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MrsFitzDarcy&Feliks
Mar. 14, 2012, 06:51 PM
I started riding my friend's foster rescue thoroughbred about two years ago. We weren't exactly sure how old he was, but knew he was over 20. At the time she was teaching lessons on him, so I mostly rode him on the flat for no stirrup sessions, etc. I didn't really take too much of second look at the time. A pretty young mare had struck my fancy. She needed polishing and was a fun project.

Meanwhile I had been helping a friend/trainer schooling some of her horses. I've almost always ridden "no-name" or OTTBs in my life and was not really familiar with the warmblood type spook. I didn't take a spill, but at 40, lost some of my confidence.

I went back to riding this wonderful guy to get my confidence back. Playing around I discovered he had a killer trot, went on the bit easily, and could even do lateral work. There was not a stiff bone in the horse's body. As he started to muscle up, I started to jump him over an occasional x-rail. He was amped up and clearly enjoyed himself, although he was not quite the beginner school horse he could be on the flat. He stayed sound and we jumped him a little more ... up to 2'6". He was a star. We set up lines. He made it as easily down the lines as my friend's taller TB mare and powerful Holsteiner. What was this horse's past?

With a small windfall, I contributed towards his adoption so he could stay with my friend (and me cough, cough). He is my friend's horse, but I put in as much as I can to help. (Before judging, I am a single mom with a disabled child and can only work part time. I do the best I can, and thank my lucky stars I have the best friend in the world.). The adoption had all his papers and I finally tracked down his racing record (1 start) and his owners. And how old was he? 23!!!!! And the soundest horse I've known.

I tracked down his first owner who bought him off the track. It turns out he was a 3-foot star in Colorado. She had him for 10 years. She had been worried about his fate for several years, knowing his age. She was so happy to hear he was happy, healthy, and even working. Thank God for having his papers and everyone kept track of the changes in ownership. She hasn't gotten to come down to Arizona to visit him yet, but I send her updates and pictures.

He is listed as Feliks in USEF, but most of their electronic records don't go back far enough to see his complete show records. He measured as 15.3 1/2, but I think he has shrunk a bit. He has a bit of an old man belly and his top line isn't quite as developed as it used to be.

Occasionally I take lessons with a local hunter-jumper trainer. This fall I took him to the year end local association show, and we were reserve champion in the modified adult amateur division (2'6"). He was a star. He loved the attention from the girls who were working. He looked a little insulted that he was taken out to longe one morning. He raised an eyebrow, like "Seriously?" He probably hasn't been to a show in at least 8 years, but acted like it was yesterday. Apparently he used to be a hack winner, but we were 2nd to another lovely semi-retired hunter. We also won an over fences and got a second ... I think. It was amazing. On schooling day he was so excited I didn't think he would go around like the hunter he is. But he did. When it was time for the hack, I didn't know if he would relax as he was ready to step into the canter the second we stepped into the o/f classes. But no, he knew the martingale was off and the jumps were moved and he went around exactly like the old pro he is. I would've gotten a ribbon in the eq flat, but I didn't hear the "sitting" part of the sitting trot command and didn't realize til I was halfway around the ring that I shouldn't have been posting. Heh. Bad hearing.

He does show his age in a couple of ways. White eyebrows. And no matter what we feed him, he shows a little bit of rib. He's got a big belly and he has decent muscle. It just doesn't seem to go away. (Yes, he is wormed, etc.) Unfortunately if he gets more than a half scoop of grain a day he is more likely to colic. We had a couple gassy colic scares when a front was coming through. His old owner told me he did have colic surgery (with resection) when he was around 10, so I don't want to play with fire.

I wish more aged and elderly horses were kept in the loop. They deserve and are so useful. It seems in the show world people start having palpitation about buying a horse at 10 or 12. (Not always. That's a generalization). Or it's hard to sell a horse that's 14+. Maybe they are pounded too much and soundness is questionable. I don't know what makes this guy so sound. Maybe they just don't make them the way they used to. He was born the year I graduated from high school! (1988)

Leo-Felik's pedigree:
http://www.pedigreequery.com/dash+with+sass

I don't know much about TB breeding, but any comments gladly taken.

If this link doesn't work ... try the facebook one.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/429268_10150757575387265_762077264_11374750_127261 4823_n.jpg

This is the whole album on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150265611107265.371327.762077264&type=1&l=52d28739a4

netg
Mar. 14, 2012, 07:10 PM
Thank you for giving such a great guy a purpose! If I see you out at any shows I'll have to cheer you on for sure!

