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View Full Version : 42-year-old pony doing Intro A at our last schooling show!!!!



oharabear
Sep. 22, 2009, 03:59 PM
AND he beat my friend who was also riding Intro A! :eek:

But he was SOOOOO cute!!! :yes::yes::yes:

I tried to get video, but didn't realize he was in the arena until halfway through his test (Intro A) but here's the link to what I DO have:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FP5NrrJGvs&feature=channel_page


It was so nice to see the senior packer out there teaching his next batch of little kids..... :winkgrin: And KUDOS to Lavender Hills Riding Academy for keeping him in such great shape for 42! :eek:

lindasp62
Sep. 22, 2009, 04:07 PM
Aaawwwww~! Just too cute! That is the kind of guy we should all have for our first pony and to learn riding on!

lovehors86
Sep. 22, 2009, 04:09 PM
That is by far the most adorable thing I have ever seen! :D

My sisters who are 9 years younger than me learned to ride on the same pony I did and last I knew she was still going strong, probably about 35 now.

Huntersmom
Sep. 22, 2009, 04:13 PM
That pony was way too cute!!:winkgrin:

goldponies
Sep. 22, 2009, 09:15 PM
Sorry but I don't see cute. I am all for giving good care to my golden oldies but I would not think making a pony or horse at that age have to limp around a dressage ring in the best interest of the animal.

Did that pony wake up that morning and think boy I hope I go to a show today?? Nope he is enjoying his turnout, friends, sun on his back or resting in the shade.

FancyFree
Sep. 22, 2009, 09:21 PM
Sorry but I don't see cute. I am all for giving good care to my golden oldies but I would not think making a pony or horse at that age have to limp around a dressage ring in the best interest of the animal.

Did that pony wake up that morning and think boy I hope I go to a show today?? Nope he is enjoying his turnout, friends, sun on his back or resting in the shade.

I'm sorry I hate to be a downer as well. But that would be my idea of hell, if I have to come back as a pony who lives to be 42 years old and still is asked to cart around kids, have his mane braided, and do a dressage test. Heck that's like taking my grandma for a run. I just wouldn't do it. Yeah it's cute and great when older ponies are still out there and viable, but at 42 he deserves to be retired.

ex-racer owner
Sep. 22, 2009, 09:27 PM
I was glad to see this gem of a pony in the dressage ring. He seemed like a kind, sensible sort that we all should have been so fortunate to learn on. I think it is very important to keep horses in work, or have a "job" for as long as possible, so that they don't decline. It keeps them interested in life and in shape. As long as the work load is appropriate, which this pony seems to have, I say go for it!

Great job to the horse and rider! :D

lovemyoldguy
Sep. 22, 2009, 09:31 PM
Putting on my flamesuit here, but at 42 I'd have retired that sweet boy. He's a lovely soul and clearly an absolute gem...but I feel like he's earned his retirement.

Piaffing
Sep. 22, 2009, 10:03 PM
I think it's great that this pony is still going strong. Looks wonderful for his age.

The most likely reason this pony is still going at 42 is because he is still being ridden.

oharabear
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:38 PM
The most likely reason this pony is still going at 42 is because he is still being ridden.

I agree. I made a HUGE mistake when I retired my old guy. He was 29, sound, and packing around an 8-year-old kid when I retired him. He's 30 now, and for the last year I've watched him decline in health and happiness so rapidly I'm afraid I'll have to put him down soon. He's been lame and has coliced more in the last year than he has in his entire life.

He only perks up when I pull him out of the pasture, put him in his stall, and have the lesson kids walk him around bareback. If I could take this last year back, I would. :(

wbhorseusa
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:47 PM
I think it's great that this pony is still going strong. Looks wonderful for his age.

The most likely reason this pony is still going at 42 is because he is still being ridden.

Exactly, if this pony was left out in a field to "enjoy" his retirement, he would be so athritic he would not be able to move within a month.

I think its wonderful to see a very appropriate workload being given to this pony, and he looks very happy to be out there competing. Just look at the nice square halt and the perked up ears!

Very cute and not cruel at all. Some people have to get a grip.

Mach Two
Sep. 23, 2009, 12:04 AM
If that pony did not want to be there toting that little kid around, and did not want to be bathed and braided and doing what it does best, it would not be doing it! He COULD lie down pr stop and refuse to go...but he is useful and able to do something wonderful.
Hooray for the owner who lets him do what he does best, and allows children to have fun learning on a safe, sane pony.
Too many ponies who could do simple tests and be loved by children are relegated to standing around fighting off big horses for their feed, swatting flies, in the name of "retirement"

If he were crippled, that would be another thing, but ponies like this one are often sound enough for kids programs well into their 40's. Makes me feel good, and makes me want to hug the owner/trainer for providing such good care.

propspony
Sep. 23, 2009, 12:13 AM
Limp around the arena? Did you watch the same video? He's sound, looks happy, and is doing a fabulous job! (and boy, did they get him WHITE!) That pony doesn't know (or care) that he's 42, and obviously he is more than capable of doing a walk/trot test. Looks like one happy pony to me.

butlerfamilyzoo
Sep. 23, 2009, 08:30 AM
I retired my 31yr old who was sound and doing HARD work, ie, jumping, barrel racing, reining, etc... I did EVERYTHING with him, if there was a class, we did it... He didnt look a day over 10. 6 months later i had to put him down he declined THAT fast without being ridden. I'll NEVER retire a sound horse again, even if i just move them down to lighter riding, that is fine, but put out to pasture, NO WAY!

So yes, i agree with the others here. Its BECAUSE this guy is ridden that he is still going. If your horses are sound, or even just needing light maintenance, you keep them going! Horses arent people, they dont wake up and think man, i'm 42, i need to retire to the bahamas... They thrive on routine and when the routine changes, ESPECIALLY at an old age, they dont know what to do with themselves.

I routinely showed against 30+yr ponies who regularly kicked my butt when i was a kid. So valuable to the kids they packed around. I wish i could find my son one! That i could afford anyway! :)

cholmberg
Sep. 23, 2009, 08:46 AM
I rode a 47 (yeah, you read that right, she had papers) y/o horse in a few dressage lessons I took. . . .and there was nothing wrong with that horse. I thought she was lying about the age. . but she wasn't. And as long as you didn't look into his mouth, you'd never have guessed his age. He was fabulous, and perfect to learn on, you had to ask right or he wasn't going to give it. But when you did ask right, he was amazing. I say let them work as long as they WANT to work, a horse who is unhappy with his job will let you know. Some just waste away and are unhappy when they are retired with nothing to do, no matter how nice their retirement is. A friend's horse gets excited whenever she hitches up the trailer and gets his knickers in a knot if he doesn't get to get in it to go. . . .He likes trail riding, he likes getting out. . . another friend was riding her 36 y/o perch right up til he died one day out in the pasture, he loved it and even up to that age was quite a handful! He could and would give you the ride of your life. Sweet as sugar though. Just like they've -proven- that retirement isn't really all that good for humans, it's not that good for some animals who like their jobs either. my FIL retired three years ago and he started looking for a job after a year. . he was bored to tears. the pony certainly looked happy in the video. He didn't look cranky or uncomfortable at all.

egontoast
Sep. 23, 2009, 08:50 AM
What a sweet pony. I don't see a lame pony or any rough riding there!

Like others I suspect the riding has kept him going. I suspect if he were 20, people would not be alarmed by the video.

