Would you buy: A older horse - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 11:00 AM
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It depends on the horse and what your needs in a horse are, simple as that. At the stable I am at now we have a gelding that is thirty and looks and acts half his age. Same with another that is twenty two. For the individual who wants to ride an hour or so three or four times a week an older horse can be perfect
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post #12 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 11:18 AM
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I think it depends on your goals. Not everyone wants to ride around with their hair on fire, work cattle or win the Grand Prix.

I bought an older horse initially to help my daughter after she received a thrashing to her confidence and pride. She is still riding because of him. I love that horse to death for so many reasons......

That being said, beyond the initial purchase price, we looked very carefully at our ability financially to handle an aging horse. I can feed all three of my other horses for what it costs us to keep weight on him.

He has good days and bad days. His arthritis bothers him and sometimes takes a lot of the pep out of his step. He needs to be ridden lightly several days a week to keep the inflammation in check and regular medication is in his near future, which means increased time and money as an owner. Something to consider.

The trade off is that I have a horse I can put anyone on and have a reasonable expectation that they will have a fun safe ride and come away from it with an enjoyable experience. He minds his manners, is able to fill in for the rider even if the cues are sloppy and inexact, follows the direction of his rider, has good well engrained habits and has a sound mind. He also seems to perform to the level of his rider, which means when I get on, he gives me more life than my novice niece.

I know we won't have a lot of time together in this life but the time we do have is quality time and enjoyable. I don't have to round pen him to get the fresh out, his training days are done, he doesn't balk or fight me every step of the way. I can hop on him in a halter and go for a nice relaxed ride for the sheer enjoyment of just being with my horse without a real goal other than going from point A to point B.

So I would say it depends on the horse's health and if that will hinder your goals. Finances are another issue to consider as is your answer to the question if he becomes suddenly un-ridable is that something that would destroy your purpose in owning him or could you live with that?
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Last edited by Reiningcatsanddogs; 03-17-2015 at 11:25 AM.
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post #13 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 11:28 AM
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Most of the horses in our barn are 17 to 20. We bought my daughter a horse a year ago that was 21. This horse is a perfect beginner horse. I can let my 7 yr old daughter ride around the ranch or in the arena and he's the same level headed horse, spooks at nothing. When we were looking for a horse we didn't look much at the age, we wanted a safe been there done that. We've had horses live into their middle 30s with good care and are prepared to care for any older horse.
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post #14 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 11:33 AM
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Not right now. My riding/show goals are more geared for younger horses. My Arab mare is now 16 (got her as a yearling) - she is FRESH and ready to go, but I would never sell her. My AQHA mare is now 6 (had her since she was two); can't see her going anywhere either. So I'm full up on my available horse spots.

If I ever decide to give up my current goals, an older horse may be just fine. A friend I know got an older cowhorse mare to show. The mare has a LOT in her and my friend is having a blast. Can't beat that.
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post #15 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your replies, it's interesting to know what you all think, as everyone has different opinions on the situation. I think if the time was right, the money was right and he was sound- and the vet check was good I wouldn't think anything other than getting him.
If it did ever come to being offered the horse, I would highly consider buying him, purely because I love him, it wouldn't bother me if over time he couldn't be ridden, I would be happy to keep him as healthy as possible. :) He means the world to me.
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post #16 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 02:54 PM
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Well my mare isn't old by any means, but she is the oldest horse I have owned at 12 years of age.

I get asked at least twice a month how old she is because people assume she's much, much younger based on her behaviour! She is just so active and alert, she is often referred to as the "busiest" horse at our stables.

Honestly I can't picture her settling down any time soon. I bet that a few years from now when she is 17-19 she will still be busy, busy Bling!

I think each horse and rider is different. I wouldn't hesitate about buying an older horse similar to my mare - because she is amazing to me. On the other hand though, I may be hard pressed to buy an older horse with a 'quieter' temperament since they are likely to get slower as they age. I like my horses to move forward. I don't really have the patience for horses who have a lot of resistance. Horses that don't go forward when you kick them 100000 times frustrates me to no end, and I ain't got no time for that! These types of horses are the reason I could never be a trainer...

Some people of course value a nice quiet horse and so will often look for older horses because of this. Not me, but that's just my preference. I know my boyfriend, a true beginner, would be very nervous on a horse like my mare and would probably prefer an older horse with a little less pep.

I think it really depends on whether the horse and rider mesh in personalities and values. But remember that older horses come in different personalities too! Not all of them are old at heart.
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post #17 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 03:08 PM
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Location: CT USA an English transplant
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I would if the horse was suited for what I wanted to do with it.
You just have to be realistic and understand that their years of performing at the same level will be less than those of a younger horse but if you're prepared for that and the selling price reflects that then I wouldn't worry
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post #18 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 04:06 PM
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Elderly horses are the best! The horses I've loved the most over the years were all in their 20's and 30's. Depending on their genes and how they've been taken care of, many of them can be sound and healthy well into old age. I would buy an older horse just because I love squishing them and feeding them warm mush.

My horse just turned 15 and he's still a maniac. I keep hoping he'll calm down as he ages but it's so not happening. ;D

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What a man can be, he must be.
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post #19 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 05:21 PM
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About 3 years ago we jumped into horse ownership. I was in my mid 40s while my daughter was 8 so we bought older horses so they wouldn't be too much for her or outlive me. Since that time we've added two 12 year olds. The 18 and 21 year olds have more speed and energy than the younger horses. I've never had any health or soundness issues with the 2 older horses but several bouts of lameness with one of the youngsters. I like my old guy so much that I wish he was 10 so he'd last me another 20 years. I wouldn't overlook an older horse, especially one you already know and like, if it suits your needs and the timing is right for you. Mine have served me well enough to have forever homes but I won't jeopardize my families finances to keep them alive.
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Last edited by david in md; 03-17-2015 at 05:29 PM.
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post #20 of 56 Old 03-17-2015, 05:41 PM
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I love life years on a horse.

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