Poll Recap: Savvy Seniors

Poll Recap: Savvy Seniors

Of the 1,638 respondents, 387 (24%) said their oldest horse is 26 to 30 years old, while 316 readers (19%) indicated their oldest is more than 30 years old.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

How old is your oldest horse? We posed this question to our readers last week's poll on TheHorse.com. More than 1,600 readers responded, and we’ve tallied the results

Of the 1,638 respondents, 387 (24%) said their oldest horse is 26 to 30 years old. Another 353 readers (22%) said their eldest horses is 21 to 25 years old. One fifth of respondents (333) said their oldest horse falls in the 16 to 20 year age range, while 316 readers (19%) indicated their oldest horse is more than 30 years old. Finally, 249 respondents (15%) said their eldest horse is less than 15 years of age.

Additionally, more than 200 readers left comments about their senior horses: 

Poll Results

Many readers shared comments about their current senior horses:

  • "(My oldest horse is) coming 30 in May and still going strong! Love my Morgan mare."
  • "My horse is sound, happy, and still going strong!"
  • "My old Arab is still champing at the bit (with) clean legs. We go everywhere."
  • "Our Thoroughbred mare is 31 this year and still going strong."
  • "My OTTB still thinks he's 3. He won't retire! He wasa jumper, now a dressage horse. He loves to work."
  • "Grand Samuel (Sammy) just had his 31st birthday on 1/31. AQHA dun gelding and pretty darn healthy, too!"
  • "My sister's Arabian/Welsh gelding will be 34 this May, and still bosses the two11-year-olds around."
  • "Romeo, my super healthy Arab, is in his early 30s and still trail rides and plays with his buddies."
  • "I have an Arabian gelding that is 33. He is sound and looks great. I have had him since he was 6 months old."
  • "My oldest horse is 31 this year and doing great!"
  • "I have a 35-year-old gelding who is still running and bucking in the field! He needs special attention and care but he's worth it."
  • "I own only one horse: A 37-year-old Standardbred gelding and he is enjoying life to the fullest!"
  • "At 29, she is no longer the boss in the pasture, but she still gets around great and eats just fine."
  • "My horse is 25 and still going strong: looks no older than 13, able to be ridden lightly, goes out, and no lamenesses."
  • "My horse is 24 this year and in amazing shape (knock on wood)!"
  • "I have a retired racing pacer. He is a big outside dog, loves kids, and attention."
  • "She is almost 34, and full of spunk!"
  • "Supposedly our rescue horse is older than 30. It's hard to believe, he's fit as a fiddle!"
  • "He's 22 and going strong. He is ridden daily. He's a retired Western pleasure show horse."
  • "Our Appaloosa mare will be 27 this year...she doesn't have any clue she's that old, though!"
  • "I have a Quarter Horse that just turned 31. He has no health problems."
  • "My AQHA gelding is turning 21, but you wouldn't know it. He is as spry as ever."
  • "He still kicks up his heels at 38, even if it is only 2 feet off the ground!"
  • "My 18-year-old OTTB is still eventing and shows no signs of slowing down!"
  • "Of my six horses, four are well over 20 and functioning well, especially the 30 year old Arab."
  • "My Percheron mare is 28 years old and we still do lots of trailriding. Rock star horse!"

Some few mentioned the different health problems they face with their older horses:

  • "My 31-year-old Quarter Horse mare had a cracked skull, one of her eyes had to be removed, and also has PPID."
  • "My horse has navicular, is blind in his left eye, and is sway back, but is still going strong."
  • "This winter my 26-year-old is needing more hay to maintain her weight."
  • "We're dealing with PPID, IR, and laminitis at the moment. Hope for recovery with the laminits."
  • "We feed him three times a day as he choked three years ago. He's on senior feed that is soaked."
  • "My 28-year-old mare looks good, but is on daily pain medication and a joint supplement. She's down to one sound leg."

Others reminisced about older horses they've lost:

  • "I just lost my old guy about two weeks after he turned 30."
  • "Pepe is 34. My oldest died at 38, seven years ago."
  • "I lost my old girl last year. she was 39.5."
  • "He was 34 when he passed away. He was a rescue and my all-time favorite horse. I still miss him."
  • "Just lost my sweetheart of 33 years, and now just have a 'baby' of 17."
  • "My 'once in a lifetime' mare was 32 when she had to be put down. Miss her daily."
  • "I had her put down last August due to a fractured elbow (she got kicked). She was 33 1/2 years old!"

You can find many articles and resources on older horse care on TheHorse.com and also be sure to check out the Old Horses: Better With Age blog.

This week, we want to know how you'll be restricting your horses' spring pasture intake. Vote in the poll and share your comments!

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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