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7 things owners of older horses always hear

While we are certainly only as old as we feel, when your horse or pony turns 15 he’s officially classified as a veteran. And although you think you horse has definitely aged like a fine wine, when your beloved reaches the twilight years you may start to become familiar with these comments.

Here are seven things all owners of golden oldies are always hearing…

1. ‘When are you going to retire him?’

When are you going to retire yourself?! Your horse might be well into his teenage years (and whatever that would be in horse years), but he’s still as exuberant as a newly backed four-year-old being worked on grass for the first time. He’ll retire the day he doesn’t bound up the lorry ramp like a spring chicken, take on cross-country like an elite athlete or whinny and shout when he gets left behind for a hack.

2. ‘He looks a lot older than that’

He might boast a few grey hairs around his eyes and he might have a bit more fluff than most, but his internal organs and joints are in perfect working order. Never judge a book by its dusty, slightly worn cover.

3. ‘He looks a lot younger than that’

Perhaps said by a fellow veteran competitor who won’t believe your age-defying horse is eligible for the same class as theirs. It’s amazing what good genes, some quality feed and strict daily preening routines can do to push back the clock.

4. ‘Are you sure you he’ll be able to keep up?’

Remember that thought when you see me stuggling to hold him out hunting…

5. ‘He is just so cute’

Absolutely cute when watching him nuzzling his friend from across the field. Absolutely not cute when manically fidgeting when you when you’re trying to hose his feet, or when dragging you across the arena as you try to mount him. And at this age, he’s never going to learn, so it’s a case of just accepting it and learning to cope with his character-defining quirks.

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6. ‘You’ll never be able to sell him now’

And I have no intention of doing so. Plus, no one else would be able to cope — or put up with — his unpredictable attitude and his mindboggling quirks. He’s certainly a horse only a mother could love…

6. ‘I can’t wait until my horse is that age’

The partnership you’ve built with your best friend is one you’ll never have with another. You’ve likely grown up together and are now enjoying watching your horse develop into a senior citizen of the equine world, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

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