Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
My horse will also not leave me once he becomes unrideable. I hope it will be many years from now, and not sure what the arrangement will be then (in an ideal world, we'll have enough space to keep him on our property by then), but he won't be going far away from me.
I am VERY wary of giving away an unusable horse for free and I question the motives of people who are willing to tae on a free retiree. Of coure, there are always exceptions to the rule, but I've seen too many cases of these horses going on a painful journey through a few hands, because the new owners lose interest or realize there's more to caring for a retired horse than putting it in a field and letting it eat grass.
A "retirement home" in my vicinity I might consider, but I wouldn't send my horse far away where I couldn't check up on him regularly. I think the problem with retirement facilities and such is that a horse usually becomes more and more expensive to maintain in good shape as it becomes old (feed, extra care, vet, teeth etc). Many people - despite good intentions at first - are not willing and/or able to pay this for a horse they don't use. So I agree with the previous poster, if you want to do things right, you'd probably end up charging more for the full care of a retired horse than one that's healthy and still being used. Also, what if the owner lives far away and you disagree on when a vet is needed, when the horse shuld receive etra feed / supplements, etc? Would you be able to make an owner pay for the care that you deem necessary, or would the horse go untreated in your care?
All things you would have to cosider carefully before starting such an undertaking...