need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

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VBOpie
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need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby VBOpie » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:48 am

Many of you read my previous "reasonable work for a 26 yr. old horse" thread. Well, we went ahead and bought Ranger and things have been going great. Someone came up to both of Louise and I (co-owners) at a recent lesson and said he looked like a different horse. This weekend, I took the plunge and decided to trailer him about four hours for a weekend of lessons (one Saturday/one Sunday). Before I did this, i checked with both his vet and the person who does his body work and neither of them hesitated to encourage me to take him. I deliberately came on Friday so he could have a day to rest before being ridden. The weather is not hot, so no concerns there. However, his previous owner found out about it and is having a fit. She is saying that I am "going to break him down in my pursuit to gain glory" among other things. Really, glory?? I school him on basics and might do an intro test or two this year. I am so upset by this. I feel like just packing up tomorrow morning and heading home.

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby Srhorselady » Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:43 am

You sound like a VERY caring owner who is doing everything possible to care for her horse. Keeping a senior horse active and working is the best thing you can do. The former owner sounds like someone who is not able to let go. No advice on how to deal with her, but please stay and enjoy your time with your horse. You took all the appropriate precautions. Feel comfortable with your decision. I have a 30 year old gelding who loves to work. He is the first at the gate wanting to be worked and will even leave food to go out. He is ridden three to four times a week both on the trail and in the arena. He works at all 3 gaits and still does lateral work. My vet and I both believe that continuing to work is what has kept him both healthy and sound.

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby kande50 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:05 am

If the previous owner wanted to control what happened to her horse then she either needed to keep him, or pass him on with a contract that detailed what the new owner could and couldn't do with him. If she didn't then she needs to stay out of it, because expecting someone else to take care of the horse while she calls the shots just simply isn't how it works.

If that was the way it worked then I have half a dozen horses here that I'd pass along to new owners who were willing to the work and pay the bills while I made the decisions about what they could and couldn't do with them!

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby galopp » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:41 pm

If the horse is healthy, well muscled and worked, age is inconsequential. I take it the horse trailers well, right? It sounds as if the previous owner is not very informed about horses. And horses at any age can be developed further, so good for you for pursuing work for the horse and yourself.

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby Sue B » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:32 pm

Tell previous owner to bugger off. Listen to those who know the horse and know how well he has done in your care. Eliminate naysayers from your life and you will have a happier, more peaceful existence. :-) Many horses work well into their 20's, some into their 30's, it just depends on the individual's health status and genetics.

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby texsuze » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:57 pm

Enjoy your trip and his lessons. I'm betting he'll be excited to be going somewhere! I only wish my 25 y.o. were sound enough to be in work--I'd be right out there with ya'!

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby LeoApp » Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:10 pm

I don't personally know your horse, but - this is just me - I would not trailer a horse that age 4 hours one way for a weekend of lessons. He may be fit but he is still an older gentleman. You checked with the vet though, so you did your due diligence. No judgement from me on that. It's just not something I personally would do with a horse that age.
However, it is none of the previous owner's business what you do with YOUR horse! I am sure she still loves him very much a worries about him, but if she wanted control over him she should have kept him or leased him out with a contract (as someone up thread already said).

Hope you enjoyed the weekend! I really hope you didn't just turn around and go home because of her!

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby angela9823 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:42 pm

I actually feel the exact opposite way with a horse this age versus a young horse. Many times young horses are not quite as settled as the older horses are and get stressed on a four hour journey. So if your horse is settled and calm during the ride (old OR young) you continue on as you see fit. I also am on the side that age doesn't matter if your horse is working happily and soundly!

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby VBOpie » Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:54 am

Thank you all for your comments. I did stay, and we had a great time and a safe trip home. He is the perfect horse to trailer. After this, though, I.probably won't do it again. I will.confine any travelling to local.

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby PaulaO » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:27 pm

How did the previous owner find out? Definitely keep her out of the loop, and frankly, I'd have no contact with her at all.

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby VBOpie » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:03 am

Paula O

Because the owner isn't well, we put it in the sales contract that she could visit him. We don't see her often, but this happened to be one of the weekends she asked to see him.

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby Josette » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:27 pm

VBOpie - you did nothing wrong - it is simply a sad situation. I think the owners health and that she misses her horse are to be considered. She reacted out of concern for her older horse and got upset. Try to imagine being in her shoes and having to give up your horse. I would continue to let her visit him as it may be some of the few moments that give her joy IMO.

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby kande50 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:15 pm

Josette wrote:VBOpie - you did nothing wrong - it is simply a sad situation. I think the owners health and that she misses her horse are to be considered. She reacted out of concern for her older horse and got upset. Try to imagine being in her shoes and having to give up your horse. I would continue to let her visit him as it may be some of the few moments that give her joy IMO.


