But with melanomas in the mouth, is she not about ready for retirement anyway?
She's 26, but she doesn't believe in retirement. Haha She's one of those "gonna be going strong until she's about a billion years old" types of horses.
I've tried slowly easing her out of real work, just to see if that's what she wanted to do, and she basically gets impossible to handle. So, in the interests of being able to handle her without a stud-chain involved, I'm keeping her in work. I really feel like she's going to be working, on her own accord, until the day she drops dead. She really doesn't want to stop!
Her field is currently pretty soggy so I'll go out there and there will be all these fresh muddy skid marks where she's been galloping around jumping things, and bucking, all by herself (she lives with two llamas). That is definitely not the activity of a horse that is close to/needs to be retired, at least imo.
And, most grey horses get melanomas in the mouth at some point, just most horses are very dead broke by that point so their owners have no idea (according to my vet, anyway). However, Lacey was pretty green broke until 3 years ago so she's still about a gazillion years away from being dead broke, and therefore, she still puts up a fuss when things aren't "perfect".
I didn't even think of a sidepull! Silly me! I will definitely look into those and give one a try, I bet they would do the trick.