Seniors...will you buy another when....

Topic for older horses and older riders
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Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby musical comedy » Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:16 pm

When you feel your horse needs to be retired, will you buy another? Or, is this your last hurrah?

I don't want to ride my horse anymore. Sound as he is, how long will that be true if I keep on riding him? I feel bad for him each time I tack up. I feel he has earned his retirement, and I do not feel (like most) that horses would rather be working than loafing.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:59 pm

musical comedy wrote:When you feel your horse needs to be retired, will you buy another? Or, is this your last hurrah?

I don't want to ride my horse anymore. Sound as he is, how long will that be true if I keep on riding him? I feel bad for him each time I tack up. I feel he has earned his retirement, and I do not feel (like most) that horses would rather be working than loafing.


I'm not planning to buy another horse if mine becomes unrideable, because I already have enough spares. :-) But if none of them was what I wanted to ride, then yes, I'd go out and find another one.

Early 20's is not old for a horse, and especially not if he's only being worked moderately. I think horses stay in much better shape for longer if they're pushed to exercise more than they would on their own, so if you have concerns that he might break down
maybe you could just try slower work for longer (if that wouldn't drive you nuts), or limit reps?

I have concerns about my horse's long term soundness too, because he has a club foot, so I just work him less than I would if I thought he had the kind of conformation that would hold up to more work.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby Dapple Field » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:40 pm

I have thought about this quite a bit as I'm 67. My horse is 9, so if she makes it to 25, that puts me at 83. I think if something should happen to her soundness wise, we keep them at home, so she could be retired here. I would probably look for an older horse or foster one, or maybe even get one from a rescue so that if I don't make it, the horse would go back to the rescue. I wouldn't need a fancy horse since I have no interest in showing but love the journey, trail riding, and taking care of them.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby PaulaO » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:54 pm

I'm 58 and horseless. I retired Bob 2 years (due to fibrotic myopathy) before he crossed the bridge. I have ridden sporadically the last year, and don't know what place horses have in my life. I tried 2 shareboard situations which didn't work out due to owner insanity. I'm not adverse to buying another horse but I'm not actively looking.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby VBOpie » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:13 pm

Boy, is this topic timely for me. I've been thinking about this for a while now. I am 61 and my boy will turn 20 in 2016. I just posted in the veterinary forum about a back problem he is having.

I am not sure what I will do if I have to retire him. I had two horses up until last year when I lost my mare. I don't want to go back to that expense and rushing trying to ride two horses, work 40 hrs., and be a wife and grandma. II don't think I'm quite ready to quit riding, though. Another complication is that when my trainer moved away a couple of years ago, I never found another instructor that I felt I work well with (well, not in a reasonable distance).

I've thought about a partial lease or maybe finding someone with lesson horses (again, the whole instructor thing). I have some riding anxiety, so I'd be hesitant about taking on a rescue. Maybe I'm stereotyping, but it seems many of those horses have their own issues and I don't feel competent to deal with it without an instructor.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby Josette » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:56 pm

I purchased my pony 4 years ago when I could no longer ride my heart horse TB - who I lost in 2013 at age 24. Pony is now age 15 and I'm 59 and not planning to purchase anymore in the future. I really enjoy riding him around our property and just love hugging the little stinker. I do not show or attend as a spectator - - lost interest years ago. Too much heart break when I've had to put them down. I have enough stress as I age maintaining my own health to care for them. Likewise, when I no longer have them I will not involve myself in future horse activities. We will probably travel more for longer periods which we are not able to do now.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:15 pm

As if it wasn't bad enough that we're in our mid-60's and have a 9 year old mule and an 11 year old horse, we went out and adopted a 13 year old mule from a rescue this spring. She's a lot greener than what we were hoping for, but she's got the right disposition so we've been having a trainer come and help us put trail miles on her, and I think she's going to work out for us. :-)

So now if everyone lives a normal lifespan we should be down to 3 horses when we're in our 80's, because the other 5 are all in their 20's now.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby demi » Tue Dec 01, 2015 1:35 am

Well, I've always thought I would ride until I just can't get on a horse anymore. I like that thought. I think the older I get, the older the horse will have to be just so we will be well matched physically. Rocky is 8 and I'm 62. I also just bought a 12 year old mare. Between the two I hope I will be able to ride as long as I am physically able.

We keep our horses at home and besides my two mares, my husband has an 18 yr old gelding. If both my horses became unrideable for some reason, I would not get another horse because a fourth horse would be more work than I want to do at this stage of my life.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby VBOpie » Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:36 am

Demi

That's my thought, too. I was hoping Lad and I would do a century ride in another decade :D

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby demi » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:03 am

VBOpie wrote:Demi

That's my thought, too. I was hoping Lad and I would do a century ride in another decade :D


I just went to the vet forum and read about your horse's pain issue. I had a well known trainer years ago back in CA tell me my horse had an attitude problem when over a period of 2-3 months he stopped going forward. I naively believed her. He actually had navicular disease.

