Buying an older horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-25-2010, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Buying an older horse?

As most of you know, the Rickster is for sale due to me switching disciplines and just not having the patience, commitment and time to deal with a young pony. What I'm really looking for is a nice experience horse that doesn't mind if I only ride once or twice a week. A horse that I can take out to a show no worries and still perform well. I am not looking for a plodder, I'm looking I guess you could say for a schoolmaster. I'm getting back into english riding and yeeh.

So I've seen a lot of older horses (15-20) and I was wondering would it be a good decision to buy one? I don't want to buy a horse and then have it drop deap on me in 2 years or for it to go permanently lame. These horses are going cheap ($1000 to $5000) for experienced papered show horses. I'm wary of buying a senior horse but then again it does seem like a great oppuntunity to have a good horse at a bargain price.

So has anyone bought an older horse and competed? Did anyone buy an older horse and have any regrets? Any problems?
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-26-2010, 12:15 AM
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When I still rode western the first horse I bought was a 19 year old mare. I wouldn't recommend going that old, but a 14-15 year old can still definitely be in their prime and have many good years left in them! A friend of mine rode an 18 year old training level eventing until he was about 20, and he still could've been shown longer. It's a matter of keeping them fit and in shape for it, really. Older horses take a little bit more care sometimes, but from what it sounds like it would definitely be worth it for you.

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn."
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-26-2010, 02:23 AM
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I personally think those older horses have a lot to offer. My daughter has a 25 year old horse. She is a trail horse, not a show horse...but I think the idea is the same. She is a seasoned trail horse, so she knows what she is doing. She is more spunky than my 12 year old horse. I do think, however, that when buying an older horse, a thorough vet exam before you buy is especially important. As long as you get a green light from the vet after the initial exam, I wouldn't pass up a good horse for fear that they will drop dead or go lame. That can happen at any age. You may even find that the older horse you decide to purchase can teach YOU a thing or two . If you watch my daughters horse, you will forget how old she is. I'm no expert...that's just my opinion.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-26-2010, 11:04 AM
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Good on you for being realistic about the type of horse you are after, not many people seem to be able to do that!

Twelve years ago I sold my first horse (19 at the time) to a young rider for $1000. He had done pony club, been shown, jumped, was reliable on trails and very easy to float, shoe, clip etc and was the perfect horse for her at the time. Four years later she sold him to another person who just wanted a leisure horse and she got $1000 for him as well. Last I heard he is still in good health and being ridden occasionally, at age 31!

There should be plenty of horses between the age of 12 and 20 that wouldn't require frequent work and won't cost the world (i.e. $2000 and under). Just make sure they are in good health and it helps if you buy one that hasn't had too many different homes as you will be able to get a lot more information about their history.

Often the best horses for this type of thing are some of the mixed breeds like QH crosses, Arab crosses, welshie/coonemarra crosses etc.

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-26-2010, 11:22 AM
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If you want to compete, I would go for a 12-15 year old horse, but that's just me. It also depends on what you want to do with the horse and how demanding his workload would be. Then again, it also depends on the individual horse you're looking at and how the horse has been maintained. A friend of mine has a horse that she jumped small cross rails on until he was about 27. The only reason she stopped jumping him was because he had a bad fall on the ice two winters ago and can only do light riding now. I think if you found a 20 year old horse that was in really good shape, you could have him for a good long time.

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What a man can be, he must be.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-27-2010, 09:29 PM
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any more 20 isnt very old. horses age different and 25 might be old for some....others maybe in the 30s
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-27-2010, 09:40 PM
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I have a gelding going on 23 or something, and boy, does he still have a lot left in him! I would definitely reccomend an older, more experienced horse if you're looking to learn some more without having to teach a horse.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-29-2010, 08:47 PM
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A horse is as only as old as he acts. Older horses are pure gold as they are usaullsy expierenced and calm.

Live to ride. Ride to live.
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