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Thoughts on buying an older FEI horse?

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  • Thoughts on buying an older FEI horse?

    Hello!
    I have long been a sponsor of horses but never an owner. A really fantastic horse is up for sale that I have long admired. He is solid PSG at least. My only concern is the age. He is 21, but no health or soundness issues. As this would be my first horse, I am really weighing the pros and cons.
    His price is really great as well.

  • #2
    21, healthy and sound? Reasonable price? You know the horse? The pros are many - you can learn a lot from such a horse, and at 21, if he's still going strong, you may have several good years with him. At 21, he's probably mature and steady in the show ring too Generally, if an older horse has been in training and working regularly with no soundness problems, odds are, the horse will continue to go for several years.

    The only real cons - he is probably closer to the end of his career then a 12 year old horse. You may have to plan how to fund his retirement (not such an issue if you have land, but if you board, something to think about). And you'll probably have some maintenance costs - perhaps hock injections?

    I think the older schoolmasters are a great investment in a person's riding education!

    Comment


    • #3
      What are your goals? If you want a forever horse that can help you develop a correct seat and fuel your love for dressage, go for it! If you want a horse that you can resell once you've moved up to a certain level I would say pass.
      Barring health issues this horse could be an amazing teacher for many years to come. Just make sure you can give back to him when he is no longer rideable by providing a safe and loving retirement.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thank you for your input! I would be more than happy to fund his retirement. I am glad that there seem more pros than cons. I really like this guy and think he would be a good first horse for an adult.

        Comment


        • #5
          First horse you've owned or first horse you've ridden. Since you didn't specify anything about your ability, we really don't know how well you ride. If you have ridden a lot but never owned a horse, he may be a really good deal. If you've only sponsored horses because you love them but don't ride, a PSG horse - even at 21 - might be waaaayyyyyyyy more than you need or could handle.
          Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
          Now apparently completely invisible!

          Comment


          • #6
            Although the drawbacks are few (IMO), they are not insignificant. You probably can't insure him and might have to make very difficult decisions about the amount of money you can/will put into emergency care such as colic surgery, for example.

            I was thoroughly "schooled" by a 27-year-old retired GP competition horse, so a horse in good health at 21 can provide you with many years of humbling education

            If you know you want to really (really) work at dressage, I say go for it! Delay not a moment longer, lest someone less worthy grab him up
            *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

            Comment


            • #7
              The latest Smart Pak catolog I received has a picture of a horse in his mid-twenties eventing. I have a OTTB in his early 20's who is fabulous and sound.

              It sounds like you have a connection to this wonderful horse.

              Buy him!!! Buy him!!!! Buy him!!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                And post pics of you both together

                Comment


                • #9
                  Remember! This is where enablers UNITE!!

                  I say get him too. But only if you are completely prepared to maintain an older horse. It can be expensive..but so can a younger one too!
                  "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Totally do it! Just get a good prepurchase and be realistic with your goals. My instructor has a ~21 year old schoolmaster that was still competing at PSG last year. My mare turns 21 this year and is teaching me second level - without any signs of wanting or needing to slow down. Dressage can do amazing things for keeping the old guys' (and girls') bodies in tune!
                    Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

                    A Voice Halted

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I also wanted to add, I keep my mare on MSM only supplement wise - and knock on wood, she is sound and feeling great with no other special supplements/maintenance needed. Granted, we're not performing at FEI levels. Good luck!
                      Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

                      A Voice Halted

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        One more vote to GO FOR IT. I bought my PSG schoolmaster at 15; he took me from training to PSG in five years; he is now 21; I backed him down and leased him to a lower level rider last summer mostly because he has some issues w/ his "ticker"; they have not yet bothered him so it was a precautionary move; he is sound as can be and now teaching someone about shoulder in, half pass and he loves to do his changes! His temporary mom is having a great time.
                        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I PM'ed you. Adding to that message, all my old friend gets is a legend injection IV once monthly and a hoof suppliment in his feed. That's all. His hooves grow much more slowly at his age, so I had to learn to have him shod much less often. At 6-8 weeks there is little growth to work with, so we usually go 10-12 weeks between resets. So, while some costs may be more with an older horse, in my case, the farrier bill went down!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What are your plans? What level rider are you now? Do you have a trainer that you will work with regularly? Most of these trained guys do NOT tolerate unclear/ineffective riders. They are finely tuned. People have the mistaken idea that a highly trained horse will "teach" them how to ride, they buy a horse like this and flame out. If he is very tolerant and rideable, and you have a program in mind it sound like a good thing, however. I have a FEI horse that I obtained at age 19 for $1, love him but he is not a horse for many people, very temperamental and opinionated!
                            "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Older horses bring with them "baggage" that younger horses do not. This is true in any discipline. But there's an old adage that says, "The younger the rider, the older the horse." "Younger" here has nothing to do with chronological age, but rather everything to do with experience.

