However, over the last few years, we've taken a few falls. She's been hurt pretty badly on one fall to the point where I had to get the vet out on an emergency basis where she landed on her shoulder pretty hard and skinned the hide off. She healed up fine, but was a little stiff when we finally started riding again.
My issue now, though, is this:
For the past few weeks, my girl has been 'off'. Not in the ''she's sick'' way, but in the way she moves. I've been watching her, and I've noticed that she's stiff in the leg that she had that bad injury on. She doesn't really want to walk off when I first catch her and she limps a little when she does start walking. She's stiff in the shoulder, but also in the fetlock joint, as she has a bone deformity in her fetlock that causes it to twist inwards and makes her hoof grow crosswayed (we take care of it with careful trimming to keep her balanced and comfy... but if it was ever left alone too long, she would be walking on the side of her hoof, basically).
Last time I rode my mare, she was a bit stiff and 'off'. I haven't ridden her since, but have just been watching her. She was limping a little by the time we got home and we only rode a little over a mile. When she stands normally, she puts that leg out slightly, like she's trying to rest it and not put a lot of weight on it.
Is it time to retire her permanently?