In January I wrote at some length about the decision to sell Marley. It wasn’t an easy one, but I believed I’d found a wonderful home and given the amount of upheaval in my life post-relocation it was definitely the right move. I kept riding and becoming more a part of the community at my new barn, and kept up to date on Marley’s activities via social media. All seemed good.
However, I got a somewhat out-of-the-blue text message in late May from the girl who’d purchased Marley – we’ll call her J – saying that she needed to sell him. I won’t go into the details here, but J had decided it just wasn’t a good match. I was sad to hear this, of course, but suggested she try to sell him since by all accounts he was doing well in training and should have been quite marketable. A few days later I get another message from J, this one saying that nobody at her barn wants Marley, and she is planning to drop him off back at Davis as soon as she can find a ride.
Um, ok. CANTER graduates do have a lifetime conditional bill of sale, which means if at any point the owner of a previously CANTER-owned horse cannot keep or sell them, we will take them back. I’m glad that J decided to bring Marley back vs. dumping him somewhere, but it was definitely a scramble to make sure the barn at Davis was ready for him.
I was out of the country while all of this was happening, and thankfully my friends and fellow CANTER volunteers in Davis could help make sure that Marley got re-settled. We were all a little concerned that maybe he’d had a personality transplant during his time away, or perhaps he’d come up lame and J just didn’t want to deal with it. It became clear pretty quickly, however, that he was totally fine – steady as ever under saddle, sound, and happy to be ridden.
The question was now – what to do with Marley? Given that he was in California and I was 2800 miles and three time zones away in NYC, my options were to:
(1) Maintain ownership and then try to sell him in California, relying heavily on friends or a trainer in Davis to help with the marketing, endless test rides, and general awesomeness that is involved with selling a large, expensive mammal
(2) Donate him back to CANTER, sponsor his care for as long as he was in the program, and re-home him that way
(3) Bring him to New York and find a half lease or other situation that keeps him in work but doesn’t require me to go out to the barn more than twice a week.
I may live to regret it, but as you’ve probably guessed I picked Door #3 because Horse Person Logic. In large part this is due to the fact that I’ve found a barn community full of really wonderful people, and run by a trainer that I trust. I know that Marley will be well cared for even if I cannot be there daily, and there are definite, promising possibilities to find a lease situation on-site with one of my trainer’s students, or as part of her lesson program.
Soooooo… stay tuned for the next post, in which Marley makes the journey from Davis to the East Coast!