Retiring a horse is always a sad decision to make, but sometimes you have no choice. Your horse’s age or physical limitations may require that you retire him from his current activity level. Luckily, there are a number of different retirement options for your horse. Here are a few ideas.
Find a Younger Rider
If your horse needs to take a step back in athletic intensity but isn’t ready to completely retire yet, then finding a younger rider may result in a great situation for him. Look for a rider who needs an experienced and trustworthy horse, and consider leasing or selling your horse to the rider. If your horse is still sound and enjoys being ridden, then he may be perfectly happy teaching a younger student to ride.
Give Your Horse a New Job
Just because your horse can’t be heavily ridden or competed doesn’t mean that all activity has to stop. Your horse might enjoy some light trail riding. You might also want to consider agility with your horse. Agility can be completed both mounted and unmounted, and it’s a low-impact activity that many horses can participate in.
Donate Your Horse to a Therapeutic Riding Facility
If your horse is patient, steady, and still sound for riding, then you may be able to donate him to a therapeutic riding facility. This will partially depend on your horse’s age, condition, and temperament, but many therapeutic riding facilities are in need of good, reliable horses.
Lease Your Horse as a Companion
For the horse that must completely retire, becoming a pasture companion for another horse is an option. If you can afford to keep your retired horse yourself, that’s great. If not, you may want to look for someone who needs a companion for a horse. You may be able to lease your horse out, saving you money and providing another horse with important companionship.
Send Your Horse to a Retirement Facility
There are many equine retirement facilities which are designed to allow your horse to peacefully retire. Many of these facilities have generous pastures and offer top-notch care. Consider sending your horse to a retirement facility, which often costs less than full board in pricey areas, so that your horse receives the care that he needs and can live out his final years in the company of other retired horses.
Horse Courses by Elaine Heney
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There are many retirement options available for horses today. Which one is right for your horse?