I would feel badly though to think of a pony like that in a grueling lesson program but for light riding and trailriding, keeping it fun and watching for any signs it might be too much, I think that is fine.

A sweet pony. he has certainly earned a cushy retirement whenever he is ready.

Jealoushe
Sep. 23, 2009, 09:43 AM
I agree. I made a HUGE mistake when I retired my old guy. He was 29, sound, and packing around an 8-year-old kid when I retired him. He's 30 now, and for the last year I've watched him decline in health and happiness so rapidly I'm afraid I'll have to put him down soon. He's been lame and has coliced more in the last year than he has in his entire life.

He only perks up when I pull him out of the pasture, put him in his stall, and have the lesson kids walk him around bareback. If I could take this last year back, I would. :(

You have no way of knowing that is why his health declined. My first pony lived to 37 and she was very fit and healthy until her last year where her health declined rapidly. Nothing in her life changed, that is common when horses are coming close to their time.

He's a cute pony, but I too think retirement is more appropriate. A horse won't get stiff if they have a nice turnout and lots of room to roam around.

Vesper Sparrow
Sep. 23, 2009, 09:58 AM
Took my 25 year old OTTB out of dressage work in June and have just been hacking her around or doing light flatwork about 3 times a week (also went cubbing with her and another rider did a few small events). My plan was to focus on dressage with the young guy and just have fun with her.

Then, my young guy got a bad sunburn and has been out of commission for a couple of weeks, so I started doing some dressage again with the old girl, slowly at first, about 5 to 6 times a week. Lo and behold, two weeks later, she has muscled up, is rounding up, giving me her back and doing better than when we stopped in June! She's flourishing under the vamped-up schedule and the working for a purpose and is always eager to get out of her stall, get tacked up and go to work.

Mind you, I keep the sessions short, warm up very well and am very mindful of how she is going.

Sigh, I guess I'll have to be riding both horses equally this winter again....

Some don't want to stop working with a purpose.

webmistress32
Sep. 23, 2009, 10:08 AM
I don't know, I had an animal communicator (I know, I know; it was a fun day entertainment thing at our local riding club) talk to my old (35+ yo) pony.

His major complaint was that he liked having the kids ride, why were the kids not riding him any more and what was I going to do about getting the kids out to ride him more?

Jr was retired early this spring when we determined he has a serious heart condition. Prior to that he had several child riders and did Pony Club lessons and Rallies quite regularly.

Take it with a grain of salt, but ...

egontoast
Sep. 23, 2009, 10:10 AM
truckload of salt maybe

quietann
Sep. 23, 2009, 10:57 AM
Y
He's a cute pony, but I too think retirement is more appropriate. A horse won't get stiff if they have a nice turnout and lots of room to roam around.

In my limited experience, that completely depends on the horse. My friend's gelding, who I ride occasionally, has the life philosophy of "wherever you are, there you are." If there's no reason for him to move around, he won't, and he has about 2 acres to roam and a nice run-in stall. He's 19 and semi-retired due to being "not quite right" in the hindquarters, but he's much happier and less stiff when he has a job to do. When they are being ridden, at least you *know* they are moving. (I moved my own horse recently quite far away from the gelding, and he's just standing around... I feel guilty!)

I met a 44 year old QH who was still packing kids around the tadpole eventing division, and could give the competition a run for their money if he felt like it.

Also I experienced the re-bloom of a 23 year old TB mare who'd been basically retired for years due to owner's lack of interest/time. I started trail riding her with the friend who owns the gelding, and she perked up quite a bit. She had a bad hock and I'm sure she was not entirely comfortable being ridden, but with gentle work she put on weight and shine. She'd get Bute after a long ride or anything where she exerted herself (usually by some sort of violent spooking!) and I had almost a year with her before she became too lame to ride. That year included doing the Intro A and B tests at a schooling show; she was not a dressage horse, but we had a blast. She was just put down a month ago at age 26.

ILoveMyScummyWhiteHorse
Sep. 23, 2009, 11:09 AM
ohh he's so cute and doing well at his ripe old age! :yes:

Jealoushe
Sep. 23, 2009, 11:14 AM
25 is not the same as 42.

LisaW-B
Sep. 23, 2009, 11:23 AM
What a sweetheart!

He's doing intro. level -- hardly horse abuse, even for a very sound, very cute 42-year-old. Maybe he only gives a walk/trot lesson or two a week, and lives in a pasture the rest of the time -- we don't know. Lots of horses thrive when they have a job, even a small job. His job appears to be packing kids around doing walk/trot. He looks fabulous and has such a kind, sweet eye! Amazing pony. I'm sure he didn't get to be 42 by being overworked and underappreciated. :)

see u at x
Sep. 23, 2009, 11:42 AM
What a sweetheart!

He's doing intro. level -- hardly horse abuse, even for a very sound, very cute 42-year-old. Maybe he only gives a walk/trot lesson or two a week, and lives in a pasture the rest of the time -- we don't know. Lots of horses thrive when they have a job, even a small job. His job appears to be packing kids around doing walk/trot. He looks fabulous and has such a kind, sweet eye! Amazing pony. I'm sure he didn't get to be 42 by being overworked and underappreciated. :)

What she said. :yes:

At least it doesn't look as though he's being cranked into a false frame twice a week and forced to do a crapload of w/t/c and lateral work like my former instructor makes her 32 y.o. draftx do. :sigh: I'm all for riding them as long as possible to give them a job to do and to help maintain some fitness, but the way she rides that horse is ridiculous.

HollysHobbies
Sep. 23, 2009, 12:08 PM
I say it now, I'll say it forever....geezers RULE!:winkgrin::winkgrin: I couldn't see the video, but I'm a big geezer rider myself. As long as they are sound and happy, and you are sensitive to geriatric horse needs, they can make the best teachers.

quietann
Sep. 23, 2009, 02:27 PM
25 is not the same as 42.

It depends, again. 25 might be 'ancient' for a TB. Like dogs, smaller horses (ponies) tend to live longer than big ones. And there was that 44 YO Quarter Horse who did tadpole eventing, and a 31 year old retired polo pony (14.3 hands, probably appendix QH) I know of, who is packing around therapeutic riding kids.

SomethingDazzling
Sep. 23, 2009, 02:50 PM
!!!GO PONY GO!!!
WOO-HOO!!!!
Fun should know no age!

superpony123
Sep. 23, 2009, 03:03 PM
i was a little shocked to see 42 yr old in the title before the video opened, but he looks sound and happy. a bit pokey indeed, but that's a pony for you :D

i'd say retirement depends entirely upon the horse. we've got a fabulous lesson pony (my barn would not trade this fat pony for his weight in gold or diamonds, i tell you) and he does NOT like advanced kids riding him anymore. He's only 17 or so, but he's been a lesson pony probably everywhere in the immediate area, and he's done the 2 lessons a day thing, etc. He just doesn't like it. but the pony is happy as a clam when he's got a teensy little munchkin on him that he can walk and do a little trotting around with. He likes to go on trails. some older horses would be much happier if they never saw a bridle or saddle again, and chilled out in the pasture 24/7. i say this pony looks happy. he's sound. for all we know, he's probably doing one or two walk-trot lessons a week, which is hardly going to kill a horse, even an old one, as long as the horse is sound.

WSQHGal
Sep. 23, 2009, 03:08 PM
Horses, much like dogs, have been bred by humans for thousands of years for a specific purpose and to have a job. As romantic as the idea is that, if we released our animals into the wild, they would be happy, carefree and live long lives, this is not the case. Part of what has been bred into these animals is a drive and desire to please humans. Modern day dogs and esp. horses live longer lives with our care and in trade they do jobs for us. This pony has been lucky enough to have recieved care (good food and lots of WORK) to afford him such a long life. I don't know about you, but when I'm old I sure as heck don't want to spend the last few years of my life sitting on my butt! I like to be out and active ,and I see no reason why we shouldn't think horses and ponies don't want the same thing. I'd rather die climbing a mountain then sitting in a chair watching TV! :D

shantihorse
Sep. 23, 2009, 03:39 PM
What a sweetheart!

He's doing intro. level -- hardly horse abuse, even for a very sound, very cute 42-year-old. Maybe he only gives a walk/trot lesson or two a week, and lives in a pasture the rest of the time -- we don't know. Lots of horses thrive when they have a job, even a small job. His job appears to be packing kids around doing walk/trot. He looks fabulous and has such a kind, sweet eye! Amazing pony. I'm sure he didn't get to be 42 by being overworked and underappreciated. :)

I agree! Obviously the owners know what they are doing if he's sound at 42! I think it's just the right amount of work, a little walk/trot to stretch out! I wouldn't jump or barrel race or even canter much on an old horse. But if there sound walk/trot and stretching keep them supple, and really, light exercise is the best prevention for arthritis. Doctors don't tell healthy retired people to sit around all day!

maudie
Sep. 23, 2009, 03:59 PM
I can see both sides of the argument. My pony would work herself to death if you let her, so she could appear perfectly fine, but really need a break. She's 20 now and still blazing around, I know she could work later in life but it would not be beneficial for her.

I personally think 42 is too old, I'd retire to light work at 30 but by 40 it'd be off to the pasture for most of the time and only used for very light work.

jen-s
Sep. 23, 2009, 05:10 PM
This pony has been lucky enough to have recieved care (good food and lots of WORK) to afford him such a long life. I don't know about you, but when I'm old I sure as heck don't want to spend the last few years of my life sitting on my butt! I like to be out and active ,and I see no reason why we shouldn't think horses and ponies don't want the same thing. I'd rather die climbing a mountain then sitting in a chair watching TV! :D


Well-stated! :winkgrin:

TSWJB
Sep. 23, 2009, 05:25 PM
Exactly, if this pony was left out in a field to "enjoy" his retirement, he would be so athritic he would not be able to move within a month.

I think its wonderful to see a very appropriate workload being given to this pony, and he looks very happy to be out there competing. Just look at the nice square halt and the perked up ears!

Very cute and not cruel at all. Some people have to get a grip.
i agree with this statement! i knew a horse that got his retirement he deserved and pretty quickly went down hill. lost tons of weight and he got pneumonia and died pretty soon afterwards.
not every horse has the luxory of retirement anyway. there are school horses that go to auction to be slaughtered for meat because they are too old and crippled to work. its economics and not everyone/every business can afford to retire all their old horses.
that pony looked well cared for and didnt seem to mind carting his little rider around.
why not concentrate on the poor horses that fall through the cracks and end up skinny and being sold through dealers, than waste our time worrying about an obviously well cared for pony carting a lucky kid around. look up on hunter jumper "retired olympic horse" by poster NLK that was being sold for next to nothing as a 4H backyard horse. he went from olympic level jumping to 4H prospect. this horse was given to someone as a forever home and when it started having rails over the bigger jumps the nice people who accepted the lovely horse just dumped him. and BTW the horse was having rails over jumps much bigger than 3.6ft but they decided he deserved to be dumped. there were links to gorgeous pictures of him jumping and approx 8 months later skinny and dumped out in a field.
now that is sad!

quicksilverponies
Sep. 23, 2009, 06:03 PM
I have a 40+ pony that all my children learned to ride on. He competed and won in many disciplines for many years and is now retired and has been for about the last 5 yrs. He is turned out 24/7 with an older mare (she is only 22 so young for him:)) and is completely happy, healthy and sound. If I wanted to stick a kid on him and show him this year would he do it? You bet and would do it well - he is that well trained. He would give his all to please us - that is his nature. But is it the right thing to ask of him at this point? Not for my pony - I am sure the owner of this 42 yr old pony feels differently about his or her pony and that is their perogative. I too think it depends on the pony, but by no means does retirement and lack of riding mean that an older pony will go downhill and be in poor shape and quickly fade away. My old man is fat and happy with his old woman and looks like he will be around for a few more years:).

catknsn
Sep. 23, 2009, 07:30 PM
Limp around the arena? Did you watch the same video? He's sound, looks happy, and is doing a fabulous job! (and boy, did they get him WHITE!) That pony doesn't know (or care) that he's 42, and obviously he is more than capable of doing a walk/trot test. Looks like one happy pony to me.

No kidding. I just about fell over to see a negative post on this thread.

Pony looks great and I agree he is doing so well because he's still in work.

merrygoround
Sep. 23, 2009, 08:27 PM
Pony is a little stiff in the hocks. Me too!

Bless the stiff hocked old ponies of the world. Yes!

HenryisBlaisin'
Sep. 23, 2009, 08:45 PM
I agree with hose who say as long as pony is sound and happy in his work-keep him in work, at an appropriate level. An acquaintance of mine had a pony that about a million kids learned to ride on. I took some of my first jumps on him, and my cousin learned on him as well. In his early 40's, his owner decided to retire him.

He was miserable. He'd call and call from his paddock when the lesson kids arrived and rode to the arena on the other horses. He lost weight, got stiff and sore, and had colic issues that he had never had before. This went on for about three months until she said, "enough is enough" and put him back into light work with the tiniest, most timid riders. He put the weight back on, moved better, and the colics stopped. He enjoyed several more years of teaching children to ride before his death in his late forties. He didn't have to cart kids around-he wanted to cart kids around!

catknsn
Sep. 25, 2009, 04:24 PM
My old vet in WI had a 38 year old OTTB that used to try to buck her off in the winter. I myself learned to jump on a 31 year old TB, and the last show of that season, he tried to offload me in the warm up ring because it was cold out. I laughed so hard I nearly fell off! :)

enjoytheride
Sep. 25, 2009, 05:21 PM
I'm pretty sure a 5yo pony would much rather be munching grass in a pasture so that arguement holds no water!

As long as his owners are making sure he is getting proper care, is comfortable, and isn't being overworked I don't see a problem. What a good pony.

keana
Sep. 25, 2009, 06:52 PM
Good gosh people, It's not like this pony is working 60 hours a week at the coal mine:lol:

Casey09
Sep. 25, 2009, 07:04 PM
I thought the video was adorable. I am certainly no expert, but I think the pony looks fantastic. I am not sure that the pony would benefit from being "retired" from being ridden. He looks like he has a pretty cushy life, and I would guess that the total hours he spends hanging out in the pasture far outnumber the hours he spends being ridden.
Honestly, I've always thought of riding as more of exercise for the horse than "work." I am a lower level type, and I do not think of my horse as a "working" animal. I do ride him, and I think that it helps exercise him. He is getting close to 20 years old (which is not 42-although he is bigger than this pony). I think that he would be perfectly happy if he was not ridden, and if he hurt himself he wouldn't be ridden. However, in his current state, I think that riding him helps to exercise him and keeps him limber.
Exercise benefits us even seniors, as long as it is appropriate to what the individual is capable of. Frankly, I would hate to quit riding an older horse that was still capable of being ridden, just because I wouldn't think that the lack of exercise would be as good for the horse as being ridden regularly is.

