Originally Posted by SaddlebredGrl
.................A competive trail horse that used to live around here was 38 when he passed away and he was still competing. The vet that knew him said the only reason he was put down was because it was too cold for him to be outside and he layed down and couldn't get up. I still show my guy and he loves it, my vet said to keep going as long as he is happy.
That's kind of what happened to my 32 yr old. He would lay down and not always be able to get back up. My Dad and I had to get ropes and help him up several times. I was afraid he would do that this winter and we wouldn't be able to get him up. So I put him down so he wouldn't get stuck in the snow and mud this winter.
But that is why keeping their muscle tone up is important. So they will stay strong and be able to get themselves back off the ground. If they get weak in the hind-end, they just can't hardly get themselves up anymore.
My vet, like yours, says to keep riding them as long as possible.