MrsFitzDarcy&Feliks
Mar. 14, 2012, 07:21 PM
Oh! I should also say he lets my disabled autistic son climb all over him. He can do beginner lessons. And does trail rides with my not-so-often riding sister! He is the horse of a lifetime. Irreplaceable.

FlashGordon
Mar. 14, 2012, 07:30 PM
Congrats to you guys! The old dudes are the best. A few years ago I ended up with an aged TB gelding, sort of by default. He had been doing lessons 6 days a week and jumping 3', but through a strange twist of events he ended up in a field, two legged lame.

Anyway after 8 months of rehab he turned into a really lovely boy. We thought he was 15.... oops, he was 21!

He never did come totally sound but there were days when he was ridable, and absolutely brilliant at times under saddle. I loved him dearly. We put him down this past November at the age of 24 due to degenerative tendonitis. I miss him terribly, he was a really neat guy and the epitome of a war horse.

Enjoy your dude, he is lovely and it is nice to see someone take a chance on an older fellow.

eq3019
Mar. 14, 2012, 08:58 PM
I leased an older horse for about a year. He was (and still is) the BEST. He helped me move up to the children's at the ripe age of 21 =]. At the age of 23 he won the hack at the Old Salem May show last spring (in the local hunters.. but we were still a bit shocked, although in his defense he is a pretty darn good mover.)

Here he is at 21 at HITS. He thinks he is younger at shows, I swear!
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/4404_1155589805011_1085671242_30768438_5542378_n.j pg
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/4404_1155589845012_1085671242_30768439_7589439_n.j pg
(I bought the photos by the way, just don't have them on the computer)

So yes, older horses ROCK and are worth their weight in gold!

myforx4
Mar. 14, 2012, 09:56 PM
We brought one home last April..... we were told he was 20 but after researching his tattoo we found out he is actually going to be 25 next month :)

In his younger years he was a Maclay horse (or so we were told) and he has proven to be the absolutely best horse- I can put anyone on him and he is a perfect gentleman. He's become my daughters best friend and given her so much confidence- she is going to make her short stirrup debut with him next weekend :)

He was a bit rough looking when first got him but he's muscled up nicely (still needs to build more of a top line)

Pics of when he first arrived:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3545989136590&set=a.1033579247913.2006681.1478389558&type=3

And now (taken 2-days ago)

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3533372221175&set=a.2980205672357.2157554.1478389558&type=3

He has a forever home with us :)

Credosporthorses
Mar. 14, 2012, 10:43 PM
What a wonderful story thank you for sharing! We have an old guy one of my students rides. 21yo TBx, in his hayday showed at rolex and all sorts of major events. He how happily and soundly packs my student around the 1.10m. He is by far a barn favorite and the happiest horse I have ever seen. His owner tried to retire him twice but each time he saw the trailer leave to a show he would run the fences down. I love the old guys they are just so good at teaching something to every level of rider.

And for fun here is French Twist aka french fry :)
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2962789863375&set=a.1586439735482.82893.1070436678&type=3&theater

from his eventing days. http://www.briarcroft.com/jessica.htm

Hauwse
Mar. 15, 2012, 06:42 AM
Great story, and certainly the older horse does get over looked as a prospect for a lot of buyers. I do not think the FEI helps any with its mandatory retirement age, horseman at that level should know when their horse is past competing at that level, and the perception it projects is that a horse around 18 is over the hill and must be retired for its own sake.

I was lucky enough to have hitched a ride on a horse much like the one you describe. After a great career as an open hunter, he took me through the junior hunter/jumper divisions all the way to the GP ring, and then continued to nurse other young riders through the junior jumpers until he was almost 29, then retired to trail horse/baby sitter well into his 30's. Never an unsound day in his life, and he had far from perfect conformation.

Correct me if I am wrong but didn't Gem Twist/Democrat ( a couple that come to mind) compete into their 20's as well?

Rockfish
Mar. 15, 2012, 06:50 AM
This is my guy's last year at 3'. Don't tell him he's 25!

ser42
Mar. 15, 2012, 08:17 AM
This is awesome! I LOVE the oldies! They have so much to give/teach.

He looks fantastic. Good job, you. :)

GingerJumper
Mar. 15, 2012, 10:11 AM
My first guy was an oldie. Didn't jump until he was 15 (before I had him) but schooled 1.30 with me. He had all the buttons and was a great teacher--if you didn't ask just right, then you might as well be riding a bronze statue... he was not going to let you get what you wanted until you could ask perfectly. He went into semi-retirement last summer with a "forever" home who turned out to be a scam, but luck brought him to a wonderful barn where he's spoiled rotten by little girls and does walk/trot lessons.

