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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been on the search for a horse since we closed on our house in late February. Way back then I had a friend offer us a free older thoroughbred (they think he's about 22). At the time I figured I'd look to see what was out there and see if I could find a younger horse with a better known background (Gus was given to them last August when his previous owners left him with their foreclosed house :evil: and the neighbor got tired of feeding him :-()

Well, I've had almost no luck finding another horse, so today we finally went to meet Gus. He was very sweet and surprisingly spunky for an underweight 22 year old. I'm going to have to ask them how they decided on his age, since it wouldn't surprise me if he's younger and just looks ragged due to poor conditioning.

We was alert, sweet, very interested in food and unflappable. He'll need a refresher in proper ground manners, and since he's so skinny he's an unknown with regards to manners under saddle.

He needs groceries and muscle, teeth floated and a good trim, but my husband agreed we could take our "free" horse, understanding we'll probably be shelling out four or five hundred dollars in initial care for him.

Now the reward for reading my novel :D, Pictures!





 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't had the chance to talk to his current owners since I started wondering if he is really 22. I didn't think to ask how they figured out his age, given how little they know of his background, while I was visiting with him today - my bad.

His energy level may just be a thoroughbred thing - I have a lot more experience with quarter horse types.
 

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Does he have a lip tatoo? That's the easiest way to determine age in a TB. TBs that have gotten a gate card at the track, not necessarily raced, have a lip tatoo, and the first digit of the tatoo is a letter which cooresponds to the horse's birth year.

Other than that, you can make an educated guess based on the horse's history or his teeth.

I would get the vet out first, and get an opinion on age, soundness and general usefullness before taking any of the other steps with this guy. $400 - $500 is a good ballpark for initial care, but if he needs a specialized diet or shoeing or more involved vet care it would be good to know that going in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't look for the tattoo, but his owners said he didn't have one, and they have a different thoroughbred who does, so I just assumed they were right and knew what they were looking for.

I figure on having a vet out first thing. I'm prepared to give him a good retirement if he ends up not being riding sound. We have our own land, so we have the room. And my kids would love to have an old guy to brush and feed treats to.

His feet are a mess, so I want to get a farrier out one way or the other. It's a weird balance of the owners treating him kindly, but having holes in his care. Their old farrier moved over three months ago, and they just never got around to finding another one. They told me he needs his teeth floated, but have never gotten around to it. And it took them several months to notice the other horses were bullying him out of his fair share of food.
 

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Hes too cute. He looks younger of course he could actually be 22.
 

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Aw, I like him. He really doesn't have an old face. A little tlc and he'll be looking 100% in no time! When the vet comes to float his teeth, he/she should be able to help determine age. Congrats!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Aw, I like him. He really doesn't have an old face. A little tlc and he'll be looking 100% in no time! When the vet comes to float his teeth, he/she should be able to help determine age. Congrats!
Thanks :D. Yeah, I figured the vet could make an educated guess. He just struck me as younger and more spunky than I would have expected from an underweight 22 year old, that's why I started wondering.
 
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