Would you buy an older horse

Cassy

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I have been looking for some time for a steady neddy to see my horse riding days out on. The initial cost has not been an issue, neither is the day to day cost and caring for the horse. I have seen a 17 year old horse which might suit me as I just want to hack, do pleasure rides and a bit of local dressage. My problem is whether an older horse will be suitable and what sort of vetting should I go for if I do decide to buy. When the time comes to do the decent thing I know that I could handle this. Thanks.
 

Equi

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I bought mine at 17 so far all we have done is basically what you aim to do. It’s all I really plan to do too :) I didn’t vet him but that’s just a choice I made because I’d loaned him for a year and he was what I wanted. He ended up having a leg issue but if I’d vetted him his owner would have just taken him back and sold on without disclosing that anyway.
 

Snowfilly

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Yes yes and yes! I was lucky to buy a 19 year old who went on to 27 and a little yellow horse who I thought was 17 who made 25 still in full work - he turned out to be 32 when I lost him, according to a previous owner who got in touch. And they hunted, jumped and did long 20 mile plus hacks. I admit I was very lucky but it doesn't sound like you'll be doing too much hard work with your horse.

You could buy a 5 year old that breaks a leg or a 10 year old who does a tendon.

Do a basic vetting and keep your fingers crossed. It'll be a couple more years before you're even into the senior veteran sections!
 

splashgirl45

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an older horse may be fine but it depends on what sort of life they have had, if they have been worked very hard you may find wear and tear injuries which get worse as they get older... however, my friend bought a 16 year old horse which she hacked and did pleasure rides on and she only stopped riding her when she was 25, and PTS at 27, she was never lame until the last couple of years when she had a hind leg problem and she was an ideal happy hacker who was safe but willing....some people buy an 8 year old which goes lame and they never get to ride them so it very much depends on the horse. if everything else with the 17yr old suits you why not go and have a look, my friend went for a 5 stage vetting and the vet said he would pass her for hacking and light competition but wouldnt have passed her for someone who wanted to do high level competing. hope this helps
 

Evie91

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I loaned an older horse, and ten happy years before PTS. She was my perfect horse. Bought youngster next and have had nothing but problems! She’s going to have suspensory surgery, older horse never had an op or huge bills.
Go for it! If they’ve got to that age sound and well I’d say they have a good a chance as any of staying that way!
I wouldn’t buy a young horse again- I’d like something been there, done it got the t shirt.
 

paddi22

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if the horse is in good condition, then 17 is no age at all. you could get years of pleasure from it. The only thing to be away of is that you probably won't have the option to sell it on if your confidence grows and you want something you can do more on. So you would need to have a retirement plan for it somewhere down the line, but everyone faces that decision with every horse at some stage.
 

Kezzabell2

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I bought my old girl at 16 and she lasted until 31. I was still riding her at 28, so got a lot of time with her! I do think I was very lucky though! I didn't get her vetted
 

Dubsie

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Admittedly ponies tend to go on for longer, but we bought an arab x show pony for my daughter when the pony was aged 19, he was fab confidence giver and great at mounted games, 8-9 years on he's on loan to an 8 year old also as a confidence giver and doing great, is super fit, hacks regularly (totally safe in traffic) and does a few dressage and small (70cm max) showjumping competitions and is thoroughly enjoying himself (he loves shows) and more importantly so is his rider, who has turned into a very competent and confident rider having learnt from a schoolmaster.
Have been on yards where folk are still hacking out on 27 year old+ cob (suspected older but that was all they could trace back to), if they're sound and safe, and without medical issues, then why not?
 

Rollin

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My first horse was 15 when I purchased him, in those days already a veteran. He lived to be 36 years old and helped ride and lead youngsters until he was 35. He never gave me a vet bill.
 

PapaverFollis

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I would have no issue with getting a 17 year old as a hacking horse. But with a few provisos... I would want good confirmation and for it to still be sound and wouldn't go for something that had been heavily competed in the past. If it's had a career that's fine but if it had been hammered into the ground... then no, not for me. If Granny had better confirmation she'd still be going strong but her joints have let her down a bit these days (Only 22)... even so she still does light hacking and with a lighter rider she could do more but she's not going anywhere and neither, sadly, is my extra stone! :lol:
 

McFluff

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I'd go for it. Every horse can break tomorrow and a 17 year old can have many years of fun to have. My 21 year old hacks out 5-6 times a week and he is one of the youngest on the yard!
 

TelH

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I bought a mare who was already in her 20s. Her owner had been unable to sell her due to her age and her not really being a novice's horse so approached me to ask if I would ride her at the sales. She was a lot like my first horse and I'm not very keen on idea of people putting horses through the sales at such an advanced age so I bought her. Admittedly I didn't get her vetted but I did a mix of hacking and veteran showing with her and she lived out the rest of her days with me.
 

Kat

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Absolutely go for it!

My friend bought her big warmblood at 18 and at 24 he is still hunting regularly like, competing, jumping, bouncing about like tigger and pulling her arms out. He is an absolute dream to own and she really couldn't have asked for a better horse.

We have a 26 year old still doing showing and endurance on the yard and only recently lost one who had been hacking regularly at 32!
 

scats

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I was gifted an 18 year old pony when I was a child. She won her final showjumping class the age of 27, after 9 years of showjumping, mad hacks, farm rides, cross country schooling, working hunter, endless cuddles, picnic rides, days out...
Without a shadow of a doubt, she was the best thing that ever happened to me.
 

Adonissaan

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Love old horses but not I wouldn't as I don't have the time to support a horse through their retirement sadly :(


Love my old boy I'm sharing at the moment and he acts young though :) depends what is right for you
 
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I've owned my 15 year old Fell for 9 years and used him for hacking, he's never had a sick day in all the time I've had him until recently when he appeared lame. He's now been diagnosed with Ring bone which is quite advanced, at best the vet says I may get to hack him only in walk on flat ground. I would therefore recommend x rays for older horses as you could end up with a horse that's retired for many years.
 

Annagain

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Go for it. My old boy was 6 weeks short of his 27th birthday when he died very unexpectedly. He'd been retired from competing for about 2 years but was still hacking and would even pop the odd log if the mood took him. He knew where they all were and would head for them if he wanted to! My two now will be rising 22 come January and are still going strong. There are so many benefits to older horses - I can ride them as often or as seldom as I like and they're no different, they're generally easy to deal with (although the thug does have his moments) as they know their jobs and what is expected of them.
 

Cassy

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Thanks. I am looking at a 17 year old cob, an 18 year old warmblood and another warmblood who is 19. Still not sure what vetting to go for. I just need to check the basics like eyesight, heart and soundness.
 

oldie48

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Thanks. I am looking at a 17 year old cob, an 18 year old warmblood and another warmblood who is 19. Still not sure what vetting to go for. I just need to check the basics like eyesight, heart and soundness.
Good luck. I sold my 17 yr old because he didn't want to do dressage but loved to hack. He went to a lovely home and she says he is her horse of a lifetime. Interestingly, her oH didn't want to view anything older than 12 so she didn't tell him how old he was until the deal was almost done. It's over three years now and they are both having a ball!
 
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