The Horse Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

171 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone else with thoroughbred's have any idea how long a thoroughbred generally lives for. My boy is 26 at least and I always joke that I will be paying for him for another 10 years. I few months ago when I was in hospital I got a call to say I must prepare myself because he is not doing so well and the end might be coming. They made the decision to retire him as well.

Then he seems to have recovered although my sister (she lives were he is stabled and helps a lot) says that he had bad colic a couple of weeks ago but seems to have recovered.

He still looks good (although I haven't seen him physically in a year 馃槦).

He was raced when he was younger but I don't think I did anything hectic with him.

Super Moderator
14,681 Posts
Welcome to the Forum....

So not following exactly your post made...
Do you own the horse or does he belong to a stable and you rode him and are fond of him?
You mention colic, riding and now retirement but refer to those things like you have had no say-so in work or retirement nor decisions made when he coliced...
If it is your horse, then it is your decision what is done as he advances in age and has age-related issues occur....

Just like people have varied life expectancy so do all living, breathing beings.
Some horses do not survive past infancy, some their teens some go much further in life..
We have several forum members here with horses nearing 40 years of age but often those who age are not free from health issues.
My own riding instructor had a OTTB who lived to be 32, ridden lightly by small children in walking lessons till he was nearly 31.
He was out in his pasture and went to sleep under his favorite tree...that is where they then buried him.
Another of her personal horses was 23 and competing with her daughter weekly doing the highest competition levels for junior riders jumping 3'6" - 4' courses....against the best in the nation.
I have my Thoroughbred who has more pep in his step and raises heck with my other horse who we believe is near 30, maybe older....he rides and loves to go ride, but we only go easy, but go we do.
My bf put her OTTB down when he was 26 because he was suffering from colic....
Many possibilities....

Remember you may have many years left yet...
To me, the secret is not how many years do they have but the quality in those years...
If the horse continues to colic, each time more painful and distressing, then evaluate what is best for the animal because sadly, at some point nothing will ease the pain but death and that death till it comes is excruciating and no one wants to know their loved animal spent their last on Earth like that...
Speak to the trusted vet, if your sister is often in attendance to your horse she will also see the decline and help with the decision made {aiding in guiding you} at a time appropriate so it is known.
{In my case, my guy has choked and coliced now several times. Each time is worse and the decision has already been made and in writing to my vet when the next occurrence happens we euthanize and end the downward spiral we are seeing take place. He was rescued 2x from dire circumstance that has taken a toll on his health}

You may indeed have many years left, and you may have a day...
No one knows why, how or what it is that will take our pet from us...
But in your mind know that the decision made is for the animals comfort and outcome not for us...
The greatest gift we can bestow on our loved animals is to know when to say enough and turn them loose to run the heavens above...

Super Moderator
12,636 Posts
I think OP was in a serious accident that ended her interaction with horses, at least for the last 18 months and for the foreseeable future. I'd have to look back as I think it was posted several days ago.

Here it is HLG


171 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks QtrBel.

Sorry for confusing you HLG. He is my horse. Eight years ago I went through a bad time and wasn't riding him as much as I should. A friend from Magoebaskloof (the mountains 4 hours away from me) offered to take him because there was a girl there who wanted to bait him. He has been living there since and I don't see him very often but at the end of the day he is my responsibility. I am lucky that there is a lady baiting him at the moment.

They said they would make the decision when the time came. Last year I was in hospital after the accident and in no place to make it. I know they wouldn't let him suffer and he obviously still wants to live.

The reason I ask is that I have never known a thoroughbred to live so long so I was wondering if anyone has experience.

Super Moderator
14,681 Posts
Thanks to QtrBel and you, pnr for the enlightenment...
I missed your accident and injuries thread.
I hope you are doing better today and everyday is having you feel stronger and more "you"....
Injuries do take a long time to heal from, and some never get 100% either as I know...but you strive for perfect anyway.

As I much is genetics and care the animal is and has received during their life.
My guy is near to 30 as the vet can tell and is having issues.
My trainers horse was healthy, he just literally laid down and went to sleep under his favorite tree at 32 nearing 33 years of age.
You indeed may have another 10 years of ownership with your guy...
I hope the years left are kind to the animal as he retires to live in a peaceful existence of care and love given him.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts