Am I too old to start riding (44)

LittleBlueBird

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I rode 20 odd years ago but after an accident lost all my confidence and haven’t ridden since. I have had rescues and non ridden so still with my four legged family but not in the saddle.

Suddenly I feel I’d like to begin riding again but will class myself as a beginner (a very nervous when in the saddle beginner)

Will a riding school think I’m an idiot for starting again at my age? It seems geared towards youngsters and pony club. I’ve never felt to old!

I’m fit, healthy and perhaps at some point would enjoy having a ridden horse of my own. Should I go for it?
 

magicmoments

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I rode 20 odd years ago but after an accident lost all my confidence and haven’t ridden since. I have had rescues and non ridden so still with my four legged family but not in the saddle.

Suddenly I feel I’d like to begin riding again but will class myself as a beginner (a very nervous when in the saddle beginner)

Will a riding school think I’m an idiot for starting again at my age? It seems geared towards youngsters and pony club. I’ve never felt to old!

I’m fit, healthy and perhaps at some point would enjoy having a ridden horse of my own. Should I go for it?
Of course you should, no question. Just explain the situation to the riding school, so they know your starting point
 

Rumtytum

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Do it! I started 5 years ago aged 62 so time is definitely on your side!
Ridden as a child but never had a lesson, the riding school didn’t bat an eyelid, there are plenty of over 40 women there. I ride weekdays, mainly in school term time which you might not be able to do if you work, and if you can have private lessons so much the better. Please have a go, it would be great to know what you think!
 

Tiddlypom

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Rumtytum

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Is there anything in particular I should be looking for in a riding school? I’ll go for private lessons for now that way I can look like an idiot on my own!
BHS approved is always a good start. When I booked I was asked to fill in a form stating height/weight/age/ability plus any health issues before the regulatory ‘assessment’ lesson. Loaned a hat and jodhpur boots from the storeroom (think it was £1 for each) and quickly bought my own!
A good instructor will always have their eyes and mind on you and your horse, ask how you feel and what are your aims. All of the staff at my RS are happy, it shows in their attitude to the horses, ponies and to me.
I’ll probably think of more stuff.
 

Red-1

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Currently living a second childhood!
I'm glad you are giving it a run!

I would usually say that it is best to go for a BHS approved yard, and this is a general truth, as they have been inspected and are to a minimum standard, which is good if you don't know enough about horses to make a judgement on horsemanship.

However, all BHS approved yards are not equal! Some are less than ideal, although they will at least carry insurance. Some non-approved places may be great, but do make sure they are registered with the local council and have insurance.

I would look for one where you like the vibe. Which is best may depend on what you wish to do long term. For example, if you would like to ride dressage you may like the vibe in a competition yard but if you prefer to hack, a good trekking centre may be better, with better outriding and views, and horses who would pack a human on the hills even if the human is not very skilled as yet.

I personally prefer to teach adult beginners/returners on the lunge at first. It means you can get them riding in balance and strong in their seat before they have to try to also control a horse.

If anywhere makes you feel like an idiot, or not valued, then I would find somewhere else.

Oh, and we need photos!!!
 

LittleBlueBird

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24 June 2021
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It’s very horsey around me, a few rs to choose from but all very busy it’s hard to get a lesson. I’m comfortable on the ground I have my own non ridden as a companion to my friends retired poppet and I’m at the yard twice a day every day so I have confidence in that regard, however get me in the saddle and I can become quite nervous.

However, I will get on and I will keep going! I think I’d like to get to a good place where I’m comfortable hacking with friends and not too phased by the odd spook! I mean there’s monsters in our hedgerows according to my non ridden when we go out in hand.
 

Skib

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I started aged 61. I do recommend lunge lessons for balance. But I also hacked which is really good if one drives a car as it enforces control of speed, steering and brakes.
 

ponynutz

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So I’m signed up for weekly private lessons and I’m going to hack once a week I think for an hour prob in the walk/trot group.
Happy days!
Good luck and have fun!!

My dad rode as a teenager and started again when I was learning to ride (he was probably your age then), had another break, and now has his own happy hacker :) He's happy just having no expectations other than ride properly for his horse and so he's found it really easy. Had a couple of lessons at the start but is just fine now.
 

TheHairyOne

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We have a sharer who gave up for 30 years and came back at gone 50 and had a weekely lesson for 6 months to get back in the swing of things.

Glad you've gone for it! Have an amazing time.
 

Fjord

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Definitely not too old!! I rode on holidays as a kid and that was it, when I was 40 I started lessons, then sharing, then bought my own. Best thing ever.

I hope you enjoy your new adventure!
 

Tiddlypom

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So I’m signed up for weekly private lessons and I’m going to hack once a week I think for an hour prob in the walk/trot group.
Happy days!
That's great to hear!

A few sessions at the RS I lucked on (it turned out we use the same vets, and my vet was very complimentary about them) and I'd got my seat and and my mojo back. Then I had a brush with Covid which left me weak and dizzy afterwards, so I had to miss a few weeks. But I've been back and my private lessons were tailored to my rather weak current state, just walk and trot, but super safe on my lovely horse.

Simple stuff like riding in trot with the reins in the outside hand and leg yielding from the three quarter line to the outside track - making me use my seat and weight aids and not my reins. Brilliant. You're never too old to learn or re learn to ride correctly. I'm 64.
 
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