Horse Retirement?

Have you had to think about retiring your horse?

How does one actually make that decision?

  • Is it the vet that makes the final call?
  • Is he/she just too old to do the job?
  • Is he the wrong breed to do the job you are asking of him/her?
  • If he/she goes to pasture, will they be happy there?

These are just a few of the questions that you may be asking yourself. We wish there were some concrete answers but, of course there are not.

 When the vet told me that my horse had a bad suspensory injury in his left hind and a bone chip in his right front - AND suggested that he be retired since he was 20 years old - I followed her recommendation.

After 1 year of pasture life with no riding, I had his suspensory checked again - all healed!  So now what?  Start dressage work again?  Another decision had to be made and questions asked. 


  • Is he happy with his buddies in pasture?
  • Is he happy to see me when I visit?
  • Does he look healthy?
  • Do I think he would stay sound if I were to put him back to work?
  • Would I be able to drive the 1+ hour more than once a week to see him?

Considering his happiness as my primary objective (which is why he lives over an hour away from me), I concluded that he is living a good life, looks extremely healthy and a joy to visit and ride or play with liberty just once a week.

    A little more of Duke & me here: