HOW OLD IS TOO OLD FOR MY HORSE TO RIDE?
Note: The following excerpt is the transcript from a question I answered from my Facebook Live made in the Steady Horse Facebook Group on 5/29/19. Watch the video or read the text below to learn the answer to the question.
The one thing about this is that I would make sure that you make this determination in conjunction with your vet. Have your vet evaluate your horse and see how that horse’s health looks, how the joints are looking, does she have arthritis, does she still have good confirmation to carry a rider, those types of things.
The other thing to keep in mind for an older horse is the weight to rider ratio. Make sure that it’s not too much of a burden for that horse. Then, of course, you know the things that you can do from supplements to boosts to shoes to angles, that you can do to make sure that that horse is as comfortable as possible. The main thing I look for, stepping a little bit above my pay grade here cause I’m not a veterinarian, are these things:
Is that horse labored in their breathing? Are they sound at least at a walk in a trot? Tell, tale signs are going to be if the recovery time of that horse is pretty significant. Those are the kinds of things that tell you, this horse is definitely getting near retirement age. Nowadays with the feeds that we’re feeding horses, the hoof care, the supplements, these horses are living longer and longer, and are having very good, healthy, useful lives. And there’s a lot of horses that can live pretty long and do pretty well, and continue to work well into their years. So make sure you use good judgment and of course put the overall wellbeing of your horse first.