Wondering whether to retire....or keep going

cheekywelshie

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Hi all,

I'm just wondering if anyone retired even if your horse was still rideable.

I love my 21 year old boy but I'm not enjoying it as much as I used to. Not because I don't love being with him I do, but livery yards and experiences have worn me down, my horses' special needs and the financial cost is not getting easier - we pay full livery all summer when horses are out 24/7 and I need to pay extra to cover weeks (20 a day) if I'm away. I was on DIY assisted for the most part over the last 14 years until the last year when I went FL.

The FL help in winter is invaluable and worth every penny but I can't seem to save anything because in summer i'm still paying the same but feeling like I'm not getting VFM when he's on a postage paddock 24/7 and if I want him in I need to do it but the rule is they stay out, generally.

I'm also a bit emotionally worn down after two colic surgeries and a splint fracture over the years.

Some options - suck up the summer cost and try and find savings other ways.
Go back to DIY assisted but there may be compromise on things like turnout or hacking
Put on a friends track system 150 a month plus extra for hay/poo picking but would need to be barefoot and he hasn't coped well previously BF
 

humblepie

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Is it a yard where they average out the cost so that the summer pays towards the winter. That does seem odd that you have to pay extra though if you are away as full livery should cover that. Perhaps look around for a suitable assisted DIY with the turnout you need but perhaps not worry about the hacking if you are not going to be riding.
 

Highmileagecob

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Maybe have a Google for barefoot transition, and see if you are prepared to give him the time to adjust. If you are reducing his ridden work, then barefoot could be a good option. Rockley Farm rehab most of their cases on a track system - wealth of information and 'what to expect' stuff on their website.
 

Peglo

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Yes I retired my TB at 21 because neither of us was having fun riding. She has typical TB feet but I took her shoes off anyway and she managed. She’s been happily retired for 5 years. Can’t really help with livery stuff, sorry, as mine are at home.
 

dorsetladette

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It sounds like its more the yard and cost rather than your horse that you're not enjoying.

I'd say the track livery with your friend is a no no if your horse isn't happy barefoot. But I definitely think its worth looking around to see what is available locally.

One thing I would say. Life got in the way of my riding for a while and B sat in the field not doing alot. At 19 he is now retiring with arthritis and I'm not able to ride. I'm kicking myself for 'wasting' those precious couple of years that I now won't get back. Not trying to guilt trip you as everyone is individual but i really wish I put my riding higher up my priority list.
 

Skib

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Would you consider a sharer? I shared and hacked a horse who retired at 24. She did me (convalessant o.a.p.) and some RDA.
When she was eventually really retired to a field, she was miserable and asked to come in.
 

Leandy

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You don't say whether you still enjoy riding and, in particular, riding your own horse? Do you want to ride him? If you don't want to ride this horse any more then yes, absolutely retire him to grass somewhere cheaper. If you still want to ride something else then see what other options there are within your budget, buy another, a loan, a share, a riding school? If you want to continue to keep and ride this horse it sounds as though you need to find a cheaper way than the livery arrangement you have. Which may or may not be possible. Would it be cheaper to use DIY or assisted DIY and just pay for extra services or freelance help as you need it?
 

conkers

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Yep, I retired my horse whilst he was still rideable as I'd had enough. Mainly due to livery issues and drama's. He is now on retirement livery and loving life. I don't miss the drama.
I replaced horses with whippets and now walk my dogs instead of riding / doing yard work.
 

cheekywelshie

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4 January 2008
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714
You don't say whether you still enjoy riding and, in particular, riding your own horse? Do you want to ride him? If you don't want to ride this horse any more then yes, absolutely retire him to grass somewhere cheaper. If you still want to ride something else then see what other options there are within your budget, buy another, a loan, a share, a riding school? If you want to continue to keep and ride this horse it sounds as though you need to find a cheaper way than the livery arrangement you have. Which may or may not be possible. Would it be cheaper to use DIY or assisted DIY and just pay for extra services or freelance help as you need it?
Yes we even popped out to a dressage thing a few months ago. He's 21 and I've had him 15 years and lived through two colic surgeries which he survived, I do love him to bits but struggle with the cost but needing to spend some time with the other half and go away sometimes and not feel guilty about paying even more. I used to go up everyday and it was a relief not to in winter but the summer it is still the same cost and I can't save anything. There is assisted nearby but with freelance groom so unlikely to do late checks etc (he tends to demolish his hay so i had a late hay given) but I guess I can't have it all! I'm a bit wary of relying on freelancer in case I get called to go into work (2.5 hours from where I live) and if they let me down at the last minute I'd be stuffed..but again I guess I am doing a lot of what if!
 

cheekywelshie

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I would consider the track livery if his previous inability to cope BF was ridden work related. You don't mention if you considered boots, but they're a good option.
He would literally be walking as if on eggshells very very slowly, not quite so bad when just in hand but still slow
 

cheekywelshie

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Would you consider a sharer? I shared and hacked a horse who retired at 24. She did me (convalessant o.a.p.) and some RDA.
When she was eventually really retired to a field, she was miserable and asked to come in.
I could get a sharer again although it's really really hard to find a good one! I have had two in the past.
 

