It's absolutely not too late to get another horse, one that's right for you. I got my first horse about 10 years ago, and she was completely wrong for me. My confidence was shaken, and I was ready to give up on horses completely. Then I started riding a terrific large pony of unknown parentage and my joy in riding returned.
You should never feel "ashamed" that you couldn't make it work with the first horse. After all, how many times does that first boyfriend work out? And perhaps your horse is thinking "I'm trying so hard for my person, but we're just not right for each other, why can't she see that?"
A nice solid, well broke pony or horse that is FUN will make riding what it should be. You could certainly consider leasing a horse or pony until you find the one that fits the bill for you.
Last edited by Hinderella; Jan. 10, 2013 at 05:11 PM.
I'm in my mid-50's and just purchased a Connemara! I've shown OTTB's, Warmbloods, AQHA. I thought I should be done with showing by now, but, my little Connie has given me the bug to go show. He's calm and sensible, so I may actually enjoy showing again.
Yes, this happened to me. To make matters worse, she was my very first homebred. She loved to jump and I wanted to do dressage. She was wonderful for everyone else but took a "you're my mom so I don't have to" attitude with me. I cried like a baby when I sold her and still tear up over a year later. I miss not having her in the pasture but I don't really miss riding her. As to getting another horse, I still have her year younger full sister but I'm almost your age and I'm thinking I need a steady trail horse to go along with my dressage horse If I could afford it, I'd like to look into Haflingers, QH's, or Morgans. Although, there is an Appaloosa at a local rescue that is about the right size. Maybe a little too green though.
Last edited by Holly Jeanne; Jan. 10, 2013 at 05:23 PM.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe
ETA: Well, at least I always thought so - but now that you mention it, I don't know why I thought that. I've never had the pleasure of meeting him in person.
Oh, if you FB, check out Tamarack Hill Farm's page. Denny Emerson is, I believe, in his seventies, and broke his neck only a little over a year ago. I just watched a video he posted schooling a young green mare over jumps. He's another one of my heroes.
I agree with everyone, find another horse and have FUN! Life is too short, carpe diem and all that.
Have you looked into Morgan horses? I'm 5'3 as well and they are just my size. Wonderful temperaments, too, and they can do it all! I evented a friend's gelding and my little mare, who really did everything I wanted her to do...including chasing escaped calves back into their pasture. She was just a fun, fun horse. And awfully cute to boot.
Well, I'm 60, been a horse owner since 1965, and went and got myself a 2 yo 8 years ago to replace the retiring made hunter. Thought I had outgrown my need to make another young 'un, but he was a piece of cake and is now 10 and my grandmother could ride him, and she's been dead for nearly 30 years. He's a 16 h appendix qh which is bigger than I wanted, but heck, there are tradeoffs on any horse one might consider.
My other horse is a 14h quarter horse mare, now 8- also procured as a green 3 yo (a splurge buy, very well bred for cutting and cheaply priced) and I was actually going to sell her after playing with her for a few years, but my hubby says, no, no way, not after she packed him around the arena a couple of years ago in preparation for a riding safari in Africa. Plus I will observe that 14h is VERY nice to get on and off of on trail rides.
I 'think' they'll last me and I won't need any new ones, and I 'think' if I need to procure another in the future I'll be wanting a made ranch horse, but ya never know. As has been noted, it's all about having fun.
I'm 67.5 years old. I've ridden since I was 9, but only ridden seriously since I was about 24 (age I acquired my first horse, a pretty tame tho' green Appendix QH mare.) In a fit of HUH? at age 62 I purchased a 2.5 year old unstarted Araloosa. 16 hands at the time, now hovering between 16.2 and 16.3.
He started out innocently enough, but has turned out to be hot stuff. In the first two years, I came off quite a bit. So far, the toll is one banged up knee (soft tissue damage only) and a broken left arm. Sigh. BUT HE IS SOOOOO TALENTED. He's 8 now, almost 9, and for the last 2 or 3 years, he's been pretty good, but he will never be a quiet, easy ride. It's winter, so I'm not dealing with it now, but trail riding has been a problem, with which I will deal come spring - probably with the help of drugs, since no cowboy or trainer has been able to work him thru his trail issues yet (I acknowledged it was a problem and turned it over to the pros, and THEY couldn't fix it, so....). The broken arm happened on a trail ride.
In an arena, while he still may spook occasionally, he's pretty good and I hope to show 1st level this year. So...... I guess it just depends on whether you want to deal with the yeehahs or just don't feel like it any more and want a quieter, more dependable ride. I certainly do miss my (deceased) last horse, who was the type that was upset by NOTHING and would shift over and catch you if you got off balance for some odd reason (certainly not from something HE would ever do). However, this present horse was indeed my "dream horse" - an Appaloosa purpose-bred for dressage, a wonderful mover, etc., so I'm not ready to give up yet. I think a real sign that we're making progress is that through this last month's chilly, windy, COOOOLD nights, he's been perfectly well behaved - a big change from even a year ago, when he was better but still required lungeing every time before being ridden on cold winter nights.
