What makes old horses so valuable?

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There is something about old horses that is just too good. Maybe it is that they have seen most things and are unfazed by the noise and commotion of life. Or maybe that they have earned their living and are now peacefully enjoying retirement. But what makes them such great horses?!?


Old horses have usually had at least one carrier before they are considered too old and retire, but their life doesn’t stop there. They may have been a ranch horse working long days, or a rodeo horse used to all the noise. Maybe a professional show horse used to hauling and the arena. Maybe they were just the family trail horse who has seen more miles than could be counted. 


It is an old horse's past experiences and work that make them so good, especially for beginner riders. They know most of what is up and will take care of their rider as the rider learns. This is the trait that makes them invaluable. 


We’ve had two early 20s horses with our family for quite some time. The one showed his age very early. Hank, being an old ranch horse, not much physed him. My husband used him for a few years working and moving cattle, but his age caught up, and he could no longer keep up with cows that broke away. He retired to being the kids' horse. They are merely beginning to ride, but he would pack them along on the ride like it was nothing. You had better believe it was hard to say good-bye this summer when the time came.


The other has had a much easier work life. He has always been a family horse and mainly just trail rode. When I bought Mojo almost 10 years ago he already had a laid back personality, but what not the best trained. I worked with him and found that he wasn’t just laid back, but smart enough to play dumb to get out of work! I literally threw everything I could think of at him that might scare him and he quickly came to expect the weird and out of normal. Why did I do that? Because my vision for him was to be a therapy horse and I needed him bomb proof. He was the beloved mount for many special needs riders while I was teaching lessons. Now he’s my children's favorite. 


See older horses may be set in their ways, but when they have good ground manners and experience, they are the perfect teacher for a novice rider.  


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