Do you think 20 is too old a horse to buy for trail riding? There is an amazing looking Appaloosa Percheron cross for sale that I am planning to go see next weekend. The owner says he is perfectly sound and has great feet. She said she would guarantee that he has no arthritis or other joint or leg problems. He was used as a lesson horse and for therapeutic riding. I would be trail riding on well maintained trails about 10 - 12 hours per week. If the test ride and health check are good do you think I still should pass him by because of his age and the amount of riding I do?
10-12 hrs a week isn't actually that much and a 20yr old can easily do it. I had a 26 year old that was still going on 4-6 hr trail rides when I sold him to a couple who wanted a horse that could babysit their kids.
When I was putting on and sponsoring CTR rides. I had a 86 year old man that brought his 28 year old horse to a ride every other weekend. They would compete in the Open Division, Which is 50 miles over the two day event.
They would compete in 12-14 of these rides each summer and I know they had to do some conditioning rides at home in between.
You may get 8 years out of that horse and have it die or you may get 2 years of riding and have a pasture ornament for the next 12 years taking care of a geriatric horse. You need to think about what you will do with the horse when its age catches up with it. If the horse becomes un-rideable next year, What will you do with it? Will you be attached to it and feel you need to provide a comfortable retirement? Will you treat it like livestock and sell it to the meat buyers? The older the horse is the sooner you have to address this question.
I would recommend a vet check to be sure the horse is actually in as good of condition as they claim. If the horse doesn't have major health issues, I don't see any reason not to buy it. My instructor uses a 28 yr old horse for a lesson horse and he is going strong!!
Thanks for all the replies. The vet check turned out ok and it turns out he is 18 not 20. He is a very forward horse and when I took him for a test ride on a trail with pasos he walked fast enough to keep up with their rack. Needless to say he came home with me.
Yay ~ I'm so happy for you! We trail rode our old mustang until she was almost 30 (she passed away at 33)...having her taught me to never overlook a senior horse:) One of my 2 main riding horses now is a green broke 17 yr old mustang gelding...I regularly take him out with much younger horses and he never has a problem keeping up. I know you will enjoy your boy...happy trails!