That would be tough, and I can empathize with the previous owner because I know that I may someday be in the same situation.

My plan however, is to hire someone to care for them if I can't. I know that not everyone can do that, but I'm motivated because I really do not want to be the previous owner who has to see her old horses in a home where she doesn't think they're being treated well enough (and there will *always* be something). So I started putting the funds away a long time ago so I wouldn't need to be the frustrated previous owner.

It would be such a dilemma. The previous owner would probably prefer to just not know what's happening to her old horse because it just upsets her, but she also feels a responsibility to try to make sure that he's being treated well.

Kudo's to the VOPpie for taking her feelings into account, because it's never a bad idea to try take the kinder option even if she didn't have the sense to give the horse away with a contract instead of selling him without.

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby Chisamba » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:46 pm

I think age is a number. I do know of several older horses that are in better shape than their younger counterparts. It is about how well the horse is doing and feeling, being considerate and listening to your horse.

I have a student whose 28 year old thoroughbred is doing very well. He is in good weight, sound, and ridden 3 to 4 times a week. OTOH, i have a 24 year old that I have to baby just to keep her well, and worry thatveach winter may be her last.

It is a very individual thing. My friend just lost her old man suddenly . He was happy and healthy, then suddenly had a stroke type thing. That illustrates the relevance of age. The possibility of sudden unwellness increases with each year.

VBOpie
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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby VBOpie » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:18 pm

There were several reasons behind the sale. One was that she couldn't keep up with the bills. We played with the idea of just taking him on and letting her retain ownership, but, on the other side of that, there were some things we wanted to do that she might not have agreed with. For example, he has an extremely flat foot. The way he was shod was not doing him any favors, but the owner couldn't afford more of a farrier bill. He had a pad and a bar, but this was doing nothing to elevate his hoof off the ground. When we took him on, we changed farriers. The new farrier put a thicker shoe on, a better pad, and got rid of the bar. He is only shod in front, and I would like, if possible, to work toward him being barefoot.

There was also the trailering issue. Unfortunately, in my area, there are no dressage instructors who will come to our barn. I wanted to trailer to the person who I work with who is about a 20 min. haul from the barn. This is not even on a regular basis (one of the reasons I went to dressage camp) because my schedule and the instructor's make it difficult to coordinate. The previous owner didn't even want me to do that.

Anyway, it is what it is. She can see him when she can get out to the barn. I no longer feel under any obligation to share any information about what we are doing with him other than if something life threatening happens to him. It's a shame because I've had great relationships with other previous owners and one person whose horse I leased.

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby kande50 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:48 pm

I agree that the actual number is irrelevant, as some horses are still going strong all the way through their 20's and sometimes into their 30's, while others IMO, really shouldn't be expected to do as much as they do.

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby Code3 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:07 pm

My clinician's horse is 33 this year. He evented at upper levels, is still sound and does best when exercised regularly. Activity is great for horses, as long as it is reasonable. Enjoy your horse!

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby calvin » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:18 pm

VBOpie, every horse should be so lucky as to have a "you". You are in the best position to know this horse,and I agree with others that the number is not relevant. It is far, far better to keep our older horses in work, to keep them muscled, and to keep them doing what they love to do. I would not trailer for 12 hours - nor did you. 4 hours is a reasonable ride time, and I am contemplating a very similar situation myself. Enjoy your horse, and keep doing what you are doing. Obviously, it is working very well for both of you. Congratulations!

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby Josette » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:40 pm

Ditto what Calvin said. I hope to someday join the Century Club with my guy. :)

VBOpie
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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby VBOpie » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:41 pm

Josette,
Your post brought a smile. That's my plan! Just have to keep us both going 8 more years!

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Re: need to vent - more on reasonable work for a 26 year old horse

Postby Kelo » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:04 pm

Earlier this week, I watched a 23 year old gelding perform in the Non Pro Bridle class at the Reined Cow Horse Association's world show. That means he has to do a reining pattern, then do cow work (boxing - sort of like cutting, then fence work - running the cow down the fence, turning it both directions, then circling it both directions). That's a high level of athleticism, and he had to do it at the world level to boot. That old pony was in his element and did it with a smile on his face, and I had one too watching them.

Would it be fair to ask of any older horse? Absolutely not. What every horse can and should do at an advanced age is individual to them. A healthy, sound older horse who enjoys work and is OK with travel (most are very experienced by then!) is just fine tolerating that sort of trip. If your horse's mental and physical health are a priority and you're working with your vet and your horse is green lighting it, then I say go for it and ignore the former owner.


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