2Horse
Sep. 25, 2009, 10:44 PM
. I think it is very important to keep horses in work, or have a "job" for as long as possible, so that they don't decline. It keeps them interested in life and in shape. As long as the work load is appropriate, which this pony seems to have, I say go for it!

Great job to the horse and rider! :D


As a person who has had several geriatric horses, it is very important. Most want a job. They tend to get withdrawn if they are not used. They like a purpose!

cameo976
Sep. 25, 2009, 11:40 PM
I have to agree with all the supporters out there.

I have a 34yo pony mare (only 11hh!) who was my first pony over 10 years ago and she is still going strong. She was a harness pony for the first few years under saddle, then a broodmare for a LONG time (had 12 foals that I know of) before teaching my sister and I how to ride.

This pony has been teaching kids ever since I grew out of her and is still very full of energy with just the right amount of attitude. 18 months ago her last child grew out of her and she was left in the paddock which was the worst thing for her. I got her back 3 months ago and she was all thin and sad with no muscle at all. She's now got a new kid to teach and has put on a heap of weight.

The pony in the video looks sound and content. The rider is small and not asking a lot of him. If he didn't want to do it, he wouldn't.

I know my pony pricks her ears and trots over when I walk into the paddock. They don't live that long and stay sound that long unless they are kept fit and healthy.

The pony will tell you when he's had enough. Good for him!

Dressage_Diva333
Sep. 26, 2009, 12:08 AM
Those old ponies are worth their weight in gold!

Just goes to show how sound ponies tend to be!

I've got a 35 year old large pony in my pasture. Have had him for 10 years, and he's been used heavily. NEVER has he taken a lame step in my ownership. We've also got a 50 year old, yes, 50, Quarter Horse that was a rescue case... he's more sound than some of my younger horses! He's a bit saggy, and has trouble keeping weight on. Other than that, he's just as happy as can be. In fact, the is rather difficult to handle, more so than my babies! We keep saying "this will be his year...", we've been saying that for 6 years now. We took him on thinking he'd live a year or two more, he proved us wrong!

mbm
Sep. 26, 2009, 01:34 AM
i dont "buy" that a horse gets upset that it cant work. they get upset when their routine changes, and their family (ie people and other horses) change - horses are very much creatures of habit and they are HORSES. that means they can and do adjust to their natural state of being horses - i have never met a horse that didnt adjust perfectly to the life of a pasture puff. once adjusted they love it - how could they not ? it is who they are at a cellular level :)

i also think that a horse or pony that has worked deserves to retire to a life of being a horse.

so i guess my opinion is - yeah cute. but pony deserves to be retired to a pasture with as many buds as he wants.... so he can be a horse for the remaining years of his life.

darkmoonlady
Sep. 26, 2009, 02:17 AM
Two words for you..Elmer Bandit..if that horse can still be doing endurance rides when he's 37 or is it 38? This pony looked happy as a clam, and its true of nearly all healthy older ponies and people...purpose equals longer life..

mbm
Sep. 26, 2009, 02:38 AM
just because someone can ride an old horse doesn't make it right.

plus, too many people here are interpreting horses like people. horses are not people.

for a horse the best thing in the world is to be on pasture with his herd.

honestly - my guess is that if you were to ask horses they would say - i would rather live a year in pasture with my buds than 10 years being ridden ..

they are HORSES!

Bugs-n-Frodo
Sep. 26, 2009, 02:40 AM
Well, I have a "young" mare, at 23, who is retired and not happy about it. If she were not TOO arthritic to ride, she'd still be ridden. She misses the riding, the attention, the days of beauty for a show. She has DJD in her knee, an old broken hip and now, some broken cartilage in her withers from getting cast last month, I thought she was going to have to be put down... long story. I stopped riding her because she fell with me a couple of times because the cartilage in her knee has fused and she has limited flexion now. IF that had not happened, she'd still be ridden for trails. She is unhappy. She would love to still be showing and I know her well enough to know that if she could do it physically, she'd do it until the day she died. She is a TB, she has a heart that is the size of Texas. They are born to work. That pony, he's fine, loved and well cared for, not a forgotten senior. He'll let 'em know when he is not fine. He is happy to have purpose and attention. He deserves his retirement, but he also deserves to have a purpose, maybe that is retirement for him. ;) I love the heart of a horse, it has to be the thing I admire the most about them.

Thomas_1
Sep. 26, 2009, 03:28 AM
How do they know for certain that the pony is 47?

What's the evidence?

Roan
Sep. 26, 2009, 04:05 AM
I think it's great and wonderful that pony is still going strong. Both he and his little rider look great together, but IMO they should be doing equitation classes, not dressage.

Sure it's just a schooling show, but pony is stiff and it shows in his gaits. Gaits and suppleness are a huge part of dressage and it's the first thing marked in every movement and a huge part of the Collective Marks.

Even at Intro, the Directive Ideas call for "quality of walk", "quality of trot" in almost every movement. I don't see a very good trot at all in this pony.

So, while I think this video is wonderful and pony is the bomb, I just can't gush and ooo and awwww over the video. I can't help but wonder how they are judging this show?

Eileen

rcloisonne
Sep. 26, 2009, 07:33 AM
I think without regular exercise that very chubby pony would founder. I'm glad he's still up to packing a little girl around a walk-trot class. And no, it's not the notion of "must have a job" but regular exercise that's keeping this little guy fluid and healthy, IMO.

Auventera Two
Sep. 26, 2009, 07:58 AM
Sorry but I don't see cute. I am all for giving good care to my golden oldies but I would not think making a pony or horse at that age have to limp around a dressage ring in the best interest of the animal.

Did that pony wake up that morning and think boy I hope I go to a show today?? Nope he is enjoying his turnout, friends, sun on his back or resting in the shade.

I disagree with that. If he were put out in a field to stand around and do nothing, he'd probably be full of arthritis.

The horse is easily jogging around an Intro A test. He isn't running an endurance race.

But even so, Elmer Bandit is 37 and still competing every weekend in CTRs, putting on 30-50 miles a week.

My best riding buddy's horse is a 26 yr old 1/2 Arab and she shows NO signs of slowing down. She does about 15 miles a week on the trails, sometimes as much as 25 miles. She is limber, loose, comfortable, and energetic as all get out. At the beginning of every ride, she does the happy dance, spins around, tosses her head, and tries to root the reins out of the rider's hands so she can just hit the trail. She has no tolerance for standing around gabbing. Let's WORK people! Barring injury or unforseen illness, I can't imagine that she won't still be riding the mare on trails at 35. She has great conformation and her legs are about the straightest I've seen. She's on a tight hoof schedule, and her medical and dental needs are well met. She hasn't even started to eat senior feed yet, or have a single tooth malfunction.

My first Arab mare was somewhere around 30, as best as the vets could guess. She was still going strong, and trail riding until I sold her, where she went on to teach a little girl how to ride.

When people retire, if they just sit on the porch and drink coffee, they tend to go downhill fast. If they stay active, maybe have a part time job, go to functions and events, their cognitive function stays more in-tune, and their body is more limber. I don't have any reason to think horses are much different.

