Add me to the club. I rode as a junior then quit for 15 years to have a life and then picked riding back up in my mid-thirties. My wish as a re-rider is that I could just be consistent. I have a tendancy to freak out. Badly. Thank God my sainted trainer and horse - they have to put up with a lot.
Since this sport is supposed to be fun, I bought a saintly been there done that got the t-shirt horse who is wonderfully forgiving and can take a whole comedy series. Props to those of you who have OTTB's because I know that I could not ever do that. I have too many issues and a green horse would just magnify them.
My new mantra - \"Life is too short not to eat ice cream.\"
Lzrd, welcome! Hope this thread will be a source of encouragement for you too! Sorry to hear you are at a crossroads with your horse.
KateKat - yea, me too. I think if I had the time/energy/resources- aka-$$$, I could be really kick-ass. I guess that's the thing I need to realize. I might not be this amazing rider, because of constraints.
Hasahorse - sometimes I wish I did have the been-there-done-that horse. Thankfully I have a hasn't-been-there-but-would-do-anything-you-ask horse so there haven't been any battles. I never finish riding and think he's the problem. I'm always thinking "I suck".
Tarheel - I can't WAIT to hear how you do! I did my first hunter pace last fall and I was SO nervous! I had a blast though, and ended up jumping so many more jumps than I thought I would!!! I just saw today they're doing another one and I think I want to do it!
Tarheel - I just did my first hunter pace, EVER, a week and a half ago...it was sooo much fun! I rode my mother's extra pony, who I had only ridden once before, and had so much fun..ok, we walked a lot, trotted and cantered some, and only jumped over a few logs, but it was 2 hours of fun (we were interrupted in the beginning by a loose horse and hurt rider)
I started riding again after about 15 yrs and got my freebie greenie about 4 years ago when I was 35..to see how far we have both come together gives me so much pride...I have gotten him from a spooking, bucking green bean who I had to lunge before I could ride, to a calm, relaxed guy who I can get on and hack around even if he hasn't been ridden in a few days. We are still working on jumping, working up from crossrails to actually cantering a full 2'3" course, but to see how far we have both come together is the best feeling in the world.
Stick with it guys...I know how hard it is to squeeze in time with work, family, and just life in general, but the accomlishments make the sacrifices so worthwhile!!
Yes, my job gets in the way of many things as do kids. I have my baby at the trainers 42 miles away and my nights and weekends are just so booked....I just want to ride again. My other Older TB has had lameness issues. I have a fantasy where I take a two week vacation and ride everyday...
Can I join? Even though I rode whenever I could as a kid, I didn't start taking lessons until I was 50 and bought my first ever horse at 54 - got my dream - a TB. I have run into a few snags along the way - tore my achilles a few years ago; strained it again this summer - each "incident" put me on the ground for 6 to 8 weeks. Each time I get back to riding, it's almost like starting over!
I try to ride after work at least 2 days a week - don't always make it. My newest issue is my leg shifting forward at the trot. I can 2 point with no hands at the trot - balanced and everything, but when I start to post.... So, I did my 30 minute after work ride in 2 point to teach my leg where to stay.
The giant thud heard cross the world tomorrow morning will be me falling out of bed!
OP--I'm glad you started this thread. I am a former Pony Clubber who earned an "H-A" rating and did some training-level eventing in my younger days. After Mom and Dad stopped footing the bill, I gave up riding to pursue a career and raise a family. Now I'm in my 50s and have been "re-riding" regularly for the past several years--I got back into it when my daughter wanted lessons. I don't have a horse of my own but have been riding greenies for my daughter's coach and showing them in our local shows. I am fortunate to be able to ride three times a week, and I love every minute of it. Being with the horses is therapeutic; I forget all my problems when I am with them.
