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Question for the over 50 riders (mainly)

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  • Question for the over 50 riders (mainly)

    Hi everyone

    I guess I'm really just looking for some support here. I am 57 years old and have been riding for about 22 years and have owned a horse for about 20. After almost 6 years with my current mare, I've made (almost) the incredibly painful decision that we are not well matched and that she needs to move on to a new home. You can check my previous posts to follow the long struggle we have had together. Let me say that she is a fabulous horse--for someone else. The short version is she loves to jump and I do not. I didn't realize this when I bought her (I was looking to do low level dressage and trail riding)--she was still only 3. But after a couple of trainers, it was shown that she has naturally jumping ability and LOVES it. I now part lease her to a young, fearless teenager and they have blast together.

    We've had other issues together over the years, including dealing with some spooks and stubbornness issues--nothing horrible, but it's taken it's toll on my confidence. I am not as fearless as I used to be or wish to be. About a year ago I started taking lessons on a 13.2 hand Welsh pony that is a school pony at the barn I ride at. (I am 5,3" and weight about 100 lbs). He's put the smile back on my face and the confidence back in my riding. He's not bombproof, but he is more forgiving and willing to meet me a little further along the way in my efforts to be an effective rider. Size wise he fits me better than my mare as well.

    I adore my mare--she has the most loving personality, but after 6 years I've come to the conclusion that we aren't the best riding partners, and she deserves the best. Question #1 Has that every happened to you with a horse?

    My other main question is that, at 57, is it ridiculous to consider buying another horse (or pony really, because I prefer the size)? I'm pretty healthy and fit, but sometimes I think that after I find my mare a great home, maybe I should just stick to riding school ponies or lease something. But the other part of me says it's not too late to find a great partner again, and I do loving having a horse of my own.

    Unfortunately I can't afford two horses/ponies. I would practically give my mare to the girl leasing her, but her parents can't afford all the expenses in owning or even full leasing her.

    Am I crazy to think there's still time for me to find a good equine partner?

    Thanks for reading this!

  • #2
    Oh heavens! For most of us, this is a HOBBY which means it's supposed to be FUN!

    You and Miss Mare aren't working out? Find her a situation where she'll be happy and you can enjoy something a little more on the same page as you. Yes, this happens. And no, it's not an age thing. It just happens.

    As far as buying another horse, why not? If you're worried about your age, the thought of dying and what will happen to the horse? Put it in your will. Make arrangements. But you're only 57!!!! My grandpa rode til he was 80. My older BO would go out with me and ride (and jump!). I know lots of riders who rode well into their 70's or 80's and beyond even. Get yourself the horse that fits your needs. Enjoy.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

    Comment


    • #3
      It's not too late. Go for it. I am older than you (not by much) LOL. If I didn't have my horse related goals and objectives, what would I do? I would be totally lost.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm 60 and two years ago bought a new horse, in addition to the two I already had. So, of course I don't think you're crazy! I figure I've got at least 15 more years of riding in me, maybe more. If horses are your passion, that passion will help keep you young.

        That said, I didn't buy a 3 years old! I bought a 12 year old gelding who was absolutely broke to death. No drama, easy to be around, and I felt totally safe on him the minute I got on. No more green horses for me!

        Go for it. Have you considered a Fjord or Haflinger? Short like a pony but built like a horse. My 66 year old friend trail rides her Fjord mare and they have a blast together.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks for the encouragement! Great words of wisdom, Buddy Roo. And Saddle up, yes I would not get another 3 year old. Been there done that pony works for me now. It's just been such a hard decision because I really adore my horse, and she was going to be the one to last me into my golden years of riding. I have learned so much from her, though and am grateful. I wish I could have a personality transformation so that we could work this out, but maybe in another lifetime. I've tried!

          And although I do not consider myself old, and know that many people ride for many more years, I guess I am just a bit sad and ashamed that I couldn't make it work with a very nice horse, and wonder if there is, in fact, the right one for me.

