To retire or not to retire ?
 
 

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To retire or not to retire ?

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  • Where to retire a horse can't afford stabling for
  • When to retire a lesson horse

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    08-26-2012, 08:56 AM
  #1
Yearling
To retire or not to retire ?

Iím so confused between as to what I should do with my 19 year old gelding.

He is next to my heart horse and he means the world to me. When I purchased him I thought he was younger but I had found out he was actually older, 19.

I board him at a boarding stable and we are moving to one next month that will cost $260 a month. Where we are at now, is $225 but it is further away so I do not get to see him as often nor, will it benefit me much in moving up levels.

Anyways, Due to my geldings age, I know I will have to retire him soon. Donít get me wrong, I have nothing against older horses, I owned a 25 year old mare who LOVED to have a job and we were always riding and doing things together, etc.

But Demitri is getting slower, and less motivated to do things, he is not as inclined to want to work anymore, and it makes me feel like he deserves retirement out in a pasture, just eating grass and being a pasture puff with some light riding.

I of course, cannot afford to maintain a horse who is on retirement and that is my dilemma, I don't know whether to keep him and continue riding, or retire him to a home who can afford that.

I have a yearling mare I have, and I donít pay that same amount due to the fact I have her staying elsewhere, and she doesnt need anything particularly special board wise, and I can already start doing some sort of training with her.

So really, Iím not sure what to do and it absolutely makes me feel a mess, because I like having a horse I can ride currently and I know he has things to teach me.

So please, Some guidance would be nice (:
     
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    08-26-2012, 09:12 AM
  #2
Green Broke
19 is not old, imo.
Have you had him vetted? Checked your tack fit? Had him adjusted (chiro)? Checked his teeth? There are a lot of things that could be making him less inclined to work that have nothing to do with needing to be retired. What are you doing with him - how often is he worked, etc? What, exactly, is it he is doing that makes you think he is needing to be retired?
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    08-26-2012, 09:13 AM
  #3
Showing
If you are continually schooling in an arena setting, he is likely bored to the hilt and is becoming dull. He needs time out of the arena on the trails, perhaps with others. When horses get a break from repetitive work they often come back to it better than before. There was a cutter who had competed at many shows and was holding first by a good margin but his mare was getting dull. He took a chance and took her home for a month to laze in pasture. When the finals came she cut with brilliance, better than she ever had and they won the NA championship.
     
    08-26-2012, 09:18 AM
  #4
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
If you are continually schooling in an arena setting, he is likely bored to the hilt and is becoming dull. He needs time out of the arena on the trails, perhaps with others. When horses get a break from repetitive work they often come back to it better than before. There was a cutter who had competed at many shows and was holding first by a good margin but his mare was getting dull. He took a chance and took her home for a month to laze in pasture. When the finals came she cut with brilliance, better than she ever had and they won the NA championship.

I personally don't think 19 is old either as I have stated. I used to have a 25 year old mare.

I am thinking it is because he is not as worked so I'm hoping the more I can get out there hopefully with more riding he will become less lazy (which I believe is the issue)

He is completely healthy and UTD, he does not have any problems except for generally just slowing down in general.

I currently cannot take him out of the arena and he has only been ridden in it twice, due to the fact we have things that need to be worked on, and he will spook to easily outside, so I would like to take it slow with him.

I mostly just have Demitri in pasture with the group at the barn, and he gets plenty of time off.

It also of course doesnt help that currently we are going through a heatwave, But I am hoping as I increase his workload and bring him more up to fitness, things will be going better, as I wouldnt like to have to retire him until a year or two or so. I will probably be going out on monday to see him, in general though 'for his age' as others have said, he is doing good.

I'm also really not used to more lazy horses either, so it could be my problem and i'm just THINKING he is slowing down and everything, I've always ridden thoroughbreds, or a hotter breed.

So I am thinking, its just a fact of bringing him back into work and challenge him consistantly.

EDIT: I also want to admit, that I am nervous of owning older horses, due to the fact I have had my 21 year old pass away last year and that literally broke my heart, I have to say, I am afraid of the same outcome.
     
