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Has anyone ever taken an older horse, with little to no conditioning and gotten them back into shape.  If so any input would be helpful.  I've just gotten my old show/trail horse back after 10 yrs.  He is 21 this month.  Honestly I don't think he's been ridden hardly any since I sold him from the looks of his condition and we use to do everything together (shows, trails and parades).  I want to get him active again because I think it will only prolong his life and make it more enjoyable but I know I have to go slow.  Any advice is appreciated!

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I would start out slow do some ground work about 30 mins a day increasing it a few mins each day build his muscles up before riding. I have my old show horse back he's about 24 an Arabian I hope to work with him some this year I rode him last summer and he remembered everything he was so good I rode him too long the next day he was sore and mean and so was I, so take it slow and enjoy. It feels so good to have your partner back doesn't it.
Get your horse on a good joint supplement also.
I have my old guy on Cetyl M joint supplement, i have it on repeat order from Smartpak, they send me a tub every 60 days, it smells like chocolate, so it goes down very well, and i have honestly seen a difference, he is more inclined to be active, and i see a real difference in him- i also lunge him just to keep the old blood flowing and the joints moving- hope this helps
Rode with a friend yesterday who according to Equine Dentist and Vet is in mid-late 20's. You would never know it! It acts like a 10 yr old. Happy Trails!
Linda, I took my younger horse (13) out of the field a bit ago to brush him really good and clip him and give him his yearly Spring shots and the older gelding was really cutting a rug - lol. I was laughing because he may be older but he definitely isn't stiff or a dead head and never was before. I only use supplements when they need them. Tomorrow the oldster is getting some exercise before the rain moves in.
you already have the answer... go slow and your horse will tell you when he is ready to move out and up. So happy to hear that you got him back. That happened to me once, I kept him that time until he passed of old age.
RIP Smokey


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