Show horses - how old is too old? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-06-2016, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Show horses - how old is too old?

Some of you may have seen my threads asking for critiques on possible purchases... Well none of them really worked out. This last week though something clicked. A friend of mine told me about an 18 year old pleasure/hunter gelding she knew that was for sale and we called about him. I went out to try him yesterday and overall I really liked him. He did have a few little things that need work and we are both in need of a tune up (he's had 2 years off of nothing) but as of now is completely sound and riding and looking good. The owner did say that they had always kept him shod because that's what their farrier said he needed but I'm not entirely sure. I am very seriously considering purchasing him and his tack! I feel it could work out great but the thought just keeps nagging me... How many good years does he have left? I'm going to be showing w/t/l western pleasure, trail, and horsemanship classes on him so nothing too intense. He's just 18, what do you all think? I do not have any pictures of him or else I would post them.
On another note it would also be super helpful if someone could find his pedigree online.. He is AQHA registered as "Rhinestone Zipper."
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-06-2016, 03:30 PM
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My BO's kids used her 35yo paint mare to show (w/j, trail, and slow gymkhana stuff) until last year when they each got their own "real" show horses. Jewel still has a lot of go left in her and she's often used by the 4-H kids for shows, as well.
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-06-2016, 03:50 PM
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*snort* 18 is young!

Kenzie is 20 almost 21 and I ride that mare everywhere. 15 mile trail rides? Nothing to her. We ride out with gaited horses a lot, so she's trotting the entire ride and when we're done, she's the horse still fired up for more.

Ty was 35 when he passed, He was still a walk/trot horse for me and my niece had a 'pony ride' on him the day before he died. He was happily toting her around.

There is a 40 year old Arab mare that still gives riding lessons.

If his body is good, you will get 5-10 years out of him no problem.
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-06-2016, 03:58 PM
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Our stories are so similar! I bought my 18 yr old Friesian mare in December. She had also been out of work more than a year and a half and kept shod for years. But when I went to see her, I instantly loved her.

She was fat and out of shape, so as soon as I got her, I started her on a quality senior feed (Triple Crown) and then shortly after, I started her on the Smartpak Senior supplement. After bringing her back into work (riding 5 days week) she quickly lost a lot of weight and did not have much muscle. In February, I put her on Smartpak's Muscle Mass supplement and had the chiropractor out to do some much needed adjustments.

When I got her, she couldn't hold a canter for more than a few strides and panting heavily by the end of a 45 min lesson - mostly walk/trot. Now, only 90 days later, she has no problem with canter work and gets through our lessons easy peasy.

I, too, was nervous about considering an 18 yr old horse for purchase, but the current owner and a previous owner I found on FB said she'd never been sick or lame a day in her life. In addition, she passed the PPE with flying colors. If the horse is in good condition, and can pass PPE, I wouldn't discount him. We have several horses at my barn mid to late 20's still being ridden regularly!

Below are pics from the day I got her - she's so fat, you can see the dimples in her butt! Lol. And a couple from this weekend and last weekend. She doesn't even look like an 18 yr old horse anymore, and we plan to compete in our first dressage show next month! Good luck!





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post #5 of 19 Old 03-06-2016, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Oh wow guys! This sounds so close minded but I really had no idea... I just think of one 22 year old gelding I know and love who gets sore if he's ridden above a walk much. But I suppose that's because he had a very intense cutting career when he was young. Lol I'm so glad to hear he might have a bunch of great years left.
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-06-2016, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tihannah View Post
Our stories are so similar! I bought my 18 yr old Friesian mare in December. She had also been out of work more than a year and a half and kept shod for years. But when I went to see her, I instantly loved her.

She was fat and out of shape, so as soon as I got her, I started her on a quality senior feed (Triple Crown) and then shortly after, I started her on the Smartpak Senior supplement. After bringing her back into work (riding 5 days week) she quickly lost a lot of weight and did not have much muscle. In February, I put her on Smartpak's Muscle Mass supplement and had the chiropractor out to do some much needed adjustments.

When I got her, she couldn't hold a canter for more than a few strides and panting heavily by the end of a 45 min lesson - mostly walk/trot. Now, only 90 days later, she has no problem with canter work and gets through our lessons easy peasy.

I, too, was nervous about considering an 18 yr old horse for purchase, but the current owner and a previous owner I found on FB said she'd never been sick or lame a day in her life. In addition, she passed the PPE with flying colors. If the horse is in good condition, and can pass PPE, I wouldn't discount him. We have several horses at my barn mid to late 20's still being ridden regularly!

Below are pics from the day I got her - she's so fat, you can see the dimples in her butt! Lol. And a couple from this weekend and last weekend. She doesn't even look like an 18 yr old horse anymore, and we plan to compete in our first dressage show next month! Good luck!





She is beautiful and that is great to hear! I am going to get a PPE done on him so fingers crossed!
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-06-2016, 04:01 PM
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I forgot to add that as soon as she arrived, I had her rear shoes pulled to see how she would do. Her feet were in great shape, so we had no real problems. The farrier I had at the time was not doing a good job with the trim, so I switched farriers and had the fronts pulled last month. She was been fine with the transition despite being shod for several years. At a friend's suggestion, I did apply Keratex to help with the transition and keeping the hooves solid. Her feet look great now.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-06-2016, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tihannah View Post
I forgot to add that as soon as she arrived, I had her rear shoes pulled to see how she would do. Her feet were in great shape, so we had no real problems. The farrier I had at the time was not doing a good job with the trim, so I switched farriers and had the fronts pulled last month. She was been fine with the transition despite being shod for several years. At a friend's suggestion, I did apply Keratex to help with the transition and keeping the hooves solid. Her feet look great now.
Oh okay, the way I see it.. If he can go without shoes he should. Lol
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-06-2016, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by TXappygail View Post
Oh wow guys! This sounds so close minded but I really had no idea... I just think of one 22 year old gelding I know and love who gets sore if he's ridden above a walk much. But I suppose that's because he had a very intense cutting career when he was young. Lol I'm so glad to hear he might have a bunch of great years left.
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It helps to also have a good background on their history. Some horses are put through the trenches and can be in bad shape by the time they're 18. My horse was used at a lesson barn for kids, did saddleseat, and then purchased for a 7 yr old who rode and showed her for 3 years, so she never had a really strenuous life. I just had to get her back into shape.
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-06-2016, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tihannah View Post
It helps to also have a good background on their history. Some horses are put through the trenches and can be in bad shape by the time they're 18. My horse was used at a lesson barn for kids, did saddleseat, and then purchased for a 7 yr old who rode and showed her for 3 years, so she never had a really strenuous life. I just had to get her back into shape.
This horses background isn't too strenuous. I have met all of his previous owners at our local showing club and he's just been passed between 3 of them and shown in the same stuff I'll be doing. He has never had a super high workload so he should be good. And yeah your girl looks great!
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