Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
His age may or may not be an issue for endurance. It depends on what you want to do yourself- if you want to ride LD and maybe eventually 50's and complete, with good slow work and conditioning, he may very well be happy and sound doing it. If you want to race and win, I would get a different horse. I have a QH, which is not an endurance breed typically, but we can still DO endurance and finish. I don't expect to place top 10 (ever), but that's okay as my only real goal is to enjoy some long rides with my horse. Look at yourself and your goals, be honest, and see if you can honestly and fairly expect your horse to be able to meet them.
The only way to know if he can do and finish is to start conditioning and see how it goes. Take it slow, be alert and on the lookout for pain, soreness or him just not being 'right,' but go out there and do it. It takes a year to three to really get a horse thoroughly conditioned, but if he's going well, happy, sound and you all are enjoying yourself, there's no reason you couldn't try a LD or two next summer. Just remember that the big 'problem' with older horses is that they're not going to heal or condition as fast as youngsters, so if you over-do it, it will take longer for him to get back to being sound and healthy, so it is even more important for you to be conservative, mindful, and pay attention to how he is doing.
Age is a number, not a disease, and healthy well-exercised horses are going to live longer than out of shape pasture puffs. Get out there and ride. :)