Leandy

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Yes we even popped out to a dressage thing a few months ago. He's 21 and I've had him 15 years and lived through two colic surgeries which he survived, I do love him to bits but struggle with the cost but needing to spend some time with the other half and go away sometimes and not feel guilty about paying even more. I used to go up everyday and it was a relief not to in winter but the summer it is still the same cost and I can't save anything. There is assisted nearby but with freelance groom so unlikely to do late checks etc (he tends to demolish his hay so i had a late hay given) but I guess I can't have it all! I'm a bit wary of relying on freelancer in case I get called to go into work (2.5 hours from where I live) and if they let me down at the last minute I'd be stuffed..but again I guess I am doing a lot of what if!
Ok, but from this I take it that you are more focussed on the cost and burden of keep rather than the joy of riding and so that overall you are not enjoying your horse at the moment. If I were you, yes I would turn him away and see how you feel. If you find you miss it all you can bring him back into work. If you don't, then you can consider him retired. It needn't be a once and for all decision at this point! Can you not find somewhere to turn him away and then ride him from the field as and when you feel like hopping on? Maybe that would work?
 

eahotson

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Hi all,

I'm just wondering if anyone retired even if your horse was still rideable.

I love my 21 year old boy but I'm not enjoying it as much as I used to. Not because I don't love being with him I do, but livery yards and experiences have worn me down, my horses' special needs and the financial cost is not getting easier - we pay full livery all summer when horses are out 24/7 and I need to pay extra to cover weeks (20 a day) if I'm away. I was on DIY assisted for the most part over the last 14 years until the last year when I went FL.

The FL help in winter is invaluable and worth every penny but I can't seem to save anything because in summer i'm still paying the same but feeling like I'm not getting VFM when he's on a postage paddock 24/7 and if I want him in I need to do it but the rule is they stay out, generally.

I'm also a bit emotionally worn down after two colic surgeries and a splint fracture over the years.

Some options - suck up the summer cost and try and find savings other ways.
Go back to DIY assisted but there may be compromise on things like turnout or hacking
Put on a friends track system 150 a month plus extra for hay/poo picking but would need to be barefoot and he hasn't coped well previously BF
My old horse did not cope well barefoot when he was ridden.He is retired now and is out 24/7.He is fine barefoot now.
 

splashgirl45

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could you try taking hind shoes off now if you are not riding and see how he copes. maybe he could go to your friends with fronts only to start with..sounds as though you want to do other things and its no shame to retire him. if friends place isnt an option could you find a retirement livery place so you can do other stuff..
 

cheekywelshie

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4 January 2008
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714
could you try taking hind shoes off now if you are not riding and see how he copes. maybe he could go to your friends with fronts only to start with..sounds as though you want to do other things and its no shame to retire him. if friends place isnt an option could you find a retirement livery place so you can do other stuff..
Yes, I've started to look but they all have long wait lists. Also they don't allow you to just hop up and have the odd hack once retired that's it, so I guess decision would need to be final.
 

Reacher

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24 February 2010
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He would literally be walking as if on eggshells very very slowly, not quite so bad when just in hand but still slow
I’m a bit worried by what is going in with his feet if he can’t cope with a grass track BF?

My retired 21 year old TB has fairly crap feet but is fine BF on grass.

Would the grass track people allow shod in front ? (Just realised Splashgirl already suggested this)

ETA is it a grass track or is it stoney ?
 
Last edited:

Leandy

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4 October 2018
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1,425
I’m a bit worried by what is going in with his feet if he can’t cope with a grass track BF?

My retired 21 year old TB has fairly crap feet but is fine BF on grass.

Would the grass track people allow shod in front ? (Just realised Splashgirl already suggested this)

ETA is it a grass track or is it stoney ?
All this. If he is that pottery on his feet I would query whether this horse is up to work of any sort in any event? Where it is bilateral it is often hard to see how uncomfortable they actually are. When you say all the local places have long waiting lists, why not look further away if you won't be riding regularly/at all?
 

cheekywelshie

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4 January 2008
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714
He’s fine on grass it was a stony track he wasn’t. I will give it a bit more thought. I’ve thought about getting a better job so I can afford the weekend livery if needed but just weighing up options. I still go up nearly every day even though on FL, he always seems to want to come in when he sees me.
 

Getbackboys

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20 February 2021
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67
re the barefoot and track system, Rockley is fantastic and horses which are turned away do fine barefoot, look at those in training who then get turned away for summer lived in shoes for nearly a year known to have bad feet because of the endless changing of shoes from steels to plates then back to steels again more holes in the hoof than a junkie and yet they do fine turned away barefoot, nature heals. thiose that may not do well going barefoot are those that are still ridden and are expected to do a bit too much road work vs the natural monthly growth of the foot, the diet hasnt been changed to accommodate going barefoot, feet still need to be trimmed regularly even though road work will trim but it wont be even it will be trimmed the way the horse moves and places its foot ie more wearing on the inside or the outside. but to turn away barefoot its a no brainer.
 
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