gorgeous and well put-together this massively sweet big ol’ lug of a horse has become.

But, it was clear.

Son may have fallen in love with the very sweet mare back home, but Bodhi answered all the questions and Mom was smiling.  Mom watched the love blooming between Horse and Boyman and she was settled.  That was it.  The search was over.


Son and Bodhi... a great fit.


Doing the right thing usurped my need to keep Bodhi safely with me.  My own common sense threw me a curveball that I had to hit out of the park.

So, I drew up the lease and let go –  to give both of them the gift of each other.

As Churchill said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

I see no reason why these two should not be joined.  Not one reason at all…

Silly Bodhi. We'll be seeing you down the road, but for now, take care of your new boy!



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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

6 comments have been posted...

  1. Linda Horn

    Letting go is hard. Letting go for the right reasons isn’t easy, but it’s often the best choice. Because of your experience, you recognized the immediate connection between Bohdi and this young man. From the photo of the two together, Bohdi is relaxed, ears up, and ready to partner with his new pal. I look forward to updates on their “adventures” together.

    And please thank Dr. Eric for helping our troops in Afganistan. It’s tough to be away from family and friends, but I can’t think of a better cause.

    Blessings to all!

  2. Ronnie

    WoW!!!! you did the best thing EVER! This is how, one horse and child at a time, we are going to save the equines!! You are the best mom! xoxo

  3. May

    Mom is VERY happy Son will be safe… and is extremely thankful for the generosity of good friends. Bodhi will be LOVED by all the girlies in the stable. I can’t think of a better place for him to nuzzle to his heart’s content.

  4. Eric

    Dawn, you are the best! I couldn’t have picked a better person to call for help with this! Cam loves Bodhi and I can hardly wait to get home and see them together in person. Thank you so much for your “blurt”! Hope to ride with you this fall! (Maybe you can help me find the perfect match too!) Stay in touch…

  5. dawndi Post author

    From Barbara:
    You did the right thing. Mom is happy, because son will be safe. Kid is happy. Bodhi will be happy. Sure you will miss him but with all your responsabilities it will be nice to have a small break from one of them. Bodhi sure looks nice unde saddle, her son will get alot of complements from the girls at the barn.

  6. Sheri

    what an amazing and awesome gift you have given both of these boys! I’m sure it will be difficult, but you know your boy is in good hands and can visit him. May your good karma come back to you tenfold!

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