I live in the middle of town, so I'm going to have to board any horse I own. I don't think I can afford to board more than one horse (due to job and some physical stuff, I am going to have to full-board the horse, not rough board it, because I won't be able to muck out the stall often enough on my own).
So here's the hitch: I'm worried that if I get an older horse, I will not be able to ride it for many years, and then I will need to be keeping it at full board when it is too old to be ridden, and then I won't have my own horse to ride at all - and then what? Go back to lesson horses? When I've got my own?
I'm sure I'm not the only one who had had to think about this - how do other people deal with it? I'm not even sure how old a horse can be and still be ridden (I'm going to assume - because I will be paying for exams and such - that I will get a horse that is fundamentally sound, and that I will be getting appropriate veterinary care, supplements, etc.). So what does the best-case scenario look like? What do people who only have one horse do when that horse is too geriatric to ride? Is this even likely to be an issue?
I'm asking this because I understand how important and long-term the commitment to owning a horse is, and want to make sure I understand all of the important pieces. This is the major piece that is missing for me. I've had animal companions - from the mundane to the exotic - my whole life...but none of them have been things where my ability to ride around on them is an important part of the relationship, so it hasn't been as big of a deal if they get arthritic or old.