I fully understand the pressures you are under. IMO, you need to consider what your goals are for yourself and your horse and not worry as much about what anyone else's goals are for you. Just keep riding as much as you can and realize that no matter how busy you are now, life will not always be this way. Your skill in riding will not disappear, and you will be able to enjoy this wonderful sport as you get older. Your kid will grow up and become more independent, and that is when you will be able to ride more. After several years of re-riding, I think I ride almost as well as I ever did--the main difference is that I am not as fearless as before. That is OK as I have no intention of riding cross-country again! I am perfectly happy schooling the youngsters and bringing them to the point where they can jump a 2'6" or 2'9" course and swap their leads, etc.
At the barn where I ride, there are lots of young kids and teenaged girls who ride with me, and they think I am the coolest mom around! They respect my experience, and I enjoy their enthusiasm.
Dewey said: OP--I'm glad you started this thread. I am a former Pony Clubber who earned an "H-A" rating and did some training-level eventing in my younger days. After Mom and Dad stopped footing the bill, I gave up riding to pursue a career and raise a family. Now I'm in my 50s and have been "re-riding" regularly for the past several years--I got back into it when my daughter wanted lessons.
Same here, having my daughter into it, I couldn't sit on the sidelines.
I am 58 and I have an 8 year old TB, who never raced, but brought baggage, nonetheless. After having him for 2+ years, I feel like we are finally becoming a team. Last show season we started doing the 2'3"-2'6" jumpers and started great, then went backward, finishing the season at the 2'3" level, but at least we did our rounds successfully. So I deem it a plus. My trainer is definitely a plus, too.
This year, we're just picking up our lessons after the summer, and we've already run into a jam. A refusal, but analysing it, I think it was a matter of heat, that I didn't have whatever it took to get him over it. I live in South Florida and its still 90 degrees here.
But I ride 5-6 days a week, and I know that slowly but surely we'll overcome our issues. I have a really wonderful horse, and I'd love to do so many things with him. He'll never be a Gran Prix horse, but then, I've accepted my limitations too. One day at a time.
It is rather weird, you sit on a horse and start to do the thing you remember to do, and your body just doesn't respond the same. I still had the muscle memory to sit the horse, heels down, and so forth, but not the stamina nor the balance when I first started back. Oddly enough, I did remember to roll when I fell off.
And on the "thinking too much".... I think that came with the age factor!
I am blessed to ride a lovely older WB that has taught me so much... I got him because he had a Dressage melt down... I could never have afforded a horse like this! He's "kind" of a been there done that horse; but more like been pushed to the brink of done what? He has challenged my aching older bones and joints. (Ibuprofin has been a good friend of mine) but his need for a stronger leg and rider that needs to tell him to be round etc has helped my physical crusty-ness.
And agree with the poster that this work to earn a paycheck really gets in the way of my riding! Oh and need to pick up all the kids from school, make dinner, do laundry, and Oh yeah the hubby that pays for all this needs attention too!
But gotta love him when I tell him I just had the vet out and need to order feed!
"The horse should pay attention to two things only: the rider’s aids and his own self-preservation at the jump—not the environment. ~ GM
I'm so with you guys. The saving grace in my world is that DD rides. However, I work A LOT (especially lately) and at times it's a struggle to balance family, let alone my horse. When it comes down to it, hes' the one who loses out on my time. We (DD & I ) are not going to our favorite show this year because we just haven't been riding enough ride well enough to justify it this year.
Those of you who do this with green-beans, I am in awe of you. My boy is totally BTDT (not an easy ride, but far from green) so if he does not get ridden for a week, it's not a big deal. I know that taking a week off from riding catches up with me fast. That's more true every year. I wish there was some great answer to how to fix that. Unfortunately, the only one I know is to find more hours and less chocolate. Don't see either of those happening, so this is how it is.
I am a college student, working 50+ hours a week as a teacher (I do maternity leaves and long substituting jobs, as well as an after school program), take 18 hours of online classes, and currently am back to riding hunters and jumpers after a 9 year hiatus.
