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Would you buy a thin 19 year old horse?

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  • Would you buy a thin 19 year old horse?

    For $3,000? Long story short I went and looked at a registered 19 year old Appy mare for a friend’s daughter and they ended up buying another horse but I fell in love with the old mare. She would be great for my son to learn to canter on. Former WP show horse,dead broke, so quiet, perfect little lope, and hasn’t been in consistent work but was foot perfect. I was told the price was $3,000 negotiable and did not realize the horse was thin til I got there. Not terrible but you can see ribs and I hate that. Turned out with a bossy mare and doubt she gets her fair share. Girl who had her and showed her to me is the grand daughter and when I said I was interested because my friends found something else she spoke with her grandmother (who owns the horse and bred her) and now the horse is $3,000 firm. I said thanks but no thanks very politely but now I keep thinking about her. I can put weight on a horse easily but feel like it’s nuts to PAY $3,000 for this horse. I mean the horse would be getting an upgrade for sure.
    Plus I have 2 others at home that will stay for life and both are 17, so have oldies that will retire here. I guess just looking for advice, so I feel better about my decision and move on!

  • #2
    If she were not thin would you pay $3k for a 19 year old horse that your child could safely ride? Personally, I think it is a reasonable price if she is sound and appears like she will have a few good years left. Could your son learn on one of the current horses or will you need to shop regardless? Another consideration is that if she's underweight and out of work it may not be a complete picture of her energy level when actively in work.

    If there's a price where you would definitely want her, there is no harm in making an offer despite it being $X firm. When faced with real money and an offer at a forever home, the breeder may change their mind.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Good point. I think I was going in (for my friend) thinking the horse would be looking much better when she said “$3,000 but definitely negotiable to a great forever home” (literally her exact words in a PM) I was guessing she’d be a $2,000 horse in better health. I think it’s the thin part and the now “firm” part that bugs me. My son could learn on my horse but well he’s mine lol!

      Comment


      • #4
        Make an offer of what you will pay and that you are offering a cushy retirement for taking care of your kid....she will take or not. Don't hurt to try.
        "Anyone who tries to make brownies without butter should be arrested." Ina Garten

        Comment


        • #5
          No, I am sorry, I personally would not buy a 19 yr old for $3,000. But I can only afford to board two and have one older and one younger. An older horse will start to have issues probably in the somewhat near future. I wouldn't but if this horse suits your purpose and budget that is totally your call! I hope all works out.

          Comment


          • #6
            It's not all that easy to find a perfect, saintly first horse for a kid. If I had the money, being moderately thin wouldn't really figure in.

            Comment


            • #7
              I would do a thorough ppe in any case for health issues.

              Comment


              • #8
                given all the information ..... No

                Jingles & AO that

                a younger, in better body condition 'teacher' comes along for your son to enjoy for years ~
                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                Comment


                • #9
                  absolutely not. If the body condition is poor, at this age there may be undisclosed health issues. If it is reasonable to have your vet do a PPE and blood work, I would offer no more than 1200 given the age and body condition
                  _\\]
                  -- * > hoopoe
                  Procrastinate NOW
                  Introverted Since 1957

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I paid $250 for an emaciated 25 year old. My daughter really wanted him. She negotiated everything. My words to her were that if he didn't gain weight in 6 weeks then we would have to euthanize him. He bloomed and lasted for 2 more years.

                    If he is perfect in every other way but the weight I'd take a chance. The other horse is eating both of their groceries I expect.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If my budget could accommodate taking really good care of this horse to address health issues that flew under the radar, help her gain weight at a challenging point in the year, and either offer her a soft retirement plan or some really good days and a peaceful end if it turned out she had a game-breaking issue you couldn't anticipate... I would have that mare on a trailer tomorrow.
                      "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

                      Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
                      Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If, and I have had, an older horse in a going downhill condition I have never rehomed and foisted my responsibility and expected anyone else to care for it until it's demise. None the less charged them for the burden.

                        The mare sounds awesome. I have taken in elderly horses before. But I never paid 3K for them
                        The cue card kid just held up an empty cue card. For a minute there I thought I had lost my sense of humor. --- Red Skelton

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          She's 19, not 25. Yeesh. I'd be more concerned she'd perk up and become un-child-safe than her not thriving under your care and either way I feel as if an offer might still go over fine unless they are suddenly hell-bent on keeping her.

