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Eventers over 50

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  • #21
    Am I dreaming to think that at 57-58+ I could be competitive at training or prelim level?
    No. As long as you keep riding and stay in good fitness, you should be good.
    However she is a yearling so no riding for the next 2 years
    THIS part is more of an unknown. She is young and you really know if she will be "into" eventing, or perhaps just prefer to be in an arena princess.

    I would say that these might be 2 separate goals. If your goal is to go training/prelim, you might have to be open to doing it on a different horse (just in case she takes longer to bring along or decides that water is the devils spawn) Or, your young horse could be a complete eventing superstar. Good luck!!


    • #22
      I'm 55. I'm often amazed by patients I see who are my age but because of smoking, sedentary lifestyles/obesity, too much sun etc. look 10 or 20 years older than they should. They just have given up. Eventing really motivates me to stay halfway fit. I am not someone who could just exercise for exercise sake. BORING!
      Eventing is a tough sport physically, and I don't just mean riding and training, but walking courses, loading and unloading trailers, carrying water buckets etc. etc. etc. If you don't stay somewhat fit, you just can't do it nearly as well or as safely.
      The people in the sport are great, and the cross country run is just the most exhilarating, fun, adrenaline buzz I can get. And I get to do it with an incredibly cool horse partner. Go for it.


      • #23
        Originally posted by Janet View Post
        I am 58 and competing regularly at Training. I still plan to get to Prelim soon.

        My sister is two years younger, and is currently in the market for a horse she can take up the levels to Advanced.

        I don't know HOW I handle the aging body (other than that I no longer even try to get on from the ground). I just DO.
        Same age and still riding. I took ThirdCharm's lovely Irish/TB cross mare to two Trainings 4 years ago, with aspirations for a T3D. Those plans were waylaid thanks to some people issues.
        I plan to get another horse within the next year and get back at again.

        Second DW's advise of staying active and as in good shape as possible. It makes a huge difference
        "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
        Courtesy my cousin Tim


        • #24
          I am 49 and I while I no longer aspire to do UL riding, I do like BN, N and hopefully training. I work hard to stay really fit. Almost to the point of exhaustion on some days. That is my choice. I see no limit on what the body can do at any age. I have a horse who I trust and a great instructor. Are there days when I feel I can conquer the world, of course! There are also days when the confidence is lacking. I love reading all these posts of 50 and 60+ people doing so much and having a great time. I feel inspired!


          • #25
            I'm 52, and I concur with everyone so far--the horse/rider match makes a HUGE difference. I tried for several years (I've been trying to event for about seven years) on three different horses who just weren't the right match for me. Then I found my horse-of-a-lifetime, Paddy, and he "got" me....he let me know that we weren't doing anything unless I did it WITH him. So he taught me to trust him, but also to BE WITH him. We were doing well at Training and prepping for a T3DE when he hurt his suspensory. Now I'm back riding one of the other horses who I didn't do so well with in the past--and you know what? I get along better with him than ever before now. So we might try a couple Novice events this spring while Paddy's rehabbing.

            For me, it's hard during the school year to stay fit--between hauling teenagers to school/everywhere, to prepping for/teaching my own classes, to taking care of eight horses (some are boarders), four dogs, and two mini donkeys, I'm hard pressed to do anything other than maybe a quick ride about four-five days a week. During the summer, I ride several times a day and swim, walk, etc.

            Plus it's heck on my joints driving 5-12 hours one way to our events. I live in BFE. I'll be ready for new knees in about 4-5 years.

            I'm seeing a chiropractor about 1-2 times a month, and I promised myself I'm going to start getting a massage, too. Horse liniment is your friend, as is advil. Hormones can be good, too!

            I used to be one of the "Poise Pals" (we actually had a group....!!)....but I got that fixed.

            You can do this! But it's got to be a good match between you and the horse....and I think it helps to have a great trainer you can see fairly regularly.
            --Becky in TX
            Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
            She who throws dirt is losing ground.


            • #26
              Originally posted by riderboy View Post
              Eventing really motivates me to stay halfway fit.
              Hmmm...for me it's more wearing the tight, 4-way stretch, polyester breeches that motivates me to stay halfway fit.

