event horse careers
I know there are a ton of variables that can come into play with a question like this, so I'm only asking in the most general sense. But best case scenario, at what age do you expect an event horse to start having some problems with soreness, injury, and maintenance? I know that will vary based on many factors, but for sure the length of time they've been eventing and the level and how hard they've been ridden. But if you look at a moderate case, when would you start expecting some issues to crop up? I'm just not sure how long its fair to ask a horse to event and how you can determine when its time to stop without going too far. Does that make any sense at all? LOL. Asking for a friend of mine as I have very little experience with event horses.
Any opinions/information appreciated.
The horse will tell you, always.
Is it a "given" that a horse with a steady eventing career for say 6-8 years is going to start having a few minor problems?
It really depends on their conformation and the level they've been competing at. There's no way to just tack a number on it and say that after that amount of time the horse will start having problems. I know horses that have competed at Training level + for 10 years or more and have never had problems of any kind.
The horse in question has been competing for about 8 years and has done some upper level. Not been ridden heavily, but has been ridden steadily. He's sound as a pound right now, but my friend is concerned about what his future might hold and whether or not she should quit using him for jumping.
It really does depend on the horse, his regular maintenance, how hard he's ridden, etc. Was he started early and jumped before developed? Does he receive preventative maintenance?
Like MIEventer said... the horse will tell you. He'll start fumbling something that should be easy, refusing, being grumpy....
If your friend is truly worried, x-rays and vetting at least once a year can assist in seeing the changes over time. I've started mine on my beast... and we're not even at a level where we can compete in recognized events.
^ Agree with MudPaint, while a bit expensive, yearly ultrasound and x-rays can definitely help your friend determine areas that could cause her horse discomfort in the future and it'll be the easiest way to catch anything should he start acting differently.
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