Would you buy a senior horse maybe 22 years old? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 33 Old 04-11-2013, 10:09 AM
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That's exactly what I did. I took in a 22 year old mare that was sound outside of difficulty with weight (Which I have now learned was caused by a softball size fatty tumor in her intestines that no one knew about or would have known about. Modern science doesn't even really know what causes them or why exactly, so it wasn't anyones fault. Totally random occurance.), some minor uvietis (which had probably been bothering her nearly her whole life, so no really an age issue.) and a bit of stiffness in her hocks which was only an issue when asking her to pick up her legs pretty high, like for trimming.

So all in all, I got a well bred, well trained, sound and sane little mare to bring my confidence back up.
However, I also had two other horses at the time, so if something had happened to Thelma, she could have been a pasture puff out in the field and I would still have my two projects to mess with.

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post #12 of 33 Old 04-11-2013, 11:42 AM
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Yes. We bought an Appy gelding for my husband. He was early 20s and was a good trail horse for several years. He was fed grass hay, sr. feed, vitamin and joint supplement.
Anything can happen to any horse at any age at any time. But the chances of problems do increase with the older ones. I was glad to see Wallaby mention the weight of rider factor. I probably would not get an older horse for a heavy rider. Also, it would be good to keep in the back of your mind that you may be the last home for an older horse so being prepared to keep them into retirement is a possibility.
I would make sure the horse was accustomed to doing what you want to do.
I also would probably not spend a great deal of money on an older horse but I guess that would depend also on the horse's past training.
Good luck and Happy Trails.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #13 of 33 Old 04-11-2013, 12:02 PM
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Totally depends on the condition and fitness level of the horse. IF it has been ridden regularly and is in great condition, I wouldn't think twice. If it hasn't been ridden in several years and is in poor condition, I would probably pass.

Young horses can have a myriad of health problems, too. You take a chance with any horse you purchase. If this particular horse fits your needs I say go for it.
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post #14 of 33 Old 04-11-2013, 01:18 PM
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Depends on the horse. I know some Arabs that are 31 and still lesson horses. My oldest gal now (27) is starting to get a bit of arthritis but nothing horrible yet. I wouldn't ever ride her, though. But she was a show horse and put through a lot.
I have an 19 year old that had an easy peasy life and could probably go until she's 30.

Most depends on the horse - I wouldn't get one that wasn't owned by a family for a most of it's life unless I was just offering a retirement home - a little bit on the breed.
Can't hurt to go out and look, though.
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post #15 of 33 Old 04-11-2013, 10:38 PM
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Don't underestimate older horses! Just google "Elmer Bandit" and you will see what I mean My Appendix QH is 19 (tho HE still thinks he is 5!) and is ridden regularly. In fact most of the horses I have owned in my life were older. We rode all of them until they were in their late twenties (they all passed between the ages of 30-35) and none had any real health problems. They were put on high-fat senior feed and joint (glucosamine/msm) supplements as they aged, but that was it.

Last edited by prairiewindlady; 04-11-2013 at 10:43 PM.
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post #16 of 33 Old 04-11-2013, 10:50 PM
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Most folks on here now this, but, we have a QP in her mid 20's. she's grade so it's a guess by teeth. She still runs barrels (and wins money), rides trails, runs the herd, rides double, carries adults without issue. I'm sure you see my point. As with everything horse, it depends on the horse.
My answer, yes I'd buy an older horse that I liked. Heck, I did!
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post #17 of 33 Old 04-11-2013, 10:58 PM
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I just bought an older horse from an auction. She was a third choice...the first was a 23 year old registered arab gelding..totally dead broke. The second had too many buttons...anyway, the age estimate they gave me there was 15. The vet says 16-17...and the dentist-farrier says about 20.

Now, you'd NEVER EVER GUESS she was that old. My filly's surrogate mom (sorta) is 18, and she is sedate, and sorta dignified. Witch, on the other hand seems pretty high energy, is INTO everything and prefers to go fast.
Because of that, I wouldn't go ahead and assume older means calmer/better, I'd say go by the horse as an individual, and if you choose to go over 20, you should probably do a PPE. Same as people, some individuals are full of life and go, and perfectly healthy at an advanced age...and others not so much.

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post #18 of 33 Old 04-11-2013, 11:05 PM
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It definitely depends on each horse as to how long they'll last. BUT with your description of what you are looking for, I think 22 is fine. My parents started riding in their 40's on my first horse (a lease). He was 32 at the time. When I out grew him he continued to be a lesson horse until he was 39. He was PTS at 40.

Odie is turning 22 next month. Shhh, don't tell him!!! He thinks he's 2. He'll be going on forever as well, even though he has arthritis which he's had his whole life.

We've also had horses that didn't make it past 19. Each one is different. Would i take a relatively healthy, well put together, solidly trained 22 yr old over a 5 yr old hard keeper, with so so conformation ?? You bet i'd take the 22 yr old.
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post #19 of 33 Old 04-11-2013, 11:32 PM
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It would depend on the horse. One of my friends just got a 26 year old quarter horse for her son's 1st horse. You couldn't ask for a more perfect mount for a 6 year old, but he will probably outgrow the horse's abilities in a couple years.
Yet, I have friends that are still roping on their 20 something geldings and winning money.
Genetics and how the horse was taken care of really plays into things a lot, and Arabs due tend to have more longevity than other breeds.
My one mare had a really rough life. She is already showing signs of arthritis at 15.
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Last edited by flytobecat; 04-11-2013 at 11:34 PM.
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post #20 of 33 Old 04-12-2013, 01:45 AM
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I bought a horse that is described as a school master, aged 17. Well, he's not 17 but closer to 20. I have had him for just about 8 months, and we have such a great bond. He is an amazing horse. Calm, sensitive, trained, responsive. My barn owner says she wishes she had more horses like him. Yes, I know he may only have another 5-8 years of moderate level activity, but for a first time horse owner, he is a perfect fit. There are no soundness issues, and he gets the best of care, chiro, supplements, vet, farrier, trainer and quality feed.

At my barn, there are many younger, green horses. Their owners are experienced, many of them my age (58 ish). Several of these people don't dare go riding on the trail by themselves because their horse isn't calm enough. They are limited in scope by their horse's green-ness. They must be lunged before riding. They're spooky, hot, etc. I am really glad I bought my guy. Initially I was against buying such an older horse, but the years I have with him are priceless. He will have big shoes to fill when or if I have to buy another horse!
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