          P.S. I love Fjords and Haflingers, but they may be a bit too wide for me. Maybe a cross?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rtph View Post
            It's not too late. Go for it. If I didn't have my horse related goals and objectives, what would I do? I would be totally lost.
            ^
            THIS.
            http://fromdressagehorsetocowpony.blogspot.com/

            "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy

            Comment


            • #7
              I am closer to 70 than 60 and have been a horse owner for more than 50 of those years. After losing my heart horse, a home bred TB, I bought another horse that I tried to mesh with for 7 years before finally admitting that she and I were not compatible. I sold her, bought another that I had for less than a year before admitting that he was too forward for me. My new guy is a 15 hand, 14 year old QH with a roping, cowboy shooting background. He and I are perfect for each other. He is a great trail horse who looks but doesn't spook. I am confident and comfortable, he thinks he is in horse heaven as a trail horse with less stress. I am hoping that he and I stay sound enough that we are together well into his 20's and my 70's. Oh yes, I have also gone to the dark side and started riding western.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think you will find a big market if you look at smaller, mature horses.
                I am very happy my horses are pretty much like me, and have a sensible idea of what an outing should be, even the hand walks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes, and absolutely not! Go for it!

                  I would not surrender my unsuitable horse and changed my goals to suit what we could do together based on her physical issues. If you can part with your mare, though, DO it.

                  And when I lost that first mare last summer, I hesitated just a bit when my trainer found me a very suitable new horse who makes me incredibly happy. (She's not as small as I "wanted" but petite and very sensible.)
                  *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by rtph View Post
                    It's not too late. Go for it. I am older than you (not by much) LOL. If I didn't have my horse related goals and objectives, what would I do? I would be totally lost.
                    I know I would too!!!! Thanks!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I know plenty of people in their 80's that are riding. One who is 85 is Hunt master.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am not quite 50 yet ( May). I have found that what I desire in a horse has changed dramatically in the last 10 years . I want them calmer, smaller and just don't want something with so much energy that it wears me out to get them calm and focused so we can just go for a ride. Go and find yourself a pony that matches what you want or make an offer on the one you have been riding!

                        Is there not some way to work out something with the girl who does so well with your mare , so they can afford her? You may not even break even on it, but the peace of mind of getting her with the right person is more important sometimes.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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.
                          The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                          Winston Churchill

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Brooklyn Born View Post
                            Hi everyone

                            I guess I'm really just looking for some support here. I am 57 years old and have been riding for about 22 years and have owned a horse for about 20. After almost 6 years with my current mare, I've made (almost) the incredibly painful decision that we are not well matched and that she needs to move on to a new home. You can check my previous posts to follow the long struggle we have had together. Let me say that she is a fabulous horse--for someone else. The short version is she loves to jump and I do not. I didn't realize this when I bought her (I was looking to do low level dressage and trail riding)--she was still only 3. But after a couple of trainers, it was shown that she has naturally jumping ability and LOVES it. I now part lease her to a young, fearless teenager and they have blast together.

                            We've had other issues together over the years, including dealing with some spooks and stubbornness issues--nothing horrible, but it's taken it's toll on my confidence. I am not as fearless as I used to be or wish to be. About a year ago I started taking lessons on a 13.2 hand Welsh pony that is a school pony at the barn I ride at. (I am 5,3" and weight about 100 lbs). He's put the smile back on my face and the confidence back in my riding. He's not bombproof, but he is more forgiving and willing to meet me a little further along the way in my efforts to be an effective rider. Size wise he fits me better than my mare as well.

                            I adore my mare--she has the most loving personality, but after 6 years I've come to the conclusion that we aren't the best riding partners, and she deserves the best. Question #1 Has that every happened to you with a horse?

                            My other main question is that, at 57, is it ridiculous to consider buying another horse (or pony really, because I prefer the size)? I'm pretty healthy and fit, but sometimes I think that after I find my mare a great home, maybe I should just stick to riding school ponies or lease something. But the other part of me says it's not too late to find a great partner again, and I do loving having a horse of my own.

