One of the challenges senior horse owners and riders sometimes face is the physical baggage that often accompanies their aging charges–especially when those horses’ histories are completely or partially unknown. I got a reminder of this recently when my veterinarian came out to evaluate my 16-year-old Thoroughbred’s recently developed lameness.


I wonder if Dorado is keeping any other secrets from me?

Fortunately, because Dorado raced when he was younger, I managed to get a relatively good history through his race records. I know that he was born in Florida and started there. He raced 55 times over the course of his career, and he retired at the age of 6. He was still a stallion when he raced, so he was gelded at least after 6 years of age.

I also knew that he was donated to a farm I worked at when he was 13. From then to now, I know he’s been sound as a bell and his now-fit frame is successfully standing the test of time.

What I didn’t know was the reason (or reasons) he stopped racing, and what he did from the time he retired to when he found me.

When Dorado developed a subtle lameness a few days ago, I called my veterinarian to come have a look. Dorado didn’t have any heat or much swelling in his leg, but the presence of a digital pulse made our vet suspect a hoof abscess. That idea dissipated quickly when Dorado had no hoof tester reaction.

After a