Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: State of Confusion (SC)
Hugs to you, srh1. We all wish that and very few of us are in a postion to do it. It's something that very few of us think about when we first get a horse, but it is a fact of horse ownership. Sooner or later, unless you deliberately keep changing horses, you will end up with a senior citizen. At 28, your mare sounds like she's ready for retirement.
These days there aren't as many options available for seniors who can't perform a function. There are a LOT of deserving horses floating around looking for jobs as companions or pasture pets. If you think you'll need to rehome this horse when you head back to school, I'd start looking now.
Talk to ANYONE, vet, farrier, trainer, friends, post signs...but get the word out.
If the horse is truly failing, or when she does, I'd talk it over with my vet. My personal belief is that one of the kindest things we can do for our horses is to prevent them from suffering, or end their suffering. I'd rather let them go a day too early than an hour too late. At 28, she's had a long life. But this is something you need to think about and prepare for. If you can't rehome her, who will buy her? What will her life be like? I'm not saying right now...I'm not saying this Fall. But you need to be prepared. If you can't take care of her, who will? If she can't be ridden, she needs to be retired. If you can't find a way to afford her retirement or rehome her?... It's something you should be thinking about.
I'm not a complete idiot--there are parts missing!
What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.