I have an Irish sport horse which I’ve been competing in show jumping classes with the height ranging from 120 to 140 since 2012. She’s an amazing shoe jumper and has such a big heart you could put a kid on her and she’ll jump almost anything it points her to.
I got her from when she was 11, now she’s 17 almost 18 and she’s lost so much of her momentum she can’t make a one stride double even at the height of 1.1m in a full course. (She can clear the jumps if they’re stand alones). I’ve had countless conversations with my dad about putting her into retirement sometime soon since she’s lost a lot of muscle mass too due to her coffin joint issue.
A little back story on her coffin joint, till this day we’re not sure what exactly happened to her since we were away for the holidays and entrusted her exercising to my coach who somehow injured her and hid it from us including what happened. So now her coffin joint is an on off issue which we can’t permanently solve. This is what is causing inconsistency in her training and mine, which makes her lose a lot of her muscle mass. We annually bring over a forge in vet to treat her coffin joint and she regularly undergoes shock therapy, it helps ease the problem and discomfort but it doesn’t provide a permanent solution.
I’ve changed my spurs and the bits and the gear many times but it doesn’t seem to make a difference, if anything it just makes her more sensitive and spooky. Her mannerisms and behaviour doesn’t say that she needs to go into retirement but her performance at competitions do.
Do you think it’s time for her to take a step back and go into retirement or should I just work her the same but at a lower level?