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Thinking of riding my 24 yr old Hanoverian. Who else is riding an older horse?

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  • Thinking of riding my 24 yr old Hanoverian. Who else is riding an older horse?

    I need something to ride. My others are young & just getting started so want to ride the old man again. He is fat, sassy, sometimes galloping in the pasture esp. after I started him on Platinum Performance. He's a really big type of warmblood, just under 17H, in good shape. I'm going to start walking him & doing some light trail riding. Trying to get myself back into shape & Amodeus is going to have to help. I have to say he really does earn his keep. Every year he as a baby to wean. He's such a cool, kind horse. I hate that he's 24 yrs young.
    Anyone else riding some that are older?
    Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
    www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

  • #2
    One of my boarders still rides her 30 year old QH mare. I personally do low level jumpers on my fat and sassy 23 year old TB gelding. Nothing wrong with it, as long as they are comfortable.
    Your dog may not be broken, but he still needs to be fixed.

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    • #3
      I'm surprised you aren't still riding him! Why was he "retired"?

      My former jumper was 23 when I got him, and two years later I sold him to a gal as her local hunter. My hunter before that was in his early 20s. And this school master was probably near 26 at the time of this photo: http://lh6.ggpht.com/_jHqBIAYy2bc/Si...40/michael.jpg

      There is a dressage arabian at my barn now that is 24 and also still competes and trains. http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...eat=directlink

      My former instructor had a 26 year old horse that she still did one tempis with.

      None of these horses look a day over 12.

      Not all horses are cut out to continue intense work in their 20s, but I think most are. I've even seen one or two continue into their 30s.

      Especially since dressage is not inherently horrible on a horse since they gain muscles to help hold their bodies and they aren't expected to jump four foot, I think it is essential for the older horse! Of course one has to modify your expectations. If you're not doing one tempis at 22, you're likely not going to start them at 28, sort of thing.

      Then again, I've seen a 32 year old equitation horse take to trail riding and western like he'd been doing it for 30 years, so there you go.

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      • #4
        I just went to a clinic where a girl rode a nice 24 year old horse at the I1 level that was 24 years old and he did very well. He did his changes and rode the whole 45 mins very well.

        I believe the longer we keep them fit and moving the longer they will keep moving.
        http://dressageesquire.blogspot.com
        "The ability to write a check for attire should not be confused with expertise. Proficiency doesn't arrive shrink-wrapped from UPS and placed on your doorstep."

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        • #5
          I ride my 22 year old QH. I gave him the summer off and the vet recently told me I had to get back on him and ride him 3 to 4 times a week. Being in regular work is good for his arthritis.

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          • #6
            The GP schoolmaster I used to take lessons on was only a couple of years younger than me, which means he was at least 23 or 24 when I started riding him. I got to learn all of the upper level movements on him, he had zero trouble with canter pirouettes and one tempis, and my trainer was still competing on him (at GP) at the time. He was a VERY fit, big (17.2) late-gelded Hanoverian and looked maybe 15.

            By the time I stopped riding at that barn he was 26 or 27 and hadn't lost a step, although I don't know if he was still competing at that time. Last I heard about him, he'd been sold to one of the boarders at the barn, would have to have been 31 or 32 and I believe he was still being ridden, although I don't know how much or in what context.
            MelanieC * Canis soloensis

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            • #7
              I think continuing to ride the older horses adds to their longevity. I used to ride at a barn owned by a woman who was a grand prix dressage trainer. She had two schoolmaster lesson horses, Harley was 26 and Pedro was 27!!! They were worked in one lesson four days per week. You could NOT tell they were older. They were super fit and chomping at the bit.

              Pedro in fact was reserved for advanced riders as he still had an occasional bolt in him at the ripe old age of 27! These horses both lived well into their 30's and were ridden pretty much until that point. Never pushed beyond what they wanted to do, but they had so much energy there wasn't much they didn't want to do!!! As long as the horse is comfortable and seems happy then go for it.

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              • #8
                My 24 yr. old Hanoverian is on his third "student". We never retired him, just passed him on when he was through teaching me! We don't do any collection over third level now but knock on wood, the old boy still has it!
                Humans don’t mind duress, in fact they thrive on it. What they mind is not feeling necessary. –Sebastian Junger

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                • #9
                  When I was little I took baby lessons on a horse in his thirties. If you're just going to be putzing, unless he's injured I don't see why not.
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                  • #10
                    Long live the Geezer

                    I currently ride a 20 year old, a veritable spring chicken compared to the great schoolmasters I've had in the past.