Miraya
Mar. 15, 2012, 11:32 AM
My 22 year old TB doesn't know how old he is either! Took me from the 2 foot hunters (no oxers!) to mini medals and winning 3'3. Even did a BC Summer Games qualifier on him (3'6) but had rails. Still, he's the best. Owned him for ten years now....and the little bugger managed to bronc me off recently. Who says 22 is old? :lol: he teaches adult ammies and the odd kid how to ride now...he's a wonderful teacher!

JMarcyQuay
Mar. 15, 2012, 11:57 AM
Old guys are absolutely the best!!

I've had my old guy 10 years or so...he's 23 this year. Of unknown breeding, a very modest start, and not fancy...but worth his weight in gold. :)

http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/429512_10151213182140599_654335598_23032527_362955 798_n.jpg

http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/195832_7739530598_654335598_139130_6766_n.jpg

trubandloki
Mar. 15, 2012, 12:26 PM
What fun stories and lovely photos. Thank you for sharing.

MrsFitzDarcy&Feliks
Mar. 15, 2012, 01:12 PM
Anyone have suggestions for keeping these guys (esp. thoroughbreds) healthy, fit, and weight on?

MrsFitzDarcy&Feliks
Mar. 15, 2012, 01:20 PM
The "Now" photo doesn't show up. :(

And I sent a "friend request."


We brought one home last April..... we were told he was 20 but after researching his tattoo we found out he is actually going to be 25 next month :)

In his younger years he was a Maclay horse (or so we were told) and he has proven to be the absolutely best horse- I can put anyone on him and he is a perfect gentleman. He's become my daughters best friend and given her so much confidence- she is going to make her short stirrup debut with him next weekend :)

He was a bit rough looking when first got him but he's muscled up nicely (still needs to build more of a top line)

Pics of when he first arrived:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3545989136590&set=a.1033579247913.2006681.1478389558&type=3

And now (taken 2-days ago)

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3533372221175&set=a.2980205672357.2157554.1478389558&type=3

He has a forever home with us :)

Ghostdance
Mar. 15, 2012, 01:42 PM
Thanks for starting this thread.

As a proud new owner of a 15 year old Tb this gives me lots of hope that we have many, many good years ahead of us. After years of not actually owning a horse and leasing I just wanted to feel safe on a horse of my own again and my guy was the perfect fit.

I just love all the pics and stories.

OveroHunter
Mar. 15, 2012, 01:58 PM
I love stories like this! I first got my children's hunter 10 years ago when she was 11 and I was 14:

http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/1156117183043029495qXKhsD
http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/1387042262043029495DwSKOA

Now she is 21 and her new owner takes fabulous care of her and she is still showing :) I couldn't be happier for my girl! Here she is at a BEST show:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=215656088459299&set=a.215645295127045.62579.107276895963886&type=3&theater

forward ride
Mar. 15, 2012, 02:07 PM
yay! I'll play. I actually moved my 19 yo OTTB up to the 1.30 at the end of last year and we even attempted a 1.35 class at thermal this year. Getting through the combinations (mainly the triples) will take some good riding on my part, but the height is not an issue for him. He raced for 4 years, then evented up to ** as well.

He gets injections a little more often than yearly and adequan (or now pentosan) monthly along with a daily oral joint supp. We also don't show that much & he lives out all the time, which is good for his legs and his mind. For weight, I found that Cocosoya really did the trick after I'd tried literally every other weight gain supplement out there.

As a TB, he really just enjoys have a job and regularity in his life I think. So many of his WB counterparts are coddled and not allowed to be horses really, whereas he thrives on trail rides and weeks off, and, in return, can do multiple classes a day at a show (unheard of for the WBs jumping at this level). We've made it much farther than other people thought we could and I am continually amazed by him. Sometimes I take it for granted almost and I need to stop and really appreciate him. Of course, I'm in total denial that he will EVER be unable to do what he does ;)

It's really got to be a horse-by-horse basis, as they say, age is just a number :)

CharmCity
Mar. 15, 2012, 02:12 PM
OveroHunter, if I see your mare at BEST, I'll ask the rider if I can pet her for you:)

I love reading stories and seeing pics about the older horses. A nice reminder that me and Dobbin have years to enjoy each other's company.

jhorse11386
Mar. 15, 2012, 02:13 PM
These are wonderful stories and photos. Thank you for sharing. I have a 16 year old TB I have had for 3 years now and I look forward to many more great years with him. :)

Kryswyn
Mar. 15, 2012, 04:01 PM
Pics of when he first arrived:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3545989136590&set=a.1033579247913.2006681.1478389558&type=3

And now (taken 2-days ago)

