I am one of those crazy people that can't sell a horse, it would break my heart so, my first horse had a forever home until I had to put her down due to a tumor in her stomach. My currant horse (barring me not being able to feed her) will stay with me forever too! (And the next will most likely be the same.)
One I have just because she's too complicated to send down the road (uveitis, melenomas, bone spurs, freight train under saddle). She's 19. I tried for years to sell her. And I really wish I had... I'm just over her, but I am not going to dump her on someone else. She's my responsibility, and I'll do what I can for her as long as I can.
That said.... I will be very hard pressed to keep a horse I am not head over heels for into their golden years. Lesson learned the hard way...
My parents got me Dyna the buckskin pony in 2000. 13 years and countless lessons, shows, and trail rides later, Dyna is living out her retirement at my parents' barn. There are other horses there, too, but everyone is fully aware of the fact that if for some reason my parents became unable to care for the horses anymore, Dyna would come to live with me. She turned 29 on August 1.
"A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio
Without really meaning to, I ended up with a "lifer." She's an awesome horse who also happens to have just enough soundness maintenance requirements and not quite enough talent for anyone else to pay for her. Well, Krazy Kolor Breeders might want her for breeding, but she's 15 and that ain't happening (and shouldn't, because said soundness issues arise from poor leg conformation.)
She is awesome enough that I will keep up with the very expensive maintenance required to keep her sound enough for riding until she tells me she is done. I know that there will be a point when I will send her south or west for retirement, to someone I trust, because she has arthritis and the winters here can be hard on her. But I will still visit her. I
I had to sell my first horse when I was 17 because I left for college and I couldn't have afforded to keep him. If there was any way I could have kept him I would have. I still sometimes dream about him. I got my second horse many many years later. She isn't going anywhere- I absolutely love her. We are perfect for each other.
Here's why I am usually broke: One 32 yr old gray Arab gelding (I've had him for 25 years); one 31 yr old gray Arab mare who's always had my number (had her for 16 years); one 26 year old WB who thinks he's a big goofy dog. They're all retired and we're all together forever--however long that happens to be.
There are a few others who are younger, some of whom I really ought to sell, but hesitate because there just aren't any guarantees for horses. I'd worry about them for the rest of my life.
One of mine has been with me since 1987 - he will be 30 on May 24th. Another has been with me since 1996 - he will soon turn 38!
Neither one has any teeth left. They have survived for the last several years on soaked Senior "slop" and soaked hay cubes. They are a money pit with no return except for their love, and my commitment to repay them for the years they carted me around...
They have been with me thru my husband's military career - seven moves in 17 years so far - and have survived an F5 tornado in OKC on May 3rd, 1999. In fact, you can see one of them run across the road in front of Jeff Piotrowski as he was filming at the intersection of 29th & Sooner Rd.
I have one! Sophie will always be with me, not because she is that great of a horse, but more because no one else would want her. I ADORE her and I always have a blast riding her but to quote my self "I adore her, but wouldn't wish her on my worst enemy". She is a very hard ride and all her issues are mostly man made. She is extremely talented but it takes someone that she actually likes to get anything out of her.
I love my old girl to pieces and then some. She will be 19 in April and I don't foresee her going anywhere. Given her disposition, if I could not afford to place her in a cheap pasture for retirement, I would let her go peacefully. She is increasingly particular and set in her ways so I think it would be very challenging to find a safe home for her.
My guy is 32 next month, he's been with me since he was 7 and I was 12. He's been leased out on occasion but now he will spend his last years with me. My mom bought her gelding at the same time and we lost him a few years ago at 28. I try to keep track of the horses I have sold in a non stalkerish way and it has been successful so far, there is only one I can find.
My one boy will be 20 this year. He is retired due to soundness issues. He will be with me forever. No matter what. He is my heart horse, heart and soul.
My other boy I will keep since I do not sell my horses. But should some crazy life changing event happen I would put him up for sale- but only as a life or death type of reason. I can't even think of a good one so he will be right there next to my old man forever.
I am not sure what this link everyone is posting since it does not work for me....