A Comparison of Twenty Year Olds
A year of so ago my mom bought a very nice twenty year old Morgan gelding, a former show horse and a former Amish cart horse. He has proven to be a sound, quiet, dependable and just all around good horse.
This winter I bought a twenty year old Paso Fino or Peruvian Paso gelding a former trail horse. He has been very good so far it remains to be seen exactly how he will work out for us.
I got to ride Indy when we went back to visit over Christmas and as expected our two very different twenty year old bays rode nothing alike. They match in color, almost dead on, and age but that is where any similarity ends.
Indy has the most beautiful legs I have ever seen on a horse. They are a favorite body part of mine. Is it weird that I have a leg fetish? No hoof no horse is how the saying goes. He has big, beautiful bone, large, round hooves and his legs are nice and clean after years of trotting down the road for more miles a day than us recreational riders can begin to imagine.
He is big, huge by my pony sized horse standards. 16 something maybe? He may have seemed bigger than he really is to me because I had to mount him from the ground. He rides like the tank he is, like driving an extended cab, long bed, pickup. His trot was gigantic and springy, as a youngster he might have been a great dressage horse.
As it is, he has been driven his whole life and his neck is upside down and his whole body stiff as a board. Mom has been doing a commendable job trying to teach him to give to the bit. She has even taught him to give to the leg, a little bit. Not for me, but she can get gates off of him, it made me feel a bit incompetent. She can also get a good fast walk out of him. I don’t doubt that those long athletic legs of his can speed along. Not for me of course, the day I rode him we plodded through the snow and walking was hard enough without having to add speed.
Ody has some of the worst legs I have ever seen on a horse, They look kind of like toothpicks. Slender and sloping inwards to a narrow pastern and tiny hoof. It amazes me that he was able to be ridden in the Black Hills or by anyone over fifty pounds. I say over and over again that if he had been a youngster I would never have bought him. I would have figured him for lame by ten. He is not young though he has reached a grand old age and seems to be going strong so who is to say there is anything wrong with his
toothpick legs. Why would he need big bone when….
He is tiny himself. I believe the add said 13.2, just the height I was looking for. Not a real pony, to small for an adult to ride, but a pony sized horse, big enough for me and the husband. He is easy to get on and we have less distance to the ground if we fall off. He rides like a sports car, little and zippy. I am assuming you picked up on the gaited part from the breed, great suspension, not a drop of bounce.
His neck bends the right way, he gives to the bit with contact. He is very responsive with a beautiful light rein, luckily because he has no clue what any other cue means. Nobody has ever asked him to give to leg pressure and I am unsure whether it is worth trying to teach. He is meant to be a child’s horse. A child who’s legs will not reach his side for so many years to come that it is doubtful if he will be around by then. I definitely need to teach him to step over to the mounting block. He is so short it seems pointless but, back to the small child again, he will be tall for her.
He was ridden in a mechanical hackmore, I hate those. I switched him over to a nice smooth snaffle and he is working nicely. I got my four wheeler riding husband out on him, finally, and they did good together. My theory is that learning to ride, for husband and child, will be much easier with out the trot to deal with. When he speeds up in stead of bouncing and getting scarey it’s a cool smooth gait and just fun.
It is so much fun having our matching horses, maybe we should start coordinating our clothes and stuff too.
To all those people who said twenty was so old, why would I buy such an old horse, take a look at the collection of aged horses at moms barn. The oldest of the bunch had to be put down a couple of years ago, not for age related reasons. She was thirty four and still so hot she was a handful to ride.