              That and being able to pull on the expensive custom boots--which do. not. fit. if I gain 10 pounds. That's how I lost my Freshman Fifteen (or 20!) when I graduated from college and started riding again--couldn't afford new boots!


              • #27
                If you do the math you will see that I'm 57 (Eventer55) I just stopped riding my Tb mare because although she is a super athlete, she is a bucking bronco. I got an OTTB last Fall and started riding her in March, she turns out to be a totally safe, honest horse that can do dressage and jump anything in front of her. I will admit when I started her in March I heard a little voice in my head saying "do you really want to do this?" and the answer was "yep!!!" So here I am, we have 5 unrec events with 5 nice ribbons under our belts and she is restoring/keeping my confidence.

                I like what Churchill said "When going through Hell, keep going." So on days when I am doubting myself or feeling like I should do straight dressage, I get on my horse and immediately know that straight dressage is just not in me. I have found that you can work out in a gym or run or do exercise, but the best way for me to stay fit for riding is RIDE! I try to hand gallop twice or 3 times a week in 2 point for 20 minutes (2 ten minute sets) I do the horses by myself including mucking out.

                I have to say I love my trainer and she really keeps me excited about my horse and what I'm doing. I would love to do prelim some day and she feels my horse is the one, so we'll see. I keep those little negative voices at bay when we go double clear xc.

                So, you are in good company!
                RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


                • #28
                  I'm 52 and had ridden but never owned my own horse until 49. I evented at Novice until my horse had an injury last year. I am bringing him back slowly now and we are jumping again, but I must admit that my confidence is not quite what it had been because the first evidence of his injury was him stopping on xc.

                  My goal is Training. I am inspired by a barn mate who was new to eventing a few years ago (but certainly not new to riding), is in her late 50's+ and is now going Training. She has our trainer's prior horse to ride (he knows and loves his job) and she is having the time of her life.

                  What I am seeing in this thread is 1) have a good trainer 2) have a horse that you have confidence in 3) Buy some Depends. Haha. 4) Go for it!

                  Best wishes with following your dream!


                  • #29
                    I turned 60 yrs. old this summer.

                    I have no desire to go any higher than BN. I ride in the Open divisions, because I can gage my progress against some of the professional riders.

                    This year has been a physical challenge for me. I had Shingles at Christmas, which lasted for 2 months. It took 4 months for the lesions to heal up enough so that they did not bother me. (For those of you who are eligible, please get the Shingles vaccine!)

                    I was determined to ride during the hottest part of the day, so that I would be conditioned to the heat. What I learned, after having severe dehydration that put me in the hospital for six days again, is that conditioning in the heat does not mean that you are outside, ride, cool off, put horse away and go home. It means going out in the morning, staying outside during the day, conditioning in the heat, then staying out for another couple of hours. I did not simulate horse show conditions.

                    I did not listen to my DH, who told me that conditioning for three hours in the heat was not enough.

                    Because of my health, I have scratched all of my Fall events. If I decide to continue eventing, I will do it my DH's way. Right now, I cannot even leave the house, because of being on Vancomycin.

                    Long story, not so short, you can keep eventing at any age. Know your limitations, keep in shape and you will be fine.

                    The main thing is just go out and have fun! Even though some folks may pester you about moving up, you do not have to do it. Ride in the division where you feel the most comfortable. You should come off of cross country shouting, "WhooHoo!", not gasping for breath with strands of mane stuck in your hands.
                    When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


                    • #30
                      Auburn, sorry you are under the weather

                      And don't you just hate it when the DH is right??

                      Auburn is solid proof, that if you want it bad enough, you can overcome nearly anything physical that an "ahem" maturing body throws at you. She is an wonderful horseman with regard to care of her Tess, who is "the right horse" and very attuned to all of the physical aspects you need to continue to compete as you get a bit older.

                      Those of you who do not know her, would never guess she is 60. I'm 51 and I don't think she looks as old as I do.

                      Not that I look my age (wink)


                      • #31
                        Also 60yo, but haven't been facing Auburn's health issues. Keep recuperating, Auburn!

                        I did my first T3D at 58 with an OTTB I trained myself (with the help of two great coaches). She's laid up now, or we would have done it again, and maybe considered prelim. So I'm bringing along another OTTB and have a homebred 3yo I've backed who is intended to be my "old lady horse".

