If you are anything like me, you hung up your competition boots a while ago, but like most horse people you never lose the love for the sport or animal! Your kids might be grown, personal circumstance might have changed, or your responsibilities may be different to what they once were. Whatever the reason you now find yourself with some spare time, so now what? Have you thought about riding again and have doubts. Am I to old? Will people think I’m silly? What if I fall off? All these questions run through your head. But really who cares what people think, horse riding is one of those things that only those that do it understand. If you are wanting to get back in the saddle why not?
Many people get back into riding later in life, it’s the great thing about our sport you can do it at any age. I have put together a list of a few things to keep in mind and make your journey back into the saddle enjoyable.
- Make your move back into riding gradual. Don’t put any pressure on yourself but set some achievable goals. Give yourself time to regain your confidence and be patient with your progress.
- Lessons – have some lessons they will help get your confidence back, book yourself in for a clinic or another option is to see if there is a local adult rider club you can join.
- Be prepared that it may be hard work to begin with. You won’t be the same as you once were when starting off, and it will take time to build up those muscles again and feel comfortable with your abilities in the saddle.
- Keep learning. Even as you get older you never stop learning, be prepared to ask questions, and seek help from friends, family or coaches.
- Will open up a whole new group of friends and social groups, especially if you join a riding club or group, be it for competition or just on a social level.
- Make a budget, as you will probably remember owning a horse isn’t cheap so set yourself some limits and stick to them.
- Find a suitable horse for your abilities and what you are wanting to achieve. Seek help from reputable trainers or coaches to assist you.
- Know your limitations. Whether physical or monetary so this is an enjoyable experience going forward.
Just remember this is supposed to be fun so don’t compare yourself to anyone else, enjoy your horses company, be patient and most of all smile! You are back doing what you love and that’s the most important thing of all.
Written by Selena. P