Keeping him healthy
My horse will be turning 14 soon. He is certainly still in his prime at this point, but I will not be able to afford to retire him and get a new horse until my husband is out of gets out of law school. This means I will need to keep him working till he is 17 or 18 years old. Are there any things I can be doing now to make sure he ages gracefully enough that I will be able to ride him for this long?
P.S.-Obviously I will not push him past his limits as he ages. If it comes down to me not having a horse to ride and him having a good quality of life then his happiness comes before my desire to ride. But I know many horses who have worked into their 20's, so I know it can be done.
i dont consider 14 old. i dont retire at a certain age, i retire when they're not safe or fit for riding anymore. talk to the vet. keep him in good health and you should be fine for a long time.
14 is not old at all :) You should hopefully have atleast another 10 years of having him as a riding horse.
But, work with your vet, and as he grows closer to his 20s make sure he isn't uncomfortable. If you see him not moving as freely as he usually does or acting a little stiff coming out of his stall then look into a joint supplement. If he starts losing weight - put him on a senior feed. Just little things like that - but he should be fine for many years to come!
For what it's worth - I know horses who are 24 and are still out in the event fields :)
The best hay you can afford.
Keep the weight off, an obese horse is just as bad as an obese human.
Regular exercise, even if it just in a large turnout nor going for hand walks if you can't ride.
Regular vet care, vaccinations, deworming and teeth floated.
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