                          Oh wait, ETA: To answer the original question: Yes; 100%. But if she's so thin she isn't herself that's a different story.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rideon2 View Post
                            For $3,000? Long story short I went and looked at a registered 19 year old Appy mare for a friend’s daughter and they ended up buying another horse but I fell in love with the old mare. She would be great for my son to learn to canter on. Former WP show horse,dead broke, so quiet, perfect little lope, and hasn’t been in consistent work but was foot perfect. I was told the price was $3,000 negotiable and did not realize the horse was thin til I got there. Not terrible but you can see ribs and I hate that. Turned out with a bossy mare and doubt she gets her fair share. Girl who had her and showed her to me is the grand daughter and when I said I was interested because my friends found something else she spoke with her grandmother (who owns the horse and bred her) and now the horse is $3,000 firm. I said thanks but no thanks very politely but now I keep thinking about her. I can put weight on a horse easily but feel like it’s nuts to PAY $3,000 for this horse. I mean the horse would be getting an upgrade for sure.
                            Plus I have 2 others at home that will stay for life and both are 17, so have oldies that will retire here. I guess just looking for advice, so I feel better about my decision and move on!
                            Consider that she may be after all a 19 year old really more like 29 year old mare.

                            I would have a veterinarian checking things out before accepting that a horse without papers is of any age and a reason for the poor weight.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bluey View Post

                              Consider that she may be after all a 19 year old really more like 29 year old mare.
                              This. My first horse (an Appy) was sold to me as a "13 year old". He was more like 20. But he was worth his weight in gold, taught me how to ride, started me jumping, trail rode great with others or alone, and was quiet/safe/bombproof. He was super thin when I got him. I believe I paid $2500 for him and he was truly worth his weight in gold. I had him 6-7 years before he passed away.

                              $3000 does seem high. If you find out someone else bought her, will you regret not getting her? I'd still have a vet at least look at her and confirm the approx age if possible. You could also wait and re-offer a lower price. They may reconsider negotiating heading into winter/holidays if she's not sold.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Bluey View Post

                                Consider that she may be after all a 19 year old really more like 29 year old mare.

                                I would have a veterinarian checking things out before accepting that a horse without papers is of any age and a reason for the poor weight.
                                She does have App papers and I think they have a photo on them? I saw them just don't remember. So I do believe she's 19 (actually born in 2000, so ALMOST 19).

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Thank you all so much for your thoughtful replies. It's a thin line as I don't want to offend them by saying "She'd have a better life here" but I was hoping they'd think it was wise to send her along to a loving home where she can get some more food and easy retirement. But since they bred her (her mother died 5 years ago at 31) I think they have an attachment and they seem fairly well off, so I don't think they need to sell her-they actually sought me out when I put an ad up for my friend. Maybe I'll see if I can talk to the grandmother directly and make an offer. I guess on one hand it make more sense to spend $3,000 on an older horse rather than a young one, if something goes badly wrong (serious colic, etc) it's a much easier decision at 20 than 5.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by rideon2 View Post

                                    She does have App papers and I think they have a photo on them? I saw them just don't remember. So I do believe she's 19 (actually born in 2000, so ALMOST 19).
                                    Then that settles the age question.

                                    Still the why she is skinny would be important to know if you have to pay way more than you think she is worth.
                                    May just be her, may be something easy to fix, bad teeth, worms, or something more serious that won't be easy to fix.

                                    We bought a horse out of a bad situation where it was that or calling the sheriff on them.
                                    Their other horses were fine, we figured it was the horse itself they were not tending to.
                                    They said he was 18, he was super thin, we drove directly to the vet, he said more like 25 and terrible teeth, with ulcerated mouth, why he was not eating well.

                                    We got him over it all and he was a sweet horse that loved kids.
                                    He spent his last years with another older horse being family pasture ornaments and leadline rides for the grandkids.

                                    If you decide to get her, see if you can get the price to what you want to pay and maybe have your vet come by to check her over?
                                    If they don't want that and you buy her, go right to the vet to be sure if there is something that needs to be tended to they do right away.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      All good points, Bluey. They show apps and all the others had blankets on, so couldn't see their condition. I do "think" they've all had regular vet care, they show with friends of mine and those folks said they do well and would think their horses are cared for well. She said they would let me speak to their vet and farrier to discuss whatever I needed to. Certainly could be underlying issues though. They said she's happier being brought in to eat but they've had her out because their herd dynamics were messed up after a gelding left for training. So she may be thin due to not getting her share in turnout. I'm terrible at the body condition scoring, but I would say she's around a 4 on the Henneke scale, but barely a 4!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        $3k is about right for an older child safe horse, IMO. I paid that for an almost 18 yo Paint pony (extensive show record, super safe but definitely not in the best condition). It is really hard to find a great kid's horse that can also do well introducing a beginner to showing....my nieces now have her, she's 24 and worth her weight in gold cleaning up at local shows with them. My vet and farrier both said if I ever wanted to sell her to let them know, they know people who would want to buy her.

                                        Apps seem to last forever. You could easily get another 10 years if you are lucky. Her age wouldn't put me off, nor would the weight especially given her turnout situation. Offer less, of course, and be prepared she may have something like Cushings to manage.

                                        Comment

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