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For those who started eventing later in life...

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  • For those who started eventing later in life...

    I'm curious how many people started eventing a little later in life. Me for example. I went to the '96 olympics and fell in love with the sport. At the time I was a carefree 23 year old. Well, shortly after that I got accepted into optometry school, met my husband, got married and had a baby....not much time for horses in there. At 31 I started riding again. At 35 I finally did my first recognized BN event. I'm hoping someday I'll be brave enough to do a Training level 3 day.....we'll see.

    So when did you start, how far have you gone, and how far do you want to go??
    Harmonys Maestro: 1992-2008 RIP
    Harlequinn - redhead extraordinaire

  • #2
    Great thread. Spent my teen and young adult years working my *ss off in exchange for riding lessons. Rode a little in between college and having kids, finally got my very own horse at age 38. First event at 39.

    Flash forward 3 years and a new horse and I'm having a BLAST at Training level. Working my hardest to see Prelim next year.

    Age is a state of mind. Welcome to eventing
    Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

    The Grove at Five Points


    • #3
      Me. I grew up riding western and had a 25-year break from horses. Started riding again only English at 41. A couple of years later, did my first BN event. I am starting all over again. I lost my mare three years ago and have been waiting for her baby to grow up. She is now 4 y.o. and been under saddle a year. But, I have to get back to being secure over fences with a youngster. So, I am really starting again later in life. :-)


      • #4
        I rode western for years. When my daughter started eventing I played at jumping for a good while. Didn't get to enter real events til a few years ago. So I have been eventing 2-3 years and I am 58 so that makes it about 55 when I started. I go Novice might go training but not prelim!


        • #5
          Be brave and have hope! My friend Walt Gervais started riding in his mid 50s, won his first novice at age 69, moved to training at age 70, and moved to prelim at age 72.

          Walt went clean at training in his last event at age 80.

          You CAN do these things if you are brave and work hard to be physically fit.


          • #6
            I did eventing in Ct when I was 17, moved back home to La and started galloping TB's. Got out of that and tryed H/J and dressage and now at 29 I am back to eventing hopefully going to do a BN course by spring with my boy
            No Worries!


            • #7
              Had a few ponies when I was little and we lived on a farm, then once I started school we lived in town, and moved constantly due to my dad's job. No horses.

              It wasn't until I moved out and got a job that I could start taking lessons, and it was a long time after that until I ever "competed" in my first unrecognized horse trial -- over ground poles! I was so nervous...

              Bought an inappropriate horse. Survived that and bought the *perfect* been there done that former Prelim horse who can pack me around anything I choose to point him at. And subsequently discovered that while I love eventing, I don't really enjoy competing. So, we take lessons and go on trail rides, and I sponsor local events and go watch.

              ... and Patrick


              • #8
                Denny, I remember reading an article some years ago about Walt and he became my hero. We have an older gentleman in our area that events and he is another hero of mine. So, there is hope yet to get back on cross country. :-)


                • #9
                  Oooh, can I be a member of this clique? I rode for all of 6 months as a teen; once a week lessons. Then had to sublimate my love for horses until I found out that one could ride almost as much as one wanted by taking care of and exercising polo ponies. I was in my mid-20s and in grad school at the time.

                  Somehow in my 30s, I ended up with a $500 OTTB stallion who, at 16.3, was a little tall for polo. An acquaintance got me to try eventing (then called combined training) with him, and I was hooked. I took my first dressage lesson 22 years ago (!), and in the intervening years have had tons of fun, a share of heartaches, made 5 prelim horses, bred 11 foals and gone on to compete some of them, and now have gone back to the OTTBs. My goal for the coming season is to do a Training 3 day (shhhh: don't tell the fates!). We oldsters need our goals!
                  They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                  Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                  • #10
                    I started riding in college, h/j, at age 18; foxhunted, finally took up eventing 6 years ago. Gully and I run training now, have hopes for a T3DE next year and, someday, prelim. I'm 42; he's 12.


                    • Original Poster

                      It's great to see so many responses and to know I'm not the only one. Sometimes I feel a little silly competing against a 13 year old that can whip my butt, but I'm having a ton of fun!!!!

                      BBowen - I competed at the IDCTA finals at BN (and won). Thanks for doing such a wonderful job organizing the championships!! Good luck with your young one.

                      Denny - did Walt have a Morgan?? If so I saw the article too, and that guy is definitely my hero!!
                      Harmonys Maestro: 1992-2008 RIP
                      Harlequinn - redhead extraordinaire


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by eventerwannabe View Post
                        Denny - did Walt have a Morgan?? If so I saw the article too, and that guy is definitely my hero!!
                        I think you may be thinking of a guy who competes here in Area VIII on a Morgan and has been doing so for some time. I'm blanking on his name though.


