My horse was sold to me as a 13-15 year old retired polo pony. Old enough to have "been there, done that" and young enough to still have a lot of life left in her.
Imagine my suprise when my new vet came out to float her teeth a few months later and told me she was at least 23 or 24!
I was shocked...not because I now had an "old" horse, but because this horse had more get up and go than many of the young horses at the barn. She is a spitfire and doesn't look or act like she is in her 20's.
The only time I get the sense she is older is when we are having a battle of wills ( I want to continue to ride and she wants to go back to the hitching post). I can feel her tense up and get ready to throw a temper tantrum....and then she rethinks it and and realizes that bucking or rearing will only bring more trouble and it isn't worth extending the energy, and she gives a big sigh and does what I want her to do. :)