I went to the best lameness vet in the area and we tried all sorts of treatments. The horse was a 5 yr old TB. I was able to ride him off and on till he was 8. I finally gave up riding for another 5 years as I couldn't afford another horse. I kept him at a nice stable with all day turnout and stall/small paddock at night. I groomed him every day and he was an 1100 lb pet. At 13, both stifles went out and he was miserable. I had him put down.

I've had other horses since then that have ended up unrideable but have been in a position where I could have more than one horse. I got Rocky as a three year old when Demi had been unrideable for almost two years. My plan was that Rocky would be my ride until Demi was better, and then become my trail horse. Demi never got better.

Rocky is well suited for a trail/western type horse but trying to continue in dressage with her is not enjoyable for either of us. I finally bought a "dressage" horse just a couple of weeks ago. All "things" we're right for me to get another horse at this time but if it hadn't worked out I'm not sure how I would have gone forward....I hopefully would have kept riding even if just on trails.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby demi » Tue Dec 01, 2015 7:06 am

The best of luck for Lad. I think you are wise in the way you are handling the situation.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby musical comedy » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:53 am

demi wrote: I finally bought a "dressage" horse just a couple of weeks ago. All "things" we're right for me to get another horse at this time but if it hadn't worked out I'm not sure how I would have gone forward....I hopefully would have kept riding even if just on trails.
I hope you share about your new horse, but I understand people's privacy reasons.

I truly applaud you for doing this. After 40 plus years of riding, my advice to anyone starting out that truly wants to progress (no matter the discipline) to buy the best horse for the job that you can. Horse sports are hard enough without adding more complexity to it.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby westisbest » Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:07 pm

I have no idea if I will have another horse after this one who is now 22. At 67 myself I am happy every day that I can do the things that give my life meaning, I tend to live in the "now" , now :). The number one priority is looking after this guy which means high board costs. So I'm not able to get a younger one now to bring along. What's that old saying, god laughs at the plans of man? and horsewomen most definitely. I've had so many huge life changes some good some not, that I'm ok with letting the future unfold as it's meant to. But today, the sun is out, the temp is mild, I'm going riding !!

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby PaulaO » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:06 pm

I would love to find the right shareboard situation and ride a few times a week, just moseying around. I really miss being around horses.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:15 pm

demi wrote:I also just bought a 12 year old mare.


Did you post about her somewhere else? I remember that you mentioned you were waiting to see if she vetted, which I guess she did. Any pix? :-)

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:22 pm

VBOpie wrote:I don't want to go back to that expense and rushing trying to ride two horses


But if the current one is unrideable then you'd only have to ride the new one, wouldn't you?

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby demi » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:00 am

I'm thrilled about my new horse but have been hesitant to introduce her for several reasons. She is a 12 yr old, 15.2 hh half Arabian half warmblood and was trained to PSG by age 9. I may post a picture but she is only a shadow of her former self at this time. Not the seller's fault. Seller lives in another state and she leased the horse out (to my state) due to personal reasons. The lease went south in just a few weeks time and seller called a local trainer to pick the horse up and put in training. That was almost a year ago. Local trainer lives 30 miles from me. This lovely mare started going downhill physically. Trainer said she "couldn't hold her leads" and since we have the same vet, the seller authorized me to call him. He said he did a thorough exam, exrays, ultrasound, flexion tests,the works, and couldn't find anything wrong. That was 2 months ago. He's a good vet, I've used him for several years and trust him.

So they put her on the market priced to SELL FAST.The ad contained a poor resolution video from 2-3 years ago and she was an attractive, expressive mover doing a nice fourth level test at a schooling show. I saw the ad the day it came out on the internet and emailed right away. She has 22 scores on Centerline, mostly in the 50 percent range, but one 67 at 3rd,3. I feel she is capable of consistantly scoring in the high 60's. She has had only 2 owners before me, and a relative of one of the owners did all the training and showing. She skipped 2nd level altogether.