                        • #13
                          I did do some eventing when I was young. Went to a couple of small local farm events when I was about 13 and then went to an eventing camp for one summer when I was 17. Life threw a lot of curves at me as an adult and so I didn't ride at all for over 20 years. Started back up again a year ago, bought a horse this past Spring, started eventing with her at a couple of schooling shows in the late Spring / early Summer and rode in my first sanctioned in July and did two more to round out the season (our season just ended). Only competed at BN this year, but may consider N next season if things go well. I'd like to think that I might go training some day, but frankly don't know if I'll ever have the nerve or the ability. But I don't have to think about that right now! In any case, I had a blast this season and feel like my mare and I have made great progress together. I'm also happy with how much I've been able to come back after such a long absence. Sometimes I feel a little self-conscious when most of our riders are young girls. The parents of these riders are my age and they're all there to watch and cheer, I think to myself, 'who the heck do I think I am?' but I'm having fun, so who cares?
                          -Debbie / NH

                          My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/


                          • #14
                            Do I sense a new clique developing? The "never-too-old-to-start-eventing clique"

                            Smarter than a 5th grader . . . maybe. Can still kick my 7th graders' butt in eventing . . . oh yeah!
                            Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                            The Grove at Five Points


                            • #15
                              I rode as a kid, took lessons every week at a hunter/jumper barn. Like most teens, I stopped riding when I found boys and my drivers license. When my daughter was 8 (I was in my mid 30s), my mom gave her riding lessons. She loved it, rode well, and we bought her a horse when she was 10. I thought to myself that it was nuts that I love horses, own a horse, and don't ride. So I took a few lessons and it was sort of like riding a bike. My mind knew what my body should do, but the transmission to my body was a bit off. LOL. Anyway, I am now 45 and competed in BABY events a couple of years ago. And yes, I had my butt handed to my by 10 year olds. Anyway, my horse is not a very honest jumper and has been know to use his nasty run-out or after-fence-buck on occassion. Money IS an option, so I ride what I have. Combine that with a fractured heel last year (not horse related, but hit home how long it takes to heal), I am now a big chicken. I find myself preferring to volunteer at local events instead of competing in them. My horse and I are having a good time just putzing around the barn, trail riding, schooling tiny XC fences, and going on hunter paces. One day I hope to find my courage again and maybe one day compete at Novice.
                              Member of My Balance is Poo Poo Clique


                              • #16
                                Rode as a kid, some in college and grad school, then a hiatus. Started again in my early 30s, got into eventing in my mid 30s, about 7 years ago. After several false starts, got my lovely horse and together we conquered our fears (ditches! trakheners! ditch and walls! jumping into water! oh, wait, that was only HIS fear...), did the T3d, the AECs, and went Preliminary. He has been sidelined with first a serious and then a minor injury, and I've been learning how to bring a greenbean along with mr. asterix's young horse -- he's about to move up to Training, and I hope he'll be running the T3d a year from this weekend .

                                I often wish I had the fearlessness of my childhood, but it makes it all the sweeter when I manage to put aside the chatter of my adult mind and connect to my inner "kick on" kid...
                                The big man -- my lost prince

                                The little brother, now my main man


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by denny View Post
                                  Be brave and have hope! My friend Walt Gervais started riding in his mid 50s, won his first novice at age 69, moved to training at age 70, and moved to prelim at age 72.

                                  Walt went clean at training in his last event at age 80.

                                  You CAN do these things if you are brave and work hard to be physically fit.
                                  Walt will always be my mentor...

                                  This may sound strange to everyone, but I'm excited about my 60th birthday...running the Peachtree Road Race again AND eventing again! I THINK I've figured out a way to manage work, family, work, and lessons amidst the budget crunch educators face in Georgia...time sure isn't gonna wait for me!
                                  Last edited by RunForIt; Oct. 24, 2009, 08:35 AM.
                                  ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Hannahsmom View Post
                                    I think you may be thinking of a guy who competes here in Area VIII on a Morgan and has been doing so for some time. I'm blanking on his name though.
                                    Stayner (Staynar?) Haller, I think


                                    • #19
                                      16 year hiatus

                                      Was a barn rat until I stopped riding for a career, then at 43 came back to lessons. Did my first Novice at the end of this season... long time coming and at 50 (next year) I hope to do a T3DE .... woot Woot!
                                      Live, Laugh, Love


                                      • #20
                                        Yes, Stayner Haller is the guy who competes in Area VIII. I am pretty sure he is in his 70's now. He didn't compete after July of this year, not because of himself, but his trusty partner, Challis, was showing his age. Challis is in his mid-20's and together they completed over 100 events. He's still a healthy and opinionated Morgan, but he's not up to tackling Training level anymore. However, Stayner is still in great shape so we are all hoping that he buys himself another horse so he can compete again.

                                        I too, started eventing as an adult. Was a horse crazy kid that never got to have a horse. Bought my first horse in my 20's and did my first event in my 20's--on my first horse--an Arab! Was completely hooked and have also competed at dressage and competitive trail riding, but always drift back to eventing.