14 year old gelding. Too old?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by muscovy94, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. muscovy94

    muscovy94 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2008
    Vicksburg, MS
    I've been taking riding lessons for a few weeks now and I want to buy my own horse. I found a 14 year old QH gelding on craigslist that I really like. Is 14 old for a horse? Because I'm going to wanna do alot of stuff with this horse everyday, such as galloping and loping.

  2. jettgirl24

    jettgirl24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Duvall, WA
    While I would say that 14 is a perfectly fine age if they are sound and in good health I would STRONGLY encourage you not to purchase a horse yet. They are a HUGE commitment both financially and in terms of time. There is no possible way to learn enough about handling and caring for horses (not to mention riding) in a few weeks to prepare you for horse ownership. I spent 11 years in pony club as a child, I have ridden and shown for 25 years under some of the best trainers in the country (and some from Europe), and I have also managed two boarding stables in the past. Despite a wealth of experience I still have more learning to do than I can begin to fathom.

    I'm sure you have the best of intentions but lack of knowledge has put many a horse AND rider in extremely unsafe and unhealthy situations. I would recommend taking as many lessons as you can with the best trainer you can find over the next 6 months to a year. If after that point you are still dedicated and your riding/horsemanship skills are improving then find a barn that will let you help out with the day-to-day chores. Do that (while continuing lessons) for another year and THEN start thinking about buying a horse if you are able to commit financially and time-wise.
  3. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    14 is NOT old for a horse in general, but a lot depends on the particular horse.
    Like people, some are healthier than others and live longer useful lives.

    Since you are a novice rider I suggest going to look at this horse with someone who knows more about horses.
    Perhaps your riding instructor can go with you?

    Since you refer to "loping" in your post instead of cantering I imagine you are riding Western.
    No matter what discipline you ride, there is a lot more to riding than "galloping & loping"

    I'd also suggest seeing if you can lease a horse at the place you take lessons to see if fulltime ownership is really something that will work for you.
    After just "a few weeks" of lessons you cannot possibly imagine all that ownership means.

    The Romance of owning a horse has a lot of hard realities attached to it.
    What would you do if the horse you buy becomes injured and can't do the everyday riding you want?

    Good Luck & I hope you do keep riding & eventually find a horse for yourself.
  4. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    I would recommend you hold off until you have had more riding lessons and your main goal is no longer to gallop or lope a lot.

    A horse can be worn out at a very young age if it is not conditioned and cared for properly. Or a horse can live many years and be very useful for a long time. If it is taken care of properly.
  5. Redcatcher

    Redcatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2010
    At My Desk!
    Age is but a number in humans and in horses. That being said, some horses age faster than others depending on how hard they were used and genetics. But no, 14 it is not old at all for a horse. Most dressage horses do not even begin to hit their stride until they are around 10 and compete to their late teens. Jumpers too, if managed well. There is a 37 year old endurance horse that is sound and is showing no signs of slowing down:

  6. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    As another veteran horse person (over 30 years in various equestrian sports including racing & polo) take everyone's advice and get as much barn time as you can.

    Horses are far more dangerous and delicate than they look. Learn about diseases, common leg injuries, conditioning to prevent injuries and all manner of what can hurt a horse or what a hurt horse looks like. Do you know what weeds in the pasture or leaves off what kind of tree can kill your horse? What do you know about colic or founder? What is mud fever? Do you let a hot horse drink? The answer isn't a simple yes or no. Do horses NEED shoes? If so why? What are the mechanics involved/affected in putting a shoe on a horse's hoof?

    14 isn't old, but like any person: How is their conformation, life long nutrition and how have they used their bodies? Likewise, young horses can be worse if they were started too hard and too young or have conformation issues. Sometimes as a first horse, an older horse who's been there, done that is your best choice. But they won't put up with (nor should they) loping endlessly around trails for your amusement.

    READ! READ! READ! Talk to people, go to horse shows and get an eye for conformation, learn about different breeds and their temperamental tendencies.

    On the other hand, there are SO many opinions on what's good or bad on a horse. For example: We like BIG feet on a horse. There are people who like tiny dainty feet on a horse. We both have our opinions as to why...who is right? (I am, of course. [​IMG])

    But seriously, horses are among one of the most abused animals simply because people don't know or understand their physical and mental needs. Be a good horse person and learn before you subject a horse to mistakes you will make. And you will, it's how people learn.

    I think everyone here has paid their dues and are more adept with a pitchfork than a pen. You owe it to your horse to be the best owner and to make sure, having a horse is an enjoyable experience, not a dangerous or tragic one.
  7. Gmsg01

    Gmsg01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2011
    West Monroe,NY
    I am currently working my 24 year old horse who I have owned since he hit the ground. We walk, trot, canter and jump, almost like he used to when he was 6, but in a more sane manner![​IMG]

    All that being said, I agree with the previous posters. I worked in a few different stables, horse sat, trained under a couple of different instructors, and rode, rode, rode before I bought my first horse. And she was the Mom of the horse I am currently riding- put her down last year at 34. She gave a little six year old a lovely walk trot session a week before she passed.
  8. hunterjumper999

    hunterjumper999 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2008
    Box Springs
    also, in a year you'll have outgrown him skill wise if you have just started
  9. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    You are making a boatload of assumptions here.
    Horse could be way talented, rider could be a slow learner, etcetera, etcetera.

    Do you consider horses disposable items?
    How long do you keep your horses?
    Or are they just stepping stones on your way up - a typical H/J attitude I find disgusting.

    OP is a Ground Zero beginner with "a few weeks" of lessons under her belt.
    Horse is ONLY 14 - not exactly ready for the meatman.

    Will you allow the possibilty of a longer working relationship for this combo?

    Rant over, you may return to normal programming.....
  10. Jasmine1998

    Jasmine1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2010
    Montgomery County
    Most of the horses I have come across, 14 is not too old. The horse I have been riding this summer is 26 & has more energy on the trail than the 4 year old my husband is riding.

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