There's nothing I could have done for him.
That bothers me. All of us hate to see our beloved creatures hurt. To see the extent of what Cuna has gone through this year in the course of just being a normal horse, I have to question what I'm asking him to do.
Everything I've asked of him, he's done before. His care has been excellent, start to finish. He's always tried his heart out for me, whether it was a dressage lesson or keeping up with a horse a third his age while he tied up in the hills.
I'm at the point of wondering when enough is enough. I have watched my beloved Cuna Matata be crippled to the point of not walking not once, but twice, both times for no apparent cause.
Maybe I'm overreacting to unrelated incidents because I have too much time on my hands. Or maybe, Cuna's trying to tell me something. He came into my life when I needed him most, and changed me into the rider that I am today. For the first time in years, I came out this spring and was relaxed and confident on horseback. All the credit goes to him on that score.
In a meta sense, it feels like he came to me for that very reason. He carried me through things I thought I would never overcome, and now he's telling me that he needs to rest. I don't want to emotionally overreact, but I also want to listen to him.
In light of my post the other day about clarity in decisions regarding the vet, I guess I wanted to go a step further. How do you know when it's time to let a horse retire? If you haven't retired one yet, what signs do you think you'd be looking for? What does equine retirement mean to you?