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Old Grumpy horses. Why do we love them?

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  • Old Grumpy horses. Why do we love them?

    It has come to my attention that my once hard to handle gelding has become a grumpy old gelding. He's not that old. he's 21. but he seems to roll his eyes at me and 'tolerate' me. he is no longer the one everyone was afraid to ride. now he's the one they all want to ride.

    Do you have a grumpy older horse?

    Check out the look he's giving me here. LOL

  • #2
    I think most horses would look back at you if you laid on their butt. I don't have a grumpy older horse, I have the opposite. My guy is 25, we have had him a little over nine years. It took most of those nine years for him to decide he actually like being loved on instead of just tolerating it obediently like he would anything else. I can hug his whole head while pressing my forehead against his without him feeling like he would like to pull away but doesn't want to be rude. I can kiss his nose without holding on to his halter so he doesn't move away etc.

    If the grumpy is new it is probably pain somewhere. If that is just him then you love him because he is him.

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    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home


    • #3
      When we have a grumpy horse, we find out why and try to change whatever his problem is.
      Had one such older grump last year, could not help him no matter what we did, he just didn't like life or other horses or humans that much.

      He was extremely well trained, won much in his younger days, but just was never paid any other attention than the necessary to train and show.

      He evidently had been kept by himself, a stallion for many years, so just didn't like other horses and would become aggressive if they came close and guarded resources, that is communal feed.

      So, after several months, we found him a home where he is alone and with two little girls doting on him and what do you know, he is not quite so grumpy now, his ears at least quit being eternally pinned and his nose finally unwrinkled and relaxed.

      I think if horses are grumpy, they generally have a reason.
      Many situations still work for grumpy horses as they are, others, not so much.
      Here, we like happy horses.


      • #4
        We like grumpy old geldings for the same reason we like grumpy old men...they tolerate silly horse girls


        • Original Poster

          i don't mean grumpy as in pain or not happy. my guy trots to the gate when i call him. I make his rides as pleasurable as i can for him. I guess i mean they would roll their eyes if they could. The ones who are bombproof and reliable.


          • #6
            Actually, most of the older geldings I've ridden have been very kind old souls, not the least bit grumpy. And the 32 year old Morgan gelding at my current barn is a little firecracker, who loves life. However, I've met some grumpy middle-aged geldings. And a lot of goofy younger geldings.
            You have to have experiences to gain experience.

            1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


            • #7
              I know exactly what you mean. We lost our grumpy old guy last summer. I miss him terribly.

              He had reached the point in his life where he knew a LOT, had seen a lot, and had little patience if you didn't take the proper things seriously. The things he took seriously were food and fun. This made him perfect for my husband's first horse. It was like turning a really tall kid loose on a very safe horse. They tried games and jousting and blazed trails through the woods. It was like they both had the wisdom to be safe, but they got to behave like kids again when they were together.

              Maybe we like the grumpy old ones because we know we're safe with them.
              "In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered as a bad move." -Douglas Adams


              • #8
                Yeah, grumpy doesn't mean painful. My grumpy old man isn't really grumpy, he just thinks he knows everything and that HE IS RIGHT-DAMNIT! LOL! He's always been that way.
                He's now 23 y/o. Grumpy old man loves me and carried my a$$ all over the place for years and years. Luckily, we agreed on our trails for the most part. Lord, he's hard headed, though, if he doesn't agree.
                "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
                  i don't mean grumpy as in pain or not happy. my guy trots to the gate when i call him. I make his rides as pleasurable as i can for him. I guess i mean they would roll their eyes if they could. The ones who are bombproof and reliable.
                  Oh, I took grumpy as in out of sort, not as in opinionated.


                  • #10
                    My mare has been grumpy all her life.. Who would have thought she would become my go to horse. She's 19 now and I ride her at home to keep in shape for my show horse. I put newbies on her in the arena. I put my face right up to her and as I'm talking she moves her head closer until it is touching mine. She nuzzles the cat and he nuzzles her back.


                    • #11
                      He had reached the point in his life where he knew a LOT, had seen a lot, and had little patience if you didn't take the proper things seriously
                      Hey, this is where we should all hope to get. At a certain point, not only are you allowed, but deserve, to have this attitude.

                      Right now I am helping my friend's two daughters (9 & 11) with a lease horse. Lease horse is SO good for them. He isn't so much sweet, and I think what comes across as patience is just extreme laziness & resignation. He could fuss while they take 20 minutes to clean his feet, or he could just stand and doze. Dozing is easier. Every once in a while he sighs.


                      • #12
                        Ah ... sigh ... our old grumpy (ie opinionated) guys and gals .... My old boy Jess was like that - he knew what needed doing and my job was to go along for the ride. Man, the trouble he got me out of ... that I had got us into . Old Mr P - yeah, opinionated but not quite as easy. Still wants to please and loves being loved on. Be sad when he passes on too - given he is now 28!
                        Still Working_on_it - one day I will get it!


                        • #13
                          Mine actually seems to be softening a bit with age... He has been much more of a cuddler lately... But he still has a good shove in him! He loves to reach over the stall wall and give you a good one when you're not looking... I swear if ANY other horse did that to me we'd be having a CTJ... But the old man taught me to ride as a kid, taught many of my lesson kids to ride, and took care of my butt out in the cross country field for years so he basically gets to do whatever he wants

                          Here's my sometimes-grump in one of his soft moments:



                          • #14
                            The grumpy old guy I ride makes terrible grouchy faces at other horses that get close in the arena, but he saves the most grumpy, grouchiest faces for himself in the mirror. I swear he's practicing.