• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

How do you know when it's time for retirement...(long)?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How do you know when it's time for retirement...(long)?

    ...when it's not obvious?

    I just posted over on the "quarter life crisis" thread on the h/j forum and it got me thinking...how do you know when it's time to retire the horse who is still going strong, just getting older?

    I'm 25, working full time in career I love, and in grad school. I'll graduate with my MS in May 2011. My mare is a 1994 model, so she's going on 16 soon. I've owned her since she was 4.

    I have no desire to sell her, but full boarding when I have no time to really do anything with her seems kind of pointless. DH and I can afford the board, and he doesn't mind, but every time I write the check at the beginning of the month, I think about all of the other stuff I could be doing with the money (or saving it...).

    I love the barn where she's boarded, and she gets excellent care. I also pay the trainer to ride her once a week to keep her in some semblance of shape. I'm lucky to get to the barn once a week, and ride maybe once a month. I don't think my mare is suitable to lease...she's nice, but she's just...not easy. I think that's the best description. She's not an easy horse, and she never will be an easy horse. It would take a very specific person to work well with her, and I don't have the time or energy to find that person. And I'd still worry even if I found the perfect person, if that makes sense, after all the stories that have been posted on here.

    My mare is in great shape for her age. She's happy and healthy (***knock on wood). She's never really had a serious problem in the entire time I've owned her (***still majorly knocking on wood).

    Right now, I'm seriously considering just retiring her in the spring/summer when the weather gets better and she can more easily transition to being out 24/7. Does that seem reasonable? I guess I'm just feeling guilty because... I really don't know? Because it seems like there should be something wrong before I have to make that decision? Because I don't like to give up at anything, and this sort of seems like giving up in a strange sort of way?

    Rationally, I know she would be happy. Even if I don't retire her now, she'll be 17 before I have anymore time to give her than I do now anyway...

    Advice? Experience?

    A few recent pics of Lovey Mae, the Red Mare:
    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/23407...65236473lFPKUF
    http://pets.webshots.com/photo/25509...65236473UEDIWk

    Caitlin
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

  • #2
    Just from a quick reading, it sounds like you don't need to make a permanent decision. I can certainly see finding a cheaper place to board where she can be out a lot (preferably 24/7). If you decide when your circumstances have changed that you want to ride her again, there is a good chance that she would be up for at least some riding at 17 after her "vacation", especially since she has always been sound.
    My boy has been laid up for the better part of a year with an injury. At 18 he is now in light work (because of MY time constraints) and doing very well. Sure he needs a little conditioning and sharpening up, but he still knows what he did before.
    So my thought is to move her if/when you find a place that will take great care of her and will allow her to enjoy being a horse. Then, if you want to ride again, you can try putting her back into work and see how it goes!

    Comment


    • #3
      My soon to be 22 year old TB went undefeated in every event we entered this year and my daughter had the best score out of over 100 riders in the pony club eventing rally this fall. If we quit on him it would be over but we keep him going at a level that is not a challenge for him and he is doing better than ever.
      Don't retire her.
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home

      Comment


      • #4
        As already noted, you can try giving your mare an "extended vacation" while you deal with "life" for a while. This doesn't have to constitute retirement. You will need to take extra care in bringing her back due to her increased age, but it's certainly not impossible.

        One caution I will offer, however: Some horses really don't do well without a job of some sort. Many, many horses do just fine with ample turnout and compatible buddies. But just in case, you might want to be prepared with a Plan B -- maybe a pony clubber or horseless AA who would like to keep your mare in light work while you finish your degree/start your career/etc.

        I retired my mare at age 18 after the latest in a series of injuries. She did NOT do well. 24/7 turnout at home with her BFF, daily grooming and attention, really no change other than no more riding. She ate poorly, fretted, dropped weight, and her normally chipper and friendly personality became grumpy and sullen. I noticed she perked up, ate well and acted like her old self after the niece and nephews came over for pony rides ... so back to work she came. I have taken it slow and careful with her, taking nearly a year-and-a-half to get her to a regular 3- to 4-day-a-week schedule of light walk-trot-canter. She is doing VERY well and I now just pray that she will be able to work (in some form) to the end of her days. (She turns 21 next year and looks half her age -- sometimes acts considerably younger than that.)
        Equinox Equine Massage

        In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
        -Albert Camus

        Comment


        • #5
          She's very pretty. I am certainly not the expert on this subject. Frankly, if it were me, I would keep riding when I could ride, but not completely retire her. It isn't that I think that she wouldn't be happy. I think that my own horse would be happy retired or not retired. However, I think that it would be much harder if I retired him, and then got back into riding in, say, 5 years. Your mare will be 17 when you graduate, but you may be happy to ride an older horse at that time. It depends on your goals, of course, but she may be able to be ridden for several years after 17.
          If I were you, (and I know you aren't interested in leasing) but I would check with the trainer who riders about doing a half-lease, and see if she thinks it could work. That way, you might be able to stop paying the trainer to ride her, and have someone else to check on her. I think that would work better for me. Like you, I do not get out to the barn every day. A barn that I can trust to take care of my horse is important. If I moved him to a retirement facility farther away, I wouldn't be able to check on him very often at all. I think that I would worry more about that than a half-lessor riding him in a place that I knew well and trusted. (Not that there aren't excellent retirement facilities out there - but I would expect to spend a lot of time researching, visiting, and making sure I was somewhere I was comfortable with). If you have a good retirement facility closeby, though, that may be the most money-saving option.

