Or at least not working him as vigorously?
So I just saw a thread on here about someone thinking of retiring their 17 year old horse and it got me thinking whether or not I should be doing the same thing?
My horse is 18 years old, and I know that's getting up there in the years. So what are your thoughts?
He's in perfectly good health, still has the get up and go he's always had, still is a pain in the butt to catch (he does it on purpose!) and he keeps up with the other two in our pasture just fine. He's the oldest, the other two are 15 and 10. He doesn't show any sign of aging -no grey hair, no muscle loss, and he keeps weight on just fine.
He was bred to be a barrel racer and he's admittedly slowed down a little bit (hardly noticeable) in his later years. But I haven't run him in an event in two years so he might just be out of practice. When I first got him we clocked him (just at a straight run, not on barrels) at 47 mph not at totally full speed, and now he's more around the 45 mark. Still fast enough for just messing around though.
When we trail ride we always race each other at one point or another (there's a mile long wide open stretch of sand we run on) and he still keeps up with the other horses - even beats them every now and then :)
It's mainly his age that has me considering this. Can you still work an 18 year old horse like a 6 year old if he acts like it? Should I go easier on him when we ride? Maybe not run him as fast or something? He loves loves LOVES to run though. It's like he sees an open field and all he wants to do is run. It's like he was a race horse in another life lol.
We don't have him on senior feed yet although we're thinking about it just because of his age. He doesn't act like he needs it though.
I don't know, you might think these are all crazy questions but I might just be being a paranoid crazy horse lady lol.
Just interested to hear your thoughts.
This is him from a week or so ago. I know it's not the best for conformation or anything, but it's as good as I have right now. Just curious about your thoughts? Should I ease up on how I ride (less running) or if he's healthy and strong, can I still work him like always?
Again, I may just be being crazy. I would just like to hear your thoughts. Thanks :)