When should I stop riding my older horse?

When should I stop riding my older horse? This question comes up periodically, because at some point in every horse’s life, they get too old to be ridden. That’s the truth of the matter. They simply don’t enjoy it any more, and even if they do, they are physically unable to continue to carry a rider safely.

Riding my mare Opal one blustery day when she had a lot of energy. She was retired early because of melanomas. Photo taken Winter, 1998.

Riding my mare Opal one blustery day when she had a lot of energy. She was retired early because of melanomas. Photo taken Winter, 1998.

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From your horse to you: special gifts of connection

Recently a trainer came to me and asked to observe a class because she wanted to see what was different about it than the liberty work she practices. It made me think about the way I do things and how effective it is, and I get used to the results because they are there and tangible. But someone coming in may think, well, so what is so different about what she does?

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