Auventera Two
Sep. 26, 2009, 08:04 AM
25 is not the same as 42.

Yeah, but some horses are "done" at 25 and some are just getting started. Depends on a lot of factors.

There was recently a newspaper article about a lady who is 101 and still living at home by herself, driving, doing just great. But how fast would she go downhill if put in a home and made to sit in a chair all day? Then other people are in a home at 70 years old.

In my own family I have a good example - grandpa died at 70, grandmother in her early 70s who can't be alone for more than a few minutes. But on my stepfather's side, his mother is in her 90s and still hosting bridge parties, she drives everywhere by herself, and lives in a condo, showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. She's outlived her husband by 30 years. And her sister is the same way, they're a couple years different in ages.

It depends. 42 for one horse is not the same as 42 for another horse.

sidepasser
Sep. 26, 2009, 08:05 AM
Cute kid and a cute pony. Looks a bit stiff but at 42, I sort of expect that. Ears up and looks "perky" and is probably used to carting the littles around a few times a week.

I think it depends on the animal. Some horses/ponies to decline when retired. They have lost their routine, their contact with what they have known all their lives such as busy boarding barns or lessons/shows or even just trail rides. They see the other horses leaving and want to go to..(not putting human emotions on the horse here) they want to go because they are used to going. So I would suppose in their mind, when the other horses leave for a show, the retired one is confused about why he can't go as that WAS the routine.

It may take awhile for a NEW routine to be established and that is why I do like retirement farms (the good ones) as all the horses there are basically doing the same thing..hanging out, getting trims, some groom time, fed but not a lot of "coming/going" by their barn mates.

On the other hand, I tried to retire my mule at age 24/25. She did get frantic, fence walking and calling, calling, walking herself to death whenever a horse would leave. So I leased her out for 3 years as a trail mule. She came home and is now, I believe at 28, ready for retirement. Doesn't get so upset at the horses leaving or going to the arena, etc.

This weekend she gets her last set of shoes pulled and a trim and then she moves to the big farm with the Belgian mare, where the new routine is eating grass, hanging out with her buddy under the trees, and being fed once a day to keep them coming up (25 acres so no need for much feed). That will be her new routine and I hope she will be happier up there once she is adjusted to it. Farrier will travel there to do their hooves just like they are used to and I'll haul both to the small farm for vettings as it is too far for my vet to go or I will find a new vet in the Newnan area for those two.

Just my take on retirement - some horses and ponies do very well just hanging out and eating grass and others do seem to say "nope, not ready yet" and get upset at the change in their life. Sometimes it is better to keep an oldster going with light exercise but I do think the most important thing is that if retired, the animals not be "forgotten" in the back forty. They still need handling, feeding, grooming, hoof care and worming - so that becomes their "new" routine and they get the human interaction that way.

MistyBlue
Sep. 26, 2009, 08:08 AM
Regular light exercise is crucial for older horses. While the idea of standing around doing nothing in the sun is wonderful to think about for us humans, psture retirement usually is not enough exercise to keep joints lubricated and muscles toned. (well, somewhat toned in the geriatrics ;) )
As Keana stated above, the pony isn't working the coal mines folks. :lol:
If more people took their senior equines out of the pasture every day or every other day and gave them some light riding exercise...it would be a good thing for the equines. :yes: Doesn't matter if that's riding around the pasture bareback in halter and lead or in tack at a show.

Ajierene
Sep. 26, 2009, 09:34 AM
My mom had a book we read once that had 'amazing animal stories' in it, or something. The idea of the book (as it was brought to me by my mom) was to relay these true story and personally interpret how 'cognitive' the animal was.

I do not remember all the stories, but I remember three.

The first I will relay is about a pig. The pig was part of the family and, like a family dog would, would go on outings with the family. They would often go to the beach and play a game in the water where the kid and father would duck under the water, come back up and pig do the same. The child had some disorder or handicap that I cannot remember at this time. Well, one day this child ventured out into the water sans father and started drowning. Next thing you know, the pig is swimming out to the kid. Kid grabs pig, pig swims home.

Some may say this is amazing - but think about it in another light. Pig sees kid playing 'game' (bobbing in and out of water) and swims out to play game. Kid grabs pig, dragging pig under - pig thinks to sell "Crap, I'm drowning!" and heads to shore. Still some thought going on there, but not "Kid drowning, must save kid!" (more 'selfless' thoughts), but "Look game!....Crap drowning!" (more 'selfish' thoughts).

Horse spends entire life working in a mill. walking around in a circle to run the mill. Horse gets old, horse retires to field. Horse starts walking around a tree and wears a path in the tree for eight hours a day. Did the horse miss work or was the horse so used to the routine that he was not content unless he had that routine?

On the other hand...

War horse (1920's era) is being used to help transport information between two units. Horse is sent off (can't remember if he went by himself or had a rider and something happened to the rider). Bombs going off, gunshots heard. Horse has to change direction more than once as explosions block his path. Horse makes it on his own from one unit to the next. This seems to speak of higher cognitive thoughts, since the explosions and gunshots would make a horse want to run elsewhere for safety rather than the same line he had been running. You can say the safety he was heading to was the other camp - but then why didn't he run back the way he came when his path was blocked?

Similar to the first story, I think there is a lot of routine that changes when horses retire that can lead to decline. A lot of time a horse goes from lesson program to out in field. So everything changes, kids don't come and brush him, he doesn't come inside, etc. What the retired equine may miss is not the riding, but the companionship of being groomed and 'loved on'. Similar to the retired horse in the first horse story, the complete change in routine was very disconcerting. How many times do we talk about routine and training young horses? Even more so, this applies to horses that spent their entire lives in a certain routine (ie, lesson program).

Then again, some horses just like the work. I owned a gelding once that was essentially not rideable, but his ears perked and he looked hopeful every time I took the trailer out. He was actually initially horrible to ride at shows, but loved going places just to hang out at the trailer munching hay from the hay bag.

My first horse settled into retirement just fine and lived for five years after full retirement. There are two other horses at my place that are currently on full retirement as well. In all three of these instances, the routine change was gradual. In the case of my horse, I still brought him in and groomed him and told him he was the bestest horse ever. The other two are not used to being groomed on a regular basis, so the change was not so abrupt.

Research has also shown that regular movement, to a certain extent, is very helpful in keeping joints lubricated and arthritis at bay. That is not to say a former Grand Prix dressage horse should still be working on Piaffe and Passage, but walk/trot/ canter, maybe some lengthening, shortening - depending on extent of arthritis, etc.

slc2
Sep. 26, 2009, 11:23 AM
I think if it was my pony, I'd have him retired, but what people want to do with their own is their business.

Why do I say that? He just seems to be very stiff all over. Most ponies don't normally have huge sweeping gaits even when young, of course. I know this will probably get people mad, but I just feel that way, and I think it's ok for me to feel that way about mine. I think he looks a little too restricted. Maybe a bit of arthritis in a lot of joints, or a little bit footsore.