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3533372221175&set=a.2980205672357.2157554.1478389558&type=3

He has a forever home with us :)

The 2d link didn't work, so I just scrolled through all your photos :winkgrin::lol: He looks like a much happier fellow now, and well able to continue to do his job. PS: all your horses are beautiful!

amylmac
Mar. 15, 2012, 05:26 PM
I have a 28 yo OTTB... He raced 2 times before I got him as a 2yo colt. I immediately gelded him and have had the pleasure of his company for the past 26 yrs. He is sound, healthy and is ridden . He took me through Prelm. 3 phase, my daughter through Children's Hunter and big eq , then me again through Adult Hunters and some jumping. All with a smile on his face ( and ours) and with enthusiam. He has always been a " hard keeper " and still is but we have found that the key to keeping him in proper weight is to keep good quality hay in front of him at all times. This horse is our horse of a lifetime and the benchmark for all of our other horses. I cannot imagine life without him and sincerely hope he continues to grace us with his wonderful presence for many more years. I would be interested in hearing from others who have 28+ Tbs who are still being ridden or used .

OveroHunter
Mar. 15, 2012, 05:31 PM
OveroHunter, if I see your mare at BEST, I'll ask the rider if I can pet her for you:)

I love reading stories and seeing pics about the older horses. A nice reminder that me and Dobbin have years to enjoy each other's company.

Awww thanks! She's a big, beautiful Hanoverian mare that I have been missing since I had to give her up when I went to college 7 years ago.

ohrebecca
Mar. 15, 2012, 06:02 PM
I love all these stories and pictures! Thank you so much for sharing :) all of your horses look so happy!

abv1269
Mar. 15, 2012, 06:41 PM
I started leasing my Sainted Mare at 12, bought her at 13 and almost didn't because I was worried about the "age" thing. Thank God i did buy her, she's been the best thing to happen to my fmaily. She just had her sweet 16, gets the occassional injection, and jumps the 3' fences I put her at like they were 4'.
She then packs my 12 yr old beginner son around cross rails, or lets my 60lb 10 yr old up to practice lateral work.
I pray my kids and I have many good years left with her, and this post gives me hope tat with the right management we will.
Thanks for the beautiful stories of well loved and useful older friends.

INoMrEd
Mar. 15, 2012, 06:45 PM
Anyone have suggestions for keeping these guys (esp. thoroughbreds) healthy, fit, and weight on?

Soaked beet pulp pellets.

Louie came to me much thinner in 2007. He will be 23 next month!

Celeritas
Mar. 15, 2012, 06:55 PM
My guy is 23 this year, and he is actually sounder and happier than ever! He came off the track at 2, and since then he's done everything: jumpers, eq, hunters, fox hunting, beach and trail riding. Lately he's been packing me around the 3'-3'3" eq and jumpers, and he marched me around my first time at New England Finals this past fall- he was definitely the oldest horse there but you would never know it by looking at him.

Here we are this past summer doing the low child/adult jumpers:

http://yorkfield-farm.com/images/horses/HomeJmprLrg.jpg

As for maintenance, he does have some trouble keeping weight on and gets crazy with too much grain, so along with his grain (Pennfield Fibergize) he gets beet pulp twice a day, he gets cocosoya and flax, and lately he's also been getting dengie for a night-time snack. He gets his hocks injected every 9 months or so, and gets Cosequin ASU daily. At horse shows and after a particularly hard jump school he will get 1g of bute, but that's really it besides the usual cold hosing/ liniment/ hand walking routine.

Gotta love the older ones that are still sound and happy in their work!

simc24
Mar. 15, 2012, 07:02 PM
I have a 28 yo OTTB... He raced 2 times before I got him as a 2yo colt. I immediately gelded him and have had the pleasure of his company for the past 26 yrs. He is sound, healthy and is ridden . He took me through Prelm. 3 phase, my daughter through Children's Hunter and big eq , then me again through Adult Hunters and some jumping. All with a smile on his face ( and ours) and with enthusiam. He has always been a " hard keeper " and still is but we have found that the key to keeping him in proper weight is to keep good quality hay in front of him at all times. This horse is our horse of a lifetime and the benchmark for all of our other horses. I cannot imagine life without him and sincerely hope he continues to grace us with his wonderful presence for many more years. I would be interested in hearing from others who have 28+ Tbs who are still being ridden or used .

He's not mine, but I know somebody who has a 31 y/o (maybe he's 32 now??) very big TB that is still ridden on a daily basis. He still jumps, does lower level dressage and I heard the owner say last week she's trying to take him to a show soonish. He shows his age for sure, but he's spry and full of life!

