Discussion in 'Horse Riding' started by crave, Apr 27, 2003.

  1. crave

    crave Well-known Member

    How old should a horse or pony be when they should retire?
    My first horse was 28 years old when I started and we did everything from huntclub to endurance rides and she loved it. I stopped riding her only because I went on to another horse and not because she was sore or couldnt handle things. She was 31. A friend of mine was told her childs pony (which is 21and very fit ) should be retired as it was too old. This was from a riding instructor at pony club and only because it had bruised its hoof.

  2. beccy

    beccy Well-known Member

    A horse's age isnt depended by the years its lived, but what it has been through and health. If they have had a hard life very early (such as race horses or SJ's, draughthorses etc) then they can be retired from as early as 16 yrs. If they have been broken in older, and taken steady for the first few years, then their bones should be stronger and sounder and will last longer, as long as they are kept healthy. A horse in the wild will only live to about 11yrs old. A horse in habitat usually at his ultimate performace at 11 and will usually live to about 21-30 and even 35 + years on the odd occasion.

    Although when a horse gets older, the management will have to change, such as kept warmer at night, softer feeds because his teeth will be falling/wearing out, longer warm ups and cool downs, and softer type work.

    As long as the horse is sound (arthritic stiff to a point is ok with soft riding) and not in any pain, then there is nothing wrong with keeping him going. Some horses dont retire very well because they miss all the attention they got previously when ridden.

  3. sil

    sil Gold Member

    The horse will tell you when it's ready to retire!

    More commonly they are put into lighter work as they get older. A horse with a touch of arthritis actually benefits from light work which ensures it keeps reasonably fit and mobile.

    ~ Do as much as it takes, do as little as it takes. ~
  4. icebabie296

    icebabie296 New Member

    Some horses are good at things (eg games, jumping ect) because they love it. And if your horse is kept fit and active he will last forever. My mare is 18 this year and She still has at least 5 years of competing left in her. She is one of those horses that goes because she loves it and if I retire her too soon she will die.

    Horses have been known to llive until 52. And I have a feeling there was a horse that was something like 40 and still being ridden. If you keep a horse fit and working he will live forever.

    A horse is only too old if you tell him he is.
  5. widgelli

    widgelli Well-known Member

    I really haven't retired any of the horses that I have had to old age.
    One of the old galloways that we had was still jumping with our eldest son then 11 in the State Pony Club Showjumping Championships at the age of 27. I was asked about him one day , and the person involved thought that he was about 10 and was quite annoyed with me when I said how old he actually was.
    The horse that my youngest son first rode in a show ring was 23 at the time , and jumped the trotting track rails with him one day with ease.
    Our old Welshie was still teaching the kids to ride when he was 21.
    In my rounds , I have found that the best horses to teach on are these old schoolmasters , who have been there done that and still love to be loved and made useful.
    They are like people when they have been in a stabled and loved situation. If you drop an older person and make the feel useless, it goes against them physically and mentally , and the same thing can apply to horses and dogs. They like to be used and loved , which will keep them active for many a year.

  6. Darume

    Darume Well-known Member

    My daughters pony is 38 years old and even though he has slowed down, he can still be ridden (very small children at a walk, but he loves to trot..*S*) Where she does her lessons the school ponies range from 20-30 and are all in great condition.. I guess really it all depends on the horse and how it is looked after and how hard it is worked..!!!!..

  7. JessiTrist

    JessiTrist Well-known Member

    Tristan is going to be 20 this year and is still in good shape. He loves a nice long run, and he loves to be ridden! He is always wanting to be ridden whenever I go see him [every fortnight] and dad rides him lightly during the week. It is because he hasn't been ridden alot that he has slowed down, the more he is ridden the younger he looks [​IMG]

    ~To ride a horse is to borrow freedom...~
  8. EmC

    EmC New Member

    The horse will tell you when they are ready to be worked less. You don't just decide óh my horse has turned 22 therefore he is too old to ride'! My sister was still doing Pre-Novice eventing on her 22 year old TB. Now he is 28 and goes on walks with the people we have lent him to.

    One of my friends competed in the 4 star at Adelaide 3DE on her 18yr. They completed and did well! As you can see it all depends on the horse!
  9. The Old Grey Mare

    The Old Grey Mare Active Member

    the older the violin the sweeter the tune?
    or is that only for people?
  10. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    go back even just 10 years and in the official SJ almost every horse was 20yr or more...most horses only started SJ when they were 15 plus!! these days if there is a 15 yr old horse it is OLD and shouldnt be worked so hard...??? there is alot of pressure for horses to be competing excessively at such a young age, the way young horses are worked now it is likely that at 15 a horse is a bit older than what it would have been if it had not been worked so hard until it was more mature.

    my TB, Rocket was raced until he was 6 or 8 (not sure which) and then professionally ShowJumped, he only did SJ for about 3 or 4 years and when i got him at 14yrs old he had been retired for over a year already!!
  11. crave

    crave Well-known Member

    I'm always suprised to hear people say that a horse is too old, thats why I posted this topic. My girls ponies are 19 and 22 and are full of beans, the 19 year old gelding was galloping around the paddock yesterday as if he was 2. They both handle long rides in Gidge which is pretty hilly and keep up with my TB. Both still jump well and thoroughly enjoy the rides with my girls. When I started with horses 15 years was considered the prime of their life!

  12. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    rocket definately wasnt too old, i dont know why they retired him as he was 3points from reaching 'B' grade they didnt have much further to go! when i had him at pony club we were doing games, a flag one, rocket was making such a fuss over going near these flags & drums the instructor said to me ''you can expect that sort of thing from a young horse...how old is he?'' when i answered 15 he told me to ignore what he had just said!!
  13. JessiTrist

    JessiTrist Well-known Member

    lol, our neighbour in gidge said our horse looked like a 5 year old! It was a nice compliment [​IMG]

    ~To ride a horse is to borrow freedom...~
  14. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    haha Arnie used to oposite. When I first got him everyone though he was going on 30+ they were suprised that he was only 5! I believe a horse is too old when it can't do what is expect 100%. Don't be cruel and keep on riding it. Don't wait until he/she is totally rotted...the right time is when the horse is ready...if u know what I mean...

  15. horsegirl

    horsegirl Well-known Member

    Yes, I am unable to explain "too old" or even just "old"!! Icon is approx 27 and my god, I'm telling ya, he acts like he is about 3!!! Full of beans and always sticky nosing!! Gallops around with his tail straight out and head up high, he truly is a sight to behold...
  16. Sassy

    Sassy Gold Member

    i think the term ''you are as old as you feel'' can apply to horses too!!!
  17. slowjo

    slowjo New Member

    I feel a horse is too old to be ridden, when it cant do the simplest things expected.

    If a horse is going good, and you retire it simply because its old, it will most probably die earlier than what it would of if you let it keep on going until it was time to retire it.

    We ha a old TB once, and when we got him he was in real bad shape, and it looked like all he had was skin wrapped around his bones.

    We fattened him up, and I took him to the Brunswick Show. I was only ten at the time, but because of is height, i had to compete against adults.

    He ended up getting two thirds for his troubles.

    Any way, the time came when he couldnt keep his weight on at all, and wasnt putting any on, no matter what we fed him.
    So we rang up the previous owners, who had starved him, and told them we were going to put him down.

    Any way, they came and got him out of the paddock, and as soon as this happened my mare chucked mentals, so the property owners rang us up to let us know.

    Any way, we were on our way to Bunbury, and we happened to see Ace in the paddock. A week later he was gone.

    He had died in the paddock.

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