Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Central Western NSW, Australia
Honestly, it's best not to think about those things. In the end, something will get your horse, be it time, sickness, or an accident.
I do know how you feel though. Both of my horses are leases and, in that sense, I have no control over when and how their lives are ended. My old QH, Dozer, is a particularly emotional case for me.
I've had him on lease for two years, though I've known him since 2010. He's a very special horse to me, and in two years I've thought of any number of tragic endings. Only recently, I had to seriously consider speaking to his owner about his longevity. It was thought that he had a sarcoid carcinoma in his hoof which, if it became too large, could have been reason to put him down, or at least send him back to his owner.
That is my biggest fear. I love this horse, and my biggest fear is I will be unable to care for him once he 'retires' (which looks to be in the near future) and will have to send him back, where his owner will deem him useless and have him put down, which they have every right to do. Hell, a lot of people I know think I should have already let that happen, because I'm paying $500 three times a year on arthritis injections.
Thinking about all of this, I always get teary. You just can't let yourself get hung up on those kinds of things. In my case, rather than think that his owner could have him put down if I send him back, I need to think of these years I have given him that he may not have had otherwise. Would his owner be willing to pay the upkeep on his arthritis? Maybe, maybe not.