Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
15 is in a horses prime. Yes you can find horses worn out by then. You can find horses worn out by 7, broken down by 3, euthanized by 10 and no one in their right mind would say "don't go look at a 7 year old, it's likely worn out". It happens, thus the ppe. If the horse is tolerably well built with a reasonable workload, it should be good into its 20's. A few examples:
My mare. 17, sound and healthy and the best trail horse their is. She's doing endurance this year and teaching a 14 year old girl to ride. I anticipate doing endurance and mountain riding well into her 20's.
My Bo's mare. 23, still looks and rides like a 5 year old. Thoroughbred, started young, raced at 2, broke her leg, rehabilitated into a winning endurance horse, a mountain horse and a phenomenal brood mare.
Friends gelding. OTTB, raced at 2. Retrained for some sort of western sport (think barrels ) then but by my friend. Endurance racing, ctr, mountain riding and lots of hard fast trails. He's 24 and still the biggest handful on the farm.
I'm seriously considering buying a 14 year old as we speak. Don't ever discount a horse based on its age.