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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thinking. I have an older mare that I dont really ride anymore, she just eats and gets pats. I like to think I'm doing her a favor, just letting her rest. But everytime I go out to ride she comes up to the gate looking at me with her ears up.. expecting to come with me. When I leave with another horse, I'll be honest I can see her eyes she's like, that used to be me, why don't you ride me anymore? ? She follows me down the fence, she's not buddy sour and has more pals with her(that she follows around sometimes.), and the new mare I've got they don't like each other . I just feel bad because she seems, if I may say, sad that I don't ride her anymore. She isn't terribly old but I just feel like she deserves to relax. Thoughts or any experiences? I know they think differently and whatnot, but her eyes.. I think she just looked, sad? I think I'm going crazy lol. Picture of my poor gal. Wish they lived longer
 

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Yes I think some horses like being ridden. My gelding comes to the gate when he sees me coming with a halter.

Even after a 4 hour ride he wants to keep going. Will head down another trail that doesn't take us home. Even tries to turnaround after in driveway, to go back out to trails.

He knows he's going to get treats and feed once home. But doesn't matter,he wants to go out an explore the trails.
 

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Yes, I really believe some do. I have 4 horses that love to be ridden they are waiting at the gate when I hook up the trailer. They love going on over night trips and the extra attention they get while riding. I think that they like seeing new things and doing something. I ride with some of the same people and it's like they are greeting their buddies when we get together. So, I would have to say yes they like being ridden.
 

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Yes, i think they enjoy seeing more than their field or stable. Most would say that they prefer hacking out to the arena though LOL.

They don't need to be ridden. When my gelding retired, he was the one waiting at the gate as he loved his job. He was extremely nosy and had to see what was around the next corner. He was lead out on walks along local tracks or to distant fields; I spent many a happy day sitting with him while he grazed before heading home. It was good to spend time with him rather than leaving him in the field.
 

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Yes. My mare definitely likes having a purpose & being ridden. She loves working!

For example, I wasn’t able to ride this past week because I was sick, but I could tell she was super excited this weekend because I was able to ride again. She was becoming bored. She loves being out. If she’s not worked, she tends to get moody & bored. LOL.

Always comes right up to me in the pasture. She’s like yes let’s go!!!


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I don't think any of mine like being worked...LOL; my two riding horses are on the lazy side and would prefer I don't ask much of them.

On the other hand, they do like interaction. So when I catch them to just brush them or take them for a hand walk down the road, they seem to really enjoy that.

I have one pasture pet that isn't sound for riding. He seems to really enjoy our little outings down the road. Even if your mare isn't sound for riding, perhaps just getting her out of the pasture and going for a walk would be a treat for her.
 

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I think it depends on the horse. Very first horse that was "mine" lived at my grandparents place. He was roughly 20 but I'd take him out for trail rides during the holidays when I'd be able to visit. He looked forward to it since as soon as he'd see me, he'd nicker and come to greet me and always cooperated so well to let me hop on him (rode bareback all the time so I always had to stand on something to get on him). His hears would be p.ricked forward most of the ride or listening to me when he was really relaxed. But he was very willing and enjoyed it.

But then several years later, I had a OTTB mare who was 15. She was honestly just done with working. Every time I'd ride her, something would go wrong. Her physical issues would heal, but then every attempt to bring back to work would cause her to go down hill again. And she always seemed grumpy to be taken out of her paddock. So at 15, I retired her.


Every horse is different. Some love being ridden into their old age, and others hate it and want to be retired early. Sounds like your mare might be one of the horses that wouldn't mind going for a ride now and again.
 

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I think it just depends on the personality. We have three that are so offended when they don’t go. They fight at the gate and beg over the fence whenever someone steps outside. Then there is one who likes the brushing and grain, but groans about getting to work with her lazy side. The last prefers not to go. He is ever ambitious once caught, but he makes it clear that he would rather be left alone most of the time.
 

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I think if a horse is sound and enjoys the mental stimulation of being ridden, why not ride them? A lot of people (including vets) say that keeping a horse mentally stimulated as well as physically in shape will extend their lifetime. If they're not exercised/in shape, there might be a day in old age they lay down and can't get back up, and that's not a day anyone wants to experience.

I knew a horse who was still part of a lesson program until she retired at 35. She was still sound and happy doing her job, but they figured it would be nice to let her rest after her life of service. Without work, she grew increasingly depressed until she died a month after she was retired.
 

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How old we talkin here? 20? 25? You've got a good heart, OP, but I don't see any reason why an otherwise healthy horse should need to retire altogether. And even in arthritic horses exercise is often recommended. I've heard it said that "I want to retire her before she breaks down so that she can live gracefully in her old age." Well, movement is actually what helps keep them going, for many reasons. And riding doesn't have to be strenuous. So if she's sound and wants to go, what's stopping you? =) You could even have her ponied alongside a horse that she gets along with.
 

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How old we talkin here? 20? 25? You've got a good heart, OP, but I don't see any reason why an otherwise healthy horse should need to retire altogether. And even in arthritic horses exercise is often recommended. I've heard it said that "I want to retire her before she breaks down so that she can live gracefully in her old age." Well, movement is actually what helps keep them going, for many reasons. And riding doesn't have to be strenuous. So if she's sound and wants to go, what's stopping you? =) You could even have her ponied alongside a horse that she gets along with.
Agreed, ponying is a great method for exercising two horses at once! Especially if the ponied horse might not need to be exercised as regularly or heavily as the horse being ridden. It just might take some extra training for both horses.
 

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Is she unsound? Why retire her? As stated above, even aging horses with arthritis benefit from movement. All too often, I see people retire their horses thinking they're doing them a favor, but the horse goes downhill fast when they are no longer being worked. We can all benefit from physical and mental stimulation into old age.
 

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We've got a 24 year old Appaloosa mare who is semi retired and mostly a guest horse now. Not that there is anything wrong with her but my kids have moved on to more advanced horses. She is indifferent about ring work but really perks up when out on the trail especially when she is somewhere she hasn't been before. If your horse is able, find some time to rider her occasionally.
 

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I'd say that some horses definitely enjoy being ridden(or working) more than others. It should be an enjoyable experience for the horse in my opinion whenever it can be. I used to have a mare that when she saw you driving down the driveway to the barn, she'd start trotting to the gate. I have another now that if you regularly ride her, she comes right up to you - however, if you leave her be for a week or two or don't ride as often, she'll make you chase her around the pasture. ;) My pony, on the other hand, senses food and comes to say hi and get his scratches. But if you try and catch him, he's hightailing it across the pasture no matter whether he enjoys being ridden or not. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry I haven't been on here guys. She's hitting 22 next month, she's fat healthy and sound. She's a Clydesdale. I rode her yesterday lol. She LOPED out to the road. I wasnt riding her hardly anymore because she gets tired out so easily, and I felt bad. Me and her used to simply go out in town at a walk, usually a faster walk if she didn't settle but boy when we got home she's drenched and tired, so I figured she might be better off if I just let her be. But I don't think she's liking it all that well. Our max ride would usually just be 45 minutes to an hour, at usually just a walk, maybe a bit longer. And tops it was in the 60s
 
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