Sign in to follow this  
daydreambeliever

How Old Is Too Old To Take Care Of A Horse

Recommended Posts

I'll be 60 years old this year and may have to buy some acreage to avoid paying taxes when we sell the family farm I inherited. It would only be logical for me to have a couple of horses on this place. I have the experience and ability to take care of some low keyed horses now. Does anyone have a general idea of how

old a person can take care of livestock? It is a question my husband presented to me. I would have automatic waterers and hay stacked for me and would have a list of people to hire in if I couldn't take care of my animals due to a virus or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're only as old as you feel. If you're fit and strong, there's no reason you'd have any trouble.

If you have help/equipment for the heavy stuff, I can't foresee a problem. I know people who were doing perfectly well keeping horses well into their 80s, and though she passed away remember a story about a 100 yr old cowgirl who was still riding and caring for her horses daily. :)

It's more about your health than your age ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have plenty of friends who have cared for their horses well into their 80s. The biggest thing would be to have some "handyman" that you can call up to help with things like broken fence/tractor/stacking hay etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm 63 and still fully caring for my dozen Arabians, including 2 stallions. My 'help' is 73 and going strong. Barring physical problems (and I have a few of those too), I can't see putting an AGE limit on it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With age comes wisdom, that tells your body you have to readapt at doing somethings. But we can't quit, or we dry up & wither away. Using good judgement there is little you can't do at 60 that you couldn't do at 40 or younger, so go get a couple of good horses if that is what you enjoy. I'm 63 & keep generally 2 horses, we travel from time to time, & have other I can depend on to care for my horses when we are gone. It was 10-15 below 0 here in Wisconsin this morning, & my horses were waiting at the gate to be fed. The fact that I was needed, keeps me younger. Best Wishes. PD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great question! As I am 55 at the end of the month and my new to horses husband is 69, I found myself wondering how long is too long. I also have read about the 100 y/o cowgirl! She's my hero! I've been checking my age against the horses. The youngest is 7. I do have hay delivered and I help put it up. All the horses and donkeys (3 of each) are taken care of by us. I agree with ozland and Peppers Dad completely. It gets you going 365~24/7. I have worked with horses most of my life, my husband only 7. It is harder on him, but he doesn't need the gym anymore!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have two gals in their seventies that do sorting with our club.

The one - lives on a ranch and rides a grazing lease during the summer (I don't know if my ash would take that kind of punishment on a daily basis even at coming 56)

The other - has a pulley system where she boards that raises and lowers the saddle onto the horse's back. She has other club members warm the big ol' gelding up and boards her horse.

More than one way to skin a cat.

And if "old" is how you feel.............then I'm about a hundred and two today.......LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say go for it! I know a woman who still runs a 50 stall boarding barn quite effectively at 75! I think, as others have said, it's much more about physical abilities and health than about age.

I will say, have a plan in place for what happens to your horses if you become unable to care for them or you pass away. For instance, name a trusted caretaker in your will, and leave them some $$ to take care of the horses. Or name the person that you would trust to take care of rehoming them.

But again, that's not really age related. We should all have a plan like that in place. 'Cause stuff happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree, you're only as old as you feel! :grin: I grew up on a dairy farm and there were lots of seniors still running their farms - course, hard to "retire" from farming unless you sell the farm or have children to take over. Anyway, my point is that lots of people care for livestock all their lives, no matter how old they get. I think it helps keep them young - my grandfather took care of his farm and his animals well into his nineties. So enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are healthy and fairly active, go for it! I am 62, will be 63 next month. I can't do a lot of hay bale throwing anymore, but we get it delivered, and all we have to do is get it up in the barn. I am thinking of hiring some young, strong kids to help out with that part soon, too.

Otherwise, I can still get out there and do everything else! Like PD said, you can't stop or you'll dry up and blow away!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know many many people that are well over 70 and still ride. Some of them have to have help getting on and off but everybody is willing to help. I fully intend to ride until I can't get out of bed by myself.

My FIL is 75, I think, and he is still breaking one every year! He will be starting a 2yo molly this spring. My MIL is 82 and still installs carpet in her rent houses. She doesn't ride, never has, but I bet if she did she would still be saddling her own.

You are only as old as you feel, go for it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:smilie: LOTS OF GREAT ADVICE! I'm 62 - will be 63 in April. I have 5 horses that I take care of myself along with 5 dogs! I LOVE trail riding and ride with a group of great trail buddies. Some are in their late 50's and some around my age. I think horses keep us young! Like Pepper's Dad said - it gives us a reason to get up and get going! The Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'll be doing the same thing I am doing right now when I'm 100! Y'all are just a great bunch of people! I feel like I am in GOOD company!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a good friend of mine is 68 and still taking care of her own as well as trail riding ... she has three horses ... she pays to have her stalls cleaned and her hay stacked

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my good friends was still doing parades and going with us on 3 day rides well into his 80's. He rode and cared for his horses right up til he died at 89.

PS; I STILL unload and stack my own hay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Another senior here. I'am 61 , will be 62 in May. We were out of horses for a few years and got back into them . Horses were our saving grace. We had some major crisis in our family that I still can't believe happened to us.

This is what was important to me when we decided to start over again. Physically we both were healthy enough to be able to manage the work (feed up, muck stalls, ect) and handle the horses we purchased. We looked for horses that were suitable for our needs and limitations. They had to have great ground manners and be easy to handle. I wanted horses at any time that could be pulled out of their stalls by anyone. To me, you have to be honest with what your limitations are. Forget what you use to be able to do, and enjoy what you can do. This is easier said than done. We all had more confidence than sense, when we were younger. Use your past experience to make good decisions on the horses your going to purchase and be patient. Good, safe horses are hard to find. It took us close to 2 years to find a horse my husband uses as a therapy horse.

We do hire out most of our fence work or labor around our place, it's worth the cost. I can have hay stacked and delivered. I have them bring my feed at the same time. We muck the stalls, drag pastures and all the other small stuff. Still a good work. The biggest benefit to me, horses just gives my mind such a calming effect, and I feel like there's nothing in the world like riding a good horse you enjoy. That's what lifes about enjoyment and looking forward to something each day. Best of luck to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your advice. I know I am not ready to give up riding and dream about being able to take care of my own horses instead of boarding. There is just something to making things just right for my horse

that I can only compare to putting a sleepy child in his bed--some sort of indescribable peace that I hope to experience on my own place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a friend who is 62 and doesn't have the use of her right arm and has bad knees and has had several heart surgeries. She still takes care of her three horses and gardens. She has someone come in to help with the heavy stuff and I and her other friends help with the smaller things when she's having a particularly rough day.

I think it's her horses, cats and dog that keep her going.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always boarded my horses until my new husband bought our new home. I no longer had a buddy to ride with in the spur of the moment, I had more upkeep mending fences, painting, etc. If either of us gets sick (hopefully NOT at the same time!), it's on the others shoulders. On the other hand, I know when they are fed, how, and where they are at all times, and at the end of the day I can look out my window and see the fruits of my labor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your never too old to ride a good horse.

My great Aunt was riding horses and rounding up cattle in TX, until she was 105. The new shorter pony her family bought her tripped in a gopher hole while chasing cows. And she broke her hip in the fall.

She intended to get back on horses. Unfortunately, her big Victorian house caught on fire and she was over come by smoke at her front door.

She had crawled down a flight of stairs with her broken hip to get there.

There are ways to work around health or physical issues.

When my back was really bad, I taught the horses to stand next to a chair and lift up their leg on command. So that I could sit down and clean their hooves.

A wet/dry shop vac with a long extension cord can be used to muck stalls bedded in shavings. Just tip it over on it's side when full.

A lawn tractor or an ATV can pull a garden cart with wire sides that drop down for easier loading & unloading.

A horse is easily trained to walk up to & stand next to a wooden ramp for saddling, mounting and dismounting.

HTTY

(Happy Trails To You)

Edited by dondie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you cant walk out to your barn twice a day or hire someone to assist, then your too old.. otherwise, My last BO that I truely adored was 86 when we lost him, and he was out there daily assisting up with chores.. he didnt do as much, but he always helped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have an "Icon" fellow who is 100, and still rides trail and does the chores alone. He is also quite the flirt with the "youngsters", EX. 60 yr old gals! :winking::wub:

He is well loved by ALL the clubs around here, and is sought after for advice, and

as a riding companion. :happy0203:

Edited by siseley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've enjoyed reading all the replies RE: When is 'too old'.? I agree that it would most

likely depend on one's physical condition, and will to care for horses. It would keep

one young, just to care for the horse's daily needs. I mostly want to just be 'around'

a horse....along with riding. I even love their SMELL. My husband (a former city guy )

laughs when I tell him that, but it's true. Always have loved the smell of horses. I

think that if you love horses, then you love everything about them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think all the replies have been spot on...that if you are physically able to take care of the horses and/or financially able to pay someone reliable to help out, then GO FOR IT! Having horses keeps us young.

I did want to point out that at any age, it's a good idea to ensure our animals will not suffer if something happens to us. There are trusts that can be set up, and organizations that will help out with the guarantee of a donation from your estate.

I have terms set up in my will that I will make substantial donations to mulptiple organizations as long as they agree to provide care (and in some cases adoption services) for my dogs, cats and horses.

The last thing I want is for my animals to be left in limbo or end up in shelters if something happens to me. So make sure you provide for them!

Vickie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be 55 this summer and my wife Vickie will be 50. We're both somewhat disabled but between the two of us working together, we can usually get what we need done. With hay, we feed round bales and use the tractor to move them them around. I can get on Ruby without something to stand on if necessary, but usually borrow Vickie's step ladder that she uses to get on Buddy. Either that or use the back bumper of the truck. Once we're in the saddle we both can sit on a horse pretty good. Both horses are used to getting treats from us so they're easy to catch.

If you really want to do something, you'll find a way to make it possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this