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  1. #1
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    Aug. 6, 2000
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    Default How old is too old for endurance riding?

    My next column will be about age. this topic has been on my back burner for a long time. The recent string of posts following Margie Engle's accident has moved it to the front burner for me, along with my swift approach to 60.

    I'm plan to interview the elder statesmen and women of our sport.

    I'd love to get your suggestions of people to interview, both well -known icons and everyday people in all riding disciplines.


    Also, endurance riding seems to be especially taxing and makes me wonder how old is too old to do an endurance ride?

    Thanks
    Jody



  2. #2
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    Aug. 25, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by jody jaffe View Post
    My next column will be about age. this topic has been on my back burner for a long time. The recent string of posts following Margie Engle's accident has moved it to the front burner for me, along with my swift approach to 60.

    I'm plan to interview the elder statesmen and women of our sport.

    I'd love to get your suggestions of people to interview, both well -known icons and everyday people in all riding disciplines.


    Also, endurance riding seems to be especially taxing and makes me wonder how old is too old to do an endurance ride?

    Thanks
    Jody
    I would say you're too old when you no longer can sit a horse.

    That said, time marches on for all of us and you'll not do at 60 what you used to do at 20 (or 30 or 40 or etc.). That march can be a a different rate for different people so don't judge your situation by that of your neighbor.

    Endurance takes time in the saddle. How long can you sit a horse without pain? How long can you sit a horse in a correct seat so you don't cause your horse pain? That's going to be your dual limit.

    So, look in the mirror and get your answers.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  3. #3
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    Oct. 12, 2001
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    peope "age" at such different rates that the question is kind of nonsensical. Some oldsters are fitter and spunkier than some teenagers.
    Also, I would think endurance riding is more suited to the elderly than many other sports? as long as someone is willing to help heave you into the saddle, you can probably continue doing endurance long after you're able to do, say, eventing or barrel racing.



  4. #4
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    Sep. 2, 2010
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    Northern California
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    My first endurance ride was a tough limited distance. I ended up following an awesome 72-year-old woman, who was tough as nails, kept the pace up, never faltered. I am indebted to her!

    At my most recent ride Julie Suhr was there. She is royalty in the endurance world She rode the LD I think, and must be about 80-years-old.

    My neighbor is 76 and still does endurance, and sweep rides for Tevis and the Western States run.

    I contrast them with my own 80-year-old grandmother, who has been pretty sedentary her whole life and walking around the block is an adventure.

    I think the mindset of endurance keeps people going: To finish is to win. You still need to move out at a pretty good pace, it's not a trail ride! I think many of the older riders have been doing it for so long that they're in good shape, they know how to take care of themselves and their horses. It is inspiring, and while I have a few years till I'm there, I hope I'm one of the "old ladies" on the trail!
    "Do your best, and leave the rest, twill all come right, some day or night" -Black Beauty

    http://trails-and-trials-with-major.blogspot.com/



  5. #5
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    Sep. 8, 2011
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    I think Melissa Margetts is in her mid-50s. And she has completed Tevis several times. On an 18 year old Paso Fino.



  6. #6
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    Jan. 3, 2006
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    50's!!!!! You think that is old????? LOL



  7. #7
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    Sep. 8, 2011
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    Not at all -- that was my point to OP, who is apparently also in her fifties. Unless you have a health issue, ignore the candles, get a leg over and get out there!
    Last edited by BarbaricYawp; Jul. 12, 2012 at 01:37 PM.



  8. #8
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    Sep. 5, 2011
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    Ms. Sylvia from Arapahoe Hunt in Colorado! She's in her 80's (86yrs old I think) and she's still fox hunting. Her last name escapes me at the moment, but she is still out hunting at her age. Not running first flight, but goodness I hope I am as active as she is when I am in my 80's! There is an interview with her somewhere in the hunting section of COTH. I have met her and I was quite impressed. She's a great example of staying active in horses as you age.

    Bobbi Richine will be 70yrs old this year and she is still riding endurance. She's not doing Tevis anymore but still rides 2-3 endurance horses in the CO mountains.



  9. #9
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    Jul. 20, 2007
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    My main riding partner is 72- she rides a spitfire of a little Morgan mare and while she doesn't compete, she does often do 4-5 hours in the saddle and it ain't at a sedate walk
    “While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain



  10. #10
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    Dec. 11, 2003
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    Julie Suhr is 88! She finished the Wild West 30 a few weeks ago. She sets the bar high!