          Comment


          • #6
            As others have brought up some horse love being retired and some hate it. I have a 29 yr old that I have tried to retire many times. He just hates it! Even now he is lunged 2-3 days a week and during good weather walked around the farm.

            Does your trainer have students that may like riding her? I lease a horse who is considered difficult to ride. I started just riding her in lessons until we were working well together and then started riding her on my own. She has taught me so much and to everyone's surprise we started showing this year. I think this all works b/c the horse had been with this trainer for a while and the trainer, owner and I are all at the same barn and communicate often. If you trust the trainer you might speak to her about this.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Good thoughts everyone, maybe I should just take the "R" word out of the equation.

              To answer some questions, there are lots of lesson-ees, but most of them are kids that are very beginners...can't think of any of them that would be suitable off hand.

              I could ask about field board where she's currently at. I don't think they have any others paying for field board, but they do have some retirees of their own living out 24/7. I could continue to ride when I'm able, but I don't really feel that it would be fair to her to ask her to come back into full work when she's 17 after a life of pretty much retirement. Maybe I'll just ride her as I'm able, and as she's able as time goes on and not worry about it.

              Caitlin
              Caitlin
              *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
              http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01

              Comment


              • #8
                Depends on the work you would bring her back into after a time off, I retired the dear departed yellowhorse from h/j, dressage when she was about 20 and just hacked her once in a while, which was an adventure since she also was never an easy horse. Anyway about 2 years into retirement, she was feeling pretty sound and zippy so I bought her back to work and she became a competitive trail horse, did many 25 milers.
                She lived to 35, I only stopped riding her the last 6 months, you can bring an older horse back to work but it has to be done slowly and maybe not in the former discipline or at a lower level.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a 15 year old reiner I tried to semi-retire and he was offended.
                  He would not pace, but never settled, just kept moving around all the time, looking for something else to do and kind of unhappy.
                  After a while, I gave in and a friend that trains reiners is now using him as a lesson horse.
                  The horse is happy again, calm and settled into his preferred routine.

                  I would listen to your horse.
                  You could try turning her out and she may do fine retired.
                  Then, she may fret and not give in easily and get over it.
                  Then you can go to plan B.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Your mare gets ridden 5 times a month at most?? Isn't she already 'retired?' Or semi-retired? She's already at the status of 'weekend rider' - certainly not fit. All of which is OK, don't get me wrong.

                    Are you really asking if you should let her be a pasture-puff?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So RedMare, this is the opposite point of view.

                      After gotten tossed several times from my green arabs, someone well known from the endurance world had a 16 yr old who had done lots of 100s and 50's, wasn't being ridden by her anymore, and wanted to retire him from competition. This horse was previously owned by a very well known competitor, great blood lines and training. Word of mouth got that I was looking for a quieter horse and she just gave him to me without even meeting me.

                      Now he is an arab and not a beginner horse. But what a gentleman. We go out for quiet trail rides alone. His trot is not real comfy. He hardly spooks and goes past anything normal on the trail. He let me know he would have no part of a judged pleasure ride with wierd obstacles. He gets an adrenaline rush with horses cantering in front of him (no fox hunting for him, he'd pass the huntsman!). He has a forever home with me. I am ready for very quiet rides now in my life. So sometimes rehoming or finding another rider can work out.

                      I am going to try dressage lessons on him in the spring. I have a feeling they may have been part of his early training.

                      Good luck, your mare is just in her prime.
                      ********
                      There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I just took one of my rescues, an 18 year old warmbloodly looking Thoroughbred, to a horse show after 2 months of training and she looked great and clearly enjoyed herself. Every horse is different, but in my opinion, 16 is the prime of life! (I run a rescue for the elderly, www.thegoldencarrot.org, so in fact, to ME, 16 is a baby! "-) With the risks out there, and you not having a problem with it financially, I'd just keep her and ride her when you can - everyone needs someone to chill with, and she can be yours! On the other hand, altho you like where she is, why not look into equally nice boarding that just doesn't cost that much? Save a few bucks that way and salve your conscience! Or can you find a less expensive place to put her in winter, and bring her back for the summer and more riding? Anyway, depending on what kind of horse she is, 16 is probably not as old as you think. My crew is 25 and up - and I still ride or have kids ride many of them, which they clearly enjoy. Casey

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X