30 year old gelding still has some "go" - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-21-2011, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Virginia, USA
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30 year old gelding still has some "go"

The mare I lease is having some lameness issues so the owner of the farm told me I could ride the other available horse until my mare gets better.

I had seen Jerry in the barn and the pasture and knew everyone referred to him as a grumpy old man but a fun ride.

Jerry is a 30 year old QH gelding with a sway back who tries to bite when you tighten the girth.

But wow....what a great ride.

We started out on the trails behind the farm. Hubby leases a TWH and Jerry kept having to trot to keep up but he seemed fine so I didn't worry. The farm owner assured me that Jerry was capable of w/t/c and not to "baby" him. Jerry would let me know if he couldn't do something. When we got back to the farm, hubby took his horse for a run in the arena and Jerry followed. I had to slow him down into a lope...he wanted to gallop. I had to laugh. He still has a lot of "go" in him. I decided to run some barrels with him and he did great. My mare, who used to be a champion barrel racer, will not get up to speed with me. Jerry couldn't wait to run the pattern.

I ended our day by giving him a few treats and a nice cool shower with some thing that smelled like menthol. The farm owner gave it to me telling me it helps cool him down and also feels good on his muscles.

I have only been riding for about 3 years so I am still learning about horses but I am amazed at how much this old fella can do and how much he seems to enjoy doing it. Just have to work on the girth issue.
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post #2 of 21 Old 08-21-2011, 08:48 PM
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xD Old horses are the best.

I'm currently competed a retired international level eventing horse. He's 25 this year (we think) and I'm moving up to Prelim (3'7") in a few months with him. He can definitely still go out and show everyone how it's done.

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn."
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post #3 of 21 Old 08-22-2011, 01:05 AM
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There are lots of old horses (23-27 year old) at my barn. They all are better at jumping etc. then most of the young horses. They are sooooo calm and sweet too. One of them doestry to nip your bottom when you pick his front feet though.

Some say I don't have a life.
I smile. I have a heartbeat and hoofbeats.
So therefore I have a great life. -me
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post #4 of 21 Old 08-22-2011, 01:14 AM
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Old horses and old cats (my old cat being the best cat I have ever known).
But though Jerry had a lot of go, one has to be a bit cautious. Some horses will overdo it if you let them, so you have to excersize a bit of restraint. They don't . I am not saying you didn't BTW. The smelly stuff was some sort of liniment bath.
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-22-2011, 02:17 AM
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I love my old mare She's 22 and she still has so much 'go' left in her. We gallop through fields and jump a little. She is a TB.

"When Nature made the Thoroughbred, she made no mistake."
"when riding a horse we borrow freedom."
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post #6 of 21 Old 08-22-2011, 08:11 AM
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We have 2 32 yr old horses at our barn who are still in amazing shape! The gelding has to be lunged for a good 15 minutes to control his energy, and the mare is just as sweet as can be :)
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post #7 of 21 Old 08-22-2011, 08:13 AM
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Sounds fun! Oldies are the best! My favorite ride is my old man Hondo. He's a 29 yo stallion. He's been my favorite for 25 years, I was first allowed to start riding him when he was 4 and I was 6. My 6 year old daughter now rides him. He still has plenty of go if asked. He had an extensive show career and though he hasn't been shown in years he doesn't forget his stuff. I'm sure he'd still be in the ribbons if I hauled him now but I have plenty of others to haul and the old man has earned his retirement. I ride him a few times a week and he gives lessons to my intermediate students to teach body control, advanced (reining) maneuvers and hunt seat lessons.

I even took him down the road awhile back to pen the neighbor's bull that got loose. I can't remember the last time we had so much fun together! He looked like his grandsire Poco Dell when he was on a cow, ears flat and working, the old boy still has the moves!
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-22-2011, 09:44 AM
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Just because the head is willing doesn't mean the body is really able to deliver. Please be careful about running an oldster.
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-22-2011, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, I am definitely being cautious. When he wanted to gallop, I made sure he slowed down to a nice lope instead...and even then it wasn't an extended one. We only ran the barrels once. It was only in the mid 80's outside but the humidity was really high so I didn't want to push him. We took a slow walk back to the hitching post to make sure he cooled down.

It was funny. Jerry is one of the more "pampered" horses at the farm. He is stalled with a fan during the day to keep him out of the hot sun and turned out at night...(During the winter, he is stalled at night and turned out during the warmer days) Most horses there are out 24/7.
When I went to the barn yesterday to get him, I couldn't find him. I thought maybe someone decided to turn him out for the day and I went and asked the farm owner where he was. She told me he was in his stall. Puzzled, I went back and took a closer look. I couldn't find him because he was laying down, fast asleep and my first reaction was "OMG...He's dead. I rode him Friday night and killed him"
I said, "Jerry?"
He opened one eye and gave me a look like, "You are disturbing my nap".

I opened the stall door and he got right up...no signs of stiffness and no struggle to get upright. He was very graceful. He gave me his head to put the halter on and I led him outside to graze on the grass for a while before I tacked him up.

I had seen him playing around with two younger horses about 4 months ago, out in the field. He was bucking, running, racing. I thought the farm owner had a new horse because I had no idea a 30 year old could still move so fast and be so playful. I was shocked when someone confirmed, "No, that's Jerry".

I am grateful that I have another horse to ride while my mare recovers...I had anticipated (with a 30 year old horse) a slow, beaten down horse that wouldn't move..and what I actually have is a horse that I may need to slow down a bit. The farm owner told me when I finished our ride yesterday that Jerry looked more relaxed and happy than he had in a while. So it was good for both of us. He was her very first Western Pleasure horse years and years ago and is very dear to her heart so I know she wouldn't allow me to do anything she felt would hurt him. And I wouldn't be able to live with myself if he was hurt by something I did...so I plan on being very careful.

I am enjoying reading the posts about others that have older horses that still enjoy rides.
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-22-2011, 12:58 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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I am in the process of bringing home a 16 year old mare (ex-harness racer turned broodmare). From what her seller tells me, she is sound and healthy with plenty of “pop”. She likes to go, but without the drama that sometimes comes with a younger horse. She’s definitely not as aged as some of the other horses I’m reading about, but I was worried. I feel a lot better to read about all these 20+ year old horses that are still loping around, jumping and showing the young horses how to be.
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