Horse & Rider - - Saddle Strong -

While most of the time it’s a good thing that our horses are stay­ing healthy into their golden years, there are times when I find my­self won­der­ing about our ex­pec­ta­tions for our ag­ing part­ners. Is it fair to ex­pect a 30-year-old horse that’s stiff and sore to tackle moun­tain­ous ter­rain on a rig­or­ous trail ride? Or for a horse in his mid-20s to hit the road trav­el­ing on a busy show cir­cuit? Some­times yes; some­times no. De­cid­ing when it’s time to call it quits is one of the hard­est de­ci­sions horse own­ers face. Think of it this way. When you’re rid­ing your 30-year-old horse, it’s a lot like tak­ing your 90-year-old grand­mother on a hike. And while some in their 90s might rel­ish the idea, most would prob­a­bly pre­fer a some­what less-de­mand­ing ac­tiv­ity. If your 32-year-old horse seems to be “slow­ing down,” give him a break! In­stead of ask­ing what you can do to keep him go­ing, con­sider what he might like to do in­stead.

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