If you have a nice mare with jumping talent suitable for a good teen rider, you ought to have no trouble selling her. Maybe you can even find a family looking for a move-up horse for a young rider that has an older packer type and work out a trade?
For at least two decades she had unsuitable horses. Too rank / young / bad habits (like bucking etc). Riding was a struggle, but she kept with it. Eventually her untrustworthy mare dump her, causing her to break her hip.
She recovered, leased out the mare and bought a new horse – only this time it was a PERFECT match. He is on the small size, a nice PRE gelding, great mind. Together they have seen much success. She won high point in her dressage club this year. She ENJOYS riding again.
Its not too late, don’t waste time on the ones that do not click. The horse for you is out there somewhere.
Last edited by Appsolute; Jan. 10, 2013 at 06:41 PM.
I just wanted to offer support (I'm 58) and to let you know that it is hard to make the decision to sell a horse that is not working out, but in the long run it can be best for both of you. I had a similar circumstance, crafty headstrong mare loved jumping, hated dressage, so after two years of trying to make it work I sold her. My favorite ride is my 14.2 mustang mare. I am 5'8", don't look too bad on her because of the way my body is built, but to be honest, I am not in the least bothered by our size difference. If anything, it makes me more aware of my balance and position when I ride her, and I hope to have many more years in the saddle. Good luck to you.
Thanks for all the great stories, support, and ideas! I know I am not alone and certainly hope "My best years are still ahead of me"(Great quote FrankB!). I have sold a couple of horses before that weren't suitable. The one prior to my mare had a nasty, athletic buck in him and my husband wisely said he had to go. For some reason, letting go of my current mare is especially hard,even though she hasn't been all that fun to ride for awhile. Maybe because she is my dream palomino? Maybe because of her sweet temperament and comfortable gaits? Maybe because I have tried so hard to make it work and be the right partner for her and I have failed (hard to admit)
That said, I still do hope to find a calm, sensible pony (small horse) to continue this wonderful riding journey on. You have all helped me sort through this situation and my muddled emotions. Thank you!
It still amazes me how many people consider the mid-50s as old. Your best years lie before you. Find a horse that better suits your needs and go for it!
FWIW, I didn't start jumping until I was in my 50s.
AMEN! My DH started riding at 56 and Evented with me until his (untimely) death at 70yo.
I am now 62 and find myself riding more conservatively than even a decade ago.
EX: my current WB is 17h+, his predecessor was also 17h but I got on him bareback w/o a second thought.
This new guy has yet to find me up there sans saddle.
I want to have a header present when I try that and so far have not gotten that worked out.
The "old" me would have tried anyhow, and that was a mere 8 years ago.
Rehome your mare - maybe the fearless teen could lease her?
Get yourself a nice older pony or hony and ride into your true Old age
*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
I'm 60 and riding a 7 yo Arabian that I bought when he was 3. I've had a couple of people look askance at the idea of buying a 3 yo at 56, but I've been riding my whole life and it never crossed my mind that we couldn't make it work. Thankfully, we have. He's definitely had his moments and I have bounced a few times, but he's turned into a super nice horse that I've had all sorts of fun with. We'll be showing 1st level this year, maybe a few combined training events, and a lot of trail riding.
So no, you are nowhere near being too old to ride, as many have already pointed out. I am not the oldest at my barn - one lady still trucking around at 70. Another boarder is 55-ish and we've had folks in their mid 60s. At my old barn I was trail riding with someone who was a great rider, obviously older but had a beautiful seat and was fearless on the trails. We got around to talking about age one day and she told me she was 80-ish. I almost fell off - she looked 65, if that. I hope riding keeps me looking that young!
Go for a pony! I'm 49 and just bought an Icelandic, I feel much more comfortable closer to the ground and there's something about riding ponies on the trail that is just plain fun. Try some ponies, you might find one you like. The only thing I regret is not getting a gaited horse, I was spoiled with a comfortable, smooth ride by my previous SSH.
That says it in a nutshell, except for the jumping. I think I quit that in early 60's, having done it for years.
I think that probably varies from person to person: I quit jumping in my early 50s, but only because the horse I had - the one in my profile pic - had an injury from which he recovered, but basically, the vet said "He'll last a lot longer if you stop jumping him." He did that - he lasted until about 21, then another 3 years in retirement. By then I am rusty enough at jumping (formerly evented thru Prelim and did H/J to 4'), that I called it quits when I got my present horse. He gets in the air quite easily WITHOUT the aid of jumps! LOL
Last edited by Sandy M; Jan. 11, 2013 at 02:51 PM.