When I saw her I wasn't even sure it was the same horse. Very thin, ribs visible, dull coat and expression, and no muscling. Trainer rode her and did tempi changes and canter pirouettes that made me cringe. I got on and just did W,T, C. I was SO impressed at how hard she tried and what a good girl she was to do something that was so difficult for her. The other thing that struck me was how comfortably we fit together. I loved riding her.

okay, this is getting long, so here's what I think is going on. Poor feeding for a year, loss of muscle, and VERY elongated hooves both front and back (she's barefoot). When I talked to the vet privately he agreed with my assessment. My own farrier is going through a divorce and I had to find a sub for the last two cycles and the sub, a barefoot trimmer, was doing the same thing to Rocky (long toes) Miraculuosly! the vet got me into an excellant farrier who came out a week later and fixed Rocky and worked on new horse. He said it will take 2-3 more cycles to get new horse right. She looks MUCH better already and I am riding her lightly.

I am smitten.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:39 am

demi wrote:and the sub, a barefoot trimmer, was doing the same thing to Rocky (long toes)


That is so weird, because every barefoot trimmer I know is so about short toes. In fact, every dvd I've watched and every barefoot trimming clinic I've been to has been concerned with getting and keeping the toes short. Makes me wonder where these long toes trimmers are coming from?

Got any pix? What color is she? What kind of WB?

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby Josette » Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:03 pm

Demi - it sounds like you found a diamond in the rough who fell on hard times - poor girl. I'm sure she will recover as you bring her health back on track with good farrier and proper diet. She needs some recovery time now. She really sounds lovely and good you both found each other! :)

My pony went through 5 owners before me by the age of 10. :( He is my best buddy now.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby Sunshine2Me » Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:52 pm

Demi -

I bet she'll come around quickly with the correct care. You and she were meant to be! :-) It would be great to see photos. We could then see how she progresses under your care. I'm very glad you found each other.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby demi » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:14 pm

Thanks all for your interest!

There were a couple of other issues going on with this horse that I haven't even mentioned but I don't want to incriminate anyone so I am trying to keep identities anonymous. It is really hard to know what actually goes on with trainers, owners, buyers, sellers, etc. The horse world is so seductive and emotional. At any rate, I am going to call her by her real name because she responds to it, but I'll give her a DDBB name when I can think of a good one. Any ideas?

And here are some pix taken about a week after I got her, and before the farrier work was done. She has a winter coat and her thinness isn't as obvious as it actually is. Also, when I look at the hooves in these pix it doesn't look as bad as it really was. I mentioned to the vet that it must have been like trying to do lead changes in clown shoes for her, and he said swim fins...

When you look at the pix, remember that she has a beautiful temperament.
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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:21 pm

demi wrote:When you look at the pix, remember that she has a beautiful temperament.


Then she's going to be just gorgeous, because she can't miss if she has a gorgeous temperament.

It looks like her main problem is just lack of muscling over the topline, which shouldn't be a problem to fix once you get her healthy and in work.

Nice shoulder, a lot of good angles, and a really cute face! :-)

Thanks for the pix, as I love to be able to visualize horses when I read about them.

Let me guess, the soles are close to an inch below the walls? Some horses have such strong hooves that they'll get really long and still look good, because the walls haven't started breaking off so the edges are still smooth. And what's funny about it is that the casual observer will look at short, self trimming hooves with rough edges and think they're a problem, when in reality the overgrown hooves with the nice, smooth edges are a much bigger problem for the horse.
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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby Josette » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:30 pm

Same as Kande50 said - she just needs some recovery time. You can tell from first pic she has a sweet kind expression. Very glad you got her!! (She is the same color as an Arab I had many years ago.)

Ditto - who knows what some trainers, sellers think......

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby Sunshine2Me » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:55 pm

Love her expression/face in the first photo! She's beautiful! And as the others have said, I don't see anything that groceries and work won't fix. I bet she'll come around quickly!

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby calvin » Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:44 pm

Demi, she just has to be "Bambi" for us. Such eyes! Such beauty! You are going to have SO much fun together . . .

Westi, I too, have an older citizen and I am now gearing up for a clinic on the weekend of the 12th. I am 60. My horse is 20. My experience is consistent with the article you posted. To keep a horse healthy, appropriate levels of work as they age actually improves their quality of life in terms of overall health, fitness, and living with joy and for a purpose.

My issue is whether it is right to purchase another horse who may outlive me.

My solution will be to ride other horses available to me to ride without owning them; and I am considering co-owning a horse, which might be a perfect way to ensure I have "my" horse who will have a forever home.

Interesting and thought-provoking question!

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby texsuze » Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:00 pm

When I had to completely retire my gelding (he is now 24) back in 2011 the rug was yanked out from under us both. That was the year from hell, for a number of reasons. I purchased a "project horse" in 2012--not a good match with that guy. Then, my dad and my uncle and DH were experiencing health problems. So I made a huge course correction, sold the project horse and stepped away from riding to deal with family health issues. I haven't been back in the saddle since October 2012. I lost my uncle in 2013 and my dad in 2014. DH is doing ok with his health issues, thank heavens. This is the first time I've posted about this, not easy.

