How old is too old (horse age)?
 
 

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How old is too old (horse age)?

This is a discussion on How old is too old (horse age)? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • At what age is a horse to old to ride
  • Is a 15 year old horse old

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    03-31-2012, 06:19 AM
  #1
Green Broke
How old is too old (horse age)?

Hey, so I'm vaguely keeping my eye out on horses (i'm not LOOKING but I'm not "not looking") to buy but I am not sure about age.

In the past I was into competition but I don't really want to do that anymore, so I am more looking for a low level all-rounder and pleasure horse.

Anyway my plan had been 15-16hh and between 6-10 years old, broken and quiet but not necessarily educated (can't be TB). Although I've seen a 12 year old QH that is good price and seems alright, but do you think that is too old? It is a bit "aged".

It's older than I've ever considered before but I was talking to my mum, and it could save me a fair bit of money if I buy a slightly older horse, and I'll hopefully still get 7-10 years of good riding before I look at retiring it. It would be harder to resell if I had to but not impossible, right?
     
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    03-31-2012, 06:45 AM
  #2
Trained
If you're looking for an experienced, seasoned horse, 12 is a very good age since you should have plenty of riding years left. Although folks tend to want horses under 10, I know a whole crowd of people who want that seasoning and won't look at anything under 10 years old. I still get offers for our 18 yr old finished, seasoned penner from people who want to just be able to go out and ride without having each ride turn into a training exercise for one thing or another.
BTW, old horse folks around here say that a horse doesn't get a brain until it is 10 years old....
     
    03-31-2012, 09:31 AM
  #3
Yearling
I would say it depends upon the horse. Some are done by 15 while others are still competing into their 20s. We have a mare at our barn that is 28 and while being kept only at the trot these days, still goes out on the trail almost daily. This same mare was still jumping lower fences, about 2'6, into her early 20s.

If you are not looking at competing, or only will do so on occasion, 12 is a good age. As was pointed out the horse has miles under his hooves and tends ot lack that young horse silliness..though even older horses are no guarantee in that line. And hey, don't cross ye old thoroughbreds off the list :)...they can be just as settled as ye old quarterhorses.

I went younger with my new horse, 6 at purchase a few months back turned 7 in early March, just becasue of what I wanted to do and an older horse at 10+ would have seriously cut into the long term goals. Fortunately he is a level headed thoroughbred who wasn't raced into oblivion.
     
    03-31-2012, 09:32 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Well if 12 is old my girl must be ancient. I just adopted an untrained 18 year old and once she's ready I plan on having a good 10 years of riding with her given her health stays good.

You do realize the majority of horses can easily live into their 30s if properly taken care of. And age doesn't mean anything when figuring how long you can ride them as anything can happen.
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    03-31-2012, 09:50 AM
  #5
Green Broke
Honestly, for a lot of horses 12 is the prime of their life.
     
    03-31-2012, 10:02 AM
  #6
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares    
If you're looking for an experienced, seasoned horse, 12 is a very good age since you should have plenty of riding years left. Although folks tend to want horses under 10, I know a whole crowd of people who want that seasoning and won't look at anything under 10 years old. I still get offers for our 18 yr old finished, seasoned penner from people who want to just be able to go out and ride without having each ride turn into a training exercise for one thing or another.
BTW, old horse folks around here say that a horse doesn't get a brain until it is 10 years old....
I completely agree! I know more people who look for horses aged 10-15 than any other age group. 12 isn't even remotely old. I'm still riding our 30 year old stallion on a regular basis, also have 3 mares that are 25, 23, & 20 that are all still going strong and any of them could go back in the show pen tomorrow with zero health concerns. None of them have a single health issue. My 25 & 23 yo mares are like your penner PHM, the older a finished reiner and the younger a WP mare, I couldn't even count the number of times I've been approached with offers for them. Of course the answer is always no thanks, not for sale, never will be.
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    03-31-2012, 10:09 AM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares    
BTW, old horse folks around here say that a horse doesn't get a brain until it is 10 years old....
haha, I think my horse missed the memo, he's 15 and still doesn't have much of a brain...
     
    03-31-2012, 10:13 AM
  #8
Green Broke
Agreeing that 12 is perfect age.

One of my mares is 19 and keeps getting better and better! We are moving up levels in eventing and she has never been in better shape; I don't even have her on any supplements/grain. If they are taken care of well, they should live into their 30's.
     
    03-31-2012, 10:15 AM
  #9
Started
My daughter's new horse is 13 one of the first horses I bought to tote he around was 24. Money very well spent :)
     
    03-31-2012, 10:35 AM
  #10
Yearling
When I went shopping for a horse in 1995 I was looking at 5 to 8 year olds. My plan was to find "the right horse" and we'd be each other's for many years. I found my then 8 year old mare and we have been each other's for 17 years now. If I got a say 16 y/o after 17 years that horse would be a 33 y/o if it lived that long. My now 25 y/o mare is still very healthy and looks very good for her age and can still frolick like a 3 y/o at times. Never would I have considered selling her at any point in those 17 years and especially not now.

I did add another two horses who were both 13 y/o geldings. The first gelding I bought was true sweet heart and a very good horse for my oldest granddaughter to handle and ride. A long came an opportunity to do an even trade with a friend who had bought a horse that was to much horse for her first horse. Through the *grapevine* I later found out that horse I had traded died of Liver failure. Then the horse I got went totally blind at 18 years of age. He lived with us another 3 years and did very well with his blindness. When he was 21 he injured himself very badly and we had our Vet put him down.
     

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