I think that you are doing a great thing for him, and totally agree that it will help if you start slow. It will give him a purpose that is his and nobody else's.
Fostering is a great start, as you won't be locked in if he does decide that he can't handle it. If he does decide that he it's something he wants to do, you can adopt the horse for him as a 'surprise' and really make it special. COTH always loves a good foster-fail story! My only concern with fostering would be that somebody might adopt 'his' horse and it will be a loss for him. Could he handle that emotionally?
Maybe as you get him going with it, you can find something that drives safely, and he can learn to do that? I drove Belgians for an internship one summer and that community is a blast. The people are welcoming, friendly, and helpful. It might be easier on him than riding at first.
If his doctor gives you the green light, bring your father with you to the rescue. Giving him a say in the horse that will be 'his' will be exciting for him and probably better your chances of him sticking with it.
I hate to put a damper on things but talk to the doctor first. If your dad is on blood thinners he has to be very careful about bumps and bruises. A fall, even from a walk could cause serious harm. I suggest you start with the basic grooming and observing the horses. Just being out in the air and moving around will give Dad a starting point.
I was going to say...that could be a huge problem.
Superminion, you are very clever. I always forget that driving is an option.
I don't think Driving is a good idea. He needs something simple and easy. Just good ole fashioned regular exercise like hiking and a good diet change will work wonders for him until he's fit enough to consider anything horse-related.
Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!
If you don't get the green light from the doctor, then ask about either getting him a size-appropriate dog that he has to walk every day, or buying a membership at a gym that has a lot of middle-aged and elderly people using their facilities. One with a pool and a jacuzzi might well be ideal. The one I am at has classes for easing arthritis, personal trainers, and even a PT on hand to devise exercise plans that fit individual needs. There are many middle-aged and elderly people using the facility and several of them are physically handicapped and in wheelchairs, as well. Most of them gravitate right to the pool. The gym membership would probably cost less than the yearly upkeep of the horse at home. Just a thought.
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein
You would know the answer to that question better than we would, but I sure don't see any harm in it. If you have your doubts maybe you could foster a horse for Gentle Giants for a while and see how it goes?
You could contact them to see what they have available. Many times, there are older, calmer drafts (mostly Belgians) that are very good for these types of situations. Slower and shorter rides. They have some great horses!
ETA: This post is intended for OP. Thanks!
Last edited by Butterflys5; Apr. 6, 2013 at 03:30 PM.
Reason: Add who it's to.