How old is too old to buy? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 11:41 PM
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My 18 year old gelding doesn't act a day over 10! Of course IMO I do believe older horses need some extra care, especially over the winter months. Would the current owners consider a lease?
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post #32 of 45 Old 07-29-2014, 01:16 AM
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I know this is an unpopular idea, but imo, even if the 'retirement plan' is euthanasia because an unusable horse has become too expensive to keep, that's ok. Just know going in that you will either; a. Keep the horse until he/she dies peacefully at home in knee deep grass, b. rehome the horse (probably for free) to someone who wants to get on and walk around the pasture once a week, or even just look at the 'purdy horsey' or c. Decide to euthanize the horse because he/she is no longer usable and the costs are outweighing the benefits or are outside of your budget. Personally, I'd rather see an older, high maintenance animal humanely euthanized than starved to death, or sold for slaughter.

All that said, at 19, unless the horse has some seriously stellar skills, which you intend to utilize, the price seems high. Even if the horse is seriously competitive in whatever it is trained for, if you're not using the horse for that, the price is too high for you.
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post #33 of 45 Old 07-29-2014, 01:37 AM
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My two cents on age, it's just a number. It's more telling how a horse has been used and if they are built to withstand it. Also even with the best care you can buy a mid aged 8-14 yo horse and it can injure itself in turnout, and then you have a pasture puff requiring 20 years or more of retirement. OTOH you can get a 19 yo and end up not retiring him until he is in his late 20's. Personally I'd rather deal with a 5+ year retirement than a 20+ year retirement.
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post #34 of 45 Old 07-29-2014, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Elsa View Post
My two cents on age, it's just a number. It's more telling how a horse has been used and if they are built to withstand it. Also even with the best care you can buy a mid aged 8-14 yo horse and it can injure itself in turnout, and then you have a pasture puff requiring 20 years or more of retirement. OTOH you can get a 19 yo and end up not retiring him until he is in his late 20's. Personally I'd rather deal with a 5+ year retirement than a 20+ year retirement.
That's an EXCELLENT way of putting it!

Great example of exactly what Elsa is talking about is my old gelding. Was started to hard and too high as a hunter when he was a long 2yo. When I started working with him as an 8yo, he had bad arthritis in his hocks and rear pasterns already. Now, as a 12yo, he is basically completely retired and has been for at least two years. Every once in a great while his owners can take him on a short, easy trail ride, but that's it.

If they'd just waited a few years, he'd still be jumping strong today, more than likely.
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post #35 of 45 Old 07-29-2014, 05:42 AM
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IMHO, it isn't so much the age or what the horse has done but what you intend to use it for.

If the horse is just going to take you on meanders along trails and take your daughter through low level training, then he's way to high priced. Although you'll love him and use him as a trail horse, she'll soon outgrow him.

If the plan is for the horse to take your daughter as far as she can go in eventing, with you occasionally taking him for that meander along the trails, I'm going to bet she'll still outgrow him, but the price is a lot closer to reasonable.

Worth of a horse isn't just what the current owner thinks; it's what the future owner expects. YMMV.
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post #36 of 45 Old 07-29-2014, 07:33 AM
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I'm really sad I passed on an 18 year old school horse for my daughter. If I could do it all over again, I would buy him in a second. I thought he was too old but I was wrong! Don't let a great horse go. They're hard to find sometimes.

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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post #37 of 45 Old 07-29-2014, 07:39 AM
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Can you at least check him out then make an offer if you like him? Money talks!
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post #38 of 45 Old 07-29-2014, 11:34 AM
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Hmmm... It all depends on how fit you are. The queen is still riding and she's really up there! Of course she doesn't depend on Social Security to support her horse habit. If you're fit, have the means and the desire...go ahead and buy. The horse doesn't care how old you are....just how you treat him/her!

Just remember to make some provision for you horse in your will. You gotta have a plan!
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post #39 of 45 Old 07-29-2014, 11:58 AM
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Agreed about a plan. I have the ability to keep my old, great horses into their retirement and buriel.
Still, IMHO, 15yo horses and older make great first horses. Even if there are some lamness issues, pick a horse that can still be ridden more lightly than perhaps the jumping or endurance, or other show work that he or she used to do. THIS is where you will find your first good horse who already knows how to be quiet when handled, tacked, trailered and given shots by a Vet and trimmed/shod by a farrier. Walk away from any older horse who has never been finished to ride. I would contact trainers and see who has a client who is moving to a younger horse to use in competition and no longer wants to keep the horse they own. Horse do get too old to compete in some disciplines but make the BEST first horse.
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post #40 of 45 Old 07-29-2014, 12:17 PM
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Love your post, great perspective on the question.

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