                        I agree with everyone who says that the riding and keeping fit for riding helps you feel and look more vigorous. I think expectations need to be adjusted: one needs to respect the issues one's body may be trying to tell one about, one's brain needs to sync'ed with one's body daily, but the good thing is that riding becomes a much more thoughtful endeavor, and dressage may even become more fun (!).
                        They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                        Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                        • Original Poster

                          I'm feeling so much better after reading your stories and experiences. Maybe I can do this afterall. My little mustang is very trustworthy and although her dressage could be a lot better, I know going around xc and stadium she won't let me down, she loves it almost as much as I do! She's a funny one, when we're about 2 out from the start box, she'll be totally relaxed wandering around and I feel like I'm going to have to wake her up a little, but as soon as we leave the box she's all business and flies.
                          Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


                          • #33
                            I will be 50 next year. I am currently riding an OTTB at novice and planning to move him up to training in the winter (he is more or less ready now, but I just started a new job and am also training for a 50 mile run in November, so we will just do another novice or 2 to polish off the season). Staying fit outside the saddle (if you only ride one or occasionally 2 like I do) is important IMO. But this guy is pretty talented and I have no reason to think we won't head toward preliminary if all continues (of course, he is a horse, so no plans or expectations).
                            OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                            • #34
                              A couple of weeks ago I was volunteering at an event, I met a woman who was well into her 60's.. I watched her head out to the X-country course and noticed her saddle pad had F U N embroidered on it... Now I'm not sure if those were her initials or but... pretty much summed it up.


                              • #35
                                I turned 49 this year and did my very first events ever (and actually, my first jumping competition of any kind in just about 30 years ) at novice, and I am hoping to keep on going from here! This was on a TB that had fox hunted in the past and done a few novice events three years ago. His dressage is awful, to put it politely, not because he doesn’t have potential, but because he doesn’t want to! He is a quirky guy (“a TOOL” is how my trainer puts it), but he gallops around and jumps like a star, almost making up for the shenanigans in the dressage ring and like others have said, knowing he is going to jump just about anything is a big help. I also second, third and fourth everyone who has emphasized keeping as fit as possible; I row competitively as well, which keeps my weight down and about as fit as I have ever been….

                                When I did a clinic with Leslie Law on this horse in the spring, he said “oh, but this is more than a novice horse, isn’t it? When you are doing training and prelim with him…” Though after walking training level at Stuart with the group from my barn, I can just about see us doing that, but what I saw of the prelim track that overlapped was pretty alarming!! But, then again, Leslie said…


                                • #36
                                  Just turned 60 last month and am still going strong. I only get to ride on week-ends but generally get on the stationary bike and hit the bowflex several times a week. I find that the back is the biggest problem so I also try to stretch a bit before I ride. When I do, it really helps. We're very competitive at training and had plans to go prelim before I turned 60 but now it will have to be after. Oh, well. . . .


                                  • #37
                                    I just turned 68 and placed 4th in a novice 3day. I also have 2 artificial knees and a plate in my femur. I keep fit by doing barn work, playing tennis, and training my agility dogs. The key is to have the right horse. Ask Denny about this!
                                    vintage eventer


                                    • #38
                                      When I had to retire my preliminary horse I fully intended to go prelim again b4 I reached 50. Well, 50 came and went 8 years ago without a prelim in sight Due to several unsuitable horses I didn't event at all for 5 yrs., but I finally found a wonderful match with a lot of potential. We did 4 BNs 2010-2011 and then I had a surgery which set me back again Now my goal is to do Novice b4 I'm 60!

                                      As stated several times above- stay in shape and make sure your horse is suitable for you, and your goals are realistic.

                                      Getting old is not for the weak!!!!
                                      "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


                                      • #39
                                        My friend is 56 and shopping for her next upper-level horse (Intermediate to Advanced ;->). AND she wants one to bring along herself from Novice/Training.

                                        I'm 55, and I'd be developing and competing upper level horses myself, but funds are too tight. ;->
                                        Yvonne Lucas
                                        Red Moon Farm

                                        "Practice doesn't make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect." - Jim Wofford

                                        "Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant." - Jim Wofford


                                        • #40
                                          Just to avoid confusion,Yventer's "56 year old friend" and my "two years younger sister" are the same person.

                                          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).