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How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?
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mtcanchazer
Reg. Apr 2012
Posted 2018-05-16 11:12 AM (#7396395)
Subject: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?



Total Germophobe


Posts: 6233
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Location: Montana
 My mare is 17 this year, still likes her job, but we are dealing with some back pain issues. I'm having a hard time deciding whether to put the money in to keep her running (she's a 3D/4D horse at best) knowing that it isn't really cost effective, or let her retire and be a trail horse the rest of her days. I have an upcoming gelding I can run this summer, so I'm not out of a horse to run. I've had her since she was 8 and we are a good team, even if we are only 3D/4D. Ugh, it's a hard decision. Any advice, and please be kind. 
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Nateracer
Reg. Feb 2008
Posted 2018-05-16 11:23 AM (#7396396 - in reply to #7396395)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?



Miss Laundry Misshap


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Personally, I think the horse will tell you.  I almost retired my gelding a few years ago because he was getting so sore.  Switched farriers and it's made 110% difference in him.  He's still going at 24.   He LOVES to go and would throw a hemorrage fit if he was left at home.  He'd die of depression. 

If you can find your horse's back issue, she may not be done.  Otherwise, pasture is just fine!  
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JLazyT_perf_horses
Reg. Dec 2010
Posted 2018-05-16 11:44 AM (#7396397 - in reply to #7396395)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?



Elite Veteran


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Location: Illinois
Mine is 19 this year 3D/4D and I had decided last year to retire him so I could run my 4 year old this year. He just wasn't clocking anymore and couldn't get out of the 4D. He has to get adjusted monthly at the least, Gastro-Plex to keep his ulcers at bay, lasix for running, plus gets his hocks & stifles injected now. That's a good chunk $ for barely getting into the 4D money, so I was going to just let him be. But then my 4 year old ended up not being ready and still isn't, so I pulled him back out and took him for injections. Upon discussing with my vet about not clocking, we explored & found out he's navicular just slightly, so now we injected his coffins and put him on previcox while he's in work. First trip out this weekend he ran almost a full second faster in this pen than he did all last year, right up in the 3D. He's ready to go so he's now pulled a Bret Favre and come out of retirement. If you haven't dug deep into the back soreness I would suggest going that route, even if you do have another to run. Or even just see what happens with a little time off. I know it's hard shoveling money into these slower horses, but at 17 I wouldn't just call it quits. There may be many years left in her if it's something easily resolved
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FLITASTIC
Reg. Jun 2012
Posted 2018-05-16 12:26 PM (#7396401 - in reply to #7396395)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?



Expert


Posts: 4098
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When my good horses get to this point, and they still WANT to compete, I " Pick my races" . I still run them, but pick the races with the most added money, best ground, etc...

Edited by FLITASTIC 2018-05-16 12:28 PM
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mtcanchazer
Reg. Apr 2012
Posted 2018-05-16 2:01 PM (#7396409 - in reply to #7396395)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?



Total Germophobe


Posts: 6233
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Location: Montana
Thanks very much for the advice! I don't want to give up on her yet, but I've already considered picking and choosing races for her and I want what is best for her too. I don't want to run a sore horse, just because I know it will make her unhappy in the long run.

ETA: I'm looking into best options for her back soreness, its just hard to pinpoint what is causing it. :/


Edited by mtcanchazer 2018-05-16 5:23 PM
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Racer4eva
Reg. Feb 2009
Posted 2018-05-16 2:37 PM (#7396417 - in reply to #7396396)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?


Extreme Veteran


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Nateracer - 2018-05-16 12:23 PM

Personally, I think the horse will tell you.  I almost retired my gelding a few years ago because he was getting so sore.  Switched farriers and it's made 110% difference in him.  He's still going at 24.   He LOVES to go and would throw a hemorrage fit if he was left at home.  He'd die of depression. 

If you can find your horse's back issue, she may not be done.  Otherwise, pasture is just fine!  

Have a 22 yr old that if i try and leave him home, well hell be screaming till we get back and not sure if my pasture wouldnt be torn to pieces. He still loves to go
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OutlawsLastDance
Reg. Feb 2007
Posted 2018-05-16 5:42 PM (#7396445 - in reply to #7396395)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?


Extreme Veteran


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My 17 year old mare told me she was done last year. She gave me some of the best runs of her life, then the hock injections wore off faster, she started fusing, then she tore up her tendon and that was it. I think she wanted to go out on top, and that's what she did. She gave me her best runs and was done. Now she'll be a pasture puff as soon as she can leave her stall :D
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brlraceaddict
Reg. Jul 2006
Posted 2018-05-16 5:42 PM (#7396446 - in reply to #7396409)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?



Firecracker Dog Lover


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mtcanchazer - 2018-05-16 12:01 PM Thanks very much for the advice! I don't want to give up on her yet, but I've already considered picking and choosing races for her and I want what is best for her too. I don't want to run a sore horse, just because I know it will make her unhappy in the long run.



ETA: I'm looking into best options for her back soreness, its just hard to pinpoint what is causing it. :/

Can we assume you've had her vet checked, chiro'd, etc?  Saddle pad?  Saddle?  Saddle pads wear out and they can make a horse back sore.  If you palpate your horse's back do you have to put a lot of pressure where it hurts or just barely touch?  Give your saddle a really good going over to make sure nothing is loose, or poking, or even if it truly fits.  Is she sore after regular riding or just running? 
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stayceem
Reg. May 2007
Posted 2018-05-16 6:31 PM (#7396450 - in reply to #7396396)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?



