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Mtn trails
Jan. 30, 2012, 11:46 AM
Yesterday I was given a free horse (I know, there's no such thing :)) He's a paint that ain't, 16.1 hand, 16 year old gelding. Hasn't been ridden in years since the man who he was intended for was injured severely when he fell off the roof of his house, go figure, so he's been sitting around not working. I lunged him and although a little pigheaded, was mostly willing and wanting to try what I asked. I set out a pole to see what he'd do and he jumped it like it was a 3 foot oxer, just sailed over beautifully showing tons of scope and was forward, forward, forward.

He's put together really quite well, nicely angulated hocks, good knees, large joints, good shoulder and neck, a little long in the back but doesn't have the weak loin you sometimes see with a long back. He's going to take at least 6 months to get him in shape for real work which I hope to be some eventing and lots of trail riding. After 10 minutes in the round pen he was huffing and puffing like he had just run a marathon, poor guy.

Is he too old to take up a jumping career and maybe do some lower level stuff, not any higher than training? He's very sound, has no health issues, just needs a job. How old is too old?

Thanks. Sorry for the novel.

RedLetterSales
Jan. 30, 2012, 11:50 AM
Never too old to learn something new, especially if he's been sittin around for a while there's maybe not much wear on his body. Have some fun!

cottonXCblondie
Jan. 30, 2012, 12:11 PM
Congrats on him! My QH jumped 3' well into his 20's with no issues, just made sure to take it easy on him and make sure he had lots of support.

Heinz 57
Jan. 30, 2012, 12:22 PM
Is he too old to take up a jumping career and maybe do some lower level stuff, not any higher than training? He's very sound, has no health issues, just needs a job. How old is too old?

Thanks. Sorry for the novel.

I'm guessing you knew I'd show up on this thread, what with my two going on 14 and 15. Mr. 15 is the jumper-king extraordinaire, Mr. 14 is just getting his education (and doing fabulously, without a doubt). He'd much rather plop around like a hunter than do anything else, really.

IMO, as long as he's sound and shows interest, there isn't a "too old". I posted a similar thread last fall when I was trying to commit to teaching my big TB to jump, finally, and got a lot of great responses. I think as long as you're realistic and don't expect your old man to go from zero to upper level hero by age 20, there's no reason not to give it a shot.


PS. I really like paints, and while the TB steals my heart every time, I've seen a LOT of APHA papered horses that make lower level superstars. Congrats!

Cameraine
Jan. 30, 2012, 01:10 PM
Age on a horse has a lot to do with what they did in the past. I knew a PaintxTB cross who had done lots of high show jumping when he was young, at 14 he was mostly retired.

But I knew a 28yr QH who just kept going like the energizer bunny.

It's all in how much wear and tear is on their body and how they were taken care of.

For a horse that's just sat in the pasture most of its life even if its got quite a few years on it there shouldn't be any reason it couldn't go out and do whatever. As long as he's sound go for it!

Wordplay1832
Jan. 30, 2012, 02:10 PM
You can't put a number on it-if they are sound and enjoying the work, go for it! There are horses that compete into their 20s and there are some that are done far too early (I retired one at age 8, that sucked). It really depends on the horse and how they feel. One thing I would be careful of is making sure that you condition him really carefully, start really slow with the work and have a careful conditioning program to make sure that his body is strong before asking too much of him. That is definitely something important in older horses.

Sometimes it is luck of the draw, there are those horses that just hold up really well! Have fun with him!!

Mtn trails
Jan. 30, 2012, 03:07 PM
Thanks everyone, I feel better about it now. Yes, long and slow conditioning is in his future. Maybe by the end of the season he'll be in good enough shape to do a baby HT -grasshopper or some such.

retreadeventer
Jan. 30, 2012, 04:48 PM
Yes, just go slowly on the conditioning. Short sessions often work best -- and with the older ones watch the tiny circle stuff. Hard on set joints.

wildlifer
Jan. 30, 2012, 04:52 PM
The short answer is: nope. Just take your time with conditioning, building and "putting legs on him." It will take him a little longer to recover than a 6 yo TB, but he should do just fine.

ss3777
Jan. 30, 2012, 07:05 PM
We "adopted" my son's horse at age 25. He taught my son to hunt, my son's BFF to hunt and he hunted last year at age 30!!

I have never told the horse how old he is :)

Mtn trails
Feb. 2, 2012, 12:17 PM
Skip is settling in quite well and has become very friendly. I'm going to try to get on him this weekend. Here's pics that were taken last summer. Pretty boy.

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee478/eventer2/Skip2.jpg

http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee478/eventer2/Skip1.jpg

Donkerbruin
Feb. 2, 2012, 12:35 PM
He is a cutie! Good luck with him.

Oberon13
Feb. 2, 2012, 01:01 PM
Oh my word...he's gorgeous!!! He looks like a Breyer pony!

Good luck with him...and now, of course, we expect updates! ;)

netg
Feb. 2, 2012, 01:03 PM
:lol:

I saw the name Skip and thought "wonder if he's palomino?"

:lol:


Gorgeous color! His back's a little long...but I'd work on getting him in shape and just let him tell you what he can do.

