I think it would nice for those of us with senior horses to honor them with their own thread. I was riding my old guy yesterday and just felt so grateful for him. Steadfast and true.
So what I would like is for us to post a picture, his age, how long you have had him/her, and what makes him/her special.
Here's Woodrow, he's 22 now, I've owned him for 13 years and he is my most wonderful trail horse. He's carried me hundreds of miles over some of the narliest terrain with never a complaint. We know each other inside and out and I truly don't know what I'm going to do when he will no longer be able to do the job. I don't relish the idea of training a new one but I guess that's what I'll need to do. Of course I will never sell Woodrow and when the time comes, he will be laid to rest here and buried here on our property.
Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert
This is my once in a lifetime horse. I rode him for about a year when we bought him and I barrel raced him for a few months and he started having knee problems. Come to find out his knee was shoot from years of abuse and not being able to properly heal, he was a header and cutter and then went to trail horse/jumper than I got him and did barrels/jumpers. We had knee sx done and he has had vet stem injections in his knee also. Also lots of steriods in the knee. I'll never ride him again but his knee has fused and he is happy and thats all that matters. He is 25 years old.
I didn't even get him until he was 20, and he has never acted his age! He's gaited, and was really the first gaited horse I rode, so we had a lot to figure out together. I got him started sidesaddle (while teaching myself) at 23 and he did his first novice CTR at 24. I've also used him for medieval mounted games, and performed at some small Renn Faires. He's the best horse ever - I'm not even slightly biased, of course
I love the pics! Nice thread, too... sometimes the old guys don't get enough credit!
I've posted a ton (probably too much!) about my horse. I got him last October, he belonged to someone I knew and the situation unfolded as such that he was left in a field, with a bad abscess and a twisted shoe, to fend for himself. Which he wasn't able to do very well. He was barely alive when I found him, skeletal, and 2-legged lame. I did NOT want a horse at the time, but apparently he wanted a person!
It seemed his Coggins had said he was 15 for an awful long time, so I traced his tattoo and found out he was actually 21. He last raced in California many, many years ago, how he ended up in NY I don't know. In the last 7 or 8 years he's been in various local lesson programs, had a few different owners, and went by 3 different names. He's done pony club, H/J, trails, lower level dressage.
He did his job, as he was asked, but never found his own person. I'm glad to be able to give him a cushy life now, in return for all the years he put up with poor care, poor riding and hard times. I ride him a little bit, but really I mostly enjoy just being with him and watching him love his life! He has a gigantic, grass filled pasture, two girlfriends, and a huge luxurious stall for bad weather. And me to stuff him with treats... what could be better?
My Andy, who is 25, shares riding duties with my younger horse, and is still eager to be called on to be the go-to girl. We do a little trail riding and dressage and I love to see her bright, happy little face hanging over the stall door. She has an enormous amount of heart. I've had her for just over two years. In her previous life, she raced, was a broodmare and evented with a couple of teenagers.
She's my 25 year old grade QH mare (pictured a year ago at 24, but she looks pretty much the same.) I fell in love with her 12 years ago when she was one of my summer camp horses. Over the years I would occasionally ask her owner if he'd sell her to me, the answer was always a laugh Last year I asked and finally got a yes. She's got lymphangitis in her left hind leg, skin allergies and heaves, but I don't care. I love her so much I would have bought her even if she only had a few months to live. She carted around kids on trails for at least 15 years and I wanted to give her a good retirement. I'm so happy I have her for the rest of her life. She's still got plenty of energy and I ride her a couple of times a week. She has 40 acres of grass, a stall with attached corral, blankets to keep the cold and snow from her, all the old horse nutritional needs covered, and a buddy who adores her.
This is Allie, aka Through the Looking Glass, age 25. She apparently had an abysmal race record, went through multiple owners and did everything from hunters to hacking to lessons in the course of her career.
Before me, she belonged to a wonderful college student who was having trouble paying Allie's expenses, plus Allie was developing arthritis and was pasture sound but not comfortable being ridden (especially jumping, which was her owners's passion.
Her owner tried to place her with a rescue about 5 years ago, but had no luck. Luckily, one of those rescues contacted me and asked if I could give her a permanent retirement home. Of course, I said yes!
She's had some hoof issues (a club foot that was never addressed—which may have contributed to her joint pain), a hoof crack that absolutely refused to heal for over a year, despite staples, acrylic, bar shoes, etc., and finally a bad case of chancre (all in the same foot). By November of last year, my brilliant farrier had managed to clear up everything! Now she's still retired, but lives in a stall with special, extra-cushy mats, she's put weight on, and for the first time I've know her, she canters up the steep hill with the rest of the herd to get to the really good summer-pasture grass. In fact, she's doing so well that I'm tempted to saddle her up and see how she does! The ironic part is that the BO, who is a very good horse person, tried very hard to get me to put her down before winter—the surprise was on her when Alie had a complete turnaround (Over the NEPA winter, no less!) and came out fat and shiny as a tick.! I LOVE the seniors!