Anyway, I'm not ready to say 'no more horses' yet, but at my stage of the game, I can't see caring for two horses again at the same time. I unload/stack my own hay, spread manure, shlep feed bags, shavings bags, muck stall 2x/day---well, ya'll know the drill. And being in the throes of middle age, my bodily creaks and groans are making themselves known more frequently.

My plans for now (they could change this afternoon!) are to care for my retiree till one of us drops dead in the traces. If I'm the one left standing I might look for an older trail companion to toodle around on, or maybe even go with a full or part lease situation. I try to take it day by day while dealing with all the emotion that comes with being in this particular situation at this time.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby Backyarder » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:27 pm

I've been mulling this over in my mind for awhile..if I could retire I would love to have a new horse to play with....if I retire I can't afford another horse at this stage of the game,no savings and only seniors pensions so I really can't retire anyway.... If I don't continue to ride I think riding is going to become difficult..so I either have to do it or quit. I seem to have quit. I retired my mare in October . I cannot afford two...and she is here to stay till she decides the time is right to leave us. I think Roxy is my last horse but I can't give up the dream in my heart of owning another one.....it makes me sad to be sensible ...

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby angela9823 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:58 pm

I'm kind of in the same boat too. I've got two perfectly ride-able horses right now. One is 20 the other 17. Both are in great shape and doing well. My third younger horse was put down this year and I've actually been just looking online at horses for sale. My issue is that almost ALL of my animals are getting up in age. My cow will soon turn 22, the two horses, then I have a 14 year old cat, an 11 year old dog and a 10 year old dog. We do also have a 2 year old dog. But the vet bills are starting to rack up for the older animals now. Knocking on wood, the horses and cow haven't been bad except I'm very diligent about getting good hay to keep on the weight in the winter and keeping it in front of them all the time and getting their teeth at least investigated regularly. One of the dogs has cushings, my cat has diabeties. The insulin for that cat is $298 because he wasn't responsive to the prozinc ($120). He's doing so much better on the new drug though that it makes it worth it. But I try to but the healthiest food I can for the pets too so they get the quality they need in proteins. Food bill for dogs and cats runs higher than any horses I've ever owned now. I don't need another horse to take care of at this point so it is an easy decision for me.

Love your new cutie, Demi. I also feel she's just lacking a little muscle tone. Can't wait to see progress photos in the future!!!

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby demi » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:19 pm

Thanks all for your encouraging words on my new girl! I'm glad you all like her. I will hopefully get future pictures and hope to get a soloshot 3 in the spring.

calvin wrote:..Demi, she just has to be "Bambi" for us. Such eyes! Such beauty! You are going to have SO much fun together . . .


So glad you see her beauty, Calvin! I respect your taste in horses as I watched Sharon Garners horses closely. Hanoverians are my all time favorite breed and your young mares looked beautiful event though I only saw the one small pic you posted.

I am already having SO much fun with her! She is quite "deer-like", very light on her feet and a little spooky, like a deer. Bambi...It fits in a way, but maybe I'll just use her real name since I think it is pretty and seems to fit her.

angela9823 wrote: Food bill for dogs and cats runs higher than any horses I've ever owned now. I don't need another horse to take care of at this point so it is an easy decision for me.


It IS so expensive to take care of animals. We don't have as many as you do but I understand your situation. THANK YOU for taking care of your geriatric group and putting them ahead of getting another horse at the moment! I am glad you have two ride-able horses. 20 and 17 are great ages!

Same thoughts to you, Backyarder, about keeping Roxy even though you dream of owning another....Roxy is a lucky horse.

Texsuze, sounds like you've been through a lot. I don't know how old you are but you said middle aged. when I hit middle age I really thought I was on the downhill slide. But my body got used to being older and my energy started to come back a few years after "the change". You mentioned your plans but put in parentheses that they may change this afternoon! Ha ha! I can relate.

I am planning to ride "Bambi" 4-5 times a week and keep Rocky going as much as possible. She could stay in decent shape with 2-3 times a week.

I am going out now to RIDE!! We are having great weather at the moment.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:50 pm

Backyarder wrote:If I don't continue to ride I think riding is going to become difficult..so I either have to do it or quit.


I think it's true that if we don't continue to use it we'll lose it, but I don't think that means we'll lose all of it, but just won't be able to ride at the same level we do now. So we'd likely lose some of our riding muscles, and probably some confidence, but I think that with the right horse we'd still be able to start riding again at some level--even if it's just walking around in circles in the indoor (to start).