                            Unfortunately I can't afford two horses/ponies. I would practically give my mare to the girl leasing her, but her parents can't afford all the expenses in owning or even full leasing her.

                            Am I crazy to think there's still time for me to find a good equine partner?

                            Thanks for reading this!
                            I have ten or so years on you and ride and show all the time. You are still "a youngster" in my book...so keep riding!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by candyappy View Post
                              I am not quite 50 yet ( May). I have found that what I desire in a horse has changed dramatically in the last 10 years . I want them calmer, smaller and just don't want something with so much energy that it wears me out to get them calm and focused so we can just go for a ride. Go and find yourself a pony that matches what you want or make an offer on the one you have been riding!

                              Is there not some way to work out something with the girl who does so well with your mare , so they can afford her? You may not even break even on it, but the peace of mind of getting her with the right person is more important sometimes.
                              I would probably give my mare to the girl riding her if she could take her, because peace of mind of finding the right home for her is my BIGGEST priority. But I don't believe her family can afford a horse now. The parents are in the middle of a divorce, to complicate matters. I did mention it to my leasee a few months ago and she said as much.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                there's a thread on the eventing forum about "Eventers over 50." Lots of O50F (over 50 folk), myself included, continue to ride, train, compete, and purchase horses of all shapes, sizes, and ages. I started that aforementioned thread because I have a yearling mustang that is going to be my next eventer but it's going to take a few years and I wanted to know if I were nuts - I'm not! Great support. Go forth and sell mare you have and get something you can have fun with.
                                Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  See Post #23and especially Post #26 on this thread.

                                  I printed it and saved it for inspiration. The whole thread is good inspiration - but cssutton is my hero.
                                  I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have good news for you. Yesterday two of my fox hunting buddies were 82 years old. They turn 83 in Feb and March. And they hunt twice weekly so don't EVEN think of putting away your saddle for many years.

                                    As for your current horse, sell her and find one that makes you smile and feel safe. I'm over 50 and I had a horse like yours two years ago- she was a very nice horse but she was a terrible fox hunting horse so I sold her to a friend. He adores her and she is perfect for what he does. There have been a few horses I have bought that did not work out for various reasons. I never believed I owed them a "rest of their life" home with me but I did owe them finding the right owner.

                                    To replace the above mare I came across a Connemara that is built like a cob and has a 14.2 permanent card. I am 5'4" and her barrel takes up my leg. In photos I don't think we look like a cartoon character of some oversize person riding a donkey but I do not show or compete, just hunt and plan to do some CTRs and LD's with the mare. My husband calls my mare the "Fun Size" horse and I think he nailed it. All the pleasure of a horse in a nice compact package, not unlike some of the excellent quarter horses out there.

                                    Good luck getting things sorted out. I understand how hard it can be to muddle through some of these decisions.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      OH heavens, I'm over 60 now and didn't even get my first horse until nearly 50 (though rode and showed for others since very young). I JUST got two new horses this past year! Obviously, I am not doing the same things I did at 18 or even 40...but I have wonderful horses, lots of fun, am always learning and I don't know what I'd do without those ponies of mine. And, yes, I have rehomed some horses in my time as an owner...one because of my health issues, one because of the horse's health issues and one because it was TOTALLY NOT a "fit" between me and the horse. Hard to do? Yeah, sort of...BUT...the two new horses are SO perfect for me and me for them it was all worth it! SO, I say GO for it! It IS supposed to be about fun, pleasure and a good relationship with your equine companion. Ride ON!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Oh, and on the heels of SLW's post...one of my HEROINES was a gal pal of mine who was a pediatric cardiologist in her mid 80's whilst I was in my early 40's...and she was doing long distance endurance competitions and running a breeding farm at that age...her "final" endurance run was at nearly 87...I learned SO much from her. One should be sensible about one's physical abilities, goals, and time/energy, etc, but essentially you can "do horses" all your life...there's ALWAYS something you CAN do with them!

                                        Comment

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