Jamie2337
Mar. 15, 2012, 07:30 PM
I have an oldie-but-a-goodie as well! She came to the barn as a freebie with a pony and I fell in love. I thought she was one of the ugliest horses I had ever seen...but she rode like a dream! My trainer traded my 2 year old OTTB for her!

Karman is 24 this year, helped me get over a crippling fear of riding after some bad falls, and has taught my daughter to ride as well.

Here she is when she first arrived at the barn: http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/Jamie2337/IMG_0424.jpg

Here we are showing: http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/Jamie2337/IMG_3407.jpg

Here she is with my 9 year old at her first show:
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/Jamie2337/IMG_2854-1.jpg

And here she is at 24, clearly un-amused at being taken in for a lesson!
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/Jamie2337/IMG_0598.jpg

Big_Tag
Mar. 15, 2012, 07:31 PM
I've posted this picture before, but I leased this guy when I was still in high school (good grief, YEARS ago) doing the low children's. His name was BronzeStar, I guess he used to do mini-prixs and the like back in his day. He was at or over 25ish when I leased him, with a swayed back, sound as a dollar, and look at those knees and expression! (but please ignore my perplexing eq):

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/RouxKazoo/Bronzie.jpg

A friend of mine subsequently bought him. He died maybe 5 years ago now, and he was QUITE old by that time.

hundredacres
Mar. 15, 2012, 07:41 PM
I have an oldie-but-a-goodie as well! She came to the barn as a freebie with a pony and I fell in love. I thought she was one of the ugliest horses I had ever seen...but she rode like a dream! My trainer traded my 2 year old OTTB for her!

Karman is 24 this year, helped me get over a crippling fear of riding after some bad falls, and has taught my daughter to ride as well.

Here she is when she first arrived at the barn: http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/Jamie2337/IMG_0424.jpg

Here we are showing: http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/Jamie2337/IMG_3407.jpg

Here she is with my 9 year old at her first show:
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/Jamie2337/IMG_2854-1.jpg

And here she is at 24, clearing un-amused at being taken in for a lesson!
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/Jamie2337/IMG_0598.jpg

Jamie, that was an "ugly" mare when she arrived....so glad you saw through that :)....she's beautiful!!!!

I really love the wise old horses and I'm so glad you are all sharing these stories.

bathsheba8542
Mar. 15, 2012, 07:59 PM
Don't tell him, but he just had his 26th birthday! My old guy was competitive in Europe at FEI, and imported to the US in his late teens (I think). His previous owner (bless her soul) bought him because of his pretty head (and he's enormous). I started riding him when he had been basically turned out for a few years. Fast forward 5 years and he's doing lines of threes, twos, ones, and P-P-P! He's not easy and he'll wear out anyone that doesn't find that 'go' button in the first few minutes, but he is a most excellent teacher, and so loved!

Our health program includes feeding alfalfa, ultium, flax seed, adequan monthly, platinum performance daily, a probiotic, and much much much TLC.

DMK
Mar. 15, 2012, 08:08 PM
The horse in my profile is 20 this year. I retired him from showing in 2008 mostly because I bought a youngster and showing 2 is just too much $$ and too much stuff for my ADD, so he became my trail horse. Then last year it was really obvious his hocks were fusing so I really stopped jumping him. Not because he was lame, but he really had the most insane jump - nose between the toes, knock you out of the tack kind of jump. But hocks fusing is not the same jump, although I'm pretty sure we could have still won our fair share out there.

This winter I jumped him a few times and I though he felt better so last weekend when we went to a hunter pace I jumped him over most of the jumps in kind of a casual way - lots of walking, a tiny amount of trotting/cantering and about 12 coops and walls. Here's a horse who hasn't jumped natural elements in two yearr and has maybe seen six 2'6 jumps in a ring in the last year and he loped around on a long rein the whole day. In fact I decided to video myself as we were cantering up to a coop. This is what it looks like when you canter your 20 year old OTTB, retired show hunter up to a coop and you have one hell of a witch's cackle so lower the sound if you like your ears!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&list=UUWrjkXnwe-2UWNCdrXpB7vQ&v=2UgaGhRS03M

Miraya
Mar. 15, 2012, 08:09 PM
Anyone have suggestions for keeping these guys (esp. thoroughbreds) healthy, fit, and weight on?

Depends on the horse but this is what has worked for my old guy...
- a very large stall wtih attached paddock where he can come and go as he pleases
- great quality free choice hay, grain 2x per day
- MSM joint supplement
- light work 4 to 5 days a week (walk, trot canter, a few small jumps)
- regular dental work! Cant stress that enough..
- lots of field turnout in the summer when possible, I also keep him separated from my mare because she just runs him till he cant go anymore!

