We bought Big Al just one month ago. We were told he was 12 years old. Turns out he is in the high teens per our vet.
Well, I am glad we took their word on his being 12. We may have passed on the best horse in the world due to his age.
He is a been there, done that horse. Al will not surprise you, he is what he is. A solid rock. By 17 a horse is pretty much what he is going to be. We wanted a nice, calm, gentle guy with get up and go when we want it. He was used as a security horse last year at the county fair. One of the biggest fairs in the country. Parking lot patrol till 2am included.
I thank God every day for leading us to this wonderful boy. When we go out for trail rides, I know we will both come back to the barn together. We flushed out a wild turkey last evening....Al didn't care. Deer are numerous where we ride. Al does not care. And therefore, I don't anticipate being thrown by a startled horse.
I would never turn down a horse for being older. In fact, if we ever have another horse, age will be a factor. At least 15.
I hope you give the older guy due consideration....confidence is everything.