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Re: Elderly Horses and Distance

Go for it.  Just be sure to go gradually at a calm cool rate that goes good
for that horse.

Don't expect more than she can give, listen to her she will tell you where
and what she is capable of and interested in doing at 18.

Racing is a natural for horses, so if she and you are having a fun time,
enjoy yourselves.

Just be sure to back off anytime things  get iffy, take your time, she needs
to build up gradually just like a young horse.

I've had this experiance and been extreemely successful, my horse (started
at 17) has over a 1,000 miles now and done has several multidays.  She's a

Joan Ruprecht (with 12,000 plus miles)

Subject: RC: Elderly Horses and Distance

> Hello, folks.  I have cross posted this to horsesCTR and ridecamp, so
> curse me if you get this twice in your inbox.
> I have wanted to try CTR and endurance riding for a long time and have
> lurked off and on on these lists.  Now that cooler weather is here, I
> I'm ready to start getting a horse in shape and going for it.  The mare I
> want to start on is an 18 year old Arabian/Quarter Horse cross.  Is this
> old?  At this age, I wonder if I should just let her go live with a friend
> of mine who just wants a horse for light trail riding.  I don't know if
> training her to compete in ~25 mile rides would accelerate wear and tear
> her body.  I don't intend to get her ready for fifty mile rides; I just
> would like to get a start on her and test the waters of the sport.  If
> there's any more risk to working her (as opposed to starting with a
> horse), I would rather retire her as a light trail horse for myself or a
> friend.
> I know I have read about older horses competing, but it seems like they
> all aged endurance horses.  By that I mean that they had been distance
> horses for a while.  My mare is perfect - she's the best trained horse I
> have, she's steady, I know she's not going to try to kill me, I can trust
> her, I know if I fall off or something she's not going to high-tail it.
> (Yes, my last horse was a nut case - I love that horse, but I wouldn't
> him any farther than I could throw him - or vice versa, heh.)  The man who
> sold her to me had owned her for 10 years, during which she'd been a games
> and cow horse.  For the past couple of years, she's been a bit of a
> potato, and she had a filly three or four years ago.  So she's had a
> active past, at least, although she's out of shape now.  She is a bit
> which is why I wanted to wait until it cooled off before we really started
> working.  And she does like to go out; she seems to prefer that to hanging
> out in the pasture.  I want to make sure, though, I'm not going to "ruin"
> her by starting to condition her.  Whether she's a competitive horse or
> she's worth her weight in gold, and I want to make sure I have her around
> for a long time.
> Sorry this is so long winded, just looking for opinions and experiences.
> Thanks!
> ~angela
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