Opinions/Advice for Buying Older Horses?
I am looking at getting my first horse and the one that seems to be the best option is a lease-to-own 22 year old Arab gelding. In good health. I was just wondering what are people's opinions on buying older horses? Any advice?
I think an older horse for a first horse it a great buying decision. Many people make the mistake of buying a green horse for their first horse and it turns into a "blind leading the blind" situation.
An older horse has likely been there and done that and can serve to teach you. When it comes to buying a horse with a few more miles on, make sure you have a good idea of this horse's health history. Any previous illnesses, injuries, or colic in the past? You may want to get a vet check before buying, possibly with x-rays. Yes it is expensive, but you really want to have a good idea of the horse's current condition. It will also give you a baseline to maintain with this horse. Even if the horse is priced really resonably you want an idea of long term health care costs for this horse.
You may not want to take on the responsibilty of an older horse that is on the verge of having health problems if you don't know what to expect. A vet can give you some idea of what you might watch for in the future with this horse. You may also want to be prepared that you will have this horse for its remaining days since resale may be difficult which is great if you plan to have a friend for life.
I have no problem owning an older horse, I would just proceed with caution and make sure you are over-informed before writing that check. Hope this helps and good luck!
Congratulations on getting your first horse. A very clever decision to get an older horse, if only more people would follow your footsteps.
Please make sure to come back and post photos of your new guy when you get him :)
Older horses are a great way to learn... they just require some more attention to feed and supplements (not saying younger ones dont require attention... but it is just different). Just make sure the older guy is in good overall health and can keep up with what you want. My Moms mare was ridden till she was 32 by me (I was younger), she wasnt the fastest horse around the barrels but she never dumped me... older horses are very good teachers!!!
Oh also, (not sure why I didn't include this before) here is a bit of background:
Current owner says she bought him for her 8 year old son, but her son is a bit too shy to handle him. Before she bought him he was a lesson horse, a camp horse and was shown Western as well as English. She says he is a VERY good beginners horse, her son is just not assertive enough to handle him. Which, I mean, he's 8. haha. She says he has no history of colic or founder whatsoever. He has very hard feet and does not require shoes. She also says he doesn't require sweet feed and does just fine on pasture and hay.
So, that being said, any more opinions? =)
Thanks for the responses I've already gotten. Very encouraging. And yes, I will definately get a vet check before I buy him.
I LOVE older horses! My two geldings are 20 and 24, and they're they best. There is a lady that boards her horse at our barn, hes 31, and she still rides him. Not just walking either, that guy can GO! My 24 yo is still in great health, and a blast to ride. I think getting an older horse is an awesome idea, he just may require a few supplements and some extra care. Also, keep an eye on his teeth and make sure they stay as healthy as possible.
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