I took Roz in to OSU two weeks ago to follow up on the lameness we have been dealing with since his injury in March. The good news, is that the Doctor does think his cut could be contributing to his lameness. It has grown down in to his hoof and is now a crack in the hoof wall. For now he is supposed to have a month off to allow the crack to grow further down his foot. The bad news is that they also re-took radiographs of his foot, and the navicular changes have worsened. At this point he will continue to wear his corrective shoes and be ridden over the summer, even if it's once or twice a week on light trail rides. I'm currently working to find a nice winter home for him, and he will most likely be retired at the end of this year. It's really sad to have reached that point with him but he's made it a lot longer, and sounder than many horses. He came in to my riding life at just the right time, giving me confidence and making riding fun again. He's always been trustworthy and safe and I have so many great memories with him.
One of my biggest irritations is seeing craigslist ads advertising someone chronically lame or aged horse that people need a good home for. I saw this one yesterday.
"15 year old chestnut quarter horse mare needing a retirement home, she's been a show horse and brood mare all her life and needs somewhere to retire and live out her remainder years. She cannot be stalled she must be in pasture. She does need upkeep she has some lameness issues with her hooves that were made worse through the years (before I got her) where she needs corrective trimming to make her right. We have her on a barefoot trim every 4 weeks growing her heels out out and she has done wonderfully. She does have the occasional bad day but a lot of good days. I do not recommend her for anything more than VERY light riding and no breeding. I will send her with her halter, lead, fresh trimming which will be done tomorrow and her supplement which is just a glucosamine chondroitin and msm. Very sweet in your pocket mare who is a doll about 15.3H gentle enough for new beginners to be around. I need to rehome her because I can't afford to keep an extra mouth that we can't do anything with so sadly she must go. Please email if SERIOUSLY interested. Emails only asking for pics will be ignored, you must be able to transport on your own."
Or here's one I saw on facebook.
"Some of you know, we have been having problems settling mares with my beautiful arabian stallion, Unfortunately, after having a breeding soundness exam, he is officially sterile. Since I need his stall for something I can use, I am looking for a good home for him. He would be suitable for light trail riding or would be a great teaser stallion because he has fantastic manners. He's 15.1, black with a star and 4 socks. I have pictures on my facebook page. He will only go to a good home."
Of course I went to her facebook page to check out the photos. And less than a year ago she posted on one of his photos regarding how long she was going to have him... "God willing, for the rest of his life, barring something horrible and unforseen."
Obviously him being sterile was horrible and unforeseen. Of course I understand that horses are expensive and having one you can't use costs you close to the same amount that having one you can use costs, but realistically, if you don't care enough about the horse to take care of it if it can't be used, who else is going to? Occasionally you may come across a person who actually wants a pet horse but I don't think those situations are all that common. It seems to me that people should consider what they will do should their horse become unusable. In the current market there hardly seems to be enough demand for a sound healthy horse let alone an old lame one. I know for me personally, I feel that I owe it to my partner and friend to take good care of him until his life is over.