I had 20+ years off between my first and second horse. In the time between I went to undergrad and grad school, worked, and spent my spare time working out, running, rock climbing, skiing, kayaking, surfing, camping, and other outdoor activities. I love having a horse back in my life but as I work full time my life seems to consist of work and riding (a little exercise and I still get in some skiing) but much less of many things I used to do. How about you?
I haven't ridden consistently in 5 years, with the exception of the summer I was a wrangler in Wyoming. In that time I've been to University (got an MA in Politics), travelled a lot including University in Edinburgh, Scotland, internship in South Africa, Au Pair in Paris, France, and a lot in between. At uni I joined the Hillwalking club and Conservation Society, both of which I hugely enjoyed and met some fantastic people I would not have otherwise met. In South Africa there is absolutely no way I would have had time to ride regularly, and as it was the best time of my life, I do not regret any part of it! While it would have been really nice to be able to escape everything in France at the barn, I never felt like my French was good enough, and it would have been too expensive. Luckily I found other avenues to escape, which were probably more what I needed at the time anyway.
Though I miss horses like crazy some of the time, I do not regret pretty much giving them up the past 5 years. I explored many other opportunities and met some amazing people through them. I would not have found my lifelong passion in South Africa if I had insisted on keeping horses in my life.
HOWEVER, I am sooo looking forward to getting back to North Carolina in THREE DAYS "permanently" and starting riding again!!!!
"Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
"With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
I started riding at age 6 and rode consistently all the way to age 18. Never owned my own horse but rode a lot and loved every moment.
I had a long gap of not riding at one point in life, from ages 18 to age 31. In those years, I went to college, went to law school, and lived in NYC for 9 years. Finally, I moved to Connecticut, and thought, if I can't find somewhere to ride here, I'm an idiot!! Fun fact: at one point (not anymore), Connecticut had more horses per capita than the state of Kentucky.
Rode regularly from ages 31 to 34, but stopped when I was pregnant. Moved away from Connecticut for 6 years, but returned in 2002 at age 40.
Didn't really ride at all from age 40 to 47. Too wrapped up in family life (my son is mildly autistic), work, and health issues (heart attack in 2006; cancer in 2009).
Finally, in late 2009, I returned once again to riding, at age 47 and a half. Haven't stopped yet!! And at age 50, FINALLY became a horse OWNER, at long last - the fulfillment of a life long dream and desire.
Cute story AndreaS! I rode all through elementary, high school and all through college. Took a little time off after college - 6 months and then got a job riding/training/showing with a large show barn and rode anywhere from 5-10 horses a day for the next 2 years. Injured my back and took another 6 months off and now I am back riding 2 horses a day consistently as an amateur. I guess you can say that I don't stay away from riding for very long. I always miss it and always want it to be a part of my life. I don't own my own horse but I have been blessed to have known many generous horse owners who have allowed me to ride/show their horses over the years. Riding/showing makes me so happy!