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opinions on purchasing an older horse

This is a discussion on opinions on purchasing an older horse within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Purchasing older horses

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    10-29-2011, 12:18 AM
I remember when I was in fifth grade my mom bought me an 18 year old pinto gelding. Everybody laughed at her for spending 750. On an "old" horse. I rode that horse until I graduated high school and left for the navy.

My first horse show I remember doing really well, but not getting the top ribbons. My mom went and asked the judge what I could improve on, and she said I wasn't riding him to his potential - turns out he had been a campaigner on the show circuit with Register of Merits in most classes from halter to western to jumping - the judge was shocked to find out mom had got him at the local meat auction. I guess someone thought he was too old and dumped him.

I learned so much with him, won tons of classes, and he was the most kind and gentle horse a kid (or parent) could hope for. He died at 38. Rest in Peace, Hey Sugarfoote!!!

My own oldest daughter learned how to ride on a 37 year old named Bar Suds.

If the horse has been cared for and looks good, I would not hesitate to buy a 20 year old. In fact, that is about the age I will be looking for next year for my now 6 year old daughter's first horse.
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    10-29-2011, 01:05 AM
Older horses for beginner riders.

As many have said an older beginner safe horse IS worth their weight in gold.
I think one of the biggest mistakes new riders make is wanting to get a young horse that they can grow and learn with. The reality is that it often does not work out the way you hoped or dreamed that it would. A great older "been thee done that" horse will take care of YOU, his rider and that is PRICELESS.
He/she will give you the confidence to learn and grow as a rider and as a horse person. Through your relationship with this older horse you can learn to someday handle a horse that is more feisty and young.

And having has a lot of fiery young horses let me tell you a horse that you can RELAX on is a really special thing! There is nothing quite as enjoyable as a fun hack out in the country side with a willing and non-spooky horse :) I think older horses are they way to go. Horses many times live well into their 30 and sometimes even into their 40s and I know a lot of people riding 20something horses.

I would go for the older horse even with the possibility of a little more upkeep in joint supplements and special diet. Your first horse will shape your riding life in ways that you can't yet imagine and you want all those early experiences to be good ones.
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    10-29-2011, 05:41 AM
I just can't say enough about an older horse. Like I said in another thread, I'm probably too aggressive for my own good so having an older horse hold me back and say, "Easy sparky." Is good for my own well being.
    10-29-2011, 10:28 AM
I'd so go for it =) There's a 25 year ( who I currently ride at my barn) and she is so energetic and spooky you'd think she was four. There's also a 39 year old ( used for beginner lessons) and a 22 year old still going strong =) I'd suggest if she seems fit and healthy then I'd have no worries about buying her.

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