Below is a picture taken last fall before the new barn was complete. Allie's not as fat and shiny this picture as she is now, but she's the queen bee of the barn, and I'll never part with her.
Here's my old guy, Jodi (Dial Jet Jodi). He's the coolest horse I've ever ridden, and has saved my butt more times than I can count. He's mostly retired now, and just gives hugs and kisses, when he's in a good mood.
The vet say that he is one of the most healthy and sound old horses he knows, other than a growth that he took off three weeks ago.
All his blood work came in with excellent numbers.
He had that squamous cell carcinoma growth excised from the end of his sheat last week and we may be able to keep that arrested for several years.
He came out of that with flying colors, seems to be enjoying all the extra attention and grain for his medications.
He is due for a second round of chemo next week.
Sure hope his luck keeps up.
Wish I had a more current pic - but my Senior is Vernon in my Profile pic.
He was 22 then and now - 5 years later - we just returned from a 3-day dressage clinic where he was the oldest horse there, but only by 4 years
I will have had him with me for 20 years this November.
Nobody ever told Vern he couldn't do the things I asked:
-2'9"-3' H/J into his teens
-dressage (schooled 3rd Level)
-eventing (schooled to Training)
- miles of trails
-even some barrels and pole-bending
He is semi-retired now due to my lack of time to ride.
But whenever I do get on, he is pretty much the same horse I fell for so long ago.
Out of respect for his age, I now set fences at 2'...he still jumps them nearer 3.
I hope to be posting here about him for the next 10 years or more
My younger horse is a 16yo TWH, just a pup compared to Vern
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
Fannie Herself is 20 ... not so old compared to some of these gorgeous oldies, but gettin' up there, as they say. Still sound for light-moderate work and a dream of a lesson horse. She even still enjoys getting out to a few schooling shows a year and strutting her stuff.
She can still spook and buck like a young'un when the neighbor's riding mower backfires while we're riding along the shared fenceline!
He was my first horse. I got him when I was 12, he was 17. We competed in saddleseat. He is 5-gaited and was a big-time show horse in his day. Born in Kentucky, shipped to the West Coast to go live the good life in Bel Air, CA. He came up here to show for Ruth Blacklaw (big name in Saddlebreds in these parts of the woods). He was then sold to some ammy who was WAY too heavy for him, so he developed some back problems and behavioral issues because of it and then sat in a stall for 4-5 years with little attention until my 80-year-old trainer found him and convinced his owner to let her use him for lessons. With me being 12 and weighing hardly anything, we clicked and away we went. Trainer finally convinced the his old owner to sell him to me for $1 (and then convinced my parents to let me buy him, bless her heart ).
He taught me how to ride a highly-trained, 5-gaited saddleseat show horse. I taught him how to be a multi-purpose horse (trails, playdays, 4-H, I even taught him how to jump at age 22!) and when I finally gave in and switched disciplines to eventing, my old saddleseat trainer was giving lessons to another young girl and asked if O'Hara was for sale (at 23 years old). I resisted at first, but then when I learned that this girl's parents had TONS of money are were building him his OWN barn on gorgeous property in a very fancy part of town, I decided that it would be better for him to retire with them and sold him to them.
This was the ONLY horse I've ver owned that I truly regret selling. I've had many horses after him, but his pictures are the only ones that are up on my walls.
Fast forward to last year.
I was browsing CL and saw an ad for "Free Saddlebred." I couldn't help myself, I opened it up. All the ad said was "Free 29-year-old Saddlebred. Old show horse. Needs small adult or lightweight rider."
I did the math in my head and figured that O'Hara would be around that age if he were still alive. I immediately emailed and asked what the horse's name was, because I was concerned that it was my old horse. The lady responded that it was O'Hara and that my name on my email sounded familiar- it was the same lady I had sold him to 6 years ago.
I immediatley told her I'd take him back, and my dressage trainer and I went to pick him up the next day. What had happened was that the darling stepdaughter had lost interest in horses, and stepmom knew nothing about horses but was faced with trying to take care of spoiled stepdaughter's discarded ponies.
So my first horse and the love of my life is back in my life and he's going to die with me. And you know what? He's still sound and I teach lessons on him to an 8-year-old girl. I also hop on and ride around bareback just for fun, and he is still just as spunky as ever. He's 30 this year.
My two old men last year, Copper and Magic. Copper is 22 in this photo and Magic is 24, Magic had Cushings and I put him down in August. Copper is still going strong and is my main up-down lesson horse.
This is Stella. She is also 23 years old like Copper and she was given to me in October by someone that couldn't afford to keep her. I took her sight unseen and had no idea she was this emaciated when she was hauled over.
I would love to put a little more weight on her but she has windpuffs and possibly prior suspensory strains. She is in very light rotaton in the lesson program because this horse is high-energy and doesn't like to walk, it is her least favorite gait.
By the way, for all of you ASB people, Stella is a full sister to WC CH Satan's Seductress.
Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts. Bernard M. Baruch