Imput on starting older horses? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 Old 12-04-2013, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2
• Horses: 2
Imput on starting older horses?

I am looking into purchasing a 5 year old Quarter horse gelding. But my only concern that he is not broke. He was abandoned by his owner and dropped off an his current owners house. They don't know much about him besides his age. He is super good minded and calm and he is halter broke. I have started many younger horses, but nothing over 3. Anyone have an imput or stories of their own on a similar experience? Thanks!
CallieJames77 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 13 Old 12-04-2013, 08:23 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 170
• Horses: 2
We're currently working to start a ten-year old stubborn, occasionally pig-headed, dominant paint gelding. It's been a challenge because, unlike younger horses, he has had time to develop some nasty habits with the previous owner. But, needless to say, it's coming along well! As long as you have patience, I don't think it should be too much of an issue - especially if this guy has a good, calm mind! (We didn't get the luxury, haha!)

This will be the first horse I've started - with the help of a trainer - so, if you're experienced, I say go for it.(;

sing out, sing out !
( things are only getting better )
SeemsLegit is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 12-04-2013, 08:26 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
Posts: 7,157
• Horses: 2
5 isn't old at all, and IMO its the perfect age to start a horse because they are at or are near mental maturity and can handle it much better than a 2 or 3 year old. I'd start him like any other horse- plenty of groundwork to make sure he respects you.

Everyone in your life is meant to
be in your journey, but not all of
them are meant to stay till the end.
Endiku is offline  
post #4 of 13 Old 12-04-2013, 08:29 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 749
• Horses: 0
It's basically the same as starting a youngster but better . I honestly prefer starting older horses. Most recently I pretty much started a 6 year old mare a few months ago, she had been ridden but never started. She was just so quiet she let her previous owners children hop on without doing anything wrong. Before that, big memorable ones were a previously neglect case 12 year old mare, a dangerously aggressive 12 year old gelding ( i'm talking charging, biting to the point of stitches then when the guy went down rearing, stomping and breaking ribs dangerous), a just gelded 16 year old who was only just barley halter broke and the list goes on.

If the horse has had any decent handling they're pretty fun to start. You don't have the worry of growing bodies, you've usually got a better attention span, even though they're upstarted they've usually seen more, you don't have to redo anybody elses training etc. The only downfall for myself is the resale, people assume they've had more time under saddle than they do.

I've heard plenty people say it's more difficult and I call bull. If you go through all of your groundwork the same it's no different than starting a three year old.
loosie likes this.
BreakableRider is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 12-05-2013, 09:08 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 13,394
• Horses: 0
The difference between starting an older horse(I was assuming mid teens from subject line, rather than one that's not even fully mature ) is their previous experiences may mean you also have to 'untrain' some behaviours or attitudes. Younger horses can of course also learn inadvertent 'wrong' lessons too tho. So it could be easier to start with an unhandled 15yo than a badly handled 2yo.
loosie is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 12-06-2013, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 5,995
• Horses: 0
Husband (72 years old) is currently riding a 10 year old gelding that he started last year. He was barely halter broke and he is really nice.
Corporal likes this.

visit us at
Cherie is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 12-06-2013, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Oregon
Posts: 427
• Horses: 0
my mare was almost 9 when I got her and started her. She was gentled as a 2 year old, then left in pasture for 6 years with minimal care (no vet, no vaccines and only trimmed if it affected her). A year later, I am ready to start double bridling her once I find a bit that fits her.
sorral3 is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 12-06-2013, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,088
• Horses: 0
I find that if they've been handled well and interacted with than no age is too late. Now if they've gone untouched or with bad experiences then it can be a bit more of a challenge. I've worked with a 12 and 14 year olds that are awful because they weren't handled. 5 either way though isn't too bad still enough sense to be retrained and not too set in their ways imo. :)
Incitatus32 is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 12-06-2013, 12:35 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 2,964
• Horses: 3
I think its like people, as you get older you form more opinions, and are less likely to just take any advice thrown at you. A two year old typically is insecure in the herd, still learning how to use their bodies and how they fit in socially, so they are more likely to not challenge the rules. an older horse, especially a dominant older horse, knows where they stand in the herd, how big they are, and how to use themselves to their best advantage.

If you are starting horses the right way, earning their trust and respect, age doesn't really matter, other than having a physically mature horse you can just put to work, instead of a baby. also once you've made a point with an older horse, its done. Young horses(like young people) naturally challenge the 'herd' as they are growing up and learning. By starting an older horse you avoid having to deal with the 'teenage' years under saddle.
loosie likes this.
BlueSpark is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 12-06-2013, 01:09 PM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
Posts: 7,109
• Horses: 3
5yo isn't too old to start and the bones are set, so go for it. Look at this as finding a 4th-5th grade age child who has never been to school. You wouldn't want to start teaching concepts that his or her peers were learning. Instead, you want to start with pre-school concepts, then K concepts, etc. The result of rushing bc of age is what is happening with children with bad behavior in public schools. They do not recognize authority and see no value in an education. My DH atty has adult clients all of the time who have been through the public school system, messed around and learned pretty much nothing, except a desire to game the system and get handouts.
FORTUNATELY, horses are wired to be bossed around by a herd leader, so they are comfortable with you as the authority, as a benevolent dictator, the head broodmare, or the head stallion.
More and more I recommend Clinton Anderson's book or DVD's.
loosie likes this.

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman,
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did!
Corporal is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Starting an older horse in a new sport hisangelonly Eventing 42 04-30-2013 11:07 PM
Starting an older horse in reining? FireFlies Reining 5 09-02-2012 09:44 PM
Starting an older horse help please mistrider Horse Training 2 06-06-2012 09:28 PM
Starting an older horse xostallion Horse Training 2 12-03-2011 12:03 AM
Re starting an older horse, confused Golden Horse Horse Training 7 04-06-2010 06:37 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome