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The tack room

Too old to learn at 45?

27 replies

cakeforme · 23/02/2019 17:23

Hello

Stumbled across the tack room and have been reading old posts all afternoon!

So my 8 year old has been having lessons for just under a year. He's loving it and doing really well. He badgered us for years before we gave in and let him have lessons. I was worried it would be all too expensive (which it is!) and that the other people would be a bit judgey of non-horsey people like us (they have been lovely).

Anyway watching my DS ride has woken up the 'want to have a go' in me that has always been there but never acted on. So far I have bought second hand boots and jodhpurs on eBay and I've decided this summer I'm going to have a go. Just need to borrow a hat from the riding school.

What advice would you give a 45 year old, not that fit but can run the odd 5-10k, whose 5'6" and a good size 12, 10st 10lber when learning to ride? My ambitions are modest - ultimately I'd like to be able to join a group hack for example.

Anybody done the same? Am I kidding myself at my age?

Thanks.

OP posts:
Katastrophy · 23/02/2019 17:24

Go for it!

Gunpowder · 23/02/2019 17:24

Ooh I want to know this too! I had 5 or 6 lessons as a child but would like to learn properly!

BlueJava · 23/02/2019 17:26

Why not just do it? It's not like you are too heavy. I mean if you said you suddenly decided to be an Olympic show jumper then I'd say think a bit more, but a group hack is a really lovely goal to have.

Megan2018 · 23/02/2019 17:28

Of course you can! You can start at any age, I’ve known women in their 60’s start.
You’ll love it. Then you can buy a horse to share with DS Wink

No advice, you just need to crack on. You should crack an independent seat and be confident hacking within a year. Just don’t be afraid to ask if you aren’t sure what the instructor means, things like “heels down” don’t always make sense. Ask to be shown if you can’t feel what’s wrong and if you can get someone to video your lessons now and again it really helps.

Iamboudicca · 23/02/2019 17:30

Definitely not too late to start. I would recommend getting a few private lessons to begin with as you’ll make much faster progress than in a grouo of complete beginners. Group lessons are more productive once you have mastered the basics.

cakeforme · 23/02/2019 17:47

Oooh thanks for the quick replies and encouragement. @Megan2018 what do you mean by independent seat?

I'll probably book lessons at the yard where DS rides and you're right I will have to ask as the terminology baffles me - he'll be giving me advice Wink about getting leg in and changing rein!

OP posts:
Megan2018 · 23/02/2019 18:30

In a nutshell it is when your body is balanced, and is not interfering with the horse, so you are using your core, not using the reins for balance and moving at one with the horse. Relaxed legs, not gripping etc. It also makes you secure, so if a horse stumbles or spooks you don’t go out the side door as easily!

cakeforme · 23/02/2019 19:48

thanks @Megan2018 Smile

OP posts:
Pleasedontdothat · 23/02/2019 19:59

Well I’ve got ten years on you and I’ve just had my second lesson Smile. I had lessons when I was a child but I was never very good - I’d got to the point of being able to canter and pop a small cross pole by the time I stopped having regular lessons. I did a few beach rides after that when we went on holiday but hadn’t been on a horse for 40 years Shock. Dd’s been riding for years and a few months ago got her first horse so I’ve been spending quite a bit of time at the yard and really enjoying it. I decided to be brave and booked myself a private lesson - it was lovely getting back in the saddle - terrifying for the first couple of minutes but then I relaxed into it and remembered all the ‘heels down, elbows in’ instructions from my lessons as a child. I was on a lovely, kind, patient and extremely comfy cob. We took it steady and concentrated on starting, stopping and steering with a few trots towards the end. My aim is to be able to go on a hack with dd, which I think (hope) is doable! Good luck and let us know how you get on Smile

Cynara · 23/02/2019 20:00

Oh god, YES! I rode prolifically as a young child (20ish!!) years ago, and was terrified of picking it back up in my ahem mid thirties. Fair enough, it's terrifying now, with the knowledge that a fall could result in a serious injury whereas last time I'd have bounced straight back up, but it's the most beautiful experience, a lovely opportunity to enjoy nature and the friendship of an animal. Do it!!!!

BettysMom · 23/02/2019 20:03

I'm 33 and started lessons about 6 months ago - I'd never sat on a horse before! I totally hooked! My advice would be don't put pressure on yourself - it's much harder to learn as an adult than as a child because we're less flexible and have more fear! My instructors are currently encouraging me to try to canter but I'm putting it off as I'm scared, I think I might be quite happy to stay as a trotter!

cakeforme · 23/02/2019 20:44

Thank you @Pleasedontdothat that's encouraging!

OP posts:
Aprilshowersarecomingsoon · 23/02/2019 20:49

I had lessons at 35, would still now at 47!! Age is just a number op!!

cakeforme · 23/02/2019 20:50

@Cynara @BettysMom thanks for your encouragement too. I think I might have a bit of fear too I'm no good at heights either so hoping that isn't a problem! There's a lovely cob at the stables ds rides at that I have my eye on he's a real gentle plodder who goes as slow as he can get away with which is probably my pace!!

OP posts:
BettysMom · 23/02/2019 20:56

@cakeforme my riding school mostly has cobs (they're rescued) - they're slow and steady sweethearts (not all of them but the ones I've ridden so far!). What's holding me back at the minute from cantering is a fear of having my first fall - I'm sure I'm building it up to be something worse than it actually is as I ride in a sandy school, so maybe I need to get it over and done with to fully relax!

cakeforme · 23/02/2019 20:56

Feeling like I want to go it now after all this encouragement. Do you think it's better to do weekly lessons as children do or book longer blocks over a shorter time. Have a feeling I am going to be reading more of the book I bought DS at Christmas than he is!

OP posts:
Almostflownthenest · 23/02/2019 21:05

Go for it! You’ll love it!! Grin I rode a little bit as a 11/12 year old, and sporadically over the next 40 years and then at 54 I decided to learn properly. I love, love, love it despite the falls and injuries I’ve had. Sad I was delighted the other day when my instructor told me I had really improved. Smile I really need to get my brain to relax now and enjoy jumping.
I spend time watching You Tube videos by Your Riding Sucess, CRK Training and lots of other sites to learn more outside of my lessons.
Why don’t you start straight away and then when it comes to the summer you’ll be able to go out on those hacks!! Smile

Pleasedontdothat · 23/02/2019 21:58

@cakeforme definitely start now (but make sure you wear gloves)

@BettysMom I used to find cantering a lot more secure than trotting - it’s easier to get the rhythm and I felt much less like falling off!

maxelly · 24/02/2019 11:23

Do it! You'd be surprised how many people take up riding in their 40s or even later (one man at my stables started when he retired aged 65 and now is a menace to the countryside bombing around on his 'sensible' cob, he does xc, hunts and all sorts. A colleague at work started in his 40s when he met his wife who is horsey, he now has 2 horses of his own and competes at quite a high level, so it is absolutely possible)... I'd say weekly lessons to start with, you may find you get the bug and want to do more but many adults do get quite sore and stiff the day after a ride at first, so if you did a weeks block you might really ache!)

Hopefullyberidingsoon · 24/02/2019 19:01

Hi OP
I started riding again last May having not ridden for the best part of 30 years, like you I am mid forties.
I started out with one lesson a week (private) and am now part loaning one of the riding school horses.
Physically its been challenging but saying that I had done no exercise for over 20 years, doing a 5-10k run would be unthinkable!!!! Yes you have to develop muscles for riding and you will ache but being reasonably fit is a huge bonus!!!
I am loving my new hobby its wonderful being amongst the horses out in the fresh air and time for just me. Go for it, you wont regret it!!!

Squirrel26 · 24/02/2019 20:49

Coincidentally, my mum has just told me that my grandma took up riding in her 50s. She ended up owning her own horse! (She also got me into riding - I started having lessons again aged 30...something and now I ride three times a week. It's a slippery slope...)

BettysMom · 25/02/2019 18:04

@Pleasedontdothat I hope so - I have another group lesson tonight and I'm going to pull on my big girl pants and give it a try!

Apocalyptichorsewoman · 25/02/2019 21:37

I'm 49 - I started having lessons at 46 - half an hour a week. Then joined a group lesson for an hour. I'd never seen a horse close up in real life- although I did go on the donkeys at Blackpool 😃

Now I have my own horse... 🤔

Too old to learn at 45?
HappyGirlNow · 26/02/2019 09:17

I started at age 44 approx 18 months ago and this is my big girl, I’ve had her 2 weeks 😁

Too old to learn at 45?
HappyGirlNow · 26/02/2019 11:44

So yes, you can definitely do it is the answer, prior to 18 months ago I’d only sat on a horse briefly once as a teenager and didn’t particularly like it. But I’d had a hankering over the years to try lessons. And I’m so glad I did, asi fell in love with it and now have my gorgeous big girl.

I’m not fit but I’m fitter than when I started 😊

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