No, he doesn't look stressed or in agony, obviously, but I think 'he loves it' and 'he's happy' is a bit of a stretch, I think it's also a stretch to say, 'if he didn't like being braided he'd lie down'. No he wouldn't. He's been trained to stand there and get braided, and he isn't going to start a protest movement and hold up a sign over it. He's used to getting braided, he stands there. Horses don't, I feel, have a whole lot of sense about what they do to that degree. They just do what they're used to or what they feel. Horses also run into fences and bite their sides til they wear a hole in them, or rub hives raw, or panic when they get a little bit of baling twine around their ankle or when rolling they roll up against a wall and can't figure out how to get up, and they don't do these things because they 'want to', or because they 'love it', they're just reacting to a sensation or following what they're used to doing. Horses don't always run at jumps because they 'love them', either, they may be anticipating the jump and not be very well schooled or confident, it isn't always about 'love'.

I think we insist a lot of things about horses, because it makes us feel better and justifies our actions. Horses are just horses, I believe. They do what they're used to, and what they're taught to do, and because they go along with it obediently without protest, doesn't always mean I would insist they do, or feel that's always the best or fairest decision for them.

With a small pony it can be hard. They can't always go out in a field and eat all the grass they want, or they'll founder. They can't be allowed to get pig-fat and stand around, they'll founder. So they need to be in some sort of program that makes sense, do something, and, arguably, a little walk trot with a little kid, that's no big deal, and I understand people saying this. They will be going in and out of a dirt paddock, or going in a pasture with a muzzle on, and God hope they don't get the muzzle off...and maybe get ridden now and again, walk, a little trot.

But for me, they can stay home. They can lead a little kid around at home. They can do a little lesson at home. They can just stay home. Same footing, same barn, same what they are used to.

An old vet told me years ago, 'the best thing for these old guys is a hand walk for the same period of time every day on good even footing...and who the he** wants to do THAT?'

To me, old timers are often very uncomplaining, and I think they aren't likely to fight or struggle, but I do think they can get stressed getting hauled, and I just think they are better off at home.

I just think 30 years or so is enough years to be ridden and taken around to shows. I'm not saying no work, leading a pony with a little kid isn't hard work, once in a while, but I think trailering and stabling in a strange place and working on different footing, is hard on these old horses.

And I know people feel very strongly that continuing to use horses keeps them going and moving, and I understand the theory, but I also think that there's a point where I just want to say, thank you very much for everything, it's enough, already. Yeah, before they're hurting, before they are falling down and moaning, yeah, actually.

A rider I hold a great deal of respect for, retired her FEI horse a few years ago, I think he was in his twenties. He had taught SO many people to ride, and had always come out of his stall with his ears forward, eager to go. And we LOVED him and everything he taught us.

There was nothing wrong with him. He was a little stiff, of course, and a little showing his age. And I think she did the right thing for her. He's happy, and he's at home in a routine, he goes out in a pasture every day, and his owner feels good about it, and I understand how she feels.

And I think that's what I'd want for mine. They give us so much, and I think it's ok to say, what did Babe's owner say? "that'll do''.

FancyFree
Sep. 26, 2009, 11:38 AM
I just think 30 years or so is enough years to be ridden and taken around to shows. I'm not saying no work, leading a pony with a little kid isn't hard work, once in a while, but I think trailering and stabling in a strange place and working on different footing, is hard on these old horses.

Exactly! When I said I think he should be retired, that he's done his service, I didn't mean throw him in a pasture and let him stand there. Of course he should continue being ridden, hacked lightly as long as he's sound. Of course exercise is good for him. As long as he's capable, more power to him. But haul him to a show? Why? What horse enjoys that? Maybe there is the rare horse out there that does, but most of them experience some stress being taken away from home. And please no one try to tell me that any horse or pony enjoys being braided. No I think this pony has done his time in the show ring, he doesn't need to get put through all of that anymore. He deserves a comfortable retirement.

goeslikestink
Sep. 26, 2009, 01:59 PM
Regular light exercise is crucial for older horses. While the idea of standing around doing nothing in the sun is wonderful to think about for us humans, psture retirement usually is not enough exercise to keep joints lubricated and muscles toned. (well, somewhat toned in the geriatrics ;) )
As Keana stated above, the pony isn't working the coal mines folks. :lol:
If more people took their senior equines out of the pasture every day or every other day and gave them some light riding exercise...it would be a good thing for the equines. :yes: Doesn't matter if that's riding around the pasture bareback in halter and lead or in tack at a show.

agree with my older lot - i tend to take them out now and again as a change of sceenary
a little walk alway lifts there spirits up

Kyzteke
Sep. 26, 2009, 02:46 PM
But even so, Elmer Bandit is 37 and still competing every weekend in CTRs, putting on 30-50 miles a week.


Actually, that's not true. EB is "semi-retired" per his owner and is no longer competing on a regular basis. In a recent interview she talked about riding him "occasionally" in CTRs because he is her favorite to ride, but that he is no longer her main competition horse.

Even so, I think it depends on the horse/pony about retirement. Some horses DO love to be with people and have a job -- my Hanoverian mare is like that. She much prefers to be with people than horses. OTOH, I have an Arab mare that would be perfectly happy to just spend her life eating and bossing all the other horses around.

And from my observation, horses don't move much unless you make them. They basically go from the food to the water to the shade -- rinse, repeat. Occasionally one of the youngsters will get the herd fired up and they will all gallop around the pasture once or twice, but basically they stand around alot....ALOT.

So light exercise benefits most horses assuming they have no serious infirmities. Without knowing this pony, I would say being ridden 2-3 times a week at a walk/trot carrying that tiny little rider would not be a hardship, especially if he's on some regular joint supplements or the occasional bute.

I work with old people as a nurse and it's been proven over and over again that in terms of physical function, it's "use it or lose it." One of the best things of arthritis is exercise.

So if you had 100+ acres of scrub that a horse/pony had to roam in order to get enough food/water, they probably would move enough to keep themselves limber...otherwise not so much.

Manes and Tails
Sep. 26, 2009, 04:46 PM
He's not limping. He is a little bit stiff behind, but he is not limping. He is willing, he is responding to all of those aids. He is carrying a rider of an appropriate size and not being asked to canter.

It is my opinion that a horse should be kept in work as long as possible. The work may have to be reduced....no more jumping, no more cantering, whatever...but retirement should happen only when the animal is no longer physically and/or mentally capable of working. Calendar age has nothing to do with it. I knew a horse who was *done* at 17...I suspect past poor treatment or possibly being ridden as a yearling was the cause of a horse being crippled by arthritis *that* young. And he went downhill mentally after he was retired and died only a couple of months later. The same barn has a 40+ pony who does one-two walk-trot lessons a week, and then only if he seems 'in the mood'. Some days he will lie down when somebody approaches his stall with tack...and other days he'll practically put the bridle on himself...so he gets worked only when he feels like it. He's sound and in good weight.

Another pony they had was still doing walk-trot lessons three days before she dropped dead in her stall of old age. She had lived in that stall for *thirty years* and in that time had carried children, adults, taken non-riders out on the trail, taught kids to jump. She was the go-to horse if somebody had had a bad fall and wanted to get back on, but was too scared. She never, ever, in those thirty years did anything bad. Good old Bonnie. Everyone who knew her cried when she died and her stall was full of flowers.

Would I work a horse if it was in agonizing pain? Heck, no. But I see *no* sign of that in the video. I see a small pony (Welsh at a guess) who is just nicely demonstrating that small ponies go and go and go. I bet he eats almost nothing too. Instead of whining about people being so horribly cruel as to work a 42 year old pony, why aren't we giving Lavender Riding Academy a round of applause for keeping him sound and in fantastic condition at that age?

