I also read Denny's article about being more fit, and have joined a gym. I'm up to an hour of cardio 3-4 times a week, and dropped 40 pounds just by eating right. Everyone says it's taken YEARS off me.
54. I sure do miss it.
Since I had to put my beloved old man down a year and a half ago, I have only my friends warm blood to ride. His talent for jumping would not ever make him a good event candidate.
Dressage is my game now. I miss the thrill of a TB gallop, this horse has no clue how to gallop.
But maybe someday I can find a low level eventer to lease,(Do people do that?)
Fitness, Well 2 years ago I joined a gym and lost 30 lbs.
Still have 25 I would like to get rid of, but I have muscles and a core that I never had before. Really helps with the Dressage.
I swear If I stopped working out now I would stiffen up and be crippled. :yes:
Gardening and yard work, help a bunch too.
My brain does not get that I am 54, My body keeps reminding it daily! :):eek:
:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: I just saw an ad for extra insurance: A woman is walking on a path and she says "I'm only in my sixties, so I have a long life to live, that's why I'm getting Acme insurance."
Only in her sixties. . . Yeaaaaa, I'm still a youngster!
This thread is incredibly inspirational...
I'm 55, and bred my Prelim mare last year (to a Hanoverian jumper stallion.) She gave me a beautiful black filly, born in June. The filly is well-put together, an athlete, a lovely mover, sweet and loving but full of spunk, and is already showing bravery and independence (and a great gallop!)
My goal is to do all the preparatory work with her (for me, this is the fun part), and eventually ride this filly (will lightly start her in the fall of her 3 year old year--if I'm feeling my age, get some competent young Whippersnapper to actually sit on her for the first time, since I'm not a complete fool ;)), and then see where she takes me, and play it by ear. Little baby steps will be enormously satisfying, and I think as one ages one learns to appreciate and savor the small accomplishments, without feeling the external pressure to "accomplish X by Y date".
If I'm doing BN with her at 59, I will be one happy camper.
THIS is "the engine that drives me", since after a certain age we all need powerful motivation to stick to our guns through the pain and exhaustion, and keep fighting to stay as fit and active and functional as possible. In the meantime I'm staying tuned up by regularly riding my students' horses on the flat, occasionally popping over a small jump (with the ones I've done most of the training on, NOT the greenbeans! :-O), and working out, EVERY. DAY. Not to mention stretching and core work and back injections and chiropractic, etc., etc. Yes, NSAIDS are your friend, as are soft ice packs and heating pads (and I have a memory foam mattress topper, what a fantastic invention that is!)
I fight the pain daily, and hang in there because I am working towards a goal; albeit one that is far down the road.
With my vulnerable lower back, I have now wised up and ASK FOR HELP with heavy lifting (and jump setting); knowing one's limitations is key to maintaining as much functionality as possible. I am also careful with the horses I get on, no dead greenies, no rearers, no bolters. No rodeo buckers.
I am judicious (or I try to be, HA! this is horses, after all :lol:)
One of my students is 65, she has some physical issues and lives with pain, but is fit and works at maintaining her fitness--she foxhunts and jumps and hacks out, as well as working on her dressage (in spite of the fact that she has a bad hip.) I always tell her that she is my inspiration.
Set a goal, but keep taking it (and working towards it) one day at a time. (The eating the elephant analogy ;))
Well, at present, I am delving into the H/J world. I bred my LL eventing horse when I was 51. She had a fabulous filly that I worked with just about every day and had a ball raising her. My mare died when Jinx was a yearling, so I was out of the saddle a long time while I was waiting for her to grow up. My initial goal was to do everything myself, but thank goodness, I got smart and worked with a fabulous young eventer when she was ready to back. My goal was to be sure she was started well with a confident ride that I knew I could not give. But, I was the first one on her back. Michael started her, but I had lessons on her each week so I could learn as we went along.
I have been careful each step as to who worked with her and each step, that trainer had to work with me as well. This is my horse and I will be her rider. When her initial trainer left the area, I worked with another trainer that was good with getting the youngsters going. He rode her most days and I had weekly lessons. This guy was a hunter trainer. I would eventually like to do LL eventing, but my mare screams hunter and it is a good starting place for us. :-)
Fast forward, I am with a new trainer closer to home, so I ride every day. She is now 7 y.o. and we are having a blast. She is not as far along as other horses her age, but I have purposely taken things slow and in my mind right by her. My trainer showed her in pre-green hunters this year and for the first time in over 8 years, I rode this wonderful horse that I bred over fences (itty bitty fences). But, at 59, it is a great starting place to get back in the swing of things. She has a powerful, back-cracking jump, so I am really having to learn to stay with her.
Take things within your own timeframe. You will have so much fun. Right now, I am truly living my dream -- riding this fabulous mare that I bred. She is smart and talented, but sane enough to cart my butt around without getting offended when I make a mistake. Life is good.
I'm 57 this year and have ridden pretty much all my life. I've had some rank, hot blooded horses, but that was in my younger years. Always did the H/J thing until the last year I had my mare (really hot!). I did my first BN and won it (cross country was cancelled due to rain).
After a divorce, I sold that mare. She could sure take care of you in the ring and over fences, but she was not a joy to ride leisurely at all. After I sold her, I didn't ride for over five years. During that time, I developed a phobia about riding and horses in general. I attributed that to just getting older.....enter the OTTB that just appeared in my neighbor's pasture! Long story short, I have owned a 17.3H OTTB that I have appropriately named King Size. Something about him gave me back my confidence and my passion. Oh, don't get me wrong...it was still a process over the years (I have owned him now for over 4 years - first year he was down with an upper suspensory tear) to get me to where I am now.
