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Old 12-26-2007, 05:31 PM  
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Training the older horse

Just curious as to what the opinions are about training older horses. My Dad is looking at a 10 year old APHA mare that has not been ridden since she was broke at 2 1/2 yrs old. She has strictly been a baby machine since 3 years of age. He loves a challenge, but frankly the old man ain't a spring chicken anymore, so I know who will be doing all the "working" of this horse should he decide to give her a try.
What do you think, can you teach and old horse new tricks??
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:33 PM  
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I believe you can. WE have a 24 (coming 25) y/o mare that wasn't ridden for a long time & now she's 1 of the best trail horses we've ever had! I've also seen 6 y/o MUSTANGS who were completly wild become NICE horses! I say go for it!
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:56 PM  
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Just curious as to what the opinions are about training older horses. My Dad is looking at a 10 year old APHA mare that has not been ridden since she was broke at 2 1/2 yrs old. She has strictly been a baby machine since 3 years of age. He loves a challenge, but frankly the old man ain't a spring chicken anymore, so I know who will be doing all the "working" of this horse should he decide to give her a try.
What do you think, can you teach and old horse new tricks??

I am having the same situation with a 10 yr old Appaloosa that I recently bought... it is proving to be challenging but rewarding experience. Can't wait to see others views
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:29 PM  
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You most definitely can teach an old horse new tricks! I bought my mare Laycee last year when she was 15 yrs. and I had to retrain her quite a bit. She was crazy, nervous, jumpy, went too fast all the time, and bucked a lot. It was a challenge to say the least, but now, about 1 year later, she is a saint and I love her to death. I'm so glad I stuck with it for so long, because she's perfect now.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:32 PM  
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It'd probably be easier than training a colt actually--she's physically and mentally mature, she's seen a lot more, and she's probably smarter.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:33 PM  
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I believe with patience and understanding, anything is possible.
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Old 12-26-2007, 07:41 PM  
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One big advantage is that she was started before. Most of the issues i've had with older horses is that they don't have a work ethic. One took me a year to get him really going well and then he became a great competitor and lesson horse. It just takes time and patience.
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:07 PM  
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I find that older horses 'can be' really set in their ways therefore making them a bugger to train....but with time and gentle training I think it could happen
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Old 12-26-2007, 08:10 PM  
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I definitely think that you can. We recently bought a 10 year old Arab mare who was a lot like your mare, a baby machine basically. She is green broke now and is coming along wonderfully. She's the horse in my avatar.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:35 PM  
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We bring in broodmares and start riding them again often. Most of them were already trained to cut, and after getting fit, go right back to cutting like they never were away from it.
Some of it depends on how well trained she was in the first place. If she had a good foundation, it will still be there even after all these years. You just have to make sure to go slow enough to let her build up fitness. Sometimes broodmares are stiff and unbalanced because they haven't done anything and have had weight shifts from pregnancy. Like someone else said, you might have to deal with a lack of a work ethic at first, so it is best to do things gradually.
Good luck with her!
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:53 PM  
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We bought a mare that had been used for a broodmare. I loved it when I said "well, let's saddle her up" and the owners went pale! Yes, kids had ridden her, sat on her back and led around!
I started her at 10 years of age, she was scared at first but a doll. She ended up not being a beginners horse only because she was sooo light. She could do flying lead changes so smoothly, we could do them every other stride, at a canter, and look like she was dancing! She was the most willing and giving horse around. In other words, you bet!!!!
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:26 AM  
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Sure you can - we retrained several older horses that turned out to be some of the easiest to work with... Good for your dad!
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:31 AM  
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Yes, and they are thankful to have something to do...once you convince them that this is going to be fun
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:02 AM  
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Of course you can train her. As others said, there may be a little more resistance at first. But, they don't usually do the "stupid" things that young horses do since they are so much more mature. I find they like to be shown rather than told what to do. Good luck, I hope she turns out to be a great horse for your dad.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:20 AM  
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We bought Lacey at age 3 (she had been ridden some). She was a nervous horse and we spent a lot of time just getting her used to being around the farm and all the noises it offered. Fastforward six years----we sent Lacey for training. She stayed with a very experienced trainer who came highly recommended for a total of six months. He said he had a very difficult time with her. She is still too much horse for me (beginner and old), but I am going to attempt to ride her this spring---once he comes back and gives her a refresher course. I don't regret sending her for training. I did it more for her than for me. One never knows what the future holds and if I ever had to sell her---at least she can now sell as a riding horse for anyone but a beginner. I was so afraid she would be "unsellable"......and we all know where that ends her.
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:10 PM  
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Sure you can - we retrained several older horses that turned out to be some of the easiest to work with... Good for your dad!

Yeah, the old codger still likes to throw a rope @ nearly 77 years old, I just worry about him hitting the ground and shattering, if you know what I mean..

I dont know the extent of the mares training, Im assuming 30-60 days under saddle,and then to the breeding shed for the last several years,and not handled any time than yearly shots, vet checks and the occasional trim.

Sounds like fun dont it..
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Old 12-27-2007, 04:21 PM  
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Just start over - and tell him to keep roping.. in a few more years, he and I can clean up in the old folks class.......

There was a man in the SW that was still training colts in his 90s... he died a few years ago.. awesome tough old cowboy that was just fascinating to watch work a colt..
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Old 12-28-2007, 01:32 PM  
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Yeah, the old codger still likes to throw a rope @ nearly 77 years old, I just worry about him hitting the ground and shattering, if you know what I mean..

I dont know the extent of the mares training, Im assuming 30-60 days under saddle,and then to the breeding shed for the last several years,and not handled any time than yearly shots, vet checks and the occasional trim.

Sounds like fun dont it..
Yes, no reason it can't be done. I'm doing it with Tangoman Fancypants Sweetcheeks...it's taking a while, but that's more my fault than his...I'm not a good enough rider/trainer just yet, but he's teaching me everything I need to know. So if you know how to train, then you're one big step ahead of me...and just look at the progress Tango and I have made!

You can do it...patience and lots of routine, and she'll come round!

Best-
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:34 PM  
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I got Raven at 15. We had to rebreak her to stand while being mounted and respecting personal space. Shes a smarta** though Everyone once in awhile she still likes to play "push the mommy" which earns her a tap on the forehead with the end of the lead rope. It takes time but its worth it in the end. I can put my kids on her without any problems now! Tell your Dad good luck! Oh and I hope Im still riding strong at 77.
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Old 12-29-2007, 10:56 PM  
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I bought Baylor at fourteen. He came from the same type of background...was broke when he was about 2 1/2 and he could basically just walk, trot, and stop...but not in a straight line. So what we did was we basically just started him completely like a three year old being broke...we went through every step that you would do breaking a colt...it worked well. He was a bit more strong willed and set in his ways than a colt would be but with some perseverance he did just fine
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