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby demi » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:36 pm

musical comedy wrote:When you feel your horse needs to be retired, will you buy another? Or, is this your last hurrah?

I don't want to ride my horse anymore. Sound as he is, how long will that be true if I keep on riding him? I feel bad for him each time I tack up. I feel he has earned his retirement, and I do not feel (like most) that horses would rather be working than loafing.


I've been waiting to hear some more from you, Musical. I don't know you well, but was still surprised that you don't want to ride your big boy anymore...
I agree with you that not all horses would rather be working than loafing, especially horses that have a great setup, i.e. Lots of turnout on big grassy,treed pastures and cozy stalls when the weather is bad.

Do you need to "talk" about this? Hope I don't seem nosy. Just concerned about you.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:30 pm

demi wrote:I don't know you well, but was still surprised that you don't want to ride your big boy anymore...


Also curious about this, as I experience it at times too, but it comes and goes. So I'll go through stages when I don't want to ride, but they pass.

But I'm younger than MC, and one thing I've noticed is that each additional year makes a huge difference when it comes to energy levels and desire to ride. So when I was in my 50's I was still enthusiastic enough that I bought a weanling, but 5 years later my energy levels had dropped off enough that I had him gelded, and now that I'm mid-60's I've lost interest in showing.

So now I can only imagine what I will no longer be doing next year!

And the worst (or best?) part of it is that it's not that I can't do it, but just don't want to.

So now I think I'll just kick my unmotivated butt out there and ride my horse while the weather is so unseasonably great! :-)

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby musical comedy » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:34 pm

kande50 wrote:
demi wrote:I don't know you well, but was still surprised that you don't want to ride your big boy anymore...


Also curious about this, as I experience it at times too, but it comes and goes. So I'll go through stages when I don't want to ride, but they pass.

But I'm younger than MC, and one thing I've noticed is that each additional year makes a huge difference when it comes to energy levels and desire to ride. So when I was in my 50's I was still enthusiastic enough that I bought a weanling, but 5 years later my energy levels had dropped off enough that I had him gelded, and now that I'm mid-60's I've lost interest in showing.

So now I can only imagine what I will no longer be doing next year!

And the worst (or best?) part of it is that it's not that I can't do it, but just don't want to.

So now I think I'll just kick my unmotivated butt out there and ride my horse while the weather is so unseasonably great! :-)
Yes, all that and more.

My best friend is 6 years old than me. She doesn't ride anymore, because her horses died. Anyway, she once told me that the difference between 60 and 65 is significant. She was right. And I can tell you guys, that the difference between 65 and 69 (I'll be 70 in May) is huge. You'll see. Things just change as we age, for most of us. It doesn't encourage us with the prejudice against age out there. My farrier yesterday asked me if I was around during WW2. He was serious.

Anyway, with my horse, he is big muscled, bouncy moving, downhill built horse that has always been on the unsupple and lazy side. It has always taken me longer to warm him up than what should be, and I've tried all techniques. It didn't get better with his aging, although it hasn't gotten that much worse either thank goodness. However, it is not motivating to know that I have to work very hard for the first 20-25 minutes of my riding warmup. Yes, I know, we should not have to 'work' hard riding a horse, but the big horses that try to go on the forehand or get crooked require a tremendous amount of core strength to keep together. I've never been that strong physically. I was better when riding 2-3 horses a day, but now with only one and with my aging it is just hard work. It wouldn't be so bad if I had a goal to reach that made the hard work worthwhile, but what kind of goal do I have with this old horse? Do you see my point? And also, he is trained to a higher level and I don't want to do too many higher level movements on him for fear of injury at his age. So...I just go around doing mostly w/t/c and a little shoulder/haunches in, a few steps of half pass and occasionally a few flying changes, and that's it. It's not fun.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby chenders » Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:48 pm

musical comedy wrote:When you feel your horse needs to be retired, will you buy another? Or, is this your last hurrah?

I don't want to ride my horse anymore. Sound as he is, how long will that be true if I keep on riding him? I feel bad for him each time I tack up. I feel he has earned his retirement, and I do not feel (like most) that horses would rather be working than loafing.


I keep coming back to this forum even though I am a "youngster" at 50 (51 next month). I hope I don't get run out lol!

I think that if your horse is telling you that he would rather loaf then work then there shouldn't be any guilt about not wanting to ride him anymore. Although, speaking as someone who has a horse who is not always sound, I cherish the days when he IS sound. He's 21 and I know he's not going to be around forever so I am enjoying him as much as I can while he is still here. Fortunately, he *does* want to work. If all I do is groom him and put him back in his stall, he stands at the door and mopes until I take him out and tack him up and go for a ride. The nice thing is that since he is basically retired he only needs about 20 minutes a few times a week, to keep him happy.

