I was doing some reading on horse's backs and it seems that the shorter backed horses can carry more weight and have less back issues.
We know that the TWH has a longer back. I've been looking at horses for sale (though I'm not buying for a couple more years yet, just looking) and I'm seeing a LOT of gaited horses that are being sold at 3, 4 and 5 years old.
While this would be considered very young with other breeds, it seems to be the norm to sell the gaited horses at this age as a finished horse, ready to go, and then all golden phrases like "bombproof" or "grandma safe"
Horses this age seem to go anywhere from 5k -10k.
When I have specifically searched out gaited breeds over 10 years old, I noticed that their price drops significantly. Much more so if they are 15 years. I've seen them listed for $1000 or less.
Now this could be that my searches are just being skewed somehow that's why I wanted to ask here!
1) Would you say that a TWH or other gaited breeds have a shorter riding life? In other words, is a 10 year old gaited horse more like a 15 year old horse of another breed?
2) if so, would you say it's due to them being ridden so young? Is it due to their long backs?
3) If a person like myself wants to purchase a TWH that is 10+ years, is there any way of knowing that a horse has or is going to have back problems? Is there any way to know if a horse has been ridden too hard or started too young?
4) I just started lessons at a new barn since moving back to Virginia. My trainer gave me a wonderful compliment that resonated with me later. I told her that ultimately I want a horse for pleasure and trail only. However, I still want to understand true riding, not just hanging on. I want to know about collection, half halts, smooth transitions, riding with my seat and not my hands, etc. She said that she was impressed because most people she encounters who just want a trail horse take a lesson or two and then buy a horse. She's a trail rider herself and she said it's amazing how many trail riders are experienced, yet know so little about true riding. And how they hollow their horse's backs and it eventually hurts the horse.
So that me thinking, are TWH's or gaited/trail horses in general "worn out" faster?
Sorry for this being so rambly and long! Just wondering everyone's opinions. As always, I love learning.