In that time, I have shown every discipline imaginable. I won a national championship for barrel racing. Qualified for all sorts of world championships. Broke and trained cutting horses. You name it, I've done it!
But now I am back to doing what I love and I am SO excited. Granted, there are days when I want to strangle people due to the overwhelming amount of stress I seem to be under, but when I get to go ride, I feel so blessed-after all, how many 21 year olds can say they own their own 6-stall barn, with an arena, on 20+ acres?
And I own my dream horse. FINALLY. A 15 year old Hungarian WB gelding who is the LOVE of my life. He and I have been to two shows so far, and we won first or second in every class entered. We are currently showing 3'3", but are going to enter 3'6" for the first time this weekend! SO EXCITED.
I think a support group is a WONDERFUL idea. I need all the help I can get!
Wow, I am so glad to find this thread! I rode a bunch as a kid, and then took 15 years off and only got back in to horses because my then 7 year old wanted to ride. I am a single parent, two kids, work 50+ hours a week, and bought a greenie because she's "pretty." Ok, that's not the only reason, she's beautiful, and fun, and physically I could not have found a horse I *fit* any better.
I take lessons 1-2 times a week, and try and ride at least one other time on the weekend. My trainer also rides her once a week. We have really good days, and then so so days, and then days that if we have get a collected walk it's a major accomplishment. We had been making lots of progress until about a month ago we took a pretty bad spill together. We were doing a simple cross rail, and the first time she jumped it beautiful, the second time I think she forgot what we were doing and crashed right through. She landed on a pole, slipped and fell, and launched me 15 feet to land on my shoulder. I bruised my sternum and collar bone, and partially tore my trapezius muscle. She came out of it physically unharmed (minor scratches) but mentally lost her mojo. She is very convinced that the poles jumped up and bit her. I'm of course the opposite, mentally OK, but physically not 100%
I know we've made great strides 7 months I've had her, but the 1 step forward 3 steps back gets frustrating. 7 months ago we could hardly canter one lap without her switching off behind. Today's accomplishment was staying on the rail the entire lesson, without her swerving at the scary spot in the arena. I really think I should be past this point. Right?
I'll join, too. I rode in weekly lessons as a child, but then left the horse world for 25 years to work, etc. I came back and got my first horse ever, who turned out to be totally wrong for me...too much horse, tossed me several times, broke my arm, anyway, just all wrong. Fortunately, I was able to retire her and move on to a terrific pony who is far from dead, but who takes good care of me.
I've learned to jump, and to stay on most of the time I don't have children, the stepchildren are grown and gone, and I have a wonderful husband who supports me, so during the 6-7 months that I have enough daylight to do so, I ride nearly every day (then of course have to relearn everything after a long dark winter).
Those of you at lesson barns with lots of kids, I have to recommend that you try riding with them! If you can tune out the pre-teen squealing (tough, sometimes) you will be riding with a group that's far more fearless than most adults, that usually whines less, and is a lot of fun. Plus you REALLY can't complain that you can't do that 2' jump when a 7 year old just did it I ride with the kids and in an adult lesson, and I get something special from each experience.
In the last year, I've become hooked on foxhunting. I've only had the chance to hunt three times (thanks, Hunter's Rest). But onw my riding goal is to becomes good enough to ride my own pony out to the hounds, even if it takes me a couple of years.
Going to do my best to keep this thread alive and kicking!
Thanks for the input. I have nothing in the works but maybe in winter when there's nothing to do!
I gotta run, trying to pack for a trip AND try to get up to the barn!
Have a great weekend everyone!
ETA: Nope, not gonna make it to the barn. Gotta pack, clean my own barn, prep all the food for the animals for the housesitter, pack the kiddo's clothes, pack my clothes, clean the house, clean my car (gross!).....barn aint in the cards!
Last edited by spacytracy; Sep. 29, 2011 at 05:56 PM.