I did think long and hard about this 19 year old. There were hints, in my conversation with the seller, that it has arthritis. I am not comfortable asking a horse to jump when it hurts them. While I am well aware that many horses live to a ripe old age - some even still show into their 20s - my fear is that we would be buying a horse with health issues. Who knows what the vet bills would look like. It seems like too much risk, financially and emotionally.
I hear what you're all saying about an older horse being stable and safe for a child to learn on, but given that this is her first (and my first in 20 years!), it would be hard for us to judge when it is time to retire and how much more we can push it. I think that requires some good knowledge of horses and health issues they may have and we really wouldn't have a point of comparison. If she didn't want to jump, I would say you're right, but I feel we need a horse with a clean bill of health to start off with. Not that it won't have issues - I get that, but to put the odds in our favour.
Now, a horse in the mid-teens would be perfect. I am looking at a couple of potential candidates now...
Last edited by Acadianartist; 09-17-2015 at 08:15 AM.