Unlike my colleague Erica, author of our “Old Horses: Better with Age” blog, I don’t have much experience managing senior horses. Most of my former show horses have either transitioned to breeding careers or gone on to carry other riders around the hunter or jumper ring. If I had the property and the means to ride all my horses into retirement and care for them past their prime, I would. But that’s not the case. And, after all, my goal as a horse owner is to also develop as a rider at a certain level, and that requires a fairly youthful horse.

My childhood pony Laura Ashley was one my most cherished mounts.

Photo: courtesy Alexandra Beckstett

Fortunately, thanks to Facebook photos, horse industry connections, and the occasional text message, I’ve been able to keep tabs on many of my former mounts. There’s Sammy, who I watched go on to win many a pony hunter championship and teach countless young girls to ride. There’s Chilly, who is now a Baylor University equestrian team horse after a highly decorated hunter career. And Ralando recently traded his successful show career for what’s promising to be an equally successful stud career.

Naturally, it’s impossible to follow all the horses that have been a part of my life. And many I can only