Jeeze, people.

rcloisonne
Sep. 26, 2009, 05:02 PM
Actually, that's not true. EB is "semi-retired" per his owner and is no longer competing on a regular basis. In a recent interview she talked about riding him "occasionally" in CTRs because he is her favorite to ride, but that he is no longer her main competition horse.
Maybe not her main competition horse anymore but he's still out there doing. ;)

From The Horse:

Older Horse Elmer Bandit Completes Iowa Competitive Ride
by: Marsha Hayes
September 21 2009, Article # 14940

Perfect fall weather found 38-year-old Elmer Bandit completing both days of the Stephens Forest Competitive Trail event near Lucas, Iowa, this past weekend. The event added 40 miles to the gray, half-Arabian's record mileage, which now stands at 20,780 miles.

Although not competing as much this year, owner and rider Mary Anna Wood of Independence, Mo., feels Elmer’s frequent dressage lessons keep him in shape.

Almost all of Elmer’s Competitive Trail career has consisted of the faster, longer, more difficult Open Division. In Iowa, Elmer competed in the Distance Only option and the Competitive Trail class.

“He led most of both days," Wood said. "He started Saturday wanting to be an ‘Open’ horse and we did some shoulder in exercises."

Elmer traveled around 21.7 miles Saturday at 3.75 miles per hour. “Actually, we were going around 4 mph to allow us to stop and play,” said Wood, noting that Elmer has adapted to the slower pace, forgoing his Turbo Trot in favor of a fast, 4 mph walk to fit in with the division requirements.

Although not eligible for placing in the Distance Only designation, Elmer was vetted and required to meet all mileage and time criteria. He scored 91.5 out of a possible 100. Event veterinarian judge Lucy Hirsch, DVM, found him to be perfectly sound at the end of both competition days.

After two back-to back days of competition, Elmer is scheduled for another dressage lesson Sept. 21.

Velvet
Sep. 26, 2009, 05:18 PM
Retirement is something we've only just started thinking is a good idea. If the horse or human is sound and able to do their job, they are better doing something! You don't just sit around and do nothing all day if you want to remain healthy and have a happy life.

When a horse knows their job, they take pride in it. Horses are VERY prideful creatures. Just take a look at that ponies ears as he goes through the test. He's a campaigner and knows that it's all about, and he's not only listening to his rider, he's listening to the test caller. It's really sweet. He's happily doing his job to the best of his ability, and he probably also knows that part of it is to not lose his rider and to take care of them.

Keep them in work, if you can. If they are too crippled to work at all, then you send them out into a field--and get prepared to put them down soon. Even my one horse that was in too much pain when ridden loved to do something and would really enjoy just long lining for short periods of time. Even my horse who isn't always sound LOVES to work and just wants to do something he feels he does well and is praised for. That's one of the things that makes horses so wonderful. When they have a job they really feel good about, don't take that away. That's what you always wanted in the first place.

Remember, animals do not know how much time they are expected to have, or have already had, on this planet...they only live in the now. They only know what they enjoy, and that they are loved by us. Enjoy them, and keep them happy and healthy--give them a job and attention. It's the only way this pony has lived for 42 years! :D

J-Lu
Sep. 26, 2009, 06:25 PM
Good gosh people, It's not like this pony is working 60 hours a week at the coal mine:lol:


:lol: Love this quote. There's nothing in the pony's body language that suggests he is miserable or even unhappy. On the contrary, his ears and rhythm suggest that he's quite non-chalant about the whole thing. He looks like he's "mall-walking".

Whatever this owner is doing it looks like he/she is doing right by this particular pony.

arnika
Sep. 26, 2009, 07:32 PM
Originally Posted by goldponies http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?p=4393824#post4393824)
Sorry but I don't see cute. I am all for giving good care to my golden oldies but I would not think making a pony or horse at that age have to limp around a dressage ring in the best interest of the animal.

Did that pony wake up that morning and think boy I hope I go to a show today?? Nope he is enjoying his turnout, friends, sun on his back or resting in the shade.


How do you know he didn't???

I had to respond to this post as well as all the others that are making it sound as if this medium pony, who appears to be sound, in very good weight and happy with his rider, is unhappy and on the verge of being abused.

Have any of you ever heard of the award that USDF used to give(still may, for all I know) that only went to the rider/horse combination whose combined ages equaled or exceeded 100? I do remember Dr. Max Gawhyler of USDF Hall of Fame accepting the award while competing on his 35yo gelding who was in perfect health. Some horses retire at 15, most around 20 or so, and some do very well even at advanced ages.

For the people making the remarks about people giving horses human attributes, some differences are genetic, some are learned but we are animals also and most basic learning/emotional response is the same in most warmblooded species. Chickens can recognize 50 different people by facial looks alone, goldfish can remember fairly complicated patterns for up to 30 days. Birds, cats and dogs have complicated emotional responses as do horses. Just because they don't communicate and react exactly as a human would, you can't say they don't like certain activities or routines and want nothing more than to "hang out".

They're individuals not automatons. Some do and some don't, you have to judge each one individually.

onthebit
Sep. 26, 2009, 07:51 PM
Personally I think the pony looks happy to be doing his job. As someone pointed out he isn't working 80 hours a week in a coal mine! He looks a bit stiff but I've seen worse out of much younger horses.

As far as can horses be retired, according to a lot of the posters on this thread every horse retired at my farm should have passed away from depression and not being in work years ago. One example would be Clay, a horse who was retired when he was 12 due to navicular. Clay is 30 years old this year, still looks and acts like a 12 year old, even after 18 years of full retirement! I have many examples like that walking around this farm.

I'm sure my opinion doesn't count since I have a retirement farm but IMO I've yet to meet a horse that can't retire and live happily and healthily for many years, regardless of their prior job and why they retired. Of course I am all for keeping a horse in work as long as they are sound and happy in their job. Unfortunately accidents and injuries happen and some cause permanent damage.

I enjoyed the video of the pony with his little rider, it put a smile on my face to watch him. Loved his nice halt at the end.

goldponies
Sep. 26, 2009, 08:32 PM
Do you think this pony is earning his keep? Hope he's going to a show this weekend!

www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/content/articles/2009/08/24/nature_oldpony_feature.shtml

goldponies
Sep. 26, 2009, 09:24 PM
That pony is 126 years old. Very cute. I'm done :)

J-Lu
Sep. 26, 2009, 11:10 PM
Do you think this pony is earning his keep? Hope he's going to a show this weekend!

www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/content/articles/2009/08/24/nature_oldpony_feature.shtml (http://www.bbc.co.uk/cornwall/content/articles/2009/08/24/nature_oldpony_feature.shtml)

This relates to the original post...how?

Kyzteke
Sep. 27, 2009, 02:07 AM
Maybe not her main competition horse anymore but he's still out there doing. ;)



Didn't say he wasn't. Gotta read for comprehension.

AV2 said he is "still out there doing 30-50 miles a week."

He is not. His work load has been scaled back a great deal and changed to put less emphasis on miles and more on keeping him limber (the dressage part).

Thomas_1
Sep. 27, 2009, 03:34 AM
I'm thinking I'm a real "Doubting Thomas" with this one but every time I read or hear of some horse or pony being a gazillion years old and still looking fantastic and competing it turns out that there's actually no provenance at all to it's age.

