HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
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.