    08-26-2012, 11:05 AM
  #5
Started
IMO we have a responsibility to these horses that serve us faithfully not to get rid of them simply because they can no longer do a job.

I have two retired geldings and it means I don't have a horse I can currently ride. No matter... They are MY responsibility and I wouldn't trust their care to anyone else.
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    08-26-2012, 11:13 AM
  #6
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikelodeon79    
IMO we have a responsibility to these horses that serve us faithfully not to get rid of them simply because they can no longer do a job.

I have two retired geldings and it means I don't have a horse I can currently ride. No matter... They are MY responsibility and I wouldn't trust their care to anyone else.
It's also a factor of what you can afford, I am a highschool student, and I will of course not just get rid of him if I can afford it, but if it came down to that fact that I need to, I will have no other choice.

But then of course everyones opinions are different and their goals are also different.

I also, have to pay my own board, I don't even live at home with either of my parents, etc. There are alot of considerations that have to be accounted for compared to if I owned my own property.


Also I am not coming off defensive or rude, its just the fact, I am asking, should I retire him or not in the end, I would like to give him more time undersaddle right now and see if he will pick up, because as I said he is completely UTD on everything, I do need to get his teeth done again but otherwise he is great and fine. He has just become slower. I havent owned him his whole life either, and the whole time i've had him i've only ridden him three/four times and i've almost had him a year, but I had a surgery.

I wouldnt just throw him on the back burner, and I slightly feel attacked if that is the right word, nor do I understand as to why, because people everyday get rid of their horses because they 'dont click' or they have issues, or they just can't do what they want to do. I am only asking as to whether or not I should retire him, not get rid of him if I don't need to, I would most likely look at bringing him to the farm that I have my filly if I need to for retirement.
     
    08-26-2012, 11:30 AM
  #7
Yearling
He is my heart horse after all, and I've never been more in love with another horse since I had to put Indigo down, I would do everything in my power to ensure that I could keep him. I am I will admit paranoid and that is all, and I just wanted another opinion if that is all it really is, paranoia.
     
    08-26-2012, 12:11 PM
  #8
Foal
We just got a 19 yr old TB gelding for my daughter. He was free.... Poor old Cy has some health issues such as arthritis in legs, neck and back; cataract in one eye; poor teeth; etc. He shows no sign of being in pain or hating to be ridden....in fact he will keep going for as long as my daughter wants him to with no slowing down. I have to force her to slow down and let him rest some times! We know that Cy will have to be retired in the next few years as his arthritis gets worse and if we have problems keeping weight on him (he came to us super skinny because of lack of food and we're still trying to get his weight back up)

When I was growing up, we had a mare that my gpa had given us. Old Dolly lived to be almost 40. We rode her and used her to move cattle right up to the end. Granted, the general riding got to be less and less and after moving cattle, she had to rest for several days (laid down and we carried water and food to her til she was up and moving again).

I don't think there is any reason to retire your guy unless he's in pain from your riding him and not keeping weight. You might get him a chiro check....Cy is getting ready for his 3rd adjustment and he has a LOT of issues, but they are getting better. I am paying $45 a visit for chiro and we started with every 2 weeks....will probably continue with a 1x a month after tomorrow depending on what Doc says. It doesn't sound like you've done much with him as of yet so just keep watching for signs of pain as you increase the work load...that might why he seems lazy and you just don't ride him long enough at a time for that to show up.

So....I say don't give up on him. Give him some time and more TLC and he could keep going for a few more years! And, if it comes down to the point you have to give him up because you can't afford him, don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it. Not everyone CAN afford to keep a pasture ornament around and that is just a fact of life. Cy will stay here as we have a small pasture that will carry a bit more than we have on it right now. If we had to board....that would be an entirely different story.
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    08-26-2012, 01:20 PM
  #9
Trained
My lesson horse is 22
     
    08-26-2012, 01:29 PM
  #10
Green Broke
I don't keep horses forever. Sounds like you need a horse that can do more than the one you have, try to sell him.

But, it sounds like you made a poor decision when you bought this horse. And, on a budget, have a young horse that won't be worked for years? Perhaps, get the input of an unbiased, knowledgeable horseperson next time you shop.
     

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