For those of you who have taken breaks from riding, how hard was it to start back up again and buy your own horses? I'm worried I will have lost my skills as a horse owner by the end of college. I've gone from owning two horses to not owning any because of financial issues and college in the fall. I am going to be doing the riding team this year at UMD and when I come home there is a barn that I can ride a few horses at but nothing special or big name. I'm also studying animal sciences so I will be around horses quite a lot! I never wanted to be a BNT at all so I'm not worried with making it to the upper levels of any sport. I just want to be a happy AA with one or two horses to event and do dressage with at my own pace. And for those of you who started riding later in life, what was it life?
I got out for 2 yrs in college and got right back into it with no problems. I had sent my horse to a great riding school in MD for those 2 yrs. I had initially promised my Mother I'd keep my hands off the horse for the first yr I was at my new job, just to get my feet financially on the ground. Well, that lasted about a month. I couldn't stand having nothing to do at night. I was actually vacuuming brand new furniture just for something to do.
I'm currently out of riding but still have my farm and one horse and a companion for my horse so I guess I can't really say I'm out of horses, just the riding part. Do I think I'll ever get back into riding? Probably not but I'm just as happy spoiling these 2 and being just as anal-retentive about their care as anyone could ever be.
Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you!
I was out of it for something like 22 years (never owned a horse back then though, but riding was a huge part of my life). Started up again just back in September and I now own a horse (my first ever), ride six days a week and am starting to compete in some events. There are a lot stories like mine on these boards.
Yes, you can come back. After a break for a few years of college, I wouldn't even really consider it taking much of break. You're going to be riding anyway, just maybe not quite as often as you've been used to.
During grad school I dropped down to trail riding only. When I graduated, I was pregnant, so I stopped riding completely. After I had my daughter, I was just too busy with her and my job to ride.
Fast forward about 5 or 6 years and I find out one of my coworkers had been taking riding lessons and jumping. For a year or more, she tried to convince me to take some lessons with her. Finally I relented, took some lessons, and became completely hooked again. Of course I had sold all my horse stuff.
I am not showing at the same level that I was when I stopped riding for several reasons. I'm older (43) and not as brave. I'm the breadwinner in the family and can't afford time off for an injury. I can't ride often enough due to family and work. My horse is green. Showing is very expensive!
I was away from horses for 12 years (family/medical issues). During that time, I never could bring myself to part with my tack. I'm glad I didn't. I started riding again in January and just 3 weeks ago got a grandson of my wonderful old mare. The only difficult part of having a horse again after so long is the riding part, but being in lessons helps with that part.
I got out of it b/c I tried to make my hobby (riding) a job and it backfired and I started to hate riding! I sold 2 horses, trailer, saddles, bridles everything! A year later I started to rethink what I had done and wanted to get back into it! Luckily my firend held on to a horse we had bred and knew that i would take him someday so I got Storm, found new saddles and now in the market for a trailer!!! This time I am in it for good!!! Good luck you will be fine!
I had to leave my horse at home when I went to college and getting back into it was easy afterward. In my 50's I quit for a couple of years when my horse died. Getting back in the saddle was pretty painful (physically) for a few months but I managed it (lots of Advil). If riding is a passion, I don't think you will have any trouble.
I was out of riding for nearly 15 years. I am more obsessed with it now than ever. It is easy to jump back in.
Don't expect to take a long break and be the fearless 17 year old you once were. But I think that discovering caution happens even if you never take a break.
But if you're on the riding team you won't really be out of it, right?
I had a three year break from riding that just ended this past January. The hardest part was accepting that there were things I had to learn all over again - my brain still knew what to do, but my muscles had lost a lot of memory. Oh, well, so what? Oddly, I find I'm a much more confident rider this time around.
I never rode a broke horse but then maybe I'm a sorry hand. - Ray Hunt
If you want to "get back in", I imagine you'll have no more trouble than anyone else in the market for a horse. If you want it, you do it. After taking some time off from owning, you'll get a fresh start when you're back on the market. Seriously, the hardest part will probably a) finding a trainer you trust and b) finding the horse you want to buy. And while neither is exactly the easiest, neither is really the hardest, either
I owned my horses through college, but between managing the equestrian team and academics and my other extra cirriculars, I didn't have much time for them... but now that I'm graduated, I'm right back in. It is definitely helpful to have lessons set up for the "accountability" factor (I know that I can't skip a hack when I have a lesson in 2 days!), but after a week or two of making myself get out there, I find myself going the extra mile to get there on every day I reasonably can.
You'll learn a lot at school. Don't fret about forgetting it. If you don't ride as much as you're used to, or would like, get thee to a gym to at least stay strong and fit, so when the riding becomes available again, you're all set to take advantage of it!
And you don't have to jump right back into ownership, either. I find that for the average college student without a barn on campus (not a equine student, so ymmv- I mean a regular kid who is like, a bio major or something), one or two lessons a week is manageable and affordable. For a recent grad who has more time and a little more money (but also more expenses...) a half-lease can be a good fit. And after you're settled in a career with some stability, have savings for personal/auto/equine emergencies, that's a good time to buy again.
I'm pretty much out of it these days. I have three horses but I also have a six month old DS and he is pretty much my world now. It's hard to even imagine horses being the center of my existence now like they used to be.
At first I thought I would jump right back on and having a baby wouldn't change that. HA!
I do miss it but I would rather miss out on riding than these days with my son. So I am hanging up my spur straps for the time being. Maybe I will get back into it when he is a little older and I can sneak out after he falls asleep at night to ride. Or maybe I will just ride now and then and not get serious again until after I am done having kids.
I am hoping that it will be very easy to get back into.
The riding is the hardest part to get back, not the taking care of part. You don't forget how to clean a stall or pick a hoof (but you will forget how physically taxing it is!)
I stopped riding for about 5-10 years, with short spurts of riding during that time. When I did start riding again, I was very frustrated for a while. My brain remembered how to do everything, but my body wouldn't listen. It feels like it will never come back, but eventually it does. What helps immensely is staying in shape when not riding. I didn't. My center of gravity was off, and you don't realize how much those extra pounds will throw off your balance.
I never stopped looking at horses. I was always checking out ads, picking out the ones I would buy if I could afford it. I kept my eye for a horse in shape. When it finally came time to get my own horse again, (about 10 years after I sold the last one) I bought like I'd never bought before! I bought a horse 2500 miles away, after seeing one video and one picture. I'd never bought a horse without sitting on it before, and I spent 6 times more than I ever had before. So far it's working out fine!
I started as a re-rider in my 30's. Was 40 when I bought my first horse, and he was a 2 year old TB. I wouldn't recommend that, even though he did turn out fantastically.
I'm in my 50's now, and almost never ride, it's been on again/off again for me for close to 10 years, but I have 2, and I wouldn't give them up for anything. The owning part is easy for me, its the riding that's challenging.
So my advice... when you get out of college you're going to have a whole new set of responsibilities and demands on your time, so when you're ready to start looking, look for a calm, steady, well trained horse that won't fly through the roof of the indoor if you haven't ridden him for a week.