Would you buy a 19 year old pony?

(33 Posts)
funnycase Tue 19-Feb-13 16:34:53

A lovely pony, who I know, has been offered to us. She ticks all our boxes and she's 15hh so I can ride her too. But what I didn't realise until we started to talk is that she's 19.dh says definitely too old. What doyou think ? she will be hunting and ode-ing.

Hopeforever Tue 19-Feb-13 16:37:07

Only retired our horse 5 years ago, she is 40 this year! Admittedly it was only hacks of an hour or so for the last few years.

The only down side of a middle aged horse is you know you will fall in love with them and they will die sooner than a youngster.

funnycase Tue 19-Feb-13 16:41:49

Think these old mares have a lot to teach youngsters. My worry is that we can onlyhave 2 ponies - dd1s and dd2 /3s. Dd1 will almost certainly want a more competitive horse in 3 years and this pony may be too old for dd2 and too big for dd3

Brandysnapbasketapplefantastic Tue 19-Feb-13 17:08:24

I think it depends on what you are looking to do. I currently share a 17 / 18 year old pony. I am what you would call a 'nervous novice' so for me I love having a steady old friend who has been there and done that. She has done loads in her lifetime, Pony Club, loads of hacking, jumping, schooling and she has taught lots of nervous people to ride. She is just what I need to get some confidence back. She has also been in the same home for 14 years so her owners know her very, very well.

I think a lot of novices go for younger horses when really something older can (subject to having the right temperament, of course) have so much to offer. However I would add that I only do steady hacks and light schooling so her age does not restrict me. However if your DDs want to compete and do heavier work then the horse may not be up to it for much longer.

I think what you need to consider is that if you take an older horse they may not be able to work for long, you may have expensive vets bills (although this could happen with any age), they might not cope with competitions or harder work. Also you will probably have to make the difficult decision regarding having them PTS as you are unlikely to be able to pass them on (genuine retirement homes can be hard to find I understand) and will probably be their final home (I always think its' cruel to sell on older horses to unknown homes, where they could end up in the slaughterhouse....)

I think older horses can have so much to offer, but it does just depend what you personally are looking for and what your riding goals are.

50BalesOfHay Tue 19-Feb-13 17:38:53

Difficult one; I wouldn't sell a 19 year old pony. We bought gd's first pony when he was 16, knowing that we'd probably need to keep him for the rest of his life. He is a superstar of a first pony, utterly professional and safe as houses (generally speaking). I could sing his praises for ever.

Gd outgrew him over a year ago, he's coming up for 20 now and is on full loan, on our yard, to a lovely younger girl and is doing his stuff for her. She'll probably outgrow him this autumn and we'll have to decide what he can still do, but he'll probably stop jumping, and certainly stop competing after that. He still enjoys his work but he's unlikely to find an adult loaner to just hack out, which would be ideal for him (I'm too big to ride him) and a child is likely to want to do more than is fair given his age so he may retire prematurely. (or semi retire, I have a 2 year old gs and a new baby expected in the family in May so pottering about with tinies is probably his future job)

If you think you'd keep him long term (probably as your horse) then I'd say go for it, but if you need all your pony space for the dd's ponies then I'd get something younger. This one may go on for years, but is unlikely to cope with what your dds want to do as he ages. Just a thought, but could you get him on loan till he's too old? I'd jump at a good loan home rather than retire too soon

mrslaughan Tue 19-Feb-13 18:06:42

It would depend how much and what I wanted him for.
The riding school where I ride just retired a twenty eight year old. A lovely lady has taken him on - and she is delighted.
Back in the day he was "the" horse in the yard everyone wanted to ride (or aspired to), but only the advanced riders could manage him.
He has mellowed considerably with age. I rode him several times in the last year and thought he was amazing - he taught me so much, and was gutted when I heard someone else had bought him. I would have jumped at the chance- he is a true school master.
His new owner, wants to hack and do some light schooling in lessons.... He is perfect for what she wants , and I know she feel he is teaching her a lot.

Littlebigbum Tue 19-Feb-13 18:11:28

yes I would 19 ok, price and horse will have to be ok. But you might only get 3 years before you retire it what would you do with it then ????

Littlebigbum Tue 19-Feb-13 18:16:56

Hope I was still riding one of my Mums at 56 she had brought her at 28 as a companion.

Pixel Tue 19-Feb-13 18:22:49

Our first pony was still a nutter very sprightly well into his thirties. On that experience I'd say 19 was fine but then you say about hunting etc which might be too much. Ours did a 26 mile sponsored ride when he was in his late teens and bolted through the finish but not all would cope with that. You'd have to judge the horse and its fitness as an individual and not just go by her age.

basildonbond Tue 19-Feb-13 18:37:49

Dd's favourite pony at her riding school is 21 this year but he's so sprightly and fizzy that you'd never know it

Dd loves him cos he's the perfect size for her -12.2 - and very responsive. He loves her as most of the children who are small enough to ride him are a bit nervous of him as he's very forward-going and tend to pull on his reins to try to slow him down - dd doesn't do that so the two of them finish a lesson with enormous grins on their faces (honestly this pony really can grin!!)

