Old age and the eventual 'getting back into the horse market' - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-13-2013, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Old age and the eventual 'getting back into the horse market'

So I've just been thinking about this today because like ten minuets ago I calculated my mare's age based on an old vet report, and instead of being 18-19 she's about 22-23. As much as I'm hoping that the vet or I was wrong at the time we did it I don't hold out much hope for that. She's in perfect health and I'm not putting too much stock into her age because she's done just fine with her activity level, etc (maybe I'll have our new vet age her). But it made me think more than ever about my next horse because like it or not I will eventually lose her.

Since I was injured 5 months ago I was thinking about getting something that I could finish my way (because there are certain things I need it to do), not too old and possibly carrying emotional baggage around. So I would like some advice. (Please note that I'm not going to go and buy the first horse I see, because I am in college and am not entirely stupid to put myself in that position all this is in supposition that I have the funds to support the horse and the grades to do so).

There's a horse in training where I was working that fits everything I need: young, smart, tall, good hearted, could do anything I throw at him. He does have some conformation faults but honestly I'm willing to overlook those. The major thing is though that he needs work, is a kicker, and I'm not sure if I could turn him into a trustworthy trail horse. My trainer said in passing that if I ever wanted to buy him I should work with him to see if he would work out, and that she'd give me the opportunity.

However, there's another horse at my barn who's about 6-8 (and a bit pricey) who I think would be another good candidate. She is a bit shorter than I would have liked, but I know for a fact that I could make her into a great trail/AP horse, and throw anything at her without her flinching, and finish her out my way.

So just as a question, which would you chose? I've just been thinking and trying to educate myself on horse buying because like it or not I'm going to be in that market eventually.
Also: What do you look for in a young potential horse? I've already got in mind what I'll eventually need but when you go to look how do you asses that?
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-14-2013, 02:51 PM
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You mention the injury but you don't say your age nor the nature of your injury. Both answers to these questions colour any advice given to you.

If you have a horse which you know and importantly which knows you, then stay with what you know. Ride gently your own horse - if it can take your weight.

Then there is the riding fitness to re establish and this will call for exercising - Pilates would do fine. Don't think to ride with flabby central core muscles.

But also not to be forgotten is your emotional brain - the bit that stays quiet but which keeps you in the saddle. Make sure you are in a fit mental state to ride. Have a lesson on your own horse and ask the instructor how you are doing.

In 6 months time, when you are firmly back in the saddle, then ask yourself what you want to do with the horse. Then buy a horse which fits in with your aims and objectives.

Take the time to get back in the saddle - otherwise you might come off again and never get back in the saddle.

Best of luck
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-14-2013, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice Barry Godden. She acts and feels like she's about 18 so I know that she's sound to ride for a while yet and looks amazing for her age imo. I will definitely take the time to get back into the saddle and prepare myself physically AND mentally. Thanks again.
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-14-2013, 04:06 PM
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I think one of the hardest things is being to evaluate what you NEED, vs what you WANT. You might want a flashy show diva, but need a quiet confidence builder(just a random example).

Find prospects that are sound and sane, first and foremost, and that can do what you want to. if you have a good minded, sound horse, you can always sell if for some reason you need to rehome, to rehome a complicated, crazy or unsound horse is a lot of work, and sometimes impossible.


Best tips I think, other than the first one:

-think with your head, not your heart. soundness, sanity and functionality should be at the top of the priority list.
-bring a knowlegable friend. they can often see things where you cant.
-if you at any point feel uncomfortable with the seller or horse, or notice anything fishy, RUN.
-take your time, and don't rush. Honestly, by waiting for something like a trainers opinion or vet check, you may loose the horse, but might avoid a bad situation.
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