Horse & Rider

IS MY HORSE ‘TOO OLD’?

“Cruzer is the best horse I’ve ever had,” my client explains. “He’s sound, reliable, and still winning at every show. He’ll be 18 next year, though, so it’s time for retirement. Sure gonna miss him….”

Wait, I’m thinking, what? Just because he’s getting older doesn’t mean it’s time to quit. In fact, in recent years we’ve seen 21-year-old horses compete successfully in World Cup jumping. Besides, why not consider letting the horse step down to a less demanding job rather than retiring him completely?

Then there’s the other type of owner.

“There’s something wrong with my horse,” she’ll say. “He’s only 24, and he’s having a hard time keeping up with my friends’ horses on trail rides. I don’t understand it. Is there anything we can give him to up his energy?”

“Hmmmmm,” I say. “Twenty-four. Maybe he’s just feeling his age?” After all, given that every year

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