I have been seeing a nice trend the past few months at the barn.
The horses coming in for training are, mostly, the usual youngsters. But mixed in there the last few months are some older ones. Horses who have been basically pets, lawn ornaments, hay burners…call them what you will. Horses who do not have any job skills, apart from being cute and leading. And in two cases ground manners were also lacking…
The exact type of horses who often wind up in shaky circumstances should their owners have a life changing event, such as divorce or financial trouble, that requires them to be rehomed.
I do not know the owners motivations for deciding their older horses should now learn how to perform under saddle, but it a blessing for the horses, even if they do not like the change to their Life of Riley LOL. Should something change in the future they will be much more desirable than they were even a month ago!
Apart from a few bad habits from being treated as pets they are (usually) no worse to break than a youngster (OK-the Red Mare was, but I suspect she would have been a curmudgeon regardless of her age) and they learn at the same rate.
These horses will be returned home with solid under saddle basics to go in any direction their owners desire, from trail mounts to the show ring. Their market value has gone up, their job security has increased. They are WAY less likely to be sent through an auction and bring nothing more than a bid from the KB. They are now much more likely to impress someone enough to be brought home and made a productive member of the family.
Ok, I truly don’t know if this is a trend, or a fluke…but I like it!