One trick pony?!

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One trick pony?!

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    08-27-2013, 06:20 PM
One trick pony?!

Recently my Mom and I had a discussion on whether you can train an older horse a new discipline? We were both curious if an older trail horse could learn to barrel race or jump. Just out of curiosity!

Thanks, Hannah.
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    08-27-2013, 07:09 PM
Barrels or jumping may be a little too demanding for an older horse (depends on how old and in what condition the horse is in, of course). However, changing disciplines with a horse, even a former-trail horse, is definitely possible.

I would talk to your instructor/trainer if you have one, or search for one if you are interested in pursuing a new "career" with your horse. Good luck!
    08-27-2013, 07:20 PM
Of course, taken into account of their condition.

I had a Appaloosa that was 24 years old and in great condition after some TLC ( we got him from a rescue ). He was a clown horse at the Calgary Stampede and a pack horse back in "the day".

I re-trained him at 24 years old to be ridden english, light jumping, western, at 25 years old he won his first ribbons in Barrel Racing and Pole Bending at a local fair! I only took him to two small shows just for fun. Many people would come up to me and ask about him, his age, ect, they wouldn't believe me! He was a hoot to ride. We even went for over night trail riding/camping in the mountains in BC. He lived to be 34.
    08-27-2013, 08:09 PM
I broke a few older horses just for trail- they can learn just set in their ways.

We used to ride our horses on trails to keep their condition for barrel racing and we would jump anything that looked like it was jumpable, lol-- I reckon if you ride her every day for a few hours a day she should be fine for barrels or jumping if her health will allow-- if you go at a slow pace I don't see why not!
    08-27-2013, 10:40 PM
I'm currently training an unridden mare in her teens. She's doing well, no worse then many younger horses I've seen going through their hissy fits and a lot better then some.
    08-27-2013, 11:59 PM
My horse was a trail and only trail horse when I bought him in March. I am working on turning him into a do-it-all kind of well rounded pleasure horse. He was clueless and slow at the start and you can definitely see where his training ended but he is coming along great.
    08-28-2013, 12:11 AM
I personally believe that if a horse has a good foundation on it, it can be taken in any direction, regardless of its original "purpose."
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