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warmbloodguy
Jul. 28, 2009, 08:50 PM
I was wondering at what age you guys think a horse is too old to be put into full training?

I have a 12yr Canadian Warmblood Gelding who I have been working with for a year now. I got him when he was 10 1/2 and he had a minimal-bow for about 6 months. He has come such a long way from where he was when I first got him, so I know he can still learn things, however, the problem is, I have hit a brick wall with what I can teach him.

I have brought him up through Training Level, which I know isnt that impressive, and I need someone to help me get to 1st, and hopefully 2nd. This is where the "is he too old for training" comes in. Do you guys think, given the age, that it is worth spending the money to get him to that level? He has never been lame, he was even 100% sound when he had the bow (which amazed the vet), is very active when he is not being lazy (the horse has no inbetween), and is very willing to try to listen to and figure out what the rider wants.

So what are your opinions on this. Has anyone else started a horse in training when they were this old?

Thanks Alot Guys!

Dressage_Diva333
Jul. 28, 2009, 09:01 PM
Absolutly put him in training :yes:

You say he's 12 now, well, you've likely got at least another good 4 years on him! Second level is a fairly reasonable goal, and assuming he's not got any major physical limitations/injuries, I would guess that you will likely reach that when working with a GOOD trainer. Good luck!

Cindyg
Jul. 28, 2009, 09:45 PM
You think 12 might be too old to go to a trainer? Good heavens! I sent my 20 year old for a month with a professional! LOL!

goeslikestink
Jul. 29, 2009, 04:32 AM
I was wondering at what age you guys think a horse is too old to be put into full training?

I have a 12yr Canadian Warmblood Gelding who I have been working with for a year now. I got him when he was 10 1/2 and he had a minimal-bow for about 6 months. He has come such a long way from where he was when I first got him, so I know he can still learn things, however, the problem is, I have hit a brick wall with what I can teach him.

I have brought him up through Training Level, which I know isnt that impressive, and I need someone to help me get to 1st, and hopefully 2nd. This is where the "is he too old for training" comes in. Do you guys think, given the age, that it is worth spending the money to get him to that level? He has never been lame, he was even 100% sound when he had the bow (which amazed the vet), is very active when he is not being lazy (the horse has no inbetween), and is very willing to try to listen to and figure out what the rider wants.

So what are your opinions on this. Has anyone else started a horse in training when they were this old?

Thanks Alot Guys!

and------- so, matey he learnt so far hasnt he just becuase he older doesnt mean to say he cant as he has so far -- so keep at it

slc2
Jul. 29, 2009, 07:53 AM
I would be more concerned about the bow than about his age. If he was mine and all I had to work with, I MIGHT give it a careful try, and maximize the fitness and minimize the drilling(daily brief rides of gradually increasing effort), but I wouldn't actually go out and BUY a horse with a bowed tendon if I could find something else I could afford. If he was mine and my vet or I had any doubts I'd probably pass and keep him doing something easier.

Too, 'it depends'. If you want to just do a sort of fun, easy second level, and go in a couple local shows over a couple seasons, that's different from beating pros at second level at big shows or regional, national ranking - the difference being the amount of impulsion you develop, and impulsion is hard on not so sound horses.

Straightness and suppleness are also hard on not so sound horses. Straightness especially. A lot of unsound horses have found a way to move that keeps them confortable and keeps the strain off a less than ideal leg - and if you straighten them amd even them up, you're putting strain on that leg.

If you really want your horse very correct and very competitive at bigger shows, even just second level can be hard on them - riding an hour a day six days a week with a whole lot of cantering and trotting, repeating lengthenings, extended gaits and medium gaits, can be hard on a horse with a bad leg....too, remember if one is showing 2nd in a really competitive way, one is schooling 3rd at home, and that means flying changes, half pass, pirouettes, and more collection to be able to do those figures.

If his leg holds up and he isn't too hard on himself and doesn't tend to hurt himself when he's turned out, he should be fine to do like first or second level, no guarantees with bowed tendons, but sometimes what bowed the tendon was far more extreme than what he is expected to do daily in dressage, and in those cases, sometimes the bow won't bother them during dressage.

I'd be a little wary of a horse that had to be off for six months, unless he was just turned out to heal rather than in really intense rehab and treatment all that time....and sometimes a bow is severe enough that it even comes back to haunt them during lower level dressage work. Your vet can evaluate it and make some suggestions.

oharabear
Jul. 29, 2009, 01:33 PM
Oh I *hope* 12 isn't too old- my friend has her 19 year old morgan mare in full training and she's doing fabulously! She has never been in better shape and she is acting/looking MUCH younger!

I've heard a few old-timer cowboys say that a horse "isn't worth anything until they're 15 or 16 years old."