KZ and I have evented now for the past three years starting out the first 1.5 years as GNG and moving to starter last year. I was absolutely petrified of cantering fence (go figure??? where did that come from??), but overcame it too, and this year we did two shows at starter, cantering over everything and winning our divisions - even had a dressage score of 22 penalties! With confidence in KZ and more in myself now, I am ready to move up to BN in 2013.
I also now own another OTTB off the track that I am going to event next year GAG and maybe end up in starter. I'm taking my time, building my confidence, but enjoying every second of the journey! I'm so proud to say that at my age, 57, I'm still out their kicking the younger rider's butts!
One thing I wanted to state regarding this subject was at our last event, I met this woman who was about 68 years old and did the GAG course in a SIDE SADDLE! Oh boy!
I am going to be 57 this year and I am hoping to do my first 2* this year. I started two youngsters last year, and plan to start another this year. I have my aches and pains but the more I ride, the better I feel. I do not go to a gym but I do a lot of walking, farm work, and am careful to protect my wrists and hands due to arthritis and carpal tunnel.
Sometimes I forget that I am close to being old enough to be the MOTHER of my competitors in the master adult group. :cool:
I plan to keep on doing this until something makes me stop. I think I am careful but in the end, I just try not to think about my age, and when I do, I feel proud and cocky that I'm doing this sport. :lol:
Thank you for digging up this thread as I missed it the first time around!
I am 51 and next year (2013) marks the year that just maybe I will compete in something again! I have been bringing along my 4yo homebred TB (in between LIFE), and next year is THE year, knock wood. I haven't competed since 2004 I think.
After having many OTTB's, having a homebred is so different, because if I didn't physically take her out and show it to her, she hasn't seen it! Whether it's an Australian Shepherd or a shiny aluminum trailer with a (gasp!) horse hiding inside it at a show!
Goals this year are the OC camp and then something... anything. We did a tiny schooling show last month with amoeba cross rails and she heard her first PA system and saw her first jump crew... bless her. She's hottish but not crazy, I love her like mad. Oh, and she did get to KHP and walked through the water jump ( me in my western saddle at the time!).
Staying SAFE and having fun are my main goals, everything else is secondary. The minute I set a goal I get too focused on it, so I'm not setting any. Just taking it as it comes.
But I dearly love knowing there are so many more peeps out there to relate to! Cheers <clink> to us all!
My girlie at her first schooling show in Nov, I'm a proud mom. :)
Dr. Doolittle, I so related to everything you wrote!
At our age we are more aware than ever that we need to appreciate how precious every day is, and savor the little things. We have to be brave, but we know enough to be prudent.
And BTW, if that's YOU on your mare, you must have a decaying portrait in an upstairs room somewhere; you look great!
I hope I can find something to ride and get back into eventing.
Right now I am horseless, have been for going on two years this coming spring.
I am 54, and spend more money in the gym now with a trainer than riding.
One cannot do anything if you do not keep active and strong in the 50 plus years. I figure if I find something suitable to lease Novice will be good for me.
I do miss it.
Oh crap! Now I'm feeling really old. Well, I am really old. 65. I guess it's better than the alternative. I've got the horse that my trainer says I should have had 30 years ago. Oh well. At least, he's pretty much packing me around training (except for my last event--guess I have to ride a little), but I'm probably not going to be thinking about prelim again. Maybe a T3DE in the future.
Im 58 and in my 50's Ive done--2 long format prelim 3days, brought 3 horses from BN/N to Prelim/Intermediate, finished nationally in the Master Amateur division 3 times, done the AECs, spent time in Aiken/ Southern Pines during the winter, so, no, 50 is not the end of your riding career if you are healthy and able.
I have more time and money now than I did at 30 so I can take more lessons, be away from home longer,etc
Thank you! (yes that's me, I'm the only one who has ever sat on her so far).
I absolutely agree about savoring the little things, it's amazing how little it takes to please me any more. :) Some of the other accomplishments on this thread are hugely inspirational and broadened my horizons a bit!
I also have a 2012 colt by C.Quito (my last foal, no more!) we can bring the kidlets along together!
52. Have been eventing on & off for 20 years. Currently competing training/novice. Hope to complete my first prelim before 60. Began foxhunting last year. Curse my lack of youthful energy, which I don't quite make up for with increased skill sets. My 3 bits of coping advice:
1/ Don't look in the mirror! I never feel so old as when I'm reminded of how old I look!
2/ Count on the Monday after an event or a vigorous hunt to be marked by mental fog, Vimovo(naxproxen for humans) for hips & knees, & alternating sessions with heating pad & Icy Hot spray. Nothing says your older like menthol perfume.
3/ As many other posters have noted, be inspired by those that have gone before us. Our hunt has a Master in her early 60's, & a whip pushing 70's. I feel like I got into the game kind of late, so I'm grateful & eager for every day I get!
Well, being someone's hero for being old and still hanging in there is better than not being anybody's hero. But I am making a New Years resolution to get into better shape so Lenny doesn't have to pack an old, fat, out-of-shape rider around. You guys rock--I really enjoy these posts.
LOL! I have lots of stories about people's reaction to my age at events and at group lessons. It leaves me chuckling. I also am making a NY resolution to get into better shape, not only so that my guys can pack me around, but also so I can continue to hang on and not hear jump judges gasping as we land...
I hate it when that happens! :winkgrin: