Buying an 18 year old Horse-Crazy?
Many of the horses at the barn I will be boarding at are 19-25 and still going strong. I am looking for a horse to learn on and compete in lower level Dressage, and I am just starting riding again and need to build my confidence. I have found an 18 (just turned 18 in May) OTTB that does well in Dressage and is of a great temperament. The particular horse I am looking at is currently still jumping-something I have no desire whatsoever to do. There is also an 8 year old OTTB that is schooled in Dressage and of mild temperament. I am going to look at both of these guys this weekend. Both are prices at $2500 highly negotiable to a good home. Ideas?
No; buying an 18-year-old is anything but crazy. Horses can work into their mid 20s. I use to ride a racking horse who was 20-something and she smoked my five-year-old in all respects. I once rode a 16-year-old show horse who won the ribbon every time. I compete with horses who are older and am frequently beaten by them. ;)
I would get a PPE on both of them, to make sure neither has any problems, age associated or not.
we only buy horses to ride right away if they're over 15!! 18 is nothing, my cousin shows (and wins) on a 24 yr old!! hes just getting started at 18!!
In the end, I think it will come down to which horse you are most comfortable with and which is better suited to accomplish your goals.
However, don't count out the 18 year old one. usually, older means more experienced. He has more been there, done that experience, and has more training than the younger one. Older horses are great for first time horse owners simply because they know what to do (in most cases, there is the occasional crazy older horse out there)
Thanks everyone-it reinforces what I was kind of thinking and makes me feel better about leaving him in the running. I would certainly go the PPE route, and the owner of the 18 year old has XRays and is willing to let any vet view them.
Both sound like a fair price/investment. I would lean more towards the 8 year old because of the age but since you do not really plan to jump. The 18 year old, as long as it is in good health, is a good option. Especially if you are looking for a confidence builder. I have a 27 year old QH that can run circles around my youngsters.
You many end up buying a more expensive feed and having teeth floats more often. You may consider a joint supplement and heavier blankets in the winter but the older ones can really be a joy.
I agree with everyone else. Our team penning lead mare (17 yrs) hasn't lost a step over 10 years ago, shows no signs of slowing down, and you can't beat her experience.
I wouldn't hesitate to check out an 18 year old. I have 3 "seniors". I don't like to call them old because they are all still sound & in great health, ridden on a regular basis. They are 29, 23, & 22.
My favourite horse owned by the summer camp I work at turned 18 this year and I would have snapped her up immediately had she been one of the horses we sold last year. She's very been there, done that and is a camper horse, but she won't hesitate to tear through a field if you ask. One of the horses that was sold from camp was bought by a fellow wrangler. He's a 26 year old Quarab. The vet said last year he's got many more years left in him. If you could ask him, he'd probably tell you he's 20 years younger.
I agree with A Knack though: Go with whichever you feel more comfortable with. I'm comfortable with the 18 year old mare at camp and comfortable with my 8 year old mare, but I don't feel comfortable riding the 26 year old Quarab because he's very hot and will go from a standstill to full speed if you aren't constantly paying attention.
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