I'm a new horse owner and could use some opinions from those of you with experience. Last month I bought a horse that I'm told is about 14 years old. She has been living basically wild with a herd of about 50 horses in a 40 acre pasture for most of that time. The gentleman who owned the horses is 85 and hasn't been able to care for them, and as a result all but 3 had been stolen. A friend who is a long time horse owner bought the other two and I bought one. I board her at the friends stable.
I've been working with her, with advice from my friend. At first she wouldn't even let me near her and was extremely skittish. At this point I've got her walking on a lead and stopping on command. When I go to put a lead on her she does shy a little, but as soon as my hand is on the halter she stands. She will let me touch her anywhere and yesterday I even managed to pick up and clean her front hooves. I was extremely excited by that. Almost all of the work done with her has been by me, with suggestions from the friend from time to time.
With this information my question is this, can a horse that old that has been basically been running wild for so long be broken to ride? My friend is convinced she can, but a guy I talked to who rides in rodeos professionally insists she can't.