How old is too old to buy? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 04:12 PM
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I'd price my 21 year old over that. But he's also an A Hunter, so...

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #22 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 04:31 PM
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I'm in my mid-30s, and was also looking for a "first horse" that met criteria similar to what you described. I ended up buying an 18-year-old Morgan who had been a backyard pet for a family with 8 children, and then donated to a therapeutic riding program. Turns out she really didn't have the mindset/attitude to be a lesson horse. But she's happy as a "one-person" horse and rides in the ring just fine. I had a PPE, found out she had some slight clouding in her eyes and a sarcoid I had to deal with, but otherwise was sound and healthy. She has an obvious sway to her back but is comfortable with extra padding, good saddle fit, and chiropractor visits. No special nutritional needs at this point. She just had her 20th birthday and is still in good shape. She's getting a lot of time on the trail this summer, which seems to have really given her some extra "get up and go."

I paid $2000 for her, and I think that price was pretty high as she has no show experience, no discipline specific training, and clearly wasn't going to be a lesson horse- but I was volunteering with the therapeutic riding program and didn't want to haggle for her as I considered paying "full price" partially a donation to the program. And I had gotten pretty attached to her as her "exercise rider" when she wasn't getting any lesson work. Your asking price seems a bit high to me, but I understand prices in California could be higher. I think it's definitely worth it to pay a bit more for a trustworthy older guy with good training- especially if you're putting your daughter on him- but I would want to be sure it was within a reasonable range for my area.
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post #23 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 04:46 PM
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depends on how he vets, and if he's competed.

I've seen an appaloosa die at 22 of cancer, a thoroughbred stallion die at 19 of liver cancer, a two year old die of heart failure. My bo has a mare that was in an accident this spring in the pasture and is permanently unsound for the rest of her life. She's 8. I also have seen a 9 year old, 12 year old and 14 year old die of colic.

So where am I going with this? Who knows when/if a horse will be unsound/die. It involves a complex equation of a horses care(obesity, starvation, nutritional deficiencies all can contribute to lameness or early death), genetics, conformation, work load(started too young, too hard, carrying too much weight, compensating for ill fitting tack, worked too hard or too long, ridden on the wrong surfaces, etc) even coat color. It would be great if we could know every facet of a horses life and genetics, but we can't most of the time. If you buy a horse who's parents died in their 30's and its always been well cared for and ridden properly, the chances of that horse living till 30 are high. But for the majority of horses, that's simply not the case.

My bo's mare is 22. Started early, raced at 2, broke her leg and defied the odds, healing sound. Trail and mountain ridden, endurance raced, broodmare. She is sound and healthy. Her best buddy is 23, raced and started young, restarted and used by someone(I suspect maybe did some barrel racing, but not sure) for years, then became a trail and endurance horse. Heading to the mountains this weekend, never had an unsound day in his life. A friend had a gelding put down at 35, he was packing kids in the mountains into his 30's.

so make an educated guess. For some horses 19 is ancient, for others its still 10+ years away from retirement. Look at the horse, ask questions, get it vetted.
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post #24 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 04:52 PM
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What the others say. My 19 year old is absolutely the best animal ever.

I have people offer to buy him on a semi regular basis, but too bad for them 'cause he's going to live out his days in my pasture. Wouldn't sell him for all the money in the world - and believe me, he's worth all the money in the world. :)
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post #25 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 07:56 PM
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Hello, welcome to the forum! :)

I personally wouldn't cast off a 19 year old for a first horse. As long as he is sound and in good health, he will give you many more years of riding.

I say go check him out and see what you and your daughter think of him!
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post #26 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 08:40 PM
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To be honest.. I wouldn't buy a 19 year old.

In my experience a lot of first horses/first horses in a long time are outgrown (through ability or ambition) pretty quick. Older horses are harder to sell on, often cost more to maintain, and if this horse does develop problems you may have to keep him for the rest of his life.

Especially for that price, I think you could pick another horse perhaps 15 or 16 that would still be affordable and experienced, yet if in a year or two you need something different or this horse doesn't work out you can still sell it on.
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post #27 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 08:59 PM
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My horses range in age from 13 to early 20s as estimated by my vet. The old man is my horse and has more speed and stamina than the younger horses. He was bought thmmo ride along with my daughter. He was also bought at that age so he wouldn't outlive me. His only issue is ear plaques but that doesn't affect his health or soundness. He's such a nice horse I hope he lives as long as I can ride.
The age wouldn't scare me so long as you get a ppe. The price would as backyard pleasure/ trail horses aren't worth that mich here.
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post #28 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenwill View Post
Welllllll..... small glitch......you all say that an older horse is worth its weight in gold? Apparently these folks take that statement to heart. I was originally told that he was "around a couple thousand". They are actually asking $4500! We are so far apart on price expectation, I am not even sure its worth my time to look at him. I haven't seen a horse with this type of abilities, that's over 18 ,advertised for more than $2500....ever. So I'm sending an email with my concerns and stating that I hate discussing monies before seeing the horse BUT I don't want them to be insulted or waste their time. I'll let you know what happens. Or if I'm completely off base....you guys feel free to let me know :)
Honestly I would expect a horse of that age to be inexpensive or free. Your are more than likely going to spend more on care and upkeep as he gets older along with board/care when he is retired
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post #29 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 10:57 PM
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Hi,

I think you've already received some of the best advice. I want to further the point of having a retirement plan for older horses. I also second the points of finding some good supplements (primarily joints) to support the older horse. It is also a really good idea (as mentioned) to do some research on feeding older active horses. There are many informative articles online that should guide you if you choose to take this path.

As long as the older horse is sound and in good condition, 19 years old is a good age for a beginner's first horse. I believe that temperament is important too as not all goldie oldies are bombproof or kid safe! There is a 25 year old warmblood mare that I wouldn't trust with kids! When I was much younger, a very kind and honest 23 year old TB guided me over my first advanced courses. I look back and smile thinking of how that old boy loved to jump. With good care, and hopefully the horse you are interested in had good care up until this point in his life, you should have some rideable years on the 19 year old. Your daughter is young enough that she should get a good basis in riding and horse ownership from the old guy for some years before she wants an "upgrade". At that point, that is when the retirement plan comes into play.

I can't add anything new but I do support purchasing an older horse in the situation you gave. Good luck with finding a suitable price for him.
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post #30 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 11:38 PM
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I have bought a horse in his early 20s. We had a number of really good years with him. He was an Appaloosa and lived until his late 20s. Wonderful trail buddy! But he was a lot less than $4500.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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