My guy has been a cribber since before I bought him, but we took his collar off in the last few years and find he eats much more, its easier to keep weight on him and he honestly doesnt crib as much. My vet said to keep doing what we're doing with him because he looks amazing! :yes:

myforx4
Mar. 15, 2012, 08:19 PM
Sorry! The picture was set to "friends"....... It should work now :)

The day we got him:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3545989136590&set=a.1033579247913.2006681.1478389558&type=3

And now:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3533372221175&set=a.2980205672357.2157554.1478389558&type=3

HazelG
Mar. 15, 2012, 08:21 PM
Thank you for this thread.

I bought a pony for my then 5 year old son to learn to ride on The pony was supposed to be 15 at the time, but in retrospect he was likely older according to the vet. He was beautiful, safe as the day is long, and took care of my son and then my daughter, who started riding him when she was 3. He was an old school pony, and when we moved to our current barn it turned out he was the first pony many of the kids had ever ridden. I never once worried even a tiny bit when either of my kids was on his back, I knew he would protect them with his life. He colicked, had surgery (I couldn't let him go), lived for 10 days and then crossed the rainbow bridge in my arms. It was 3 years, 5 months and 5 days ago and I still miss him every day, and I am so grateful for how he protected and taught my children

Our second pony was sent to us from heaven. He was 14 when we got him, now turning 18 He had big hooves to fill, but also took care of my children, taught them both to jump courses and took my daughter around the short stirrup A's last year. No other pony could have confidently walked into the void of our loss except him He knew we were hurting and frightened and he walked right in, took over where our first had left off, took care of all of us with his big heart. His arthritis is too bad for him to take my daughter to the next level, so he is now leased to the school, safely teaching other kids what he taught mine. He is my gift to all the other mothers nervously watching their kids grab mane over their first crossrail. I will love him til the end of time.

Both my kids have continued to ride. My son is now doing jumpers on a 16 hand warmblood and my daughter shows core pony division. They are both brave and enthusiastic riders, which I know is because of the "experienced" ponies that we have been blessed to have in our lives.

myforx4
Mar. 15, 2012, 08:22 PM
The 2d link didn't work, so I just scrolled through all your photos :winkgrin::lol: He looks like a much happier fellow now, and well able to continue to do his job. PS: all your horses are beautiful!

Thank you :)

We seem to be the "go to" for the ones who are out of a job :) but we happily take them in, fatten them up and the kids shower the with attention!

alightlefton
Mar. 15, 2012, 09:44 PM
I lease a great old guy too. He's turning 23 this year and we're moving up to the 3' hunters and eq on our local circuit :)

I started leasing Hugo a year and a half ago and he took me back to the show ring after 8 years off (besides IHSA). He took great care of me and I even won my 2'6" adult medal final (the first time I had ever been to medal finals!).

I'm so excited that we're both fit enough this year to tackle the 3' divisions, which I haven't shown in since I was 15.

And I apologize if the links don't work, this is my first post on the forum!
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100248045711425&set=a.801243399865.2426369.22401990&type=3&theater
In an equitation class last summer.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100263848956595&set=a.801243399865.2426369.22401990&type=3&theater
Receiving our prize at medal finals :)

Peggy
Mar. 16, 2012, 12:16 AM
My trainer was given a 17 y.o. former 1.3-m jumper that didn't fancy retirement and being a trail horse. Not sure what planet they came from thinking he'd be good at that given that he snorts at his leadrope and the hose pretty much every day. Eventually he leaped sideways and dumped dad. And so he came to our barn.

He was out of shape and all four legs moved in different directions at first. The first time I jumped him he was, shall we say, enthusiastic. But in about three sessions he went from being what one of the other amateurs described as "he would scare the crap out of me" to restoring someone's confidence over low jumps and taking a student over his first x (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2737978042628&l=5cf80cffa2). I've been jumping him 2'6" to 3' in lessons while my horse is rehabbing and doing flat only and took him to a show to do low jumpers over the weekend. He is a wonderful confidence builder.

MrsFitzDarcy&Feliks
Mar. 16, 2012, 12:48 AM
Wow! So many awesome stories. I have to study B and T cells right now so I don't have time to respond to everyone individually. Thank you so much!

I'm actually on spring break from teaching and learning, but trying to get caught up. My guy lost a shoe and the farrier was at the HITS/Pima Cty Showgrounds all week, so I've been a little cranky that I haven't been able to ride him much at all my one free week!

OveroHunter
Mar. 16, 2012, 10:31 AM
I am loving looking at everyone's pictures! Especially the before and after ones :)

INoMrEd, your guy is GORGEOUS!

