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Mid-life crisis? Need a reality check :)

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  • Mid-life crisis? Need a reality check :)

    Pretty sure I'm having a mid-life crisis! Don't want to bore you with the details, so here are my questions...

    Would any trainer (not necessarily big name) be willing to take on a 40ish year old novice WS?

    Have any of you ever started as a WS at a more "mature" age?

    Are there any trainers that prefer more mature students that are willing and able to do the manual labor in exchange for lessons?

    I have worked at barns and understand all the work involved. I'm a lesson junkie and can't seem to soak up enough knowledge about horses, riding, and eventing

  • #2
    I wasn't exactly a WS, but I did the same work and had the same experiences. I just didn't want the apartment in the barn, so I got paid a little more than a WS would, and only got one lesson/week and not as much of a break on my board.
    And I did it for two years age 41-43. It was hard work and I was very fit. Now I'm a bit fluffy! LOL
    Where are you looking to go?


    • Original Poster

      Not sure of location yet, maybe pacific NW. My amazing, incredibly supportive husband and I might be relocating, which is part of why I'm asking the questions. We're both having the mid-life crisis thing and are open to pretty much anything. It just has to be a place he can find a job and I can find a fitting barn. We don't have kids to consider so we're feeling pretty adventurous.

      I already have about one lesson/wk, sometimes 2. My job doesn't pay enough for more, but if I work more at my "real" job, then I'm afraid I would be depressed and stressed about not getting enough time at the barn. This is why I'd want to be a WS...to get the full experience. I'm very lucky that my hubby's job pays for all the other bills and I only have to worry about the horsey stuff.


      • #4
        A mid-life crisis together, now that is romantic !

        Good luck, I would think that offering trainers adult accountability would be a huge benefit.


        • #5
          Why not try? Heck, the worse that will happen is you will get told "no".
          I am a "50-ish" that would love to be able to do this. If only I didn't have all the things that go with 50-ish like bills!
          As for sources up that way, I am of no help.
          But good luck!


          • #6
            Here I thought this was going to be enabler thread that you needed a new horse - like a little red sports car equivalent

            I'm a 40's rider and have had no problem finding patient instructors willing to take on a fluffy WS I don't know about the labor trade
            Epona Farm
            Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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            • #7
              I did it with Denny Emerson when I was 27. I know that's a bit younger, but it was similar in the sense of being long out of school, on my own and walking away from a professional job (newspaper reporter) and decent salary to spend six months riding horses. I might have been only 5 or 7 years older than the next oldest working student, but those five years were pretty important ones -- I DEFINITELY felt like I was coming from a different place in my life than these kids who were just getting out of high school or college.
              I've never regretted it, and he was very understanding of my situation: I didn't get treated any different than other working students, pulled equal weight, etc., but I appreciated that he understood I didn't plan to make horses a career and gave me just as much time and attention as the other (younger and more likely to turn pro) WS regardless.
              I evented just for the Halibut.


              • #8
                Check your PMs. Been there, done that, and would definitely recommend it. Why let the teeny-boppers have all the fun?
                Hindsight bad, foresight good.


                • #9
                  If you look on Yard and Groom website, you will see plenty of folks in your age bracket looking for such jobs with good pay. I would think some one looking more along the lines of a working student's pay scale could be very attractive to the right barn. Also, just a thought, but some places are looking for couples where the wife (usually) does the horsey work and the husband (usually) does the maintenance type work. Just a thought.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks for the responses, support and PM's!

                    I'm glad to hear there are others out there who "get it". Like someone said, it's not like I want to turn pro or anything, I just thrive on learning as much as I can and constantly being challenged.

                    Anyone else have experiences to share?

                    Feel free to pm me if you prefer.


                    • #11
                      Crossing over from hunter/jumper land, but I'm in a similar situation. If I could be a full-time working student with a decent living accommodation I would give up my full-time school teaching position in a heartbeat! If you are in central VA and need an older working student at least for this summer on a trial basis, please PM me. Hope I didn't go against the BB rules here!


                      • #12
                        What does your husband do? PNW--while so really beautiful and I do think a fabulous place to live (I have family out there)...it wouldn't be my first pick as a place to go in order to gain eventing knowledge. More of you move there and then find the best places in the area for event training...and while you will have some very good people out there, your choices will be significantly more limited than if you say moved to Virginia or the UK.

                        But if it is really more about going somewhere new and different....then I think pick where you want to live and then see what you can do about the riding. I bet you can probably find something good and give you experience just about anywhere.
                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                        • Original Poster

                          We both grew up in WA and miss the area and our families. I realize it's not the eventing mecca, but compared to where I'm at, it would be a HUGE improvement


                          • #14
                            This life is NOT a rehearsal. Follow your bliss!!
                            --Becky in TX
                            Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
                            She who throws dirt is losing ground.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by someday View Post
                              We both grew up in WA and miss the area and our families. I realize it's not the eventing mecca, but compared to where I'm at, it would be a HUGE improvement

                              Then I bet if you go back...you can find something you want to do. I wouldn't be so focused on a WS as I think you can learn and work at a lot of places. But don't let your age concern you...you just have to knock on some doors and see what sort of opportunity you can create! Good luck!
                              ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                              • #16
                                barn fossil

                                I am 45 and along with my "real job" I work mornings at an event barn. The best part of being an ole "barn rat"? I get paid to learn, stay fit and drink diet soda all morning with some awesome horse folk!! Go for it!


                                • Original Poster

                                  "barn fossil" - Love it! Made me laugh

                                  Kairoshorses, you are so right...life is short and I feel time passing too fast...not only mine, but my horse is in his prime and he's too cool for me to not be taking advantage of his potential.

                                  Thanks so much for the support! We are still in the infancy of our plan, but once my hubby finds a new job and I know where we're heading, I will be all over it and asking for advice on eventers and barns in the area.


                                  • #18
                                    I would love to do that! Good luck and please write about your experience.
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