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DoubleS 07-02-2012 11:52 PM

Is 12 too old to put into training?
I have the most amazing pony gelding who's 12, (almost 13!) years old. I want him to be the 'jack of all trades' pony who can do anything you ask him to, and right now he's pretty close. He can do from small jumps to barrels to pleasure to a *little* reining so far.

I've been thinking about sending him to 30 days of pleasure training so we can be more competitive in WP than we already are (we just show in club shows and local shows right now)... I just really feel like he's kinda in the prime of his life right now. He's finally starting to settle down and is just really getting to be a downright great pony. I really believe we could do OK in POA breed shows around here, but probably only if him AND ME get more experience. I have a trainer, but she doesn't specialize in Western Pleasure, so she reccommended this trainer to me and I'm really really considering it.
Is he 'worth it' to send to training at this point in his life? Do people send their 12 year olds to training?

Skyseternalangel 07-03-2012 12:06 AM

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It should be perfectly fine :)

VanillaBean 07-03-2012 12:12 AM

Definately not too old! I had my 18 year old.pony in training last year.

Wallaby 07-03-2012 12:15 AM

I trained my mare from greenbroke to use-ably broke (she's not trained in one specific discipline, but she does do it all), starting when she was 23.
So I'd say it's certainly not too late. It might take longer (more ingrained habits to "break" etc) but it's definitely possible. :)

smrobs 07-03-2012 12:23 AM

IMHO, there is no age that is too old to improve a horse's training. Heck, just a couple of years ago, I trained a 12 year old mare that had never been broke to saddle in the first place. She ended up making a pretty decent riding horse in spite of her jackhammer gaits.

Joidigm 07-03-2012 01:27 AM

I know horses that are in their late 20's and still doing active trail riding. Ponies, in good health, can live well into their 30's. 12 is a great time for him to learn more things.

Heck, the Haute Ecole and Aires Above Ground schools train horses well into their teens, because the horses don't really have the mental and physical strength and maturity to complete the maneuvers until later on in age. The same with Grand Prix jumpers. You see some of those horses competing over the age of 16 and often into their 20's.

So why wouldn't a horse at 12 be able to learn? 12 is not old. 12 is still quite young! That's barely middle age! Horses aren't even considerably mature until they reach 6 or 7 years old anyways.

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