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Senior horses showing at AA shows

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  • Senior horses showing at AA shows

    My 21yo TB mare is doing really great and I'm considering showing her again in the 3' hunters. Anyone else have show horses over 20 that are still competing? What divisions? Any advice or suggestions? I'm happy to retire her and turn her out if that would be best but I can't see a reason to yet. She does require maintenance of her hocks but she's needed that for many years now.
    You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!

  • #2
    I have a student that competitively shows in the 0.9m (3') jumpers on her 22yo gelding. Only thing holding them back is fact that kid has to be more stable in position before I let her move on! We do watch how many classes he does and we don't pound on him in the warm up. Jump as few jumps as needed to get what we need accomplished. If your mare is happy and comfortable go for it.

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    • #3
      I had a thoroughbred hunter way back.... we did the 3' childrens hunters and he was 27. Suprisingly, he was fairly sound and just needed minor maintenance. In classes of 40+, he always jogged. I think the judges just felt he deserved it after that many years, because I certainly never gave him a good ride! He was retired (sound) after that season and enjoyed living the retirement life before he passed of colick

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
        I had a thoroughbred hunter way back.... we did the 3' childrens hunters and he was 27. Suprisingly, he was fairly sound and just needed minor maintenance. In classes of 40+, he always jogged. I think the judges just felt he deserved it after that many years, because I certainly never gave him a good ride! He was retired (sound) after that season and enjoyed living the retirement life before he passed of colick
        Wow! Thanks Squish. So sorry to hear of your loss. I will be devastated when my old girl passes.
        You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!

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        • #5
          We had one in our barn a few years ago who showed and won in the AAs for years--he was in his mid-twenties and still going. Minor maintenance as needed, of course, but he was sound and happy, if a bit creaky. Another barn here had the ultimate school horse, who over the years dropped down in levels as he aged, but was still packing up-down kids just before he passed away at nearly 30, also sound and still with his ears pricked forward. They tried to retire him and he colicked within days, so when he recovered, they put him back to work. He thrived. Do what your mare tells you, not what others think.
          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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          • #6
            Big Ben was eighteen at his last Olympics.

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            • #7
              A 28 year old horse at my trainer's barn is taking a working student around Training level (3'3") and schooling Prelim (3'7"). He was a former Advanced eventer and now he's showing his new girl the ropes. You'd never guess his age watching him go
              The big guy: Lincoln

              Southern Maryland Equestrian

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by Duckz View Post
                A 28 year old horse at my trainer's barn is taking a working student around Training level (3'3") and schooling Prelim (3'7"). He was a former Advanced eventer and now he's showing his new girl the ropes. You'd never guess his age watching him go
                That's so funny that you say that. Often times people who don't know her will ask me if she's my new one I'm bringing along. With the exception of her very long teeth and creaky hocks there are no signs of her age.

                I intend to let her guide me Calvincrowe. My girl has that same ears pricked up attitude. Just was curious how many others are out there.
                You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!

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                • #9
                  My first 3ft horse was an 18 y/o TB. The only thing rusty about him were his brakes...I came out of the ring for my last class and commented to my trainer "well I guess he doesn't get tired!"

                  He showed for a few more years after that too before being retired do to a heart murmur.
                  Last edited by Rel6; Feb. 16, 2013, 10:27 PM.

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                  • #10
                    My first horse showed in the 3'6" A/A jumpers until she was 24 and then moved down to the 3ft jumpers where she was champion at her last show at age 28. She passed away 4 month later just a few months shy of 29 from colic . She was jumping 2 days before and the plan was for her to teach a kid the ropes in Short Stirrup that year. She was completely sound and loved to work.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                      My first 3ft horse was an 18 y/o TB. The only thing rusty about him were his brakes...I came out of the ring for my last class and commented to my trainer "well I guess he doesn't get tired!"

                      He showed for a few more years after that too before being retired do to a heart murmur.
                      Pretty funny to me - my first "real" hunter was an 18 yr old TB. He was on his way down from the regular working hunters. He had occasionally creaky hocks and as long as the course was the standard w/ a couple lines, a couple diagonals, you COULD NOT ask for the lead change - he had his preferred time and location and would buck if you disrupted that process. Only in classics in an oversized ring could you get away w/ the request! He was still doing childrens' at 20, and then I lost track of him, though I know that he was purchased by an older lady to trail ride a year or two after that.
                      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

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                      • #12
                        A horse doesn't know how old he is, and, assuming they've not been abused or overused along the way, they are happy to do what they do until we say 'Whoa'.

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                        • #13
                          I have a rescue TB that'll be 20 this year, he's still a fabulous jumper and taking kids into the top ribbons at every show.
                          Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

                          Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Limerick View Post
                            Big Ben was eighteen at his last Olympics.
                            I met Big Ben and Ian Miller and both are some of my favorite horse and riders! You can tell they both love their jobs.

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                            • #15
                              This whole thread is making me smile, as I am the relatively recent owner of a15 year old Percheron/TB cross and I really love him and want to move up to the A shows.

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                              • #16
                                Mine just turned 21. I purchased him at 17yo which I think surprised a lot of people--most assume he is younger than his actual age. Not going to lie...one of the BEST decisions I have ever made. The last few years have been rough for me (had 2 horses put down, lost my job, etc...) & I haven't had much time always for the barn so having an easy been there done it good ole' guy has been perfect for me.

                                I bought him doing the high adult jumpers (3'6"), but the next summer at my vet's suggestion so he would last longer he is now strictly a 3' horse. He also plays in the adult eq/medal & does little hunter derbies for fun. My vet is always thrilled with how great he looks & we have a regular maint program for him.
                                "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

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                                • #17
                                  I know one that did his last Maclay finals at 21 - at the Garden. He had been a race horse, a steeplechase horse until he was 7, then an eq horse until he retired to baby sit yearlings.

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                                  • #18
                                    Nearly my whole barn;
                                    26- A Hunter- 3rd level Dressage
                                    23- GP Dressage
                                    21-Show Hunter, Field Hunter, Drives, 2nd level Dressage
                                    18- Prelim Eventer

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                                    • #19
                                      My guy was doing the AA hunters until he was 24. We just didn't warm him up more than absolutely necessary (warm up was more to get the brain going than the body), and limited the jumping at home.
                                      There's coffee in that nebula.

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                                      • #20
                                        Mine is 19 (and 3/4s!) and doing 3' jumpers easily. I like hearing about others doing well that are even older. My guy does have a bit of sway in his back due to age. But he is sound as can be and happy.
                                        “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                                        ¯ Oscar Wilde

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