  11. #11
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    You are too old when you start deciding what other's pace should be. Please just move out of the way and let the faster ones go by. Otherwise you are never too old.



  12. #12
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    Aug. 21, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    I would say you're too old when you no longer can sit a horse.
    How long can you sit a horse without pain? How long can you sit a horse in a correct seat so you don't cause your horse pain? .
    ^^^^this

    It doesnt matter what sport, my aunt at 78 still runs 5k's, plays on a softball team,, white waters the Colorado river each year and hikes to town for stamps (4-5mi>one way!) oh yes, swim in the sr olympics....
    Never too late to start a fitness program!
    my dad at 83 plays golf and tennis, his wife at 78 plays golf and tennis with her gf's/
    Melissa Margettes did her 3rd tevis buckle with 42 screws in one leg,-- she taught her horse, Cabo, to kneel for her to mount! Add age to injury and you have a hero!
    IN GOD WE TRUST
    OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.
    http://www.horseville.com/php/search...=1&ssid=057680



  13. #13
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    Dec. 21, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bells View Post
    You are too old when you start deciding what other's pace should be. Please just move out of the way and let the faster ones go by. Otherwise you are never too old.


    This could be said for driving a car too!

    You are never too old until your body tells you otherwise. I applaud those who continue to do the things they love despite the fact that others their age gave up those things because they felt they were too old for that anymore.



  14. #14
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    Sep. 26, 2011
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    Jan Worthington is 72 and is a ranked alternate (#10 out of 14) for the 2012 Olympics for Gawd's sake! She was also on the US team at WEG in 2010 - oldest competitor there - and rode in some championship in Malaysia a few years ago in which she was literally hit by lightning and may have actually finished the ride. (Her Olympic horse is named Golden Lightning, BTW). IMO if you look up "tough" in the dictionary you should see Jan's picture right there. Here's a link to learn more: [URL="[URL="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2010-09-22-worthington-equestrian-games_N.htm"]"]
    Few of us will ever be a Jan but there are many riders in their 50s, 60s and up who still compete in endurance. Retirement age riders have the time to condition and go to rides that younger working riders might not have. You should have no trouble finding "seasoned" people riding at all levels of endurance... Good luck!
    Last edited by GotMyPony; Jul. 12, 2012 at 05:59 PM. Reason: Trying to fix the darn link!
    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.



  15. #15
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    Once more on the link for Jan Worthington story: http://http://www.usatoday.com/sport...an-games_N.htm

    If this doesn't work, google "Endurance Rider Worthington Still Champing at the Bit" from USA Today. Sorry!
    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.



  16. #16
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    Nov. 8, 2008
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    Jan Worthington is 72 and is a ranked alternate (#10 out of 14) for the 2012 Olympics
    Not quite the Olympics "Just" the WEC - World Endurance Championships...
    But I wish Endurance would become an Olympic discipline!

    And, yes, Jan is great. You should definitely interview her.



  17. #17
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    Dec. 21, 2010
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    Southern Maryland
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    Jody,
    Because you are in Virginia you might like to interview a couple of the long time Old Dominion members/riders. This June Dr. Jeannie Waldron (66?) won the Old Dominion 100, her horse was also awarded the the Old Dominion Trophy which is awarded to the horse judged to be in best condition on Sunday morning, hours after the ride is finished. Bob Walsh, my neighbor and past OD president finished the OD 100 again. Bob is just a couple years younger than Jeannie. Leon Stagg Newman (who knew his first name is Leon?!?), past AERC President, is 64 and competing in 100 mile rides all over the country mile ride.

    I'm sure that any of these people would be happy to talk with you and suggest other senior riders to interview. If you want I can put you in touch with Bob Walsh who can give you names and contacts for many riders.

    Bonnie



  18. #18
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    Jan. 12, 2004
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    Jody - Take Bonnie up on her offer. She can put you in touch with a good selection of the gray haired competitors in endurance.

    If you contact Endurance News they can probably direct you to some of the top active 70+ year olds out in the west region (which has a higher percentage of endurance riders in the US).

    Surprisingly, Endurance is second only to foxhunting in having higher aged riders actively involved in competition. (Foxhunting is actually 'play', not competition)



  19. #19
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    May. 4, 2003
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    These are the people I admire - people still loving life and what they do - and their horses. Their stories are an inspiration and the riders role models.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 19, 2007
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    Granted, this is not a sport of endurance, but no less awesome...

    http://www.courierpress.com/news/201...-ev_oldjockey/



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