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Eventers over 50

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  • Eventers over 50

    I'm not talking about the pros like Denny or KOC, but regular folks who have one, maybe two horses competing, and are over 50 y.o.

    I have plans for my yearling to take her to training at a minimum, prelim at the most and she has the conformation and movement to be competitive. However she is a yearling so no riding for the next 2 years and regular jumping a year after that. I'm also 53 so will be 56 by the time she's ready to go starter level or maybe BN. Am I dreaming to think that at 57-58+ I could be competitive at training or prelim level? I have a very good trainer and take regular lessons with him on my mustang who is limited to novice and that's fine but it's always been my dream to try my hand at the "upper" levels. Is it ridiculous to be looking ahead like this at my age? I'm in relatively good physical condition, my nutritionist says I have the body of someone 10 years younger regarding strength, BMI, weight, etc. but there are the aches and pains that come with age.

    Let me hear from you over 50 competitors and let me know how you handle your aging body with a young heart. I'm feeling a little hormonal today and need some encouragement.

    Thanks!
    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

  • #2
    Buy the best Body protection available...and Helmet...I'm 58 and while the mind is willing the yellow streak is VERY wide....me BN w/ be a after 50 career high point w/ no where to go but back to elemetry...

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm only 47, but at this point (in spite of the internal dialogue I have with myself in XC warmup) I'm nowhere near ready to give up eventing.

      Staying fit and strong other than in the saddle is important. Mostly farm work gets that done for me and the fact is I *loathe* exercising, but the fitter I am the better I ride, so during the winter at least I try to do something besides farm work and walking.

      Have a horse that you trust. Whatever your particular bugaboos are, get one that gives you ZERO added stress in that aspect of the game. For me it's jumping the jumps XC. That may sound beyond silly, but it isn't. I can handle dressage meltdowns, spooks, naughty warmup behavior, a horse that pulls like a train, etc. But when they're pointed at a XC jump I want to *know* they're going over. That gives ME confidence. Everything else is negotiable.

      I am comfortable at Novice and Training with my current crew, and although I have no great aspirations any more to go higher, I wouldn't rule it out someday (Prelim, max, love to do a real P3D) I am in no hurry.
      Click here before you buy.

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      • #4
        Don't Forget...

        Pre-gaming with ibuprofen. There are so many of us at events now that I never feel "too" old. And when the superfit woman stabling next to me calls out to her daughter to run back to the trailer to get her Advil, I know I am not alone!
        Live, Laugh, Love
        http://confessionsofanaaer.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by deltawave View Post
          I'm only 47, but at this point (in spite of the internal dialogue I have with myself in XC warmup) I'm nowhere near ready to give up eventing.

          Staying fit and strong other than in the saddle is important. Mostly farm work gets that done for me and the fact is I *loathe* exercising, but the fitter I am the better I ride, so during the winter at least I try to do something besides farm work and walking.

          Have a horse that you trust. Whatever your particular bugaboos are, get one that gives you ZERO added stress in that aspect of the game. For me it's jumping the jumps XC. That may sound beyond silly, but it isn't. I can handle dressage meltdowns, spooks, naughty warmup behavior, a horse that pulls like a train, etc. But when they're pointed at a XC jump I want to *know* they're going over. That gives ME confidence. Everything else is negotiable.

          I am comfortable at Novice and Training with my current crew, and although I have no great aspirations any more to go higher, I wouldn't rule it out someday (Prelim, max, love to do a real P3D) I am in no hurry.



          "ONLY"....atta girl!

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          • #6
            One of my trainer's clients is 54 years old and actively competing 3 horses at Novice and Training, including N3D and has a T3D in the plan I'm not sure I could compete 3 horses in a weekend at my (young) age! She even does one day events with all three horses, meaning 9 rides over the course of a day - inspiring and amazing!

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            • #7
              Well, I am over 50 and much too cowardly to event, but I see no reason to give up your dream of competing at a higher level. As long as you are healthy and fit, with a horse you are confident on and a good trainer, then go for it!

              Comment


              • #8
                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.
                Janet

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

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                • #9
                  51 and started close to 7 years ago...started riding, not just eventing. I echo what Delta commented on. My first horse had her moments, but even after a few learning falls I had this explicit trust in her. After she retired I was looking for a ride, got together with "el Diablo" who scared the hell out of me (I thought all horses were like my mare ). When I got my current teammate he had to not only deal with his own confidence issues, but mine as well. That took time and I was letting my goals push me more then I knew.

                  He stopped enough that I started to let the trust slip and not till we worked with our very good trainer did we understand that we (I) were going to fast. There is no time limit to this sport. In fact the only limitation is what we impose, but without question, when we rush building, the foundation is weak.

                  My current goal has been to do the Southern Eights LF at BN (that is where I got set back...I want to own that place again someday), but mainly to keep growing as far as my body and Sterling will take me. Every time I get on I may ponder the what ifs, but I've found that the only difference between getting on Sterling and getting into my car is that one is a newer experience then the other. Both have their inherent dangers.

                  One day the body may win the argument, but my mind will always think "I can" for that is how we truly stay young

                  (Side note, the biggest limiting factor for growth is time and money. Were I able to ride/exercise more and that I could afford more lessons I know my riding (and levels) would grow a little faster. I get caught up sometimes comparing myself to folks on this list (and in real life ) who've ridden longer, have more opportunity to ride etc. Quickly I stop that train of thought, because each of our paths is different and I can no more compare my path to delta, or rider, or others with more time/experience. These days I find satisfaction in my pace for it comes with a better feeling of comfort and accomplishment.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We have had a long thread over on the hunting forum on hunting over 50
                    https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/s...d.php?t=365297

                    There are lots of us out there. Quite a number also event.

