I'm pushing 59, and am still recouperating from a broken ankle I got walking the Corgi Mother's Day morning..... just slipped in the wet grass. Have a feeling that if I was younger, it may have just been a bad sprain. I find that I am much more careful about where I walk, going up and down steps, any slippery spots. Makes it really hard to do barn and horse care chores efficiently when you're worrying about every step you take. Also was very timid about riding again, so I am taking weekly dressage lessons (for the first time in my life) on my Arabian trail horse. What a hoot!!! I think my instructor would prefer I use a dressage saddle rather than my Australian saddle, but I feel secure in it. Likewise, she doesn't really apprecaite my blue aztec nylon bridle and reins which just so matches his blue saddle pad...... so I have changed to a good leather bridle for our lessons. But, bless her heart, she understands that for me it is all about gaining confidence and being assured that I can still do this. As long as I am still riding, I don't really care much about what impressions I make or what I look like. We are hoping to do our first hunter pace (trail riding division) on the 18th!
The night vision is terrible, and if it is snowing and night, EEKKKK, I need to be off of the road.
I crack and pop and creak, sometimes I need a few advil to roll out of bed in the morning, but ... at mid-40's, I am in a good place mentally. I am surrounded by good people and fabulous animals, and I look forward to retirement in twenty years with a "relatively" healthy body, if my back holds out ...
I went through a loss of confidence, but I feel like I am regaining it now by leaps and bounds. See, all those dollars spent on therapists in my earlier years taught me self improvement skills for later in life.
I am much more patient and kind to my horses. No angry tantrums ala teenager these days. Bits are kinder, expectations come with a longer timeline. I don't waste my time on bad horses, but realize a good one is worth spending time on. I have a better concept of time now. It marches on.
I can still mount my 16.3 hand horse from the ground, but really... he doesn't deserve to have his withers pulled like that everyday. So I only do it now and then just to make sure we still can.
Mounting from the ground has long been a thing of the past for me.
I had a really bad riding wreck when I was 30 that injured my lower back, and although I recovered from it fairly quickly, as I got older I had trouble lifting my left leg high enough to mount from the ground, even on small horses. So about 10 years ago, I bought a mounting block.
I've always ridden smaller horses anyway, so that part hasn't changed.
At 56, I can still get on from the ground on the 16h+ guy...but the cheater stirrup is making its way closer to the top of the tack trunk!
And this past spring I bought myself a cute little 14.2h qh mare. I can hear the snickers around the barn, but she won't exceed 15h I don't think, and in 10 years that's going to look pretty good. Heck, it looks pretty good right now.
Advil is my friend before and after long days of hunting and trail riding. And in the English saddle those flex stirrups are a huge help.
Working a desk job full time doesn't help the conditioning! But I'm finding that is more and more important- I try to do 3-5 miles on the exercise bike every evening and pump a little iron. Muscle memory is a great thing, I can still stick whirls and spooks and bucks just fine but with the arthritic back, jumping hurts, and the stiffness in back and hips is something I have to work hard to counter when schooling the youngsters in the arena.
and I am getting a reputation for finding nice quiet TB's. Although I find that the older I get the younger my projects get... but I am determined not to get anything younger than 4 1/2. I have found that I can do a really nice job getting a baby horse going solidly and nicely. I'm on the 4th one now in the last 8 or 9 years. I just turned 45. My mom will be 75 tomorrow and she has a few physical issues that limit her mobility but she's got good friends with quiet older horses and she rides 2-3 days a week with different people if she can manage it. The older I get the more I like the puzzle of figuring out how to make the rider/horse combination work and how to provide both rider and horse a good solid foundation to build upon. That's the fun stuff!
I'm in my mid-fifties and I also find that I lose condition (and along with it, confidence) very quickly. As a result, I try not to skip too many days between rides. My confidence is better the more often I ride.
turning 52 in a few weeks. my back hurts more than i ever thought possible. a bad fall in my early 40's was the clincher but i also think that years of very competitive basketball did not help. my knees sound like a percussion group when kneeling at church.
my daughter has a 15.3 mare and altho dd is 5'9 she looks fine on her. dd is a senior and hopefully will be off to college in the fall and wants me to ride her mare. i am 5'11 and cannot get over the "i will look ridiculous" hump. but then i think about trying to mount a 16'3 from the ground and 15'3 doesn't look too bad!
