Wow West, a 36 year old stallion, still being ridden till his passing. That to me is very impressive.
Like you, I have an older horse, my mare T. She will be turning 21 soon, and has been a very healthy horse until a few years ago. We are battling to save her eyesight, and then a further complication developed that we, the vet and I , will be exploring further.
She is my girl. I trust and know this horse completely. Being with her on the trails is effortless. She knows me and has given her trust to me. I am honored by this.
Because of the ERU, our riding is interrupted and therefore her conditioning is too. But, I will enjoy this so very special horse for as long as her health will allow.
Anyone with an older horse that has spent hours in the saddle and out with them knows what we are talking about. I can only hope Walka, her last foal who is soon to be 12, will be a fraction of what she has been.
He has shown that he has it in him, I just haven't embraced it because , I suppose, I feel it means letting T go in a way. But I am trying to reconcile this in my heart/head, and give him the opportunity to be my primary mount, and save the easy days for T.
May you enjoy your older horse for many years yet.
Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh crap, she's up!".