                    Trust worthy horse is key. Physical therapist to work with your individual quirks and design a fitness program helps. Yoga is another avenue. Buddy system and cell phone that works in ravines and wet river sand is useful, too. The intrepid mental attitude is right there with the big grin of happiness..
                    Intermediate Riding Skills

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                    • #11
                      I'm 45, still waiting for my "first" horse, and have yet to do a "real" Event. However, plan is to practice, practice, practice now with the rides I have, keep training the kids to be self-sufficient, and hopefully by 50, I'll have that first horse and be riding, like deltawave and others!
                      “Always saddle your own horse. Always know what you’re doing. And go in the direction you are heading.” Connie Reeves
                      Jump Start Solutions LLC

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                      • #12
                        What's with the threads about eventers and fox hunters over 50? Just because you're over 50 doesn't mean you have one foot in the grave or have to have both hands on the walker.

                        My first event ever was at age 52.

                        I have a friend that fox hunts first flight and events, and she is 67.

                        Yeah, things ache more but that's what ibprofen, accupuncture, nmessage, etc is for. My favorite feature we put in the new house is the whirlpool tub.

                        Remember, if you stop moving then you'll stop moving.
                        A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks for the replies. Some days I feel like I have 1 foot in the grave! ha ha.
                          Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I bought a 4 year old Tb 2 years ago, we are now doing Training and I am 65! The key is to work hard and have a horse that gives you confidence, plus having a lot of ibuprofen when you miss the line between being quiet over the jumps and not having enough energy aproaching the fence when schooling as I did yesterday! We are doing our 4th Training this weekend at Stone Gate and are still getting used to jumping at 450 meters per minute without taking a tug.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              50 yo here. I was competing my homebred novice last year, though I had had about a 10 year hiatus from novice while she grew upnow she is in foal so lets see hopefully I ride the new baby on the way at novice before I am 60

                              I say always have a dream and goal!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I'm 52 and purchased an OTTB last year when it became apparent that my homebred just didn't want to be the event horse I had envisioned. I fully plan on doing Training and hopefully Prelim on my new horse.

                                My homebred's last event was Training/Prelim. He was more than capable of doing Prelim stadium, but due to his spookiness, Prelim XC just seemed a little more than I felt comfortable doing. I think 20 years ago I would have "forced" it to work, but the beauty of aging is that often all those life experiences do teach you something!! I now have him leased out as an eq/hunter prix horse and he loves his job!

                                I think I've actually improved as a rider as I've aged because I'm better focused and less worried about trying to impress people. I take the constructive criticism a little less personally so I'm able to "shut up and ride" better than before. Ok, maybe I'm still working on the "shut up" part.

                                I don't think your plans are crazy at all. You will know how you feel when the time gets closer and once nice thing about plans is that you can always change them if you want to.

                                I say now that my plans hopefully include Prelim but it really depends on how well my horse and I work as a team. If I don't feel confident in either of our abilities, then we won't move up. I had plans to do my first LF 3 Day when I turned 40 (didn't happen), then qualified for a LF 3 Day at 42 but didn't go due to my horses soundness issues. I thought I'd do Prelim with my homebred but then again, that didn't work out either! The funny thing is that I feel no less of a rider for not accomplishing those goals.

                                What has changed as I've aged?

                                Poise.

                                As in the pads-those drop fences are a killer!!
                                http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  What has changed as I've aged?

                                  Poise.

                                  As in the pads-those drop fences are a killer!!
                                  OMG, dying laughing!

                                  I was thinking to myself, "Dang, I am the LEAST poised person I know." And then I read the rest of it. BWAAHAHAHAA!
                                  Click here before you buy.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My DH is 56, actively plays B Grade Polocrosse, and events at Novice level. His bucket list goal is the training three day, and we are shooting for qualification for the novice three day in 2013. His horse is an OTTB - got him straight off the track two years ago. Great horse. Costing us a fortune in ulcer meds, but he is a great horse. Makes a huge difference.

                                    Manny has had access to great trainers, and likes to joke that two Olympians have competed and won with his horse. His current jump trainer is terrific, and his dressage trainer is a USDF Gold Medalist, also an absolute jewel.

                                    Good horse + good training = very happy husband!

                                    Would add that staying physically fit helps him deal with the aches and pains. Disgusting that he weighs about five pounds more than the day I married him almost 36 years ago.
                                    www.amiddle-agedmadwomantakesthereins.blogspot.com

                                    www.pegasusridge.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I am 53 and just had my hip replaced because I couldn't stay in galloping position for a whole course ( to hell with walking, just had enough when I couldn't jump well). Have a 5 , 4, 3 yr old going and a 2 yr old ready to work with, so surely 1 of them will make an event horse!
                                      Hope to make it back up to prelim again in the next few years, but agree that it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it.
                                      http://www.cngsporthorses.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I'm not there yet, but it's coming like a freight train!

                                        The biggest change I've made is I now spend almost as much money each month working with a fitness trainer as I do on riding lessons. A couple years ago after complaining about a doctor treating me like a middle aged housewife someone told me I needed to find the people in town who the pro atheletes use--be it trainers, phsyical therapists, massage therapist, doctors, etc. It's turning out to be really good advice.

                                        I found a guy who formally was the strength and fitness coach for an NBA team and now has his own business working with a lot of professional atheletes as well as athelete wannabes like me. The best part is pro atheletes are always getting hurt and/or training through or with pain. So he is very good at knowing when how to train for/with pyhsical weaknesses or limitations as well as coming up with sport specific exercises. (Can you say squats on an upside down bosu ball?)

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