This thread reminds me of the only horse I ever got to show over a 4 ft course right after my 14th birthday. She was a 15.1 (on her tippy toes) 18 year old appendix QH. She was a completely push button jumper and I learned so much from her in the short time I got to ride her. I wish I had pics of her :( They would also be nice to show my fiance to prove I used to jump 4'6 :lol:

Mo's Mom
Mar. 16, 2012, 10:42 AM
21 YO arab gelding, get this, never jumped over anything other than 18-2' playing with me, until 3 years ago at 18. This is my DD moving up to Novice this year.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/mosmom/Mo%20and%20Jessica%202012/PCTTC31112/lnpc031211082.jpg

18EB11
Mar. 16, 2012, 01:22 PM
That's such a beautiful story, I wish you and your boy many wonderful years to come.

It is such a shame that it doesn't happen as often that we can keep older horses going. There is definitely some ageism to speak of in the hunter/jumper world... We have green classes, 5 yo 6yo 7yo jumpers, why not senior classes?

GingerJumper
Mar. 16, 2012, 01:31 PM
21 YO arab gelding, get this, never jumped over anything other than 18-2' playing with me, until 3 years ago at 18. This is my DD moving up to Novice this year.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/mosmom/Mo%20and%20Jessica%202012/PCTTC31112/lnpc031211082.jpg

I know you! And Mo :)

rogue
Mar. 16, 2012, 01:33 PM
:)

monalisa
Mar. 16, 2012, 01:35 PM
I have an 18 year old WB mare that I have owned since she was 3. She is still going, although I did retire her for about 8 months in 2010 when she felt like she was overfaced at the shows. I pulled her out about a year ago when my other horse was injured and slowly moved her back up so that she competed again at the AA level in the 3'0 adults - just was not sure if she wanted to show again or if she even felt like it. She won a lot of tricolors last year. In November she jumped the best I have ever seen, literally clearing the fences by at least a foot and jumping me out of the tack Her only A show this year to date, she was in the ribbons in all of her over fences classes in very good company.

Oddly, it takes me more time to get her to the ring now than when she was younger. I have to lunge her and ride her down - she is just so fresh at the shows and loves to jump. But in the ring, she is all business.

At home, she runs over the fence and has a fit if the truck and trailer leave without her in it. And she has been lame 2 days since I owned her. Now I just give her Adequan shots and Cosequin. She is a very easy keeper but she loves her job today as much as she did at her prime.

I never thought I would be showing her at this point, at the AA level, almost always in the jog with horses who are much younger and the same level she showed when she was 6. She is just the most wonderful horse I will ever own. I will keep her going as long as she wants to go. So far so good this year! When you have a great one, that loves their job, take good care of them and they can last a long time. This one is a case study!

18EB11
Mar. 16, 2012, 01:48 PM
That's such a beautiful story, I wish you and your boy many wonderful years to come.

It is such a shame that it doesn't happen as often that we can keep older horses going. There is definitely some ageism to speak of in the hunter/jumper world... We have green classes, 5 yo 6yo 7yo jumpers, why not senior classes?:confused:

Mo's Mom
Mar. 16, 2012, 06:20 PM
I know you! And Mo :)

Psssst. Who are you?

RugBug
Mar. 16, 2012, 10:40 PM
Love to hear stories about the older guys.

This is the older horse (http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g14/slorugbug/Orion/OrionJumpers.jpg) I adore. He was 20-ish in these pictures (http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g14/slorugbug/Orion/OrionEq.jpg). He allowed this hunter princess to do 2 BN events, winning one, let me do my first Greg Best clinic, won me my first medal ribbons, my first year end ribbons, etc.

Three years later, he's still going strong, although has slowed down a tad. The best part about him was he could always teach a beginner one day and the next jump around acting like he was a youngster. He was such a blast, and the last time I went horse shopping it was for a younger version of him (and I did a pretty good job there too)

Riding is fundamental
Mar. 17, 2012, 06:59 AM
Great stories, and wonderful to hear the OP has such a great friend and is riding!

My old guy OTTB is 31. Hes pasture sound but a little stiff or achy some days. Still the best mover on the farm when he floats accross the field. He retired around 27. He is of course on senior feed with supplements and i moved him to alfalfa hay. He doesnt consume as much anymore (teeth are checked) and the alfalfa has made a difference. He also lives out most of the time. He prefers it and the ability to move when and how he wants really helps him stay mobile. He stocks up and gets sore when in.

I bought him at 15 and never regretted getting an "old" horse!