                              As with any adage it won't work at all times, everywhere. But it works lots of times, anywhere!!!!!

                              If you know the horse, can get a solid vet check on him, and the price is right I'd do it. I would remember, though, that I just bought a commodity with a short "expiration date." While some horses do work into their late twenties many will hit "retirement" from work in the mid-twenties. So you've got some time to learn from the horse. As long as you understand this (and it sounds like you do) then, again, you're "golden."

                              What's the asking price on this horse?

                              G.
                              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks!!
                                As far as I go, I am very very lower level. I had the great opportunity to take lessons on a L4 horse so I got to experience flying changes and canter pirouette, but on my own I am solid L1. That is after many many lessons! I have been sponsoring a horse that is true Training level and it had been a great experience but we have been learning together. We got a 48 at a local schooling show and it was very very generous! I have some pics I should scan.
                                I'm lucky in that in East Bay, there are so many great trainers.
                                I am going to take my trainer to see him with me this week and also discuss w her the possible costs.

                                Thanks everyone!!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  We have had several upper level schoolmasters so I have a bit of experience with this subject:-) My first question would be: Have you ridden this horse yet? Typically these schoolmasters make you WORK really hard to allow you to tap into their experience and wisdom. Our horses have been a challenge for my daughter and not everyone is cut out to put up with the amount of work required just ride them. I've had good riders get on them and not be able to get anything out of them.

                                  As far as maintainence - they can be a lot of work in that department as well. I figure I spend about $300/$400 in supplements, injections, chiropractic, massage, etc. just to keep them sound and comfortable. I won't keep asking them to work if I don't feel like they are comfortable so this is very important to me and worth every penny.

                                  That being said, they have taught my daughter so much and I am grateful to them for that. They will grow old with us and we will see them through their golden years. They have been a blessing and I love these oldies more than words can say....

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have to say, you need to ride him.
                                    I have an older PSG schoolmaster, who I absolutely adore and is the easiest ride ever.
                                    BUT, I CAN ride him.
                                    I have allowed a few first/second level riders on him and he just doesn't tolerate what he considers anything less than a stellar ride.
                                    I personally think that these older guys are the best horses to own, but in the same hand firmly believe they have already paid their dues and don't need to neccessarily "teach" the lower levels.

                                    Came across very negative-sorry for that.
                                    Do go ride him, you may be a perfect match.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Ltc4h View Post
                                      I have to say, you need to ride him.
                                      I have an older PSG schoolmaster, who I absolutely adore and is the easiest ride ever.
                                      BUT, I CAN ride him.
                                      I have allowed a few first/second level riders on him and he just doesn't tolerate what he considers anything less than a stellar ride.
                                      I personally think that these older guys are the best horses to own, but in the same hand firmly believe they have already paid their dues and don't need to neccessarily "teach" the lower levels.

                                      Came across very negative-sorry for that.
                                      Do go ride him, you may be a perfect match.
                                      It is not negative, it is realistic. I think a horse like this would be perfect for someone who has mastered the basics, timing of the aids, their seat, etc on a solid 1st-2nd level horse. Mastering those things is HARD. A highly trained horse is so finely tuned that it is true, many do not tolerate the fumbling around, inconsistent legs, etc. of a novice.
                                      "The sea was angry that day, my friends - like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli"

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by BohemianRN View Post
                                        Hello!
                                        I have long been a sponsor of horses but never an owner. A really fantastic horse is up for sale that I have long admired. He is solid PSG at least. My only concern is the age. He is 21, but no health or soundness issues. As this would be my first horse, I am really weighing the pros and cons.
                                        His price is really great as well.
                                        are you up for learning - if hes a proven fei horse as you say

                                        then he can teach you a lot if your a capberable rider
                                        these horses are light to ride so you need the tiniest of movements

                                        so if your heavy in the hand or a novice rider forget it the horse knows to much for you and you will be out of your depths

                                        however - if your a rider of decent education and can ride walk trot canter the basics of dressage like hh ,, ly si and more

                                        then this horse can educate you but as there is a but dont let your trianer tlak you into buying him becuase she can ie has more expreince than you

                                        as later this horse will become whats know on here as a git all becuase she didnt match thehorse to your riding skills
                                        judginng by what you said about yourself and i as a trainer

                                        this horse isnt fo you - your out of your depths
                                        like isaid this horse is fei standard - so lightness is an issue if your not light between leg and hand - he wont accept you as a rider

                                        Comment

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