Would you buy an older horse?
 
 

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Would you buy an older horse?

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  • I am starting dressage at 55. What levels can I hope to attain?
  • Would you buy senior dressage horse

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    07-04-2013, 04:50 AM
  #1
Banned
Would you buy an older horse?

Basically this is not my first horse. I can ride and know all about ownership. What I don't know is the first thing about starting dressage. These two quarter horses just came up for sale near me. The mare is a pushbutton dressage horse. She's on senior feed for weight gain but is otherwise completely healthy and sound. Was successful as a dressage horse and is trained up to 2 foot at least in jumping but dressage is where she shines. The gelding is also trained in dressage but he really shines as a jumper. He is completely healthy and sound without any special feed or supplements. They're at 2000 for the pair with all their equipment (3 saddles, bridles, jumps, grooming supplies, etc.)

I had pretty much sold myself on the pair as long as they're going to be capable of low level showing (to teach me) but then my dream horse popped up yesterday. Hes 500 because hes greener than grass and a rescue situation and my heart is telling me we can pull it off with a trainer but my head is telling me the goldies.
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    07-04-2013, 05:58 AM
  #2
Yearling
How old is 'older?
Can you afford to have 2 horses, let alone older ones that need extra care?
Why are they selling them? I've learned to be suspicious of deals that come with everything but the kitchen sink.

As for the green horse, can you afford a trainer to teach him and you how to do dressage?
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    07-04-2013, 06:04 AM
  #3
Yearling
It all depends...what are your goals? When you say older, what age are you talking....20+? 10+? Let me give a scenario here as I am in the hunt for a dressage potential myself. I am a 30+ year hunter/jumper rider whose nerves caught up with her age; I rarely, if ever, jump anymore, but, I have found a love in dressage. As such, I am looking for a fourth level potential. Now, from the knowledge that I have I have two ranges of horses. If a horse has a good base but is not necessarily showing at the lower levels, I want a younger horse; around 6 or so. If the horse has some higher training, let's say, showing at least First Level but pretty solid in schooling second level movements, I'll go as old as 12. The reasoning is that it take time to develop the skills/muscle etc. A 12 yr old with only basic dressage training is not going to make a fourth level potential prior to their 20s and then you are looking at age issues interfering. Horses with some mileage, as my trainer puts it, can be excellent teachers. For dressage purposes, and my own situation, while the horse may have the training and show background at say, First Level, "I" am not ready for first level as yet just due to needing time under dressage work vice hunter/jumper for position etc, but would have a horse who can do the movements and TEACH me how to work first level. By that time I would have the experience necessary to move the horse up the levels and we grow as a team. I can handle a young horse but the question is, do I want to take that extra time...in this case the answer is no. I just don't have the time to train, literally, from the bottom up with a horse that has no base.
     
    07-04-2013, 06:07 AM
  #4
Banned
Older is around twenty. 18-21. We can afford the two, but we actually have family friends that are lookinng to take on a retiree for the grandkids every so often, so the plan was to see which I really clicked with and retire the other to the easy life with them. They're being sold due to a divorce and no farm now and the favt that the girls who showed them are in college.

And I can afford the dressage trainer (I actually would go with an eventing trainer as eventing is my long term goal). The plus to the greenie is hes young and has the potential to carry me into the eventing ring where as the oldies- even if fit to show- probably won't be able to take on a XC course. I won't be needing a new horse any time soon if I go for him.
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    07-04-2013, 06:13 AM
  #5
Banned
The greenie is 5 and a restarted OTTB. 15.3 hands and built more warmblood like. Hes cheaper but they're being very picky about the new home. 16 starts and 100% sound. Just not fast enough (1 first and has otherwise never placed). He has the biggest kindest eye Ive seen on a horse in a long time and even if not perfectly conformed is more than suitable for where I want to take him now.
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    07-04-2013, 06:55 AM
  #6
Yearling
If the TB is sane I would look to him first prior to the older horses since you have the riding ability to handle him. A strong word of caution. While TBreds may retire "sound," they can have hidden issues. My recommendation is to get a full set of x-rays. My OTTB was also sound, passed the PPE with flying colors and then after an exam for a mild lameness issue a few months later, found out he had navicular changes and that at some point the navicular bone had actually been chipped..old injury. Also get a blood panel and check for any sedating influences or pain meds...a recent PPE for a horse a friend of mine was looking at, where she always got a blood panel, showed Ace and Bute in the horse's system on a horse advertised as dead quiet and 100% sound; subsequent x-rays insisted upon by the owner who screamed bloody murder that the horse was sound and not drugged showed arthritis and navicular.
     
    07-04-2013, 07:15 AM
  #7
Banned
He seems very sane and level headed on the ground without being a deadhead. In all his photos hes alert and paying attention to his handler. Im actually kind of glad you said that because I think Im really going to regret it if I let this boy slip by, but I keep talking myself out it. Then he draws me back. There's something about him that reminds me about my first horse. I might have to make that call and get him PPE-ed
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    07-04-2013, 08:18 AM
  #8
Started
You looked him in the eye and got hooked I see!
     
    07-10-2013, 12:25 PM
  #9
Weanling
W4e need more information to make a decision
Dressage horses (18-20 yo) -
What Level are they trained to?
What level were they shown at? What were their scores?
Were these shows USDF/USAE shows or local shows? (Note local (aka schooling) show scores are USUALLY better than the offical (USDF/USAE) shows.
How long ago were they shown?
Are they still being ridden regularly?

If not being ridden regularly at that age you'll encounter issues trying to bring them back into shape. Also - although they are trained their age will probably limit the level they are likely to attain (the older they are the harder it is to carry weight on their butts - which is what you need to do well at second level and above).

OK - just noticed you want to event - so do NOT buy 20 year old horses for eventing.
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    07-10-2013, 02:32 PM
  #10
Started
Older horses are great for learning, but not if you want to move up, and they are already pretty much topped out where they are now. If you really want to eventually start doing eventing, I wouldn't get the older guys as nice as they may be, and as good at dressage as they may be, because you won't be able to get far at all in eventing. That being said, I did do no higher than 2'3" at the highest with my dads 35 year old gelding, and he was perfectly fine. He sucked at dressage though lol. So an older horse can potentially do low stuff, but is it worth it if you really want to move up, personally not in my mind. You sound like you've got the knowledge and experience plus the complete willingness to get a trainer, and have in fact looked for a trainer, so I'd got with the TB, or some other similar horse. Definitely do a full PPE though, just to make sure you catch any hidden problems. Good luck! And pictures, we wanna see pictures of the TB!
     

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