Optimum Age for Eventing
 
 

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Optimum Age for Eventing

This is a discussion on Optimum Age for Eventing within the Eventing forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Eventer retire age
  • Eventing horse best age

 
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    10-31-2013, 02:28 PM
  #1
Yearling
Optimum Age for Eventing

Hi all! So my main goal in horses is to event. I've done pre-beginner and it was loads of fun. I really want to move up levels, and my life goal is *hopefully* preliminary.

I'm wondering what age is too old for an eventer? My guy is 15 this year, and I plan to continue showing as long as he is sound. What ages have you seen eventing? I know Courageous Comet was 20-ish in the Rolex?

I'm estimating that my horse will retire at 17/18/19 hopefully at novice or training level. (My old trainer said he has the potential for training level, but I'd be happy with anyhing)

So here's my idea. I want to get a younger horse to train in the final years of his showing, so when he is retired I can compete on the younger one. I have permission from my mom to train her 4 almost 5 yr old paint gelding for eventing, which I personally think he has lower level potential. But his personality doesn't really scream "this is my thing!". I've lunged him over cross rails and free jumped him once, and he is wiling to jump, he just doesn't have heart for it. (Or he hasn't shown it)

An alternate idea is once I sell my project horse (for hopefully 500-1000$) I will try to get a deal with my parents to help finance an OTTB. I believe I am able to be part of the training process of an OTTB. There is actually 2 barns near me that specialize in retraining.
     
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    11-05-2013, 10:15 AM
  #2
Weanling
Most riders will tell you it all depends on your horse, their upkeep through life, and their soundness. If the horse can do it physically and mentally wants to, keep going.

I am in the same position. I have a 14 year old Hano X who is starting Training Level, I don't know if he has the scope for much more. We may hang out here till he's settled enough mentally to pack someone else around the lower level.

I would lean toward an OTTB as an event horse. Not saying the Paint can't do it, but OTTBs just have a wonderful natural gallop. Perhaps start lessoning/schooling on some OTTBs so you can get a feel for their run and jump style. You have some time. Start building connections and getting the experience you will need to be successful now and with a future horse.
     
    11-05-2013, 11:23 PM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by MudPaint    
Most riders will tell you it all depends on your horse, their upkeep through life, and their soundness. If the horse can do it physically and mentally wants to, keep going.

I am in the same position. I have a 14 year old Hano X who is starting Training Level, I don't know if he has the scope for much more. We may hang out here till he's settled enough mentally to pack someone else around the lower level.

I would lean toward an OTTB as an event horse. Not saying the Paint can't do it, but OTTBs just have a wonderful natural gallop. Perhaps start lessoning/schooling on some OTTBs so you can get a feel for their run and jump style. You have some time. Start building connections and getting the experience you will need to be successful now and with a future horse.

It really sucks how horses age so fast I'm going to keep my horse going until he tells me some way shape or form that he wants to be done. He still acts like a spunky young horse, so I think he still has time. I just want to be prepared. Luckily he hasn't been unsound a single say since I've had him.

I think I might just use the paint for now just to broaden my training ability for eventing. My stepdad has a beautiful 16h Quarter horse built so beautiful, I would die to train him for eventing. His trot screams dressage. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky.

I'm going to start hopefully taking lessons at one of the barns. There is only so much I can learn myself. I personally love how much heart OTTB's have, and all of their athleticism. I hope in the next few years I will be able to get one.
     
    11-06-2013, 02:06 AM
  #4
Green Broke
I have an Ottb now who will eventually become my eventer, owned him 10 months now and he only just had his first look at a XC course on Sunday.
He's rising 9 and I'm not going to push him into it, he loved the XC course but he gets very forward.

I probably won't compete on him till late next year just depending in how he is going, I've known people that get horses off the track and event them the next weekend or something silly. Don't really see those horses go up the grades though.

I'm hoping with my boy he can take me all the way up the grades just have to get him going nicely and calmly over jumps, he may be 15 by the time where there, but he will love every second of it :)
     
    01-22-2014, 12:14 PM
  #5
Foal
I think your horse will tell you when he's done. A friend of mine has a 24 year old OTTB who can still compete and shows no signs of slowing down, but her other OTTB decided he was done at 21 when he started refusing and acting up during any kind of jump school.

OTTB's are awesome for eventing, if they like it! I like that you're already seeing that the paint horse may not think that jumping is his cup of tea. I will say though, some OTTB's are the same way. But don't give up hope- I have a 5 year old who I am just beginning to jump with- when I lunged him over crossrails as a 3 and 4 year old, he didn't seem to have the scope or heart for it. Now that he is getting good at dressage (ready to show USDF training level, beginning to school first level) he can hold himself up, use his hind end, and seems to have much more jump and spirit about it than I originally thought!

In any case, I think an OTTB is a fantastic future choice, not only for their athleticism but for how much they will give for their person. Though I am a little biased. ;)
     
    01-23-2014, 06:31 AM
  #6
Yearling
A 26 year old horse took me to my first preliminary event, so don't necessarily let age be the sole factor of your horse's retirement. An older horse may need some extra TLC and a good joint supplement but if they enjoy having a job (and most do) they tend to stay a little sounder with continued work. Obviously, listen to your horse and let him tell you when he's had enough.

As for your other little dilemma; don't discount the paint quite yet. If he's god decent conformation he could still make a cute little eventer. I though my OTTB didn't really like jumping when I got her last year, but it was more that she just didn't quite understand what I wanted. Now that she gets it and is stronger she enjoys it a whole lot more. Keep in mind that OTTBs are not a blank slate and some can have some really odd quirks that are difficult to work through.

If you do go the OTTB route make sure you take someone with you to find the right prospect. I've seen a lot of people pass up really nice horses coming off the track simply because they didn't know how to see past the track-fit look of a horse to what it would look like with more weight and correct muscling. Also make sure you budget for at least a basic PPE, even if it's just flexions and bloodwork. Take your time when shopping around if you can and be aware that some OTTBs need downtime and some really don't at all. My mare was the "don't need any downtime" type. She thrived on having a new job and while she did end up having a couple of weeks of just groundwork so I could get her feet sorted out, there was never a time when she wasn't doing something. I've also known OTTBs that took 6 months+ of just being groomed then chucked back in a field before they seemed ready for their new job. It's always a process. My mare has been off the track for almost a year and was in and out of work for the first 4-5 months. Since mid-September she's been worked consistently and in that time she's done her first reconized show, half a dozen cross country schoolings, a Buck Davidson clinic, and she's ready to go novice this spring with eyes on training level in the fall.
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