So as the title says, im always putting the cart before the horse so to speak. I can't get any horse right now, but that doesnt stop me from looking and I of coarse have found a horse I think would be a PERFECT for me. Completly finished barrel horse, was a high school rodeo horse and a NPRA pickup horse, he's even the height and color I want. He is that confidence builder horse, the owner is older, and she always feels completly safe on him and that's what I want again, I miss my old gelding that I just felt completley safe on no matter what. And this is the kind of horse I need, I had a horse on trial a while back that REALLY shook my confidence so I need that horse that is going to give me back me confidence. I also know that when you are just starting out in barrels, you need to have that completly finished barrel horse to learn on, which is what I need. This horse fits all of this, BUT he is 18 years old. The horse doesnt require any maintenance (he is on a joint supplement but I would even put a young barrel horse on a preventitive joint supplement) she rides the horse at jackpots, all day long playdays doing all the events, keeps him in shape by trail riding and doing lots of long trotting and he is never sore or ouchy, before during or after the ride or the next day. I would assume this horse has arthritis somewhere, I mean he's 18 yrs old been a pickup horse and a high school rodeo horse for 10 years of his life, but if he does he sure doesnt show any signs. Owner swears he is sound sound sound. The owner thinks he could easily keep competivly barrel racing till he was 25yr. I have seen videos of this horse in action and he doesnt look or act 18yr AT ALL!! Its just, 18 years old! I mean when I was ready to move on I don't know what I would do with him. I of corse would want to keep him and let him live out the rest of his days with me, but I know that life can and does through you curve balls and what if for whatever reason I had to sell him. I would have to give him away, which would worry my sick because I know what ends up happening to alot of free horses. Im stuck between a rock and a hard place! I don't even know why im talking about this since I can't even get him, like I said my curiosity just getting the best of me. Kinda wondering what you guys would do, im ALWAYS looking for others opinions, even if it is just a hypothetical scenario. Sorry if this seems just like a bunch of random thoughts mushed together, just trying to type out what im thinking.
18 is not old! Our lead mare is 17, a penner, is just as quick and nimble as she was 10 years ago, and I expect to get many more good years from her. I wouldn't pass by an 18 year old horse that is athletic and healthy, especially when you consider the experience the horse has.
Thank you for your response. To me 18 is old, I think mainly because my last two horses were 7yr and 6yr. But the best and most fun riding I have had was on my friends 18yr old arab gelding a looong time ago and on my first horse that was at least 20yr. Best riding years of my life (so far) was with those two geldings..... hmmmm something new for me to think about.
I'll second the 18 isn't old! My old man is 29 and thinks he's a 2 yo most days! He had a long show career and even after semi-retirement to the breeding shed he has been ridden consistently and kept fit his whole life, I'd still take him on an all day trail ride and be certain he could do it just fine. I also have 24 & 23 yo QH mares, same kind of deal. I just this week bought a 19 yo Hanoverian mare to use as a lesson horse (and for fun for me).
I'm always checking out horses for sale...trailers for sale...even when I'm not really in the market to buy. You just never know right?
Sorry about the book, I didnt even think to break it up, dumb dumb me. Thank you everyone for your responses. If I owned my own place I wouldnt hesitate to buy him. But I don't and I would have to board him and when I was ready to move onto a new horse I would have to board that horse also and im not sure I could afford both. Just a guess though, since I don't know where I will be at in 3 to 5 years.
So my other thought was to buy myself a weanling or yearling, and take barrel lessons until the colt was ready to start its barrel racing carrer (i wouldnt send the colt to be broke tell his was 3yr and then I wouldnt start him on barrels till was 4yr). Just another thought
Well because there is no way you are going to get him I wouldn't worry about it.
18 isn't necessarily old, of course it depends on the horse, I've seen horse with age - related problems at this age, and I've seen very competitive and healthy horses. I think one of the biggest problem with an 18 year old is basically what you said - it can be hard to move them on. You might be able to sell a really good 18 year old, but a really good 20 year old, I don't think so. Its that age that people would just say "nup". So unless you are planning on keeping him for the rest of his life you have to be aware that you may not be able to move him on in the future unless you don't really care where he goes.
You could have 5 more good years with him, maybe more, but maybe less. And eventually older horses start costing a lot to maintain their health and their comfort.
Personally, I wouldn't buy a horse over 10. To others starting out 12-14 would be my recommended maximum. If I were a situation were I could keep a horse easily, I would keep a horse I got when they were young until they die, with all the costs and work associated with it, but I wouldn't just buy a random already aged horse knowing that while I may get a little good out of him, eventually there are likely to be years of hard work and money to maintain him.
If you don't feel confident then don't get a young horse. You should be able to get a nice, safe 10 year old that you have many years with and can build up your confidence. I've been losing my confidence steadily over the years because I keep getting young horses, now I'm at the stage where its not so good. Unless you are really confident then skip the young horse until you are. If you don't know where are you are going to be in 3-5 years then why would you get a young horse? If you can't even guess where you are going to be then get something you can use now and that gives you options in the future. After 3 years of upkeep a weanling costs just as much as a 4 year old you could buy now.
Well see I need a finished barrel horse and a finished barrel horse under the age of 10yr im looking at ALOT of money. That's why I thought I would go with taking lessons and then have a young prospect on the side. I enjoy working with the weanlings an yearlings, I think its alot of fun...... sometimes frustrating. Once the colt was ready to break I would send him off for 120 days of training. I don't know, guess I will cross that bridge when I get there.