opinions on purchasing an older horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-28-2011, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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opinions on purchasing an older horse

I am looking for a nice quiet beginner safe horse and found one that sounds perfect only problem is she is 20 years old. Very sound and healthy but i am concerned of buying a horse at that age. What is your opinion on this?
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-28-2011, 12:24 PM
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If she is fit and healthy, and passes a vet check, and if you are OK with the potential that she may only be useable for a few more years, then I say go for it...but I likely wouldn't spend a whole lot of money on a horse that age. Best case scenario, though, she could be rideable for another 10-15 years, at least for light work. Rather unlikely, but certainly possible. At her age, she may require additional maintenance like joint supplements, extra feed, more thorough dental exams, etc. Definitely get a pre-purchase exam, but if she checks out, and is the right horse for you, I say go for it!
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-28-2011, 12:31 PM
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My mount at my trainer's place last year was exactly 20 yo (private horse owned by one of her borders). Let me tell you - you'd never tell she's 20, never. She was like that energizer bunny: kept going, and going, and going. I know she's used in private lessons now too (most probably will be my mount again in winter).

As long as horse is healthy and sound it can give you many more years at this age. My neighbor's horse is 25 and still going strong.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves."

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-28-2011, 12:35 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

A beginner safe horse at any age is worth their weight in gold. An otherwise healthy 20 year old can give you many years of enjoyment and an education as well. As was mentioned, the older horse may need additional care over the next part of his life but may be well worth it. I certainly wouldn't turn one down if I was looking for a good horse for someone new.

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post #5 of 14 Old 10-28-2011, 12:45 PM
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I just bought a 19 year old safe beginner friendly horse. I agree they are worth their weight in gold. My guy didnt even pass the flexion test of his pre-purchase exam, but hes never been lame, and he rides great most of the time. He is a sweet, mild mannered guy and I dont think theres anything better than knowing you have a safe horse.
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-28-2011, 12:47 PM
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I have been riding my bosses 20+ yr old ottb, and she has a tw that is 20+, both in excellent condition. He last horse lived into his low 40's! Depending on how she ages as to how long she will be ridable, but maybe she can get you more comfortable so you can "upgrade" later.
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-28-2011, 01:20 PM
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this is my opinion i put it into pros and cons
pros
1.they are the best teachers! most have seen and done alot in there life and now what there suppose to do without evening be told by the handler on the ground.
2. since they are older you have to know different things about nutrition. which gives you a plus when you get a younger horse to do different disciplines.
3. will help grow your confidence. you can be the most confident person in the world but if someone were to tell me when they got there first horse they weren't nervous. i would call a big bs :) its scary and an older horse can overcome that
4. i think it said you were a beginner... well older horses can teach you how to ride even if you have no idea what you are doing. they know and as long as your not pulling on there mouth they will figure it out.
5. you can get many more years out of that 20yo if you take the time to understand her needs. she can stay sound until the day she dies withthe right care

cons
1. she is older and without proper care she wont last as a riding body
2. well i don't have another con

personally as you see i would go for the older horse. learn some tricks and when you think its time to retire her or move on to a younger horse for other things then do so. but don't worry about how many years you can ride her. the better care you take of her the longer she will/can last as a great mount
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-28-2011, 01:33 PM
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I'm taking a 20 year old eventing next year. For the moment he is perfect for me. Just don't get too attached if this is something you want to keep up.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-28-2011, 02:03 PM
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When i got my boy Blue the vet said he was 20-25, He is retired now because I have trouble keeping weight on him, but he is still perfectly sound and rideable. He's the best horse I've ever owned!
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-28-2011, 02:22 PM
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Welcome to the forum!

My sweet Bell just turned 18 & takes such good care of beginners! I have only had her 4 years & plan to have her til it's time to put her in the ground. As a matter of fact, my dad has tried to get me to sell her while I can still make some money off her, but I refuse. She's my go-to girl for young, nervous or beginner riders because I know she is smart & willing, plus calm & forgiving, while at the same time, has enough energy.

My farrier says she has such an easy life & I take good enough care of her nutrition & feet she should live well into her 30s and be rideable for a long time still.

I'm a HUGE proponant of older horses for beginner riders.

For yours, try to discern what kind of previous life she has had. Was she used for eventing, heavy showing, reining, rodeos, etc? If so, 20 is a lot older than a sometimes-used mostly pet. A PPE is a really good idea, and make sure you're getting a fair price on a senior animal. It should be nowhere near the price of a comparable 10 year old. At the same time, remember that there are lots and lots of horses out there & if this isn't your horse, you will find a good match if you're patient. Make sure she has the qualities you're looking for, as well as the ability to do what you'd like to do. A horse that's been used for lazy trail rides probably won't make a great reining champ at this stage in life. A horse that has never been in a trailer or spent time around other horses may not adapt well to a heavy show circuit.

As others have said, be prepared for more expense and time in vet, feed & possibly farrier care.

Let us know what you decide & post pics of your new best friend, whoever that may be!
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