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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 15 year old gelding that is broke and patient with beginner riders (my daughter was riding him). However, she has decided she wants to do musical theater instead, and I am thinking of selling him. However, the demand in my area is ranch work. We have no cows. I was thinking about finding a trainer to put him on cows and get him about 30 days just to be marketable to the area demand. I called 3 trainers, and they all declared he was "too old" to start ranch work and wouldn't be able to keep up with the physically demanding work. The horse has zero health issues. He is stout, fit, and has no stiffness, lameness, or anything wrong with him. We just had his teeth floated, which was the only issue my vet could find at his last check up.

Is he really too old to start something new? I think he has a ton of life left in him and he hasn't been overworked. My mare is the same age and still does endurance. Or ... do these trainers know something I don't? They were all perfectly willing to take my money and train him, but they were all of the mind that he wouldn't be good at it or handle it well because of his age and I would be wasting my money ... which turned me off because it's like making an excuse for not being successful before even trying.

Thoughts?
 

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What breed is he? And 15 is not old. If he was doing work, he'd be in his prime for that work. Why does he need ranch training to find a new owner? Just put him up for sale and the right person will find him. Post on the web (but take precautions with people you talk to and don't trust everyone you meet) at the same time that you put local ads out. Somebody might want a great horse for a child. Perhaps he'd find work as lesson horse?
 

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What you propose doing with the horse is very demanding work physically.
It is normally something younger animals are taught to do...
Your horse is not "old" but is a adult, middle-age and probably not used to the demands that work will put to his body, hence the attitude.
Do you not have a market for nice trail horses?
Are there no sale barns in your area who could market the horse for you for a percentage to clients?
Just some other ideas many family horses easily can fit into a marketing niche worth more $$...
If he truly is kind to children that is also a marketing niche....one worth a lot of $$$ by me.
:runninghorse2:...
 

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I'd try to sell him for what he is - a perfectly safe mount for a beginner rider, child or adult. They are worth their weight in gold. Why invest a bunch of money in re-training a horse who is good at what he does? I think what you're proposing to do is risky, whereas selling him as a solid, beginner-friendly horse is straightforward and should still recover a good part of your investment.
 

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My understanding of the way ranch horses are used is that many are trained fairly early, then work until they are about the age of your horse, then are sold to a secondary market, like trail riding or something like that. The point being that the work is physically demanding and I guess harder for older horses. While I'm sure your horse *could* be trained to do it, I doubt it would be a good fit and I can't imagine anyone would buy him for that purpose, at his age.

I agree with the others that you should try to sell him as what he is. He's a good age for general work, and a horse that is truly child and beginner friendly really is worth something just as a riding horse. As others suggested, maybe there are riding barns in the area that might want him? Or possibly a therapeutic riding center? Do you have a network of other riders and equine professionals, e.g. his vet, farrier, etc., who could put the word out about him?
 
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As already mentioned at that age many retire their ranch work horses to an easier life not purchase older horses who may or may not be able to handle the new work conditions and have limited useful working life simply because of their age.



Just write an ad being honest about his demeanor and what he has been used for. If he is truly kid safe and beyond green broke then you would likely have a line of people inquiring about his purchase.
 

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Well. Going off the OP here... yes and no.


My best friend bought a 'dead broke kid's horse' only to find out she was always a brood mare with limited education - but a loving and kind nature.

Peanut was 19. Now she's 21 and a 7 year old's barrel horse. She still looks big, fat, short legged and getting old - but she takes her duties with the utmost seriousness. Her only flaw is she will. not. cross. water. Be it a half inch deep or a foot deep, nope. Not gonna. So she's not a great trail horse in the wetter months, but she takes care of that little girl and she seems to enjoy the barrel runs.
 

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Why not market him as a safe trail horse? I know that down here that is what everyone wants. Might be different in your area. I don't think he's OLD but if everyone you have called is saying he is too old to do that, how big of a potential pool of buyers are you expecting to get from that market? Sell him as a kids or beginner's trail horse if he really does ride that good!
 

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It is not a matter of sending him away forma few months and he becomes a ranch horse, that takes time and practise.

Time is money and by the time he is au fait with what is wanted he is not going to give the years of work that warrants the money spent on him..


Good safe horses for children are always wanted and needed, sell him as such.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks! I will try to sell him as a kids horse and see what happens. At any rate, I have enough hay for the entire winter for him, so he will be fine if he doesn't sell.
 

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I have a 15 year old gelding that is broke and patient with beginner riders (my daughter was riding him). However, she has decided she wants to do musical theater instead, and I am thinking of selling him. However, the demand in my area is ranch work. We have no cows. I was thinking about finding a trainer to put him on cows and get him about 30 days just to be marketable to the area demand. I called 3 trainers, and they all declared he was "too old" to start ranch work and wouldn't be able to keep up with the physically demanding work. The horse has zero health issues. He is stout, fit, and has no stiffness, lameness, or anything wrong with him. We just had his teeth floated, which was the only issue my vet could find at his last check up.

Is he really too old to start something new? I think he has a ton of life left in him and he hasn't been overworked. My mare is the same age and still does endurance. Or ... do these trainers know something I don't? They were all perfectly willing to take my money and train him, but they were all of the mind that he wouldn't be good at it or handle it well because of his age and I would be wasting my money ... which turned me off because it's like making an excuse for not being successful before even trying.

Thoughts?
I think it's whatever you think is best. You know the horse, none of us do. I don't think he's too old as long as he's in shape, maybe he will enjoy a new job. :smile:
 

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Do I think he's too old? No, not at all. My 16 year old horse started doing distance rides the summer before last and did his first 50 a month before his 18th birthday. He's never been happier or healthier. We bring him to cattle sorting practices as well (not his thing, he hates arenas) and he did a "fun show" (of all endurance horses so none of them were terribly competitive) of barrel racing type events this summer and was a good sport about it.

Does the ranch/cow/western world think he's too old? Definitely. When I brought my then 17 year old to cattle sorting (just to be my lawn chair while DH competed on my mare) people were asking me how it was still possible for him to be ridden. They about died when I told them he did 30 mile rides every other weekend. We sat there and watched the whole class of 2 year old Quarter Horses compete in their division and I realized this is why they don't understand. They start their horses young and hard and a lot of them don't make it to be healthy and competitive in their late teen years (obviously not all western rides, please don't think I'm making generalizations this is just a lot of people where we live). My friend has a 16 year old Paint with such bad arthritis he can barely walk let alone do a walking trail ride. He was some sort of game horse in his younger years. My Arab was a pasture pet until he was broke at 15. He doesn't have any maintenance although I'm going to start him on Adequin next spring just to hopefully prevent any arthritis from starting.

Agree with the others, sell him at what he's already good at! You're not going to get a lot of the western/ranching crowd to want to buy a 15 year old but you will get a ton of interest in a kid safe horse.
 

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Around here, with so may retirees, the horse you describe is in demand! Not for children, but for horse-loving adults who just need a safe ride.
 
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