Biggest mistake for me, at 61, was to 'take time off' from riding. Confidence issues that had been dealt with are back ten-fold, and I have serious enough doubts about riding again that dearest Boo may find herself a new job.
Diminished flexibility, lack of energy, compromised balance are the negatives.
The positives are increased patience, caring, and hopefully, wisdom. I am much more willing to share my knowledge and experience, and much more confident that I have a lot to offer.
Form follows function, or does function follow form?
My hearing is sub par
not good for the hunt!
but ten years on a horse that pulled hard resulted in plenty of lower back strength.
on the other hand over weight is not good for re-mounting a 17+ in the field.
the SSI is a nice addition
FWIW, my ageometer rolled over to 68 today. Naproxin is my friend.
And fuggedabout even thinking of not riding!
My DH (in my Profile pic - stage right) started riding at 56, went on to show H/J and event w/me.
If a stroke/broken neck (slid off his horse) hadn't taken him at 70 he'd still be my best riding bud today.
I also horsecamp & trailride with a group where - at 58 - I am "the baby". My 65yo girlfriend has had 5 knee surgeries on one knee, 3 on the other and just came back from a Bryce Canyon/Grand Canyon trip that lasted 5 days, most of that in the saddle. With her were 66yo DH and 68yo friend.
Hope they don't mind me outing ages here...hehehe...
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
The biggest change for me, at 56, is sitting on the floor! Holy cow! Hard to get up, then I walk away looking and feeling like I'm 100. Fortunately it works out quickly, and then I can walk normally, but those first few seconds are killers!
At 54, there is a certain amount of stiffness that I deal with on a daily basis. I chalk that up to years of riding, playing soccer, and being a nurse. I deal with some confidence issues due to a bad fall with broken body parts a number of years ago. My balance is not as good as it used to be, which for awhile compounded the confidence issues. That seems to be getting a little better. I recently started taking riding lessons again, which has been great for my confidence. Mounting from the ground is a thing of the past(loss of flexibilty from broken hip), but if there is a ditch I can put my horse in or a log to stand on, I'm good to go. My horse is a little smaller than what I used to ride(15.2h), but I don't see myself going too much smaller. My current horse is 13 and I have recently been thinking about getting another youngster(got my mare as a yearling). Start working with to bring along with help from a trainer,so if my mare needs to be retired, I have a steady eddie in the wings. Fortunately, I can read without glasses but do need them to drive. Well in a pinch I could drive without glasses, but couldn't read road signs. When I get too old to sling my leg over the saddle, I will take up driving...hehe.
At 46, I find I am body sore. I've had a few motorcycyle crashes, and a few nasty falls off of my horses, and this has taken it's toll on my poor old body.
Everything aches. And I can't read anything unless I hold it at arms length away in a bright light. I never wore glasses so it's hard getting used to the fact that I need them to read.
I think the horses help me to get up and keep moving during the day. I don't lounge around on the couch because I have 8 horses to look after and ride. Two jobs as well, keep me from being inactive.
I find that my level of fear has increased...I'm more afraid to fall off, and as such, don't ride with the gusto I used to. I have a two year old that needs to be started, and I'm working with my 4 yr old OTTB. Those two gals remind me to take it slow and easy, and that we have all the time in the world to get things done.
Last edited by up-at-5; Oct. 15, 2008 at 06:58 AM.
Reason: typos due to my poor eyesight
Try a ruptured Achilles tendon and a right hip joint replacement in the same year, this year, the year I turned 50. I am a month out from hip joint. Guess all the years of marathon running, riding, caring for all my own horses and working on my feet as a retail pharmacist all those years have taken their toil (but the 5 Boston Marathons were worth it!). However, hope to be back riding real soon, even the young ones and I am helping with the barn work right now with a cane. So, not ready to give up, yet!