Not Afraid to Work


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Nateracer - 2018-05-16 11:23 AM

Personally, I think the horse will tell you.  I almost retired my gelding a few years ago because he was getting so sore.  Switched farriers and it's made 110% difference in him.  He's still going at 24.   He LOVES to go and would throw a hemorrage fit if he was left at home.  He'd die of depression. 

If you can find your horse's back issue, she may not be done.  Otherwise, pasture is just fine!  

This...

I have almost retired mine several times. But he loves to go. Hes a 2D/3D horse. I switched his fitness around, got some shoes figured out, and this year tried adequan. I do regular massage for him and he has never been happier and has gotten faster.

I think they'll tell you

ETA - I do pick my races. I don't run him in anything less than his favorite type of ground and I try and pick his favorite pens.

Edited by stayceem 2018-05-16 6:33 PM
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stayceem
Reg. May 2007
Posted 2018-05-16 6:36 PM (#7396451 - in reply to #7396409)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?



Not Afraid to Work


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mtcanchazer - 2018-05-16 2:01 PM

Thanks very much for the advice! I don't want to give up on her yet, but I've already considered picking and choosing races for her and I want what is best for her too. I don't want to run a sore horse, just because I know it will make her unhappy in the long run.

ETA: I'm looking into best options for her back soreness, its just hard to pinpoint what is causing it. :/

Save yourself some time and x-ray his back... I think that's the first step especially in an older horse. Mine came back from a wicked back injury ... it can be done.
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barrelracer1983
Reg. Nov 2003
Posted 2018-05-16 8:13 PM (#7396458 - in reply to #7396395)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?



Ms. Elvis


Posts: 9582
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I have a 15 year old and I've been just keeping her at added money barrel races and rodeos. No weekly jackpots unless there's a kink to be worked out. She's had foot problems off and on but we're finally figuring out how to manage those. She still has it but I don't run her legs off.

Edited by barrelracer1983 2018-05-17 11:23 AM
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TheDutchMan01
Reg. Jan 2010
Posted 2018-05-16 9:06 PM (#7396466 - in reply to #7396395)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?


Elite Veteran


Posts: 879
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Location: Southern Indiana
I sent you a pm. I've had a very similar ongoing issue with my 17 yr old geilding.
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spitzh
Reg. Sep 2011
Posted 2018-05-17 9:33 AM (#7396507 - in reply to #7396395)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?



Extreme Veteran


Posts: 598
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Mine is 18 yrs old and he isnt slowing down yet. If you are out a horse this summer but have her, why not enjoy the runs she can put out. Then that gives you a year to come up with another option.
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**Cowgirl Up**
Reg. Jul 2013
Posted 2018-05-17 4:42 PM (#7396558 - in reply to #7396395)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?


Veteran


Posts: 296
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Mine told me it was time. Like yours, she was 3/4D at best but we've always dealt with arthritis in her hocks because she was used way too hard roping as a 2 & 3 year old. She started getting injections at 10 years when we started competing. She gave me a lot of good runs, took me back to the finals at Youth World, etc. but at 17 her injections started wearing off faster than in the past and I could just feel that she didn't enjoy it like she used to, so I made the decision to retire her from barrels and now she's just a trail horse. She still sometimes throws a fit when the trailer leaves for a race without her, but overall I know it was what was best for her. 
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LIVE2RUN
Reg. Oct 2005
Posted 2018-05-17 5:14 PM (#7396561 - in reply to #7396395)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?



The best bad guy on the internet


Posts: 3337
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Location: Arizona
I retired my horse about 2 years ago, she just started to refuse going into the arena, so I knew she was done. She didn't age well at all, depression set in, as she was not my number one anymore. Her eye sight started to go and I couldn't trail ride her anymore, she just got too spooky. She died last Saturday from colic. I have had her for 13yrs, saddest day ever. If you can get her back fixed up, I would just keep going as long as she wants to.
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Chandler's Mom
Reg. Jan 2015
Posted 2018-05-17 8:11 PM (#7396577 - in reply to #7396561)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?


My Heart Be Happy


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Location: Arkansas
LIVE2RUN - 2018-05-17 5:14 PM

I retired my horse about 2 years ago, she just started to refuse going into the arena, so I knew she was done. She didn't age well at all, depression set in, as she was not my number one anymore. Her eye sight started to go and I couldn't trail ride her anymore, she just got too spooky. She died last Saturday from colic. I have had her for 13yrs, saddest day ever. If you can get her back fixed up, I would just keep going as long as she wants to.

So sorry
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mtcanchazer
Reg. Apr 2012
Posted 2018-05-18 2:03 PM (#7396663 - in reply to #7396395)
Subject: RE: How do you know when its time to retire your barrel horse?



Total Germophobe


Posts: 6233
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Location: Montana
Thanks everyone, I've been busy and haven't been on the computer. 
  I have checked saddle and pad, to make sure that's okay. The frustrating part is it comes and goes. Some days she's sensitive to the touch, but other days she is just fine...which is starting to make me think it is following her heat cycles. You can pull her from the pasture and she'll be sore, and other days just fine. Thank you! 
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