To answer your first question, at this point, yes I will get another when he is gone. But ask me this question again in 10 years when I am 60 and I may feel differently. I probably will. I do find that I have to keep riding in order to stay fit enough to ride. My horse has gone through periods of months where he was unrideable and when I finally got back to riding him it took me a few weeks to get riding fit again. And it was HARD to get fit again. I was huffing and puffing and had no stamina.

So, retire him if that is what you feel is right for him. This riding thing is supposed to be fun, so if it's not fun anymore there is no harm done in stopping and finding some other hobby.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby westisbest » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:06 am

I think MC if I were in your situation, being on my own place with the one horse, I might very likely pack it in. Being in a boarding barn with a close knit group of friends, keeps me going. And my coach and a competent friend can and do help ride if I'm working or unable to get in the requisite 4-5 rides a week. And no it isn't fun many days. Right now the thought of heading out at 3 pm on a dreary cold day to get a lesson at 4:30 so that my unable to be clipped and blanketed horse can be stalled after riding is not one bit appealing. But I'm always glad I did it. We're mostly over the rehab stage, he's doing very well and I am slowly improving my riding again. I do not have a goal. I dont' show might this summer see how things go. But I love the barn. I love my horse. He's my everything. So I can't quit. I work part time and fit in the gym, time with my SO, and friends and family and am often totally exhausted like today. But life is for living and I love the life I was so lucky to forge for myself these past twenty odd years since I got my first ever horse as a 43 year old.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby VBOpie » Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:07 am

The vet came out for Lad this am. She thinks his problem is neurologic-maybe EPM. So, blood has been sent off. At this point, I think I'll look for something to lease or an instructor who has lesson horses that isn't a million miles away.
Kande50, if I did a get a second horse, it's true I'd only have one to ride, but I would still need quality time w Lad, e.g. grooming, groundwork, etc.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:00 am

chenders wrote:This riding thing is supposed to be fun, so if it's not fun anymore there is no harm done in stopping and finding some other hobby.


Except for that pesky exercise thing. Some might prefer to get their exercise in other ways, but I feel like as long as I have the horses, and riding them is more fun than going to the gym (or hiking, or jogging, or ????) then I might just as well ride.

I do still find riding invigorating too, which in some ways makes it fun because I always feel better after I ride. The part that I don't think is fun is finding the motivation to get out there and get started, but then overcoming inertia is never any fun no matter what the goal.

So MC, when you do get out and ride do you find it invigorating? It sounds like your first 20 minutes are quite a workout, so it seems like that might make the rest of the ride a lot more fun just because it's so much easier than the warmup!

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby demi » Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:37 pm

So many things that have been said on this thread resonate with me. Musical, my best friend is 7 years older than me, so I can relate. My friend,Rusty, just turned 69 this week and she lost her 34 yr old barrel racer just a couple of weeks ago. I love this woman on so many levels but on other levels I JUST DONT understand her. Ever since she turned 60, she has been telling me that 7 years makes all the difference and the reason I still wanted to ride and she didnt was that I was YOUNGER than her. She also says, out of the same mouth, that horses weren't meant to do dressage...so when she says I will soon feel my age, I don't believe her.

Kande pointed out that the exercise aspect of riding is valuable to her, and I feel the same way. However, when I was trying to train Rocky by using the dressage tests as my standard, it reached a point where it was too much work for both of us and it wasn't fun anymore. I know dressage requires a lot of physical effort but some horses take much more work than others. Especially those horses that aren't conformed for the work we want to do with them. We (and our horses) are all different so while we can take advice from knowlegable people, we still have to decide for ourselves how we go about "dressage" or even any kind of riding.

Music, I keep my horses at home, too, and do all the work myself. The one thing that makes it doable for me, is the saticfaction I get from riding. It was a long process to realize that I didnt enjoy training Rocky as a dressage horse and part of that process was trying to find THE RIGHT HORSE. Yes, dressage takes a lot of physical work, but the right horse makes all the difference. Emma, my new mare, is not perfect, but she is light boned and small enough that I have enough core strength to ride her gaits enjoyably. She is built in a way that facilitates the work I am trying to do, she is 12 years old so statistically she wont outlive me, she has proven herself (to my satisfaction) through third level, she is level headed, and by looking at prospects endlessly(which is easy to do these days with the internet), I was able to find her close to home at a price that my DH was happy with!

Westi said something that I also relate to. It is hard to be at home alone and not in a supportive dressage barn. BUT, that is why I use to read UDBB and now, not only read, but contribute to DDBB. It makes a big difference for me knowing about others that are trying to do the same thing. Especially this section for us older riders. (And Chenders, even though you are a mere child! I am happy to have your input here).