He's a very good advert for a 19 year old pony grin

Mirage Tue 19-Feb-13 19:11:46

Dpony was 21 when we bought her.She is amazing,has hunted all day with a notoriously hard riding pack on their most testing day,hacks,jumps,does games,fancy dress,pony club,nothing phases her.We took her to a cross country course last year and she was bucking on the spot with excitement and went like a rocket.grin

She is 23 now and she will be with us for life.I could never sell her,I love her too much and owe her too much,but am lucky that we have a farm where she can retire to if she ever does retire,that is. DD1 is currently riding her and I had planned for DD2 to inherit her in future,however,DD2 likes whizzier ponies and may be ready for something faster and more challenging by then.If dpony is still fit,I will ride her,she loves to hack,which is all I'm good for.

Hopeforever Tue 19-Feb-13 21:11:53

little that gives me hope that horses can live so long. We retired our horse as the farrier was so expensive as she is so far from the nearest farrier (Highlands) but she is still very much part of our family. Long may she live

Littlebigbum Tue 19-Feb-13 21:55:28

hope they are

Zazzles007 Wed 20-Feb-13 08:54:30

I didn't buy a 19 yr old horse, but I did loan one for 5 years, and would still have him if my financial situation hadn't changed. He was very energetic at 19, and was still doing lateral work at 23 when I gave him up. I was jumping him up to 1.10m, but lowered the jumps when he got to 23. Even at 23, he could really test my riding some days. Otherwise we were preparing to compete at elementary dressage. He was an amazing schoolmaster for me, and I credit this horse with making me a far better rider than I ever was previously.

As long as the horse is relatively healthy and sound for 19, with few or no maintenance issues, then I would consider it seriously, as you have said he ticks many of your boxes. You can always do a staged vet check and get a professional opinion. There are lots of horses these days who are still working in the 23-25 yr range, and it would be a shame to miss out in a wonderful experience with this pony.

Hope this helps.

Personally I wouldn't. I'd be too worried about only getting a year or two's riding before I had to retire the horse, and then I wouldn't be able to afford another for riding. Unless you have your own land, it's not much cheaper to keep a retired horse than a working horse. Yes, I know some have a long working life, and some get health problems when they are young, but for me it is about maximising your chances - and your money!

willyoulistentome Wed 20-Feb-13 09:36:30

I would not buy a 19 year old that I didn't already know..but if I knew the horse's history, had her vetted, and was satisfied she was up for hunting and ode-ing, that there were no underlying or concealed health issues, and she was ticking all my boxes, then if the price was right, and understanding that I might not get may years of riding and was able to accept that nobody else would we likely to buy her off me when she has retired and was prepared to keep her for the rest of her retired life - or was prepared to make a nasty decision - I would. Can yoiu afford two once this one has retired? If not - your riding days may be over.

Zazzles007 Wed 20-Feb-13 10:20:41

Mirage my loaner was like your pony, leaping and bucking when I asked him to hand gallop. The older ones can be real gems grin.

Mirage Wed 20-Feb-13 12:51:14

grinzazzles The only thing is with the oldies,is that they have learnt a lot of tricks over the years.Dpony can untie herself,open gates,destroy electric fencing and stakes and lead younger ponies astray. She is a demon,good job I love her so much.

Booboostoo Wed 20-Feb-13 18:58:11

A 19 year old horse (at 15hh she's a horse and that makes a difference because on the whole ponies live longer than horses) and for ODEs and hunting (very high impact activities) no I would not.

Offer to have her on loan with an understanding that if she becomes unable to do the job you want her for, her owners will have her back.

Zazzles007 Thu 21-Feb-13 00:51:32

Hahaha Mirage although my guy was 'feisty', he wasn't getting up to the hi-jinks that your pony is doing. DPony sounds like a real character grin.

Riding a 56 year old!! You should contact the guineas book of records you could have the worlds oldest horse, the current one is only 51 and def retired. You could be famous.

superfluouscurves Thu 21-Feb-13 16:22:48

56??? shock

I have to confess that I was once "carted away with" (can't really call it true bolting) by a 21 yr old Dales ...blush

I was 11 yrs at the time though!!

Littlebigbum Thu 21-Feb-13 17:33:17

Super Honey my mums sports horse the 56 year regularly took of with me! Rich I thought there was a canal horse of 57. I'll check it out

50BalesOfHay Thu 21-Feb-13 21:47:33

But desite all old pony stories, this is a 15hh who's not a pony. Only buy her if you can keep her till she dies. Otherwise buy something younger,

superfluouscurves Tue 26-Feb-13 07:48:18

Littlebigbum Have just been reading 'Perfect Confidence' by Kelly Marks whilst in bed ill (first published 2007) in which there is a lovely picture of a hairy grey called 'Badger', titled 'at 51, Badger is the oldest horse in Britain'!! I'm amazed!!

Did you go for the 19 yr old in the end Funny case?

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