How old is too old to buy? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 45 Old 07-27-2014, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2014
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How old is too old to buy?

Hey everybody! Time to end my lurker status and post on here. :)

So I am a 43 year old mom (daughter is 6) that has started back in riding. I still consider myself somewhat of a "newbie" since my previous experience was all trail riding. I had a horse for a few years after high school and another for 2 years, which I sold shortly after my daughter was born.

My daughter has always been a horse nut. So a year ago I broke down and started her in once a week lessons. And I'm sure you know where this is going....I also started riding again. This time I'm getting professional instruction. Who knew post trotting would be so much work?! LOL

So I have started eyeballing horses. I own a pet related business and we live in a very horsey area of Ca. So it didn't take long before people were contacting me about horses they were looking to sell. Nothing appropriate so far. But tonight a friend that boards sent me video of a horse that looks interesting. He is very broke, loved by everyone in the barn, very experienced on trails (great for me) but also used in arena work, and known for his calm/sweet demeanor,especially with children.... BUT he is 19. So I wanted opinions. Too old? Just perfect?

According to the owners (for the last 12 years) he has had no health issues and is sound. I obviously will be doing a PPE,if it gets to that point.

Thanks for your time....I'm loving this forum and all its amazing info and enthusiasm!
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post #2 of 45 Old 07-27-2014, 11:58 PM
Join Date: May 2011
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19 is a great age for a horse for a beginner. Not so old that you don't have many years left, but not so young that you have training issues and greeness (usually).
Do not tell me I can't...because I will show you that I can.
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post #3 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 12:27 AM
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Florida
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Personally I'm biased. I was 8 when I received Ty, a 25 year old Arabian gelding. I rode him today and he's now 35.

But I find 20 or so perfect for a newbie. I'm currently helping my boyfriend find his first horse and we are looking between 15-25 for his horse. Though we went to look at a 12 year old.

Have a range, but look at horses outside of it. If you want a horse between 15-20, don't discout a 23 year old.

Certain breeds are healthier then others. Ponies, Arabians, Morgans, they all seem to outlive their Thoroughbred and Paint relatives. As with dogs IME horses that are of a smaller breed live longer.

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post #4 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 12:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Indiana
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I would say that he would be perfect! You could ride, and so could your daughter. We looked at an 18 year old TB when i was first searching for my first horse and he was the sweetest guy ever. The only reason we passed was because he was a cribber. Old horses are awesome! Trust me. LOL
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post #5 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 12:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Nebraska
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The horse we just got this last winter is now 26 years old & worth her weigh in gold. My 10 year old is currently using her for academy level hunters & she has no problems toting me around on all day trail rides
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post #6 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 12:45 AM
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That age would be fine for you, but make sure you get a pre-purchase exam with a vet. I wouldn't go anything less than 12 years, but with that being said I met some really crazy older horses that I wouldn't ride so it really depends on the horse.
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post #7 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 01:05 AM
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Talking to a lot of people, I do believe older horses are more...disciplined. 20 years ago, they weren't treated like big puppies. They had firmer, if somewhat mean training. They knew the boundaries though. There also weren't as many short cuts and people watching their favorite TV trainer and trying to train that way. These oldies tend to have a better foundation.

But they also tend to get stuck with the newbs and the bad riders, they learn bad habits, they get away with to much.

Ty when I got him, was barnsour as hell. A previous owner had let him get away with it. I was 8, so he got a few rides by a neighor's horsey daughter. The second he realized that he wasn't getting away with it, he quit it. He knew better, but was seeing if he could keep getting away with it. Finding he couldn't he stopped.

So yes, some oldies seem like nuts, but often I find they turn into amazing creatures with a good rider.

Bailey, a 17 year old QH I get paid to care for, is the same. He has a fantastic foundation, no gaps that I can see, but again, a young rider let him get away with ignoring leg. 3 rides with me, and he just needs a cluck to go, and turns beautifully off of leg.

There are of course plenty of exceptions but I've worked with tons of older horses, and I find that to be the case 80% of the time.
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post #8 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 01:56 AM
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Do you have a plan for what to do with this horse when he retires? In all likelihood you will be his last home. If you want a younger horse in 5 years, will you be able to support two horses or is this going to be it for you until he's gone? In the short term, yes, a 19 year old can be fantastic. The problems come when you advance beyond this horse or he is not longer rideable.
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post #9 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 04:19 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Germany- but not German =D
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A retirement plan is a must, plus a PPE. Older horses do need, IMO, a little bit extra care for their old bones. A longer warm up and cool down.. just like humans do.

I have to disagree on the better behaved part.. my 19yo school master was perfect for packing beginners around, and tested every second with someone who wanted more from him. He's 23 now, and still competing after moving to the UK.
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post #10 of 45 Old 07-28-2014, 05:21 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Melbourne
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You've received some great advice.
you definitely need a retirement plan and I'd suggest a joint supplement as a preventative but go for it!

My 19yo has arthritis but managed with joint supplements hunts without a misstep.
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