How much longer can this horse ride???

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How much longer can this horse ride???

This is a discussion on How much longer can this horse ride??? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    12-05-2010, 09:39 AM
How much longer can this horse ride???

I have a 19 year old horse in perfect health, how much longer can I ride her?
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    12-05-2010, 10:01 AM
Until she says otherwise. There is no cut and dry answer. As long as she's happy, willing to work and comfortable, keep on going.
    12-05-2010, 10:11 AM
I have known many horses being competitive even into their late 20ties. When your horse starts to slow down, or not be able to keep up with your riding, you might need to just decrease the workout amount. It is very good though to keep an old horse exercised. So don't give up on your horse when it can't keep up to what you want it to do! Good luck! I hope you still have many good years left with your horse
    12-05-2010, 10:20 AM
Green Broke
I have a friend who retired her 28 yr old half arabian mare from her lesson program, only because she was getting cranky, lol. She was still very sound and healthy, still kicking at 30 now, she was just tired of toting kids around the arena .

Just pay attention to your horse. If you notice stiffness, joints creaking/cracking, reluctance in being caught and/or saddled, then you should have your vet out to check for arthritis or other possible causes. Working an arthritic horse is usually good for them, you just have to have a longer/slower warm-up and cool down, and follow your vet's advise on supplements, medications, or injections. Stall time is bad for arthritic horses. The more time standing still, the stiffer the joints get.
    12-05-2010, 10:31 AM
I'm still riding my 23 year old quarter horse, trail riding, walk,trot, canter, gallop.
She is lively and does not act her age at all.
Some pictures

    12-05-2010, 11:15 AM
I am about to repurchase a horse I had owned 15 years ago, the moment I sold him all those years ago I wished I hadn't, now he's 18 and I am a little nervous about his age, but I know of many horses riding very well as old as 25.. depends on the horse and care. Now this boy hasn't been worked very much in quite some time, but I think if brought back slowly he will do just fine.... so ride on girl, your horse will let you know when she has had enough.....
    12-05-2010, 11:27 AM
My old gelding is in his mid 30's and we still go for short rides, and he would go for longer, but I have 2 younger horses to ride now so I don't like to do too much with him
    12-05-2010, 12:00 PM
Super Moderator
My mare is 25 and we regularly go for 2-3 hour long trail rides (w/t/c, she has no issue with galloping either) and by the end of them she generally still wants more! I do take her age into consideration though, I never let her get really tired from a ride and I make sure to warm her up and cool her out extra thoroughly.

She'll let you know when she can't handle it anymore. I'd bet that you have atleast 3-4 more years of good riding with her, but it all depends on how she's aging. Some horses age a lot faster than other. But don't be afraid to ride her, she will let you know when she can't handle it.
    12-05-2010, 01:57 PM
Both of my riding horses are 16 and 17. While I would like for them to be younger, I am still taking them on 2-5 hour rides regularly. They both seem to be in great health. The 16 yr. Old just had a baby (not my doing, but I am happy to have him!).

So basically, ride them as long as you can, and just be mindful of their age if they start having issues. But right now, at 16 and 17 I am not even mindful of their age, because they seem absolutely fine.

I have had horses rideable until they died (of colic) at ages 24 and 26.

Even my vet says to keep riding them, even the ones in their mid 20's, because when you quit riding them is when they loose muscle ton and their health deteriorates. I only had one horse I had to quit riding for a few years before he died. I put him down at age 32 because several years before he had slipped and injured his back. So he wasn't rideable after that, and his arthritis issues steadily got worse, so I finally decided it was time to let him go. But short of that, if they are healthy, then exercise is good for them. If they start getting arthritis issues, then you will know it is time to start taking it easier on them.
    12-05-2010, 02:38 PM
I know of a Quarab that's 25 years old. He gets ridden for probably a few hours every day in the summer. He's the fastest and hottest horse I know. The vet said he probably wasn't slowing down any time soon and was going to live for a considerable number of years.

At the same time, I know a little mare who doesn't get ridden much anymore and is basically retired. She's 27, but she definitely has the "grumpy old lady" persona.

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