Adopting An Older Horse--Opinions Appreciated
I have the opportunity to adopt a 25 year old Appaloosa gelding. He is sane, sound (a bit of arthritis in his knees, but am told it doesn't slow him down much), and experienced. He was used in a therapeutic riding program, shown at the State Fair and placed, is registered, and is an easy keeper. He is still lightly ridden, and I am told he needs a bit of bute only if he is ridden hard.
I will admit that fear is a part of why I haven't ridden in awhile--I had several small accidents on my horse Patches which have only contributed to my fear. My thought is this Appaloosa could help me gain more confidence riding horses again, since he has so much he could teach me.
Basically, his owner is offering to give him to me, due to family circumstances (his owner is a relative of mine, so I trust her completely). My dad and I are trying to decide if we should open our home, err pastures, to this Appy. All advice and opinions are appreciated. Thank you!
I took on an oldie a couple of months ago. Different situation as he was in a paddock with people doing their best to look after him without having any knowledge about how to do so, so obviously I had to fork out a bit in the beginning to get him wormed, vaccinated, feet done, etc etc.
But, I think where I was originally headed was to say if you know he really will boost your confidence again he could be a great asset. Kody (my old boy) will be the horse I teach my partner to ride on as he is so laid back, very much a been there, done that kinda horse. Chances are that this appy could be the same.
However, you do have to weigh up the extras that come along with owning an older horse. If he has arthritis you're probably going to want him on a joint supplement as well as some variety of "senior" feed. He may need his teeth done, depending of course on whether they've been done recently. Basically, there is a whole host of things that can sneak up on you when you have an older horse.
But again I say, If you are prepared for all the 'extras' then I say go for it, especially if he could turn out to be what you need to get you back in to the swing of things
To me it sounds like the perfect horse for what you need! Do not let his advanced age scare you.
If he gives you a year of confidence building he will have done something good, right?
Adopting and older horse can be very rewarding especially if you are needing to build confidence. An older dead broke horse can also become your best friend very quickly. My only warning is that he is older...you never know when he may pass on from this world.
Past that he sounds wonderful. Friend had an old gelding with an arthritic shoulder who would need some bute after a hard ride. Was a wonderful horse. Sold him to a guy as a kids pony on the condition that if he needed to sell him they would contact her first. The day came when the guy had to sell and so my friend was contacted and now cooper is living at a new home once again as a kids pony. He will be there till he dies lol the new lady is in love with him.
Point of my entire story....older horses can be wonderful. So I say go for it and build your confidence!
Chari, having been in your position several years ago, that Appy seems to be just what you need to start riding and getting your confidence back. I would suggest having someone with you when you start riding again to give you a little more encouragement but if the problem is the horse's age, I don't see it as a problem at all. What I do like, for you especially, is that he was a therapeutic horse.
Thank you all so much for the input! Right now I am leaning towards going ahead with the adoption of the Appy (and perhaps selling Patches)...I will keep you all posted. Any more information on older horses or anything that you might think I may find useful would be greatly appreciated!
So I am going to try to go out and see the Appy sometime soon here. I've been told he is a 'saint' with beginning riders, and can be comfortable ridden for about 4 hours without his arthritis bothering him. I was sent some pictures of him (I'll see if I can't post them here), and I would never have guessed he is 25 years old--he looks more around 12!
I developed a fear of riding some time ago, but it was completely alleviated with the help of a 24 yo quarter horse cross mare I took lessons on for a few months. She was such a good teacher.
These older horses can indeed be saints, I think this sounds like it might be a good option for you right now. :) They can develop some issues and sadly can go downhill rather fast, but as an above poster stated, a year or so of helping you regain your confidence and being a great old friend will be more than worth the heartache. Who knows, he may even continue into his thirties. A boarder's mare was 36 when she went, and was a machine on the trail, omg. Up until the week before she decided she wanted to pass. Nothing could slow her down.
Looking forward to piccies. :)
I have it all set up to go visit the Appy, named "Kubie" on April 10. Here are a few pictures his owner shared with me. Maybe it is just me, but I think he looks really good for his age--I wouldn't have guessed he is as old as he really is. I am so excited to go meet him! :D
go for it
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