I've thought long and hard about the situation. My thoughts are:
He's 22. He's had such an eventful life - from being a stallion until the age of eight to cross country courses to show jumping to upper level dressage. With that said, he has been highly active therefore putting a lot of stress on his joints through out the years (versus a trail horse or something inactive). I have been trying to deal with his soreness for quite some time. We've had a difficult past year due to white line disease and other progressing lameness. I'm going to have to bring the vet out again to go even further with diagnostics. We've been waiting things out a bit lately - we've had to wait for his white line to disappear, his teeth to be corrected and for him to be comfortable with his new home. All of those things have gone well, but he shows signs of pain in different legs now. I'm thinking either occult spavins or and arthritis. The only tricky part of this is bute is often used as an inflammatory. If he has developed occult spavins, bute will slow his healing process, something I don't want to do. I must be careful with anything given to him. I have also done things that should help the healing of occult spavins but things don't seem to be following through.
So, I'm going to have to really watch my money and take him into the vet, get x-rays and further work. I'm not doing this to be able to ride him, I don't see a need to risk more pain at this time. Instead, I want to set him up on an even better pain management plan. The person (Mary) that is helping me runs a Rehabilitation Center and knows several places to send retiring horses (she has done this for horses retiring from her program.) Thank goodness I have her!! She has offered what sounds to be a fantastic place - a rehab center also. It is for high risk children - meaning those that are problematic, risk for trouble, ect. He would get ground work, which he loves, and little riding. This would be ideal. The only bad part is that it is in Ohio, six hours away. :( But, if I have to comprise a long drive to see him over a wonderful home, I'll do it. The other ideal option would be as a pasture pet or baby sitter for foals. He would have little to no work and basic retirement and pampering. (If he had friends to be with, he'd love this). So, there are options. I am not however, shipping him off to just anywhere or letting him be put away in a pasture in pain.
It's hard, but I've known it's been coming for a while. He can't live forever, so I must do what is best.
If he does find a new home, I will consider a new horse. Until then, he will stay with me. If nothing works out with him, he will still stay with me.
On a positive note..
I did think about hiring a professional photographer to come out and take pictures. I have so few pictures of him! I would braid his mane, shine him up and have him do.. glamor shots. And if possible, a few of us riding.
And, my pup is now 30 pounds and is only 14 weeks old.
She's going to get so big.