This is a hot topic at my stable right now, as we have lots of our junior girls who are getting ready to make a move up in the showing world. I’m not talking 2 foot to 2’6”, but rather children’s hunters to the larger junior hunters and beyond.
So the topic is: When you have reached that point in your riding whether it be a height of jump, degree of competition, distance ridden, test difficulty etc. when your horse isn’t able to continue moving with up you….what do you do? Do you choose to sell and move on with a new horse? Or do you continue to stay at your horse’s level of comfort/practice?
I’m not sure how common it is in other equestrian sports, but in hunter/jumper circles horses tend to be rotated around. There are those few that never change, as their owners keep them forever, but it is common to see horses sold so that the rider can continue moving up.
In my particular training/boarding situation, I love that while people can and do sell their horses, my trainer is extremely choosy and only allows great horses to come in that she thinks she can preferably find new owners within the stable. We have one schoolmaster type gelding in particular who has been with several owners (now leasers), but he never has to change homes or trainers.
I originally bought O hoping someday she’d pan out as my adult hunter pony, maybe an ammy owner class or two thrown in (3’3”). Personally I don’t know if I want to go higher than that anymore, and we think O should have plenty of the scope for that height. So I’m luck in that I hope that we have a long and happy career together, and then maybe she can semi-retire and poke around with cute kids on her (she LOVES kids).
But who knows what is next! What would you do? Move up and sell? Keeping going at the pace?