Now I'm not talking about horses being in their 20's and still being very fit and active. Heck I've got and had those myself. I regularly go out hunting on my own bred 28 year old ex point to pointer t/b. He ails for nothing.

What I'm talking about though is ones said to be late 30's and 40's. I can see the one in the OP is claimed to be 42 and it looks stiff enough to lay claim to being very old. But I'm wondering how it's absolutely without doubt known to be that old.

To date every ancient one I've ever come across starts it's story of provenance with "when I bought it I was told" or else "it's papers say" - but it's not had proven ownership and absolutely for certain correct paperwork. Too often the "paperwork" is just some sort of registry stuff that someone has put it on some time after the horse has changed ownership a couple of times.

Now I've a 5 year old that's been here for some time and according to it's papers when he came here was already 5. I did a track down of his breeder because I know them and knew the horse wasn't that age from his dentition and lack of balance etc and turns out there's been a simple error on his registration papers when ownership was transferred when he was a yearling. Neither party realised the mistake and he was sold on at 3 with the error copied.

I know very well that there's a lot of horses out there with the wrong age. Been that way from when Adam was a lad. I've seen a lot of horses in my lifetime that are younger and older than they really are. Either because at some point in their lives someone has felt it appropriate to or in their interests to give a different age or because someone is guessing or taking what they consider to be an educated estimate.

We often joke about one of my own best friends. He also has a huge hunt hireling yard and riding centre and all his horses are 7, 15 or 20 . Now this person is possibly one of the scattiest and hair brained people I know and truth is he doesn't have a clue how old each and every one of the 80 or so he has is so he just says the age according to whether they're "developing" "experienced" or "old hands". It's not uncommon even here........ and we have equine passportation!

I know that I tend to have a pretty good memory for horses and am a bit of stickler for getting things right but when we had our Passport legislation and I was doing the admin for that I found that difficult. I frequently also give horses the wrong age and end up having to "go figure" and admitting my error. Did that just last week when I said casually "well he is 8 now" and one of my staff said "He's not. You got him since I started working for you and I've not been here that long" I'd have laid down money I was right but I was over 2 years out!

I might have missed if anyone knows the history of this pony but how comes it's known for sure to be 42????

Also interested in the endurance one mentioned still competing at 37?? I'd be interested in that one's provenance too.

Kyzteke
Sep. 27, 2009, 04:42 AM
Also interested in the endurance one mentioned still competing at 37?? I'd be interested in that one's provenance too.

Elmer Bandit, an Arab/QH cross who competes in Competitive Trail (not endurance) is a registered 1/2 Arab I think, so his age is confirmed.

LOTS of articles on him, since he broke the CT record for lifetime competitive miles last year. Google him and you will see.

But I agree -- lots of times people don't know the exact age of the animal...I know nothing about the OP's pony (the pony in the video), but I'm almost sure EB's age is confirmed. He's pretty amazing, which is why he's so well known...it's not like there are 37 yr. old horses out there doing this all the time.\

Here -- see if this works:

Elmer Bandit's 38th birthday did not go unnoticed April 8, as dawn found the Independence, Mo., temperature matching the gray half-Arabian's age.
"I brought him four apples and sang him Happy Birthday," reported his lifelong owner, Mary Anna Wood.
Elmer, with 20,720 certified competitive trail miles, holds the national mileage record, which he set last October (http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12972) at the age of 37. Although his amazing longevity, soundness, attitude, and drive can be attributed to several sources, the consistent care and partnership with Wood certainly play a role. Elmer was born in 1971, just a few miles of north of where his celebrated his 38th birthday.

http://www.thehorse.com/images/content/elmerwinter1.jpg Earlier this year, Elmer sported his blanket from his fans at TheHorse.com.

"I remember the day he was born," Wood recalled. "I was at school, teaching, when a neighbor on his way to work called the school to report a new colt in the pasture." Wood took "maternity leave" for a few hours to check on the health of the new sorrel colt and his mother. Wednesday found Wood still checking on Elmer, adjusting his feed, and letting him know he is special.
"Actually, I sang to him twice," she reported. Was Elmer appreciative? "Well, he ate all the apples."
Elmer is scheduled to compete in a one-day competitive trail event April 25 in Cherryvale, Kan.
Humans might sometimes share the spotlight and fanfare with their horses, but most of them will admit it is in the quiet moments around the barn that the true bonds are formed. If there was to be only one attendee at Elmer's birthday, it would be the one that mattered most.
Happy Birthday, Elmer.

Ajierene
Sep. 27, 2009, 03:30 PM
Elmer has had one owner, so his age is probably very trackable.

This poor guy apparently has a tattoo to show his age....but the jockey club not only apparently got rid of their records, but is insisting that someone ship a half century old horse to the headquarters so they can see the tattoo in person, instead of the usually accepted picture.

http://minnieapolis.newsvine.com/_news/2007/07/26/860574-is-oldest-living-horse-52-in-north-carolina

I do agree that age, especially for grade horses, can be very hard to determine. A friend bought a pony on the assumption that it was 7 years old and had been carting kids around for the last 3 years. Vet came out to do his teeth....said he couldn't be a day over 4....it made sense considering where his training was.

The two old minis that were bought by a place I used to ride at were supposedly 26. Add twenty years to that and they would be 46...but what if they were 16 when they were bought? Or, for that matter, 36?

Thomas_1
Sep. 27, 2009, 03:41 PM
I read he'd had a single owner.

How comes he's tatooed and jockey club registered??? Do they permit cross breeds to do that there???

Ajierene
Sep. 27, 2009, 03:43 PM
I read he'd had a single owner.

How comes he's tatooed and jockey club registered??? Do they permit cross breeds to do that there???

Oh, sorry for the confusion. Elmer had one owner.


Grand Mogul is in the article - according to the article he is a registered thoroughbred, retired racing horse. Two different horses. He has had more than one owner, but he has a tattoo, along with papers.

Two different horses....just shows how hard it is to really determine age beyond a shadow of a doubt, not matter what you have.

rcloisonne
Sep. 27, 2009, 04:30 PM
Elmer Bandit: 04/08/71

AHA#1A97268 (Half arab) Sire: DJS Jumeel Junaid/grade dam

Still listed as a stallion. Is he? No progeny listed.

Not branded but markings confirm.

Breeder - Mary Anna Wood

Current Owner: Mary Anna Wood

enjoytheride
Sep. 27, 2009, 05:19 PM
That information could mean that his current owners have his registration but have never submitted a new ownership form. Happens all the time. He may have been registered as a baby before he was gelded.

Susan P
Sep. 27, 2009, 10:07 PM
This is wonderful, glad he's in such good condition. It proves horses can live longer and healthier lives.

LisaW-B
Sep. 27, 2009, 10:16 PM
Seriously, the pony is FOURTY-TWO YEARS OLD and about the worst anyone can say is it LOOKS A BIT STIFF.

Holy cow! How amazing and wonderful is that? I still love Sunny the little old white stiff pony.

Lori B
Sep. 27, 2009, 10:23 PM
I think it looks like that pony is doing an appropriate sort of work for keeping him gently moving at his age. I don't think he looks like he's being run into the ground, he looks relaxed and happy (carriage, tail, etc.)

Hooray for him and the lucky children who get to learn with him. His rider looks happy and balanced and confident, and that is the gift a horse like Sunny can give a rider.