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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So back in 2020 I stopped riding my horse as he wasn't feeling 100% I had the vet out who did tests and everything came back fine. I was recommended to long rein and complete exercises to build up his muscle and put on some weight before I got back on. Unfortunately the yard owner was being very stubborn with the grass liveries and wouldn't allow us to move into a different field with more grass (as they wanted to make hay from the other ones) and was refusing to let us put hay out.
Then came covid and lockdowns and we only had hour slots to sort to our horses, poo pick the field and what ever else. As the field my horse was in was so far away I didn't have time to do his exercises and everything else and I was over staying my limit. Eventually lockdown ended and I began again on the exercises. We managed to win the fight to move fields and my horse eventually put on the much needed weight, to a point where I was getting on for short walks. Unfortunately we were hit with the second lock down and with other commitments, I wasn't able to stick to the time/same day limits and the yard owner was very funny about the times being the same every day! So I ended up moving yards.

The improvement my horse made within a couple of weeks from being at the new yard was incredible. I managed to get back on and we enjoyed a few gentle hacks with some of the other liveries. However due to work commitments the amount of time I got to spend at the yard was restricted and I ended up riding him less and less. Until I decided to give him the winter off. I've not been on since May 2021.

My question is this- Having not been on him properly other than the odd hack since 2020 is it too late to get back on now? He's 29 years old, with arthritis in his hocks.
I am considering mainly hacking with friends, but my current work commitments doesn't allow me to go up to the yard during the week, (he is on part livery and we'll looked after in my absence, a friend also looks out for him) so I will only be able to ride at weekends. I'm trying to alter my hours so I can go up more during the week, but this may not be easy. Ideally I'd like to be able to space the days out if I did ride. So I think this is my reluctant to getting back on just yet.

But recently I've started telling myself I've left it too late. He's not been riden for over a year and he is 29, does he not deserve to chill out and be a horse. I don't mind him being retired. At the end of the day I want what's best for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for all of your replies. My boy has always been one that has loved his work, he loves to jump and loves to go out on hacks. Obviously the jumping is a no go these days with his arthritis, but I wouldn't put it past him having a good go if given the chance. (Which I may add, I'm not willing to do).. I'm also not thinking of tacking him up and going for miles of trekking every day for hours on end over uneven ground etc. I'm just thinking the odd quite hack for a change of scenery and to stretch his legs/joints.. During the summer he spends a lot of time out in the fields at a bottom of a hill. In theory he'd be semi-retired. :)
 
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