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I am the owner of a 25 year old chestnut TB who's racing name is Late Starter or Beau for short.

At the beginning of 2015 I was aware that he was not returning from being ridden out with as much enthusiasm as usual and was starting to show his age. While he had access to grass in the summer months, I think that being boxed with minimal turnout during the long winter months was not helping him. He was always kept at home and so having had him for 14 years he had become a family pet and so any decision regarding his future was not that straightforward.

I asked my Vet for her opinion and she mentioned Mill Farm and Maddy in Ashorne as a "retirement home" for horses and so I decided that this would be best for him, being turned out all year round with other horses for companions. This was a decision not taken lightly and it was sad when Maddy kindly arrived with her own box to take him to his new home.

I had assumed that I would stop riding him but with the support of Mill Farm who convinced me that he would still enjoy being ridden but either in the school or round the many fields on the farm he is now only "semi-retired" and that he will tell me when it is time to stop. I am allowed to ride him as and when, I don't push my luck and once every week or two I am always greeted with a smile on arrival, an update on his health from the staff and can visit him at any time. He has put on plenty of condition over the summer months just eating the lush grass and now has some hay each day in the winter. His coat is as good as ever and he seems to full of beans if a little stiff now and then as you would expect. He enjoys it when I go to get him in, always recognises me and is very enthusiastic coming in and going back out!

It is the best thing that could have happened to him and I could not be any happier with the outcome.

Thanks to all at Mill Farm!

Duncan Hynd