Would you buy: A older horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Would you buy: A older horse

I'm intrigued to know what others view are, I've heard that when looking to but a horse people tend to go for horses younger than 14 years old. I currently loan a horse at a local riding school who is around 21 years old, but the way he acts sometimes you would think he was a lot younger! Yet I love him to pieces! I've only had him for about 6 months and it pains me to think in a few years I'll have to give him up to go off to uni. Knowing that when I finish I want to look into buying my own (when I've got a decent job) or getting him back on loan- but anything could happen between now and then.

Anyway, it came up in conversation: if we got offered to buy the horses we loaned would we buy them.? I said I would if he came up for the right price, as I love him that much, but I would have to wait till after uni and I had found a proper job.

The only thing being if that was the case is his age and this is what would stop me from putting in any offer. Is there a limit to age for when buying a new horse? Would you buy a horse any older than 14?

ǝsɹoɥ ʎɯ uo ʞɔɐq ǝɯ ʇnd puɐ dn ǝɯ ʞɔᴉd ǝsɐǝld sᴉɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟI
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post #2 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 07:17 AM
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I just got my mare and she is 18, turning 19 this month!

Really it's going to depend on the horse, they all don't age the same. I've seen some oldies still trucking around at 25 and beyond in lessons! Then some who seem to hit their 20s and go down hill fast.

Before getting him I'd do a thorough baseline exam on him, including X-rays. Find out where he is at joint and health wise. After all that your work needs to be appropriate for him. Will he be your next 3-day weekend camping horse or you next serious rodeo horse or three day eventer? I'd venture to say NO, especially If your going to consider his long term soundness. Lastly, are you prepared to give this horse a home until he dies? What if he is unusable next year? Can you afford his retirement? Are you ok with not getting another horse until he croaks?

I don't think buying an older horse is a bad thing, you just be to be smart AND prepaired!
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post #3 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 08:10 AM
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IMO, a good horse is a good horse no matter if they are 4 or 24. I got my first mare when she was 18.
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post #4 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 08:43 AM
Green Broke
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I would not buy a horse over 14. Plenty of good ones out there, some with years of riding left. Or years of expensive hard care. Unsellable horses. The older horse in my opinion is too much risk and cost. However I would keep a horse into his elder years, I would not buy one already there.
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post #5 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think I would buy any horse without a vet check. So if I did end up buying this horse I would look into getting a check done. I think my use for him, would be what's right for him. If he wasn't able to do something I wouldn't push him to do it. Depending on the circumstances I would keep him for as long as possible and would do anything to keep him safe and sound.
I think when you've found the right horse, you'd do anything to keep them safe and if that means in retirement too.. I would just want what was best for the horse. :)

Thank you both for your advice so far, I completely agree, if the horse is a good horse no matter what the age. Two of my horses I've had on loan have been in their 20's and they have both been great horses. But after hearing someone say about buying younger horses, I've been unsure whether it is wise to but older horses. But I suppose it just depends on the horse? But then I think that's the thing Saskia the cost off buying and keeping the horse and that is partly what would put me off buying an older horse.

ǝsɹoɥ ʎɯ uo ʞɔɐq ǝɯ ʇnd puɐ dn ǝɯ ʞɔᴉd ǝsɐǝld sᴉɥʇ pɐǝɹ uɐɔ noʎ ɟI
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post #6 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 09:20 AM
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I won't look at a horse over 15 and I prefer to buy under 10. I expect my horses to work, and they work hard for me, i want to get a minimum of 10yrs out of them. there are always exceptions, and that is fine. In my experience, once a horse breaks the other side of 20 maintenance becomes a bigger issue. They seem to go from fine today, to sliding down hill pretty quick.

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post #7 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 09:30 AM
Green Broke
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If you give them good care, they can live quite a while. Rain Shadow's (on HF) gelding passed away (RIP) at 35 years old and she was still riding him! I saw an article about an event horse that had to be put down, he was 31 and still Eventing! There was also a horse that was 19 (?) and barrel racing! Not walking with a kid, but galloping around the barrels with an adult.

I bought my first horse when he was 14. He's now almost 19 and still going good. Now that I'm more experienced, I want something younger and more of a challenge (I bet that's what most.of us are thinking).

OP, if you have to sell when it comes time and the horse is going strong still, consider giving him to perhaps a family.with children to learn to ride on? Or else you can take him to a retirement stable. :)

I wouldn't overlook a horse because of their age.
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post #8 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 09:37 AM
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The age of the horse depends on what you want him for. I have had horses live to 30 and a pony to 38. Also had one die at 19. Do you want him for the next 5 years or 20 years? Do you expect to work him? Would you be happy to put out the money to keep him when he can no longer by ridden. If you are away at school, how many years of his life will past? Every horse is different and every person is different. Think hard about it and thien think more. I have seen too many people buy horses and not take care of them.
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post #9 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 09:49 AM
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Yep, I bought my mare when she was 18. I had a free lease with her for several months before buying, so was very familiar with her health/condition at the time I bought her- but, I still did do a vet check. She just turned 21 at the beginning of this month. She is spunky and perfect for the low-key riding I do.
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post #10 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Our first horse just turned 17. We have had her for 6 months. We didn't blink an eye at buying her at 16.5. She is a one in a million horse. Perfect for us but we are light riders. She has plenty of spunk on our weekend trail rides but does need supplements for arthritis from Her hard use as a barrel horse in her younger years. I hope she lives healthy and happy for many years to come.
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