Would you buy an older horse? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 07-04-2013, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11
• Horses: 0
Would you buy an older horse?

Basically this is not my first horse. I can ride and know all about ownership. What I don't know is the first thing about starting dressage. These two quarter horses just came up for sale near me. The mare is a pushbutton dressage horse. She's on senior feed for weight gain but is otherwise completely healthy and sound. Was successful as a dressage horse and is trained up to 2 foot at least in jumping but dressage is where she shines. The gelding is also trained in dressage but he really shines as a jumper. He is completely healthy and sound without any special feed or supplements. They're at 2000 for the pair with all their equipment (3 saddles, bridles, jumps, grooming supplies, etc.)

I had pretty much sold myself on the pair as long as they're going to be capable of low level showing (to teach me) but then my dream horse popped up yesterday. Hes 500 because hes greener than grass and a rescue situation and my heart is telling me we can pull it off with a trainer but my head is telling me the goldies.
Posted via Mobile Device
Want2Ride is offline  
post #2 of 11 Old 07-04-2013, 06:58 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Central Western NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,139
• Horses: 4
How old is 'older?
Can you afford to have 2 horses, let alone older ones that need extra care?
Why are they selling them? I've learned to be suspicious of deals that come with everything but the kitchen sink.

As for the green horse, can you afford a trainer to teach him and you how to do dressage?
Corporal likes this.
Tracer is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 07-04-2013, 07:04 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,264
• Horses: 2
It all depends...what are your goals? When you say older, what age are you talking....20+? 10+? Let me give a scenario here as I am in the hunt for a dressage potential myself. I am a 30+ year hunter/jumper rider whose nerves caught up with her age; I rarely, if ever, jump anymore, but, I have found a love in dressage. As such, I am looking for a fourth level potential. Now, from the knowledge that I have I have two ranges of horses. If a horse has a good base but is not necessarily showing at the lower levels, I want a younger horse; around 6 or so. If the horse has some higher training, let's say, showing at least First Level but pretty solid in schooling second level movements, I'll go as old as 12. The reasoning is that it take time to develop the skills/muscle etc. A 12 yr old with only basic dressage training is not going to make a fourth level potential prior to their 20s and then you are looking at age issues interfering. Horses with some mileage, as my trainer puts it, can be excellent teachers. For dressage purposes, and my own situation, while the horse may have the training and show background at say, First Level, "I" am not ready for first level as yet just due to needing time under dressage work vice hunter/jumper for position etc, but would have a horse who can do the movements and TEACH me how to work first level. By that time I would have the experience necessary to move the horse up the levels and we grow as a team. I can handle a young horse but the question is, do I want to take that extra time...in this case the answer is no. I just don't have the time to train, literally, from the bottom up with a horse that has no base.
tlkng1 is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 07-04-2013, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11
• Horses: 0
Older is around twenty. 18-21. We can afford the two, but we actually have family friends that are lookinng to take on a retiree for the grandkids every so often, so the plan was to see which I really clicked with and retire the other to the easy life with them. They're being sold due to a divorce and no farm now and the favt that the girls who showed them are in college.

And I can afford the dressage trainer (I actually would go with an eventing trainer as eventing is my long term goal). The plus to the greenie is hes young and has the potential to carry me into the eventing ring where as the oldies- even if fit to show- probably won't be able to take on a XC course. I won't be needing a new horse any time soon if I go for him.
Posted via Mobile Device
Want2Ride is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 07-04-2013, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11
• Horses: 0
The greenie is 5 and a restarted OTTB. 15.3 hands and built more warmblood like. Hes cheaper but they're being very picky about the new home. 16 starts and 100% sound. Just not fast enough (1 first and has otherwise never placed). He has the biggest kindest eye Ive seen on a horse in a long time and even if not perfectly conformed is more than suitable for where I want to take him now.
Posted via Mobile Device
Want2Ride is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 07-04-2013, 07:55 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,264
• Horses: 2
If the TB is sane I would look to him first prior to the older horses since you have the riding ability to handle him. A strong word of caution. While TBreds may retire "sound," they can have hidden issues. My recommendation is to get a full set of x-rays. My OTTB was also sound, passed the PPE with flying colors and then after an exam for a mild lameness issue a few months later, found out he had navicular changes and that at some point the navicular bone had actually been chipped..old injury. Also get a blood panel and check for any sedating influences or pain meds...a recent PPE for a horse a friend of mine was looking at, where she always got a blood panel, showed Ace and Bute in the horse's system on a horse advertised as dead quiet and 100% sound; subsequent x-rays insisted upon by the owner who screamed bloody murder that the horse was sound and not drugged showed arthritis and navicular.

Last edited by tlkng1; 07-04-2013 at 07:58 AM.
tlkng1 is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 07-04-2013, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11
• Horses: 0
He seems very sane and level headed on the ground without being a deadhead. In all his photos hes alert and paying attention to his handler. Im actually kind of glad you said that because I think Im really going to regret it if I let this boy slip by, but I keep talking myself out it. Then he draws me back. There's something about him that reminds me about my first horse. I might have to make that call and get him PPE-ed
Posted via Mobile Device
Want2Ride is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 07-04-2013, 09:18 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vidor, Texas
Posts: 2,805
• Horses: 3
You looked him in the eye and got hooked I see!
gigem88 is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 07-10-2013, 01:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 688
• Horses: 2
W4e need more information to make a decision
Dressage horses (18-20 yo) -
What Level are they trained to?
What level were they shown at? What were their scores?
Were these shows USDF/USAE shows or local shows? (Note local (aka schooling) show scores are USUALLY better than the offical (USDF/USAE) shows.
How long ago were they shown?
Are they still being ridden regularly?

If not being ridden regularly at that age you'll encounter issues trying to bring them back into shape. Also - although they are trained their age will probably limit the level they are likely to attain (the older they are the harder it is to carry weight on their butts - which is what you need to do well at second level and above).

OK - just noticed you want to event - so do NOT buy 20 year old horses for eventing.
Corporal likes this.

Dressage is for Trainers!

Last edited by Valentina; 07-10-2013 at 01:27 PM.
Valentina is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 07-10-2013, 03:32 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Nevada City
Posts: 1,613
• Horses: 2
Older horses are great for learning, but not if you want to move up, and they are already pretty much topped out where they are now. If you really want to eventually start doing eventing, I wouldn't get the older guys as nice as they may be, and as good at dressage as they may be, because you won't be able to get far at all in eventing. That being said, I did do no higher than 2'3" at the highest with my dads 35 year old gelding, and he was perfectly fine. He sucked at dressage though lol. So an older horse can potentially do low stuff, but is it worth it if you really want to move up, personally not in my mind. You sound like you've got the knowledge and experience plus the complete willingness to get a trainer, and have in fact looked for a trainer, so I'd got with the TB, or some other similar horse. Definitely do a full PPE though, just to make sure you catch any hidden problems. Good luck! And pictures, we wanna see pictures of the TB!
dressagebelle is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
would you buy older/fat/out of work pony? mydaughtersgroom Horse Talk 7 08-18-2012 08:28 PM
To buy or not to buy? Horse Feet Pics Evilme5229 Horse Health 13 08-31-2011 04:30 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome