by John Ince, President Charlottesville Country Properties, LTD.
Horses live a long time. They hit their prime around seven and can perform at a high level for about ten years after that. Once they hit twenty they’ll start slowing down a little bit. They tend to get a little more efficient with their energy, not wasting as much with all that cavorting around. They mature philosophically as well getting a wizened look in their old eyes, garnering respect from the youngsters who are all stronger and faster. My herd is aging. They are the remnants of an Egyptian Arabian breeding program begun around 1980. They were seven, now four. I’ve known each one since they were born and I’ll keep them till they die. It does my heart good to see them in good grass and buttercups up to their knees. There have been times when I’ve regretted being tied to this equine family but it’s times like this, May 4, 2011, that make it worthwhile. They’ve been around much longer than my son and daughter who are about to fly the nest. Two of the mares are in their mid-twenties, the fella on the right is thirty and the one in front is only five. It looks like my nest will be full for a while yet. I need to let my daughter know that her dowry is a horse.