                    A few tips from MANY years of riding and competing geezers:
                    1. BUTE after a hard ride!
                    2. LOTS of turnout
                    3. DON'T WORK back to back days...one day on and then one day off or easy hack
                    4. ALLOW for mini-rest breaks and stretching throughout workouts
                    5. I start/warm up with a short walk around the rings/complex...takes about 10 min, then walk another 5 in the ring...allow for a longer warm-up time! I do the same "lap" for cooldown
                    6. I use joint supplements (cosequin plus MSM or/SmartFlex Senior plus Recovery EQ, but no longer inject after several backfired/gone wrong adequan attempts)
                    7. Make a big fuss over them--I think some people make big fusses over babies doing something right, but don't do that on the schoolmasters...can't HURT can it?!!
                    8. School out in the field some days (more interesting!)

                    Have a great time!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My trainer's schoolmaster gelding is past 30 years old and is still being ridden and used for lessons (maybe once or twice a week). He has plenty of get up and go......
                      It is better to use the oldsters, than just have them stand around. Enjoy him, it will be good for both of you!!!!
                      We do not have an overpopulation of dogs, we have an under population of responsible dog owners!!!

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                      • #12
                        My Arabian mare was 27 when we lost her in June, I was riding her until she was 26 1/2 and had some soundness issues, she was coming back from that and fell and broke her hip and had to be euthanized, otherwise I'd be out on the trail with her today enjoying this beautiful day we are having!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I ride and take lessons on a 23 year old schoolmaster. He has his off days and we keep a careful eye on him but for the most part he's in great shape and LOVES to work. I generally give him a day off after "heavy" work i.e. lesson, but otherwise I ride him nearly every day, but not for very long and with plenty of walking.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HollysHobbies View Post
                            I currently ride a 20 year old, a veritable spring chicken compared to the great schoolmasters I've had in the past.

                            A few tips from MANY years of riding and competing geezers:
                            1. BUTE after a hard ride!
                            2. LOTS of turnout
                            3. DON'T WORK back to back days...one day on and then one day off or easy hack
                            4. ALLOW for mini-rest breaks and stretching throughout workouts
                            5. I start/warm up with a short walk around the rings/complex...takes about 10 min, then walk another 5 in the ring...allow for a longer warm-up time! I do the same "lap" for cooldown
                            6. I use joint supplements (cosequin plus MSM or/SmartFlex Senior plus Recovery EQ, but no longer inject after several backfired/gone wrong adequan attempts)
                            7. Make a big fuss over them--I think some people make big fusses over babies doing something right, but don't do that on the schoolmasters...can't HURT can it?!!
                            8. School out in the field some days (more interesting!)

                            Have a great time!!!
                            Word! *said all ghetto fab but from a seriously, unmistakably white girl*

                            Especially for turnout, long warmups/cooldowns and big fusses! I've found that the oldies love getting well deserved self esteem boosts.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You're doing the right think by bringing him back to work slowly. I did the same with my 21 year old Perch/Morgan cross. We just did a show last weekend and we took a 5th in Training Level Test 2. When I started him back to work, I just took it slow and let him tell me when he was tired. I didn't push him until he was ready. At 21, he has nothing to prove. Just wanted to have some fun on a horse that I trust completely. The youngsters can shake my confidence sometimes and it's nice to have a safe friend to have fun with. Good luck, RiverDance
                              Life is what happens when you're making other plans. RiverDance

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Still ride and compete my 21 yo Arab/Saddlebred. He loves to work! We went to our first show in three years(I decided to get another degree) and he scored in the mid-60's.

                                Have fun with the old guy!
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                                • #17
                                  Herself is a healthy, happy 21yo, and still works 3-4 days a week. Her job includes light dressage schooling, giving a few beginner/low intermediate non-jumping lessons per month, and some light trail riding. She is one of those that loves to work, and is much happier with a job. The steady exercise, combined with ample turnout, has proven very beneficial to her arthritic issues.
                                  Equinox Equine Massage

                                  In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
                                  -Albert Camus

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                                  • #18
                                    I ride my 23 year old Tb mare-- in addition 2 of her babies She's also a marvelous school mistress!

                                    She gets Conquer (the gel), 24/7 access to both stall and pasture and, most importantly, lots of the pats, treats, praise, etc., already so wisely recommended.
                                    http://www.tunnelsendfarm.com

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Thanks y'all. I feel lots better about riding him. He is such a big cool horse. Just a love & likes the attention.
                                      Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
                                      www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        In one riding school, I rode a very nice mare, that had been high in the nation in dressage, until I left, when she was 27 and still in excellent shape, although she did have her stiffer days.

                                        I don't think you need to go by the age number to train and ride, as much as by how the horse is doing.

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