Thanks Kristy, I have had him checked by my vet and x-rayed yearly to see what damage there is to the joint. The vet has said if he enjoys it then there is nothing to stop him playing at it (nothing big and 2ft6 MAX and NEVER on hard ground-menages only during the summer) which I havnt exceeded, infact I've kept to 2ft (he looks at them like "mom.....what the hell is THAT, I need my eyes checked because I can bearly see what it is," hehe but he still flies them.
My friends 26yr old tb was our pensioners day out pal to local tiny shows, and she was completely clear of arthritus (or so my friend thought) until she started to rufuse to jump a bean! She had her x-rayed and it came back that she did have it and quite badly. But sox has never refused yet? And if im schooling in the menage he can be stiff and abit peg legged but as soon as a fence or poles come out (not that I jump him very often anymore-not even once a month) he's sound and ready to go with such a sparkle in his eyes!
Its more the people on my yard that think he should retire-not professionals (vets etc). If he were to refuse, or still be lame when he's jumping I could see a problem but its all he actually looks forward to (bless him).
I also turned him away during the serious summer months last year when the ground was baked hard-he had to just get on with it. But he actually becomes more lame/stiff and looks plain miserable even with 3 other retired horses to hang out with and tons of grass. He droped huge amounts of weight and looked plain old.
Im starting to think he's the type of horse that you just can't retire?