I am stunned to see people throw out horses that can no longer be ridden, or who can not ride 'up to their standards'. A horse is supposed to be your companion for Life - not until you get bored and want the next best model.
I felt this particular paragraph needed to be addressed more in depth. Horses are sold or 'disposed of' for various reasons. I for one would never condemn a rider who is trying to reach the pinnacle of their sport for selling on an animal who can't take them to the next level.
I feel if you've reached the limits of a horse's talent and you want to go farther, selling it along to another home where the animal can teach another young rider is hardly 'getting bored and wanting the next best model'. Why would you have someone keep an animal for life that they can't use, and who is perfectly capable of continuing to be ridden?
Some horses are life partners, while others are not. It's just that simple. To expect everyone to keep each and every horse they've ever bought for life is completely unrealistic, and nothing more than emotional hyperbole.
The horses you get in your rescue have been let down by whatever owner they had at that time
. The owner two homes ago is hardly responsible, nor should they be.
I tend to keep my horses for life, but I haven't kept each and every one of them. I sold my first horse to someone who needed a quiet, easy to get along with mount, while I wanted something with a little more spark. Both of us got what we wanted, and I kept the horse I replaced that one with until he died.
I do believe if you break it you SHOULD keep it for life, as long as you're financially able. I have a 26 y/o who has been retired since he was 20. I got him at 19, and was only able to ride him for a year. He had preexisting conditions of which I wasn't aware when I acquired him, and since I knew a horse with arthritic hocks, breathing issues, and CHF would have most likely ended up being slaughtered, I retired him. I knew going in I'd be his last owner, so it was just my bad luck that he had to be retired so soon. I didn't break him, but I wasn't going to abandon him.