It really is not hard to send photos via e-mail these days If a farm says it can't be bothered, or has no one to do that, keep on walking. If they can't send updates, or itemized bills, keep on walking. Ask how many are turned out in a herd, if its 20 horses in a 5 acre field, keep on walking. Equine retirement is a business like any other, and should be run like one. That said, I will admit I treat my boarders like my own horses. I get seriously upset when one is sick. Not business-like of me I know, but I get very attached to them. And I mourn them when they pass on.
You know your horse best, and what he/she requires. Its your duty toward that horse that gave you the best years of its life, to give him the best retirement for the rest of his life.