Wow, I am getting a little wordy here. I better quit and go ride!

Thanks to all who contribute here. And VBOpie, let us know how Lad's blood work comes out.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby chenders » Fri Dec 11, 2015 3:50 pm

demi wrote:!

Especially this section for us older riders. (And Chenders, even though you are a mere child! I am happy to have your input here).



Thanks :D There isn't a forum for those of us who are too old to have the stamina of the 30-somethings anymore but too young to belong in the "seniors" category....even though I feel like a senior a lot of days with my muscle aches from riding lol! I'm enjoying this forum for the "older" riders of the group and find myself relating to a lot of what is posted.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:04 pm

chenders wrote:
Thanks :D There isn't a forum for those of us who are too old to have the stamina of the 30-somethings anymore but too young to belong in the "seniors" category....even though I feel like a senior a lot of days with my muscle aches from riding lol!


There are days when I actually feel like a younger rider, although that's likely just an illusion brought about by not feeling quite so old and tired as the day before. :-)

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby boots-aregard » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:58 am

kande50 wrote:
chenders wrote:This riding thing is supposed to be fun, so if it's not fun anymore there is no harm done in stopping and finding some other hobby.


Except for that pesky exercise thing. Some might prefer to get their exercise in other ways, but I feel like as long as I have the horses, and riding them is more fun than going to the gym (or hiking, or jogging, or ????) then I might just as well ride.


I sold out 7 years ago when we moved. Then I tried a couple lease situations, and the obligation felt like too much with the other things going on in my life, and I let it all go for about 3 years.

Then Barbara got that crazy notion about foxhunting in Ireland and I had to get back in shape, which wound up equalling 5 jumping lessons a week, eventually, for the last 3 months before we went, and I really had fun.

Now I only take a lesson 1Xweek, but it's over fences on a schooled horse who knows his job. I don't have to own again and I can still ride and have fun.

My over-70s friend just got smaller horses. She now tolts around on an Icelandic, which pleases her just fine. But she owns, so it's daily care. I'm secretly glad I gave up the daily care (though the spare tire around my middle tells me I should have fought harder.)

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby PaulaO » Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:10 pm

Chiming in again. A horse at the barn where I used to keep Bob just sold for a very reasonable price. QH mare, 16 years old, grey, sound, sane, Training Level. Had I known she was for sale (I only know the scoop because my friend is a former boarder who still visits the barn) I would have bought her. Barn has great care, she could have stayed there. It was a perfect situation. But it didn't happen and I'm not crying over it. However it shows I'm still wanting to own!

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:44 pm

boots-aregard wrote:
Then Barbara got that crazy notion about foxhunting in Ireland and I had to get back in shape, which wound up equalling 5 jumping lessons a week, eventually, for the last 3 months before we went, and I really had fun.

Now I only take a lesson 1Xweek, but it's over fences on a schooled horse who knows his job. I don't have to own again and I can still ride and have fun.

My over-70s friend just got smaller horses. She now tolts around on an Icelandic, which pleases her just fine. But she owns, so it's daily care. I'm secretly glad I gave up the daily care (though the spare tire around my middle tells me I should have fought harder.)


I'm amazed that you were able to get back in shape enough to do that. The trip alone, without any riding (much less jumping) would have been enough of a challenge for me, and would have taken me weeks to recover!

I haven't gone the smaller, safer horse route yet, but have cut down on the drama by riding in less challenging environments. So no more crazy group trail rides (hard to believe I ever thought it was okay to do that to my horses), and much more gradual introductions to showing, because I now have the time and patience to do it the way I always knew it needed to be done. But then, I'm not over 70 yet, so that may change.

The lesson route is very tempting, except it would be too easy to stop. At least when I have horses out there doing nothing to earn their keep I feel some pressure to get out there and ride them.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby VBOpie » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:53 pm

I posted this in Veterinary, too. Lad's blood test came back positive for EPM, so we will begin treatment. In the meantime, I guess I'll see if I can find someone with lesson horses until we see what the outcome is. I do think he'll be okay.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby musical comedy » Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:00 pm

VBOpie wrote:I posted this in Veterinary, too. Lad's blood test came back positive for EPM, so we will begin treatment. In the meantime, I guess I'll see if I can find someone with lesson horses until we see what the outcome is. I do think he'll be okay.

I'm truly sorry to hear this news, but glad that you at least got a diagnosis. I was concerned it would be something serious. The medicine for EPM use to be expensive. Perhaps they have newer treatments now. I know a lot of horses have recovered, and I hope yours is one.