HappyHorselover
Feb. 2, 2012, 10:16 PM
OMG, I am coming to STEAL him! He is gorgeous!

Justa Bob
Feb. 2, 2012, 10:22 PM
OMG, I am coming to STEAL him! He is gorgeous!

Exactly - without the theft part. :D

yellowbritches
Feb. 2, 2012, 10:29 PM
Oh, hell. He's a palomino....no such thing as a bad palomino. OR, as one of my teenage riders said, in regards to her Practically Perfect Palomino Pony (one of THREE we had) "Everyone needs a golden pony." I'm partial. :D

netg
Feb. 2, 2012, 10:35 PM
Oh, hell. He's a palomino....no such thing as a bad palomino. OR, as one of my teenage riders said, in regards to her Practically Perfect Palomino Pony (one of THREE we had) "Everyone needs a golden pony." I'm partial. :D

If I hadn't had one previously, I would now. Thankfully I did because I agree - and if I had to have a palomino now I wouldn't have my perfect TB who keeps hurting himself...

Heinz 57
Feb. 2, 2012, 10:42 PM
Oh, hell. He's a palomino....no such thing as a bad palomino. OR, as one of my teenage riders said, in regards to her Practically Perfect Palomino Pony (one of THREE we had) "Everyone needs a golden pony." I'm partial. :D

Well crap, now I want one.


*HEINZ DOESN'T NEED ANOTHER HORSE!! HEINZ DOES NOT NEED ANOTHER HORSE!!*

(what I really want is a nice big grulla, anyway)

Mtn trails
Feb. 2, 2012, 11:53 PM
Awwww, thanks everyone I'm all verklempt. He is a good looking guy and I never thought I'd end up with a palomino. I wasn't looking for bling but I've got it now!

I gave him a thorough grooming and he was the perfect gentleman, obligingly holding his feet up for me to pick, stepped over when I asked with the lightest touch, no problem with spray bottles, and showed me where his itchy spots were. Okay, I'm smitten.

A nice big grulla, Heinz, definitely up your alley (and mine) :yes:. I'd also love a sooty buckskin - swoon.

Heinz 57
Feb. 3, 2012, 12:08 AM
I'm still pouting over the one I missed out on three or four years ago. He was an appendix, 16.2-17h and GRULLA. wahhhh!

DiablosHalo
Feb. 3, 2012, 09:06 AM
My first horse was a 16yo OTTB. We evented solid training and a few prelims. She didn't retire until she was 25 although it was low level stuff for a few years before that.

She died at 29yo - was healthy as an ox. Another OTTB (by Halo) gelding broke into her field, chased her to death - gave her a heart attack. Very sad day. :(

So I say - never too old to learn new tricks!

HTeventing
Feb. 6, 2012, 06:25 PM
If he's willing its a fine age! Sometimes they only want a job! My 27 yr old was happily winning the 3' jumpers last year and eventing like a pro! It kept him happy more than anything!

Mtn trails
Feb. 6, 2012, 06:40 PM
Skip's doing great. I rode him Saturday a little and for some reason, when I mounted and put leg on him, he got stuck in reverse :lol: Once I found the forward button, he was great. I just walked around the pasture and although rusty at the riding thing, did as well as could be expected. A little bullheaded and wanting to go where he wanted but with insistance he obligingly did what I asked. Also did a little trot and that was about all he could handle at this time, he was already breathing hard when we were done. He needed some trailer loading training so we spent yesterday working on that. He got into the habit of postioning his body along the side of the trailer to get away from being asked to load. So with hubby at his head, I went over there and everytime he tried to swing his body over, I nailed him with the lunge whip. After doing that about 3 times, he realized the side of the trailer was not the place to be! After that, loading was a breeze, went right in and stood there. Wrong thing uncomfortable, right thing comfortable.

Heinz 57
Feb. 6, 2012, 08:33 PM
Nice work! I expect you to be keeping me company in the Old-but-not-dead BN division this fall. :D

Pssst... I'm working on a video from our XC schooling trip yesterday.

HappyHorselover
Feb. 6, 2012, 08:59 PM
Oh, hell. He's a palomino....no such thing as a bad palomino. OR, as one of my teenage riders said, in regards to her Practically Perfect Palomino Pony (one of THREE we had) "Everyone needs a golden pony." I'm partial. :D


Me too! I have one of my own ;)

Mtn trails
Feb. 27, 2012, 03:57 PM
Rode Skip yesterday in my lesson and he was a STAR! STill needs work on trailering and is antsy in the crossties but otherwise was great. Walked, trotted, and cantered very willingly once he figured out what I was asking and was interested in his work. We even lunged him over a small jump and he was having a good time with it, trotting right over and cantering on the landing side. Trainer likes him and thinks he'll make a good lower level eventer / trail horse. At home in the pasture he cantered right through the standing water/seasonal pond we have so no issues on water. Now I'm psyched!

Heinz 57
Feb. 27, 2012, 04:03 PM
Yay, thumbs up!

I expect to see you out this season!

Mtn trails
Feb. 27, 2012, 04:05 PM
Can't wait!