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Last October and as my now 17-year-old Thoroughbred had just received the okay to start trotting under tack after recovering from an injury, I wrote a post in this blog about osteoarthritis in aging horses. I was thrilled to see that the post opened the door for some great discussions between readers in the comments section, but one comment stood out and stuck with me.

One reader asked, “Why would you want to compete with a horse that, in human terms, is over 65 years old?”

I thought about this very valid question for a long time, discussed it with my father and some other horsey friends, and pondered some more. And the answer I eventually settled on is multifactorial, but to put it simply, it’s because I can.

When Dorado injured his right front leg on July 4 of last year while preparing for his next competition, I had no idea what his future would hold. He was 16 at the time and, in diagnosing the injury, our veterinarian uncovered an injury from his past that we had no idea was there. Of course, the initial goal was to rehabilitate the injury and get Dorado comfortable and sound as quickly as possible

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Written by:

Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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