GypsyQ
Mar. 17, 2012, 09:19 AM
Love this thread!

TSWJB
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:06 AM
thanks for sharing your pictures and stories!! love it!
i got the ride on a 25 yo jumper. he was soo sway backed that i had to stack tons of foam pads so the saddle would be level. i had never done jumpers and stepped right into the 3.6 ring with him!! we did so well (i ended up second in zone 2 adult jumpers) the following year i qualified for the NAL finals in harrisburg! sadly he died before the finals, but he gave me the best 2 years ever in my show career!

MrsFitzDarcy&Feliks
Mar. 27, 2012, 03:10 PM
That's such a beautiful story, I wish you and your boy many wonderful years to come.

It is such a shame that it doesn't happen as often that we can keep older horses going. There is definitely some ageism to speak of in the hunter/jumper world... We have green classes, 5 yo 6yo 7yo jumpers, why not senior classes?:confused:

I think that would be marvelous. It would be a way to give older horses a job ... maybe a split class of 2'6" & 3'. Sort of semi-retirement ... horses couldn't go back into regularly rated classes. For 18 and Up! Would be great at the affiliate level.

Thank you for the good wishes. We had a great ride today. Although Feliks has a h/j background, he could've done dressage (or probably eventing) at the mid-levels. He is so soft mouthed and backed. He is teaching me what round and submission really mean. He is dreamy!

Trevelyan96
Mar. 28, 2012, 01:21 PM
I love stories like this! I first got my children's hunter 10 years ago when she was 11 and I was 14:

http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/1156117183043029495qXKhsD
http://outdoors.webshots.com/photo/1387042262043029495DwSKOA

Now she is 21 and her new owner takes fabulous care of her and she is still showing :) I couldn't be happier for my girl! Here she is at a BEST show:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=215656088459299&set=a.215645295127045.62579.107276895963886&type=3&theater

I know that venue, and I think I recognize the horse!

Love these stories. I had a free lease on an 18 year old QH mare who was always the barn favorite. She was the sweetest thing in the world on the ground but under saddle was still a pistol, and I learned so much from her. Wish I had pics, but she died in 2000. Her owner and I became are closer than sisters, all through the love of this horse.

OveroHunter
Mar. 28, 2012, 02:44 PM
I know that venue, and I think I recognize the horse!

Love these stories. I had a free lease on an 18 year old QH mare who was always the barn favorite. She was the sweetest thing in the world on the ground but under saddle was still a pistol, and I learned so much from her. Wish I had pics, but she died in 2000. Her owner and I became are closer than sisters, all through the love of this horse.

They take great care of her and are still able to show her successfully as a result. I couldn't be happier with what happened to my old girl. She's pretty easy to spot as a 17 - 17.1 Hanoverian mare :) I miss her everyday, but I know she's happy.

Your QH mare reminds me of a QH mare I rode before I got my childrens hunter. She was pushing 20 and only 15.1, but I showed her in a 4 ft jumpers class! She was so talented and sound even as an old lady :D

susy999
Mar. 28, 2012, 07:16 PM
I love hearing stories like this! Thanks for the post and congrats on your horse show!!

myvanya
Mar. 29, 2012, 10:29 AM
I love hearing these stories!

My old guy is going to be 27 in April....he and I are the same age and I grew up with him. I credit him with keeping me from killing myself when I was a crazy kid and had more guts than knowledge. He is just a little guy (14.3 on a tall day) but he and I jumped just over 5' when he was younger. He took me to Morgan Nationals where we won the jumpers and got reserve in the eq over fences. He has been used in therapeutic programs, lessons, and has taken more kids to their first show than I can count. He is still totally sound, happy and healthy. I still hop on him and jump him occasionally though he mostly gets used by a rider in 4-H who wanted to do horse project and had no horse. 4-H here is mostly western and her dream was to do speed events (which I had done a bit with him as well...he really has done it all) so he has spent the last year trying to be a western pleasure horse and teaching another "kid" (she will be graduating high school soon). When she started with him last March she had never really ridden a horse, just studied them in horseless 4-H. She went on to win several high points in Western novice including the one at our county fair. She went in her first speed events last weekend after riding for a year and was even quite competitive in her division against people who had ridden far longer than she has. Now she is saying she wants to keep going with the barrels and other speed events but wants to learn to jump on him too- I couldn't be more thrilled!I don't have my photos from last weekend uploaded yet but here is one shot of them waiting for their showmanship class:

http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m472/valeskadavis/IMG_20120324_111331.jpg


and here are some older ones of me on him:

http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m472/valeskadavis/valeska3.jpg

http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m472/valeskadavis/valeska2.jpg