And besides, in this day and age with modern vet medicine, 12 is really the new 7! :lol:

mbm
Jul. 29, 2009, 01:47 PM
all that said - still teh horse is 12 and has 12 years of using his body in a certain way.... so remodeling his way of going etc will be hard for him - or more precisely - not as easy as with a youngster.

be sure to find a trainer that
a) has trained horses to FEI (so they understand collection)
b) that they have started young horses - so they understand how to go from 0-collection,
and finally
c) someone who understands that a 12 yo wont develop like a youngster.

and most important - have fun!

mypaintwattie
Jul. 29, 2009, 03:31 PM
My last horse- who is now 26, I taught to jump at the age of 18! They are never to old to learn something new. She had minor arthritic issues, but I just kept tabs on them and monitored them closely. At 20 she learned to piaffe and passage, just for fun. She is still going strong- and being a typical Arab acts like a green 4 year old some days!

Jupes
Jul. 29, 2009, 04:00 PM
...her 109 year old morgan mare in full training...

Wow, now THAT'S old!
;)

eventer_mi
Jul. 29, 2009, 04:03 PM
My trainer just took her client's 19 year old OTTB to his first dressage show, ever, at 1st and 3rd level, and he scored a 64% and a 66% respectively. Not too shabby for a horse that is new to dressage!

akrogirl
Jul. 29, 2009, 04:08 PM
Oh I *hope* 12 isn't too old- my friend has her 109 year old morgan mare in full training and she's doing fabulously! She has never been in better shape and she is acting/looking MUCH younger!

I've heard a few old-timer cowboys say that a horse "isn't worth anything until they're 15 or 16 years old."

And besides, in this day and age with modern vet medicine, 12 is really the new 7! :lol:

I swear, Morgans must live forever, lol - though perhaps not to 109 ;-) My trainer currently has a 26 year old Morgan gelding in training and he is a phenomenal old guy. His owner plans to show him this fall and I think he will do a great job.

goeslikestink
Jul. 29, 2009, 06:15 PM
Oh I *hope* 12 isn't too old- my friend has her 109 year old morgan mare in full training and she's doing fabulously! She has never been in better shape and she is acting/looking MUCH younger!

I've heard a few old-timer cowboys say that a horse "isn't worth anything until they're 15 or 16 years old."

And besides, in this day and age with modern vet medicine, 12 is really the new 7! :lol:

whow thats beaten the longest surviving woman lol

mg
Jul. 29, 2009, 08:28 PM
My pony was a driving pony who had been broke to ride but very very very rarely ridden. I started him training under saddle at 11. He just turned 13 a couple months ago and we're solidifying our 2nd level work. So, I would say that age isn't a problem here. I would, however, be concerned about how the bow would affect his work.

oharabear
Jul. 29, 2009, 08:47 PM
whow thats beaten the longest surviving woman lol

hahaha well, we don't actually know exactly how old she is since she was rescued. Vet's best guess is "over 18" looking at her teeth. I meant to say "19" (ish) but apparently my 10-key isn't as sharp as it used to be. :lol:

Janet
Jul. 30, 2009, 04:47 AM
12 is certainly NOT too old for starting working on getting from Training to Second level.

The probability of success depends on LOTS of things-
-What did the horse do for the X years BEFORE the tendon?
-What is the REASON the horse is stuck at training? (Horse attitude? Rider ability? Horse's physical ability?) You won't KNOW which it is until you try.
-The remaining consequencs of the tendon (which are as likely to be compensation somewhere else as the actual tendon)? Again, you won't know until you try, but it wouldn't hurt to ask the vet.

Personal experience-
Music was stuck at Training/First until she was about 10. Then she had some problem for about 4 years which but her back to Intro/Training. Once that was fixed we went back to work, still struggling at First.

THEN we had a breakthrough in MY riding, and she very quickly progressed to mastering First, then going Second (got over 60% her first time out at probably 16, in front of an S judge) and schooling third at about 18.

I'd say go for it.

myvanya
Jul. 30, 2009, 01:45 PM
I am planning on showing my 24 yo Morgan 1st level and hope to, with the help of a good friend and trainer, maybe get him to 2nd level depending on how well he likes it (he is my "retired" jumper :lol:).
So I really hope 12 isn't too old!
As some have said I think soundness is more the issue than age, so maybe make sure the horse is really solid in the legs and back and make your decision based on that. My 24 year old still really doesn't even have arthritis and moves wonderfully so that is one thing, whereas his pasture buddy that is a 15yo OTTB with horrible stifle and back problems would be a completely different story.

CatOnLap
Jul. 31, 2009, 01:28 PM
Cassandro, a canadian warmblood owned by John Van Dongen was 10 when he started dressage training (had previously been a hunter) and attended the Pan Am Games at age 15.

So no, 12 is not too old.