The Truth About Old Horses

By #TeamDiO Member Randus Price

#TeamDiO Member Randus Price

I laugh every time I hear someone say "I'm thinking about getting a younger horse to replace my old guy he's almost 16 (or 28 or 20 I've heard it all) this year." Or read on the buy and sells, how people looking for a perfect seasoned horse won't look at a horse over 16. The excuses use range from; too much maintenance, i can't be competitive enough on a old horse, to they will only be heading downhill in there performance horse Career.


I do not believe any of these myths about the "old" Horses I do not believe a horse who is 16 to 20 years old is old! I believe they are in their prime, they are seasoned, have matured, safe and consistent. A horse that is well taken care of will last well into their late 20s to 30s.  


"Too much maintenance" I don't know about you but I like to make sure that all of my horses have everything they need to be at the top of there game no matter how old they are. My 6 year old gets just as many extra supplements, feed, vet bills as my 18 year old. They may be for different reasons, but the cost tends to not be far off. My 18 year old may get a larger feed ration, or a different type of feed specifically for mature horses, but my 6 year old is not yet mature and she tends to get banged up, running around in the pens or messing with the other horses, which means vet bills, and time taken out to doctor her wounds and hose her swelling.  


"I can't be competitive enough on a old horse" another false perception. It really depends on the horses heart. Scamper ran at the NFR until he was 16 years old. I know of a few other horses who are 18 plus winning 1Ds, placing in pro rodeos. If you take care of these horses they will take care of you. 


"They are only going downhill in there performance Career". I personally don't believe a horse has come into his best years of his career until he's around 13, they are safe, seasoned, know there job, and are prepared to be consistent, especially when traveling down the road to new arenas constantly.  


These "Old" horses are the gold in the arena, and are not given enough credit. Take care of them and they will take care of you. Like all great competitors of all ages, feed them their supplements, make sure they get regular exercise, have a great equine health team and use yourDiO. They will be sure to win for years to come! 

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3 comments


  • Tamet Gould

    I run a 21 yr old named “The Final Donut”, have been running him for well over a decade. We normally are in the 1D, sometimes I win, sometimes I place and sometimes we fall in the cracks of the D’s. Wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world. I have also done Extreme Races on him along with shown him in Walk Trot pleasure classes. One of the greatest horses I have every had the pleasure of riding and owning.


  • Alma Urbina

    Thank you so much for this article…I was really happy to hear what y’all had to say about running older horses.


  • Crystal Calbro

    I have a 30 yr old that I have been running since he was 9 and am still running at local shows and he is not ring sour, runs clean patterns, and doesn’t require any special treatment except he has pelletised hay and perform feed and runs times about 1.5 to 2 sec off leader wouldn’t trade him for anything


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