There are many reasons for me not wanting to get another or, or dog either for that matter. I've always been quite emotional about when animals get sick. It's really over the top, the way I get. I'm a bit of a hypochondriac when it comes to my animals. I watch every move and then imagine things are wrong. I call a vet for everything, and do unnecessary diagnostics. Then I get second/third opinions because I don't always trust what vets say. I have been given incorrect information in the past that met with bad consequences.

My primary vet of 25 years moved 2.5 hours away. I can still get him if I make an appointment way in advance and if he is going to be in the area. Otherwise, I have to call the local vet clinic. They have a turnover of vets there for some reason. My long term vet knows my horse like a book. These new vets I have to deal with don't know my horse or me, and I'm not confortable dealing with them.

Vets, farriers, trainers, footing refurbish, I need a new truck, trailer needs repair....it's all just too much and not worth it.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby texsuze » Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:02 pm

Jingles for Lad, and a comeback, in any way possible....

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby boots-aregard » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:45 pm

kande50 wrote:
boots-aregard wrote:
Then Barbara got that crazy notion about foxhunting in Ireland and I had to get back in shape, which wound up equalling 5 jumping lessons a week, eventually, for the last 3 months before we went, and I really had fun.


I'm amazed that you were able to get back in shape enough to do that. The trip alone, without any riding (much less jumping) would have been enough of a challenge for me, and would have taken me weeks to recover!


Getting back in shape was really hard, actually. I started 9 months before our trip, w. gym stuff and riding 1Xweek, and escalated that as needed.


I haven't gone the smaller, safer horse route yet, but have cut down on the drama by riding in less challenging environments. So no more crazy group trail rides (hard to believe I ever thought it was okay to do that to my horses), and much more gradual introductions to showing, because I now have the time and patience to do it the way I always knew it needed to be done. But then, I'm not over 70 yet, so that may change.

The lesson route is very tempting, except it would be too easy to stop. At least when I have horses out there doing nothing to earn their keep I feel some pressure to get out there and ride them.


Stopping is a BAD idea in terms of fitness. Now that I just ride 1Xweek, and work on the elliptical other days, my fitness level has dropped again. Just having/feeding/mucking/grooming horses is very good exercise, and keeps your whole body in better shape.

I'm considering buying a pony. For me to ride now, for my granddaughter in a couple years. But that *daily* *grind* of keeping up a horse is what stops me, even though it would be good for me.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:28 am

boots-aregard wrote:
I'm considering buying a pony. For me to ride now, for my granddaughter in a couple years. But that *daily* *grind* of keeping up a horse is what stops me, even though it would be good for me.


There's also the option of half leasing one so that you can go and get 3 or 4 workouts a week, but don't have to go every single day. Then if you wanted to go away someone else might be available to take over the care?

A friend boards her horse in the winter in exchange for cleaning 5 stalls 3 days a week, which sounds like it might be a much better workout than caring for one horse every day, and it gives her access to an indoor in the winter.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby KathyK » Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:48 am

When my horse went lame and I had to retire him four years ago, I was fairly certain I would not buy another and now I'm sure of it. During those four years I half-leased a few, took a year and a half off, and then started back with weekly lessons last spring. I've stopped for the winter (the only advantage I have found of not owning is not having to ride over the winter). I honestly don't know whether I'll start up again in the spring because at 67, while I was still riding well, it was a little bit harder each week to recover physically.

It has been mentioned a few times upthread that the difference between 60 and 65 is huge, and that has been my experience, as well. I was shocked by how hard it was to recover. If we didn't have winter I doubt I would have stopped because I always felt that the mental and emotional benefits outweighed any physical issues.

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Re: Seniors...will you buy another when....

Postby kande50 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:23 am

KathyK wrote:
It has been mentioned a few times upthread that the difference between 60 and 65 is huge, and that has been my experience, as well. I was shocked by how hard it was to recover. If we didn't have winter I doubt I would have stopped because I always felt that the mental and emotional benefits outweighed any physical issues.


One of the advantages to not having a trainer is that I can decide how hard I want to push, which is usually only hard enough to maintain my current level of fitness, or if I'm feeling particularly energetic maybe a little harder to try to improve it a bit.

It's hard to tell whether my fitness levels improve any, because I'm not sure if my horses have gotten easier to ride for longer because I've gotten fitter, or because they're better trained so they're doing all the work and I'm just sitting up there?

One thing I do know however, is that if I push too hard then I'm sore for several days and that makes it even harder to overcome inertia to accomplish anything, much less get out there and saddle up again. So I just don't do it, and if I do start riding with a trainer at some point I'll just take half hour lessons, because I like the idea of "go light, go often" way better than marathon efforts.


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