I'm not sure how many of you may remember, but my pony, Hoover, was born with low pasterns, sometimes called coonfooted. I adopted him from a rescue in '07 with this condition.
After vet consultation, I put him on 150lb weight limit and light trails. He was trimmed every 4-6 weeks, and put on a permanent ration of joint support. My farrier kept a really close eye on him, and did a fantastic job keeping his feet tip-top.
This year, '09, he expressed some concern Hoove's suspensories were getting worse. After having the vet out, he confirmed that it was only a matter of time before Hoove was walking on his own ankles. He gave him maybe two years.
Hoove has now been retired for any riding. He feels fine, no lameness yet, and gets as much turn out as everyone else. His new job is to have as much fun as he possibly can, and relax. As long as he's not in pain, he'll keep getting to play with his buddies and run in the field. I never want to see him stall-bound, however. When it gets that bad, it'll be time.
He'll always be my baby, my first horse. I promised him he would never leave me, or the ranch. He never will. We'll bury him out by the trail, with his other rescue friends, Solo and Doc.