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Updated Again* Post 27 How Old is Too Old?

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  • Updated Again* Post 27 How Old is Too Old?

    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.
    Last edited by Mtn trails; Feb. 27, 2012, 03:59 PM.
    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

  • #2
    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!

    Comment


    • #3
      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.
      Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
      Facebook me!

      I have Higher Standards ...do you?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mtn trails View Post
        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!

        Comment


        • #5
          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!
          Eventing at Midnight Blog

          Rodan and Fields, Ask Me About it
          A Measure of Grace Blog

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          • #6
            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!!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              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.
              Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

              Comment


              • #8
                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.
                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                Comment


                • #9
                  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.
                  Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                  Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                  We Are Flying Solo

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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
                    Susan
                    http://community.webshots.com/user/ss3777
                    www.longformatclub.com

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      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.



                      Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        He is a cutie! Good luck with him.
                        "A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character." - Tesio

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh my word...he's gorgeous!!! He looks like a Breyer pony!

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

                          Comment


                          • #14


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




                            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.
                            Originally posted by Silverbridge
                            If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              OMG, I am coming to STEAL him! He is gorgeous!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by HappyHorselover View Post
                                OMG, I am coming to STEAL him! He is gorgeous!
                                Exactly - without the theft part.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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.
                                  Amanda

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                                    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.
                                    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...
                                    Originally posted by Silverbridge
                                    If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                                      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.
                                      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)

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        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) . I'd also love a sooty buckskin - swoon.
                                        Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

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