I'm also wondering how much you can teach an old horse new tricks :) Here's my short story:
I grew up riding and competing in dressage, and I've only done a little jumping. I had to take a break from riding due to finances and having a baby (well, having it soon). I'm trying to figure out what kind of horse I should be looking for as I get back into riding after having this baby. Here are my plans/goals:
As I get back into riding, I don't care to be super competitive. I mostly want to learn, stay safe, and HAVE FUN! It's more important to me to have a kind, sweet, calm horse that isn't as talented, than something that's a handful and a constant struggle yet talented. I'd like to compete, MAX, at second level dressage (again) and MAYBE Training level eventing (eek!). Maybe just Novice
Where I live, I'm surrounded by a lot of small quarter horses, paints, and mutts . Anything other than that is a "novelty", and has a price tag that proves it. Since finances are slim, and my goals aren't extremely high, do you think I'd be able to reach them on a horse that, um, isn't exactly bred for this sport? Also, I'm used to young horses. Now that more people are relying on me to take care of them, I'm thinking I ought to look into older horses with more experience. However, the older horses around here are experienced in trails and rodeo events. Say I bought something around, I dunno, 12 years old that has western riding experience. Do you think I could re-train him? Or is that too old to be asking for that big of a transition?
I feel like I sound like a child asking some of these questions. Oh well, regardless of whether or not these are stupid questions, I'm going to put it out there.
Thanks to whoever read through this