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Am I too old to learn to ride?
27

MrsGradyOldLady · 27/03/2021 17:19

I'm not gonna lie, I've become fascinated with the world of horses since lockdown and the fact I've not been able to do any of the things I usually enjoy for over a year now. I'm actually quite envious of people who are still able to enjoy their passion.

Is 48 too old to learn how to ride? I had a few lessons as a child and got as far as the rising trot and going out for treks. I don't know if I'd be too scared of falling off now though and maybe the horse would sense fear and throw me off?

I've been looking at stables near me for lessons for my 13 year old daughter and thinking actually, I'd like a go too. Has anyone any experience of teaching older riders? Or being a late starter themselves?

I would maybe be interested in having a go on the full day stable management lessons too. Where you learn how to groom and muck out. But not actually owning one ever as I'm far too lazy to want to take care of them every day. I do really fancy a camp type experience though that they run for the kids in school holidays if such a thing exists for bored middle aged women?

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Erkrie · 27/03/2021 17:23

My mum learnt to ride at 48. My dad was 50. So entirely possible.

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MrsGradyOldLady · 27/03/2021 17:32

Oh really? And did they get to the standard where they could go out on their own for treks? I would love to do that as part of a group but not being led.

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EasterIsComing · 27/03/2021 17:35

It’s not too old and a good riding school horse won’t care if you are nervous, they just go round and round at the requested pace until it’s time to go back to their stable.
If older teen is interested maybe ask if you could have lessons together, then if you are not up to the full hour you can sit in the middle and watch her while you get your breath back. With covid I think they can only teach private lessons and family groups so should be glad to get a family duo.
Only negative is I think due to covid when lessons restart they might only take those who are confident doing girths and stirrrups to avoid close contact.

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Brenna24 · 27/03/2021 17:36

I know someone who started to learn in her late 70s after 2 hip replacements. She was still riding at 84 when I met her. Go for it.

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Erkrie · 27/03/2021 17:38

Oh really? And did they get to the standard where they could go out on their own for treks? I would love to do that as part of a group but not being led.

Yes they could do that. They were quite fast in learning really.

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EasterIsComing · 27/03/2021 17:38

How good you get will depend on how often you go (preferably at least once a week), how long for and how fit/supple you are. After 6 months of regular lessons I would expect you to be able to go out as part of a group and trot/canter off the lead with the right schoolmaster.

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lastqueenofscotland · 27/03/2021 18:14

Not to old at all but it is so much easier and you’ll learn so much quicker if you are fit/have some core strength.
Speak to a few riding schools and explain your goals.

Whereabouts in the country are you we may be able to recommend some schools or give you a heads up on what to avoid.

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ApplestheHare · 27/03/2021 18:17

I know a chap who had his first lesson at 48. He said it was that or getting his motorbike licence. 6 years on he now owns his own horse, and a thoroughbred mare at that!

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Nevergiveuponyourdreams · 27/03/2021 19:39

48 years old is young!! Grin I rode a little as a child then had sporadic restarts over the next 40 years and finally at 55 I started riding properly. It is the most wonderful sport/activity and it’ll be so lovely for you and your daughter to ride out together. Go for it!!

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Squirrel26 · 27/03/2021 20:21

I ride with lots of people over 48, including a lady in here 70s who started when she retired. She’s learning to jump. Grin

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Elieza · 27/03/2021 20:34

Totally go for it.

So If you are over ten stone you may want to check out what their max weight is. Some yards have bigger animals than others that just have large ponies.

No offence to anyone intended, just saying. I’m over the local limit myself. So I need to go further afield if I want to ride now I don’t have my own horses any more.

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WorriedMillie · 27/03/2021 20:45

Not too old at all, but beware that it’s a slippery slope
Friend recently bought her first pony aged 49 😍

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katmunchkin · 27/03/2021 20:53

I had my first ever sit on a horse at 33 and now at 35 I loan a horse and canter & jump. Not going to lie, I look at the youngsters and think it must be so much easier to start younger, in terms of hip flexibility & core strength, but as long as you are reasonably active you should give it a go! My riding school has a weight limit of 14 stone, and have few suitable horses.

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maxelly · 27/03/2021 22:54

Absolutely, many people start riding later in life - like many things it may be slightly easier to learn as a child but it's definitely possible to get to a very reasonable standard within 6 months - a year in your 30s and 40s, if you ride regularly, have a good teacher and work hard at it - cantering, jumping and going out on hacks very achievable goals - one small thing to note is that very few riding schools these days will let you go off hacking on your own, an instructor/guide will accompany you usually - but that's no great hardship, the horses are usually happier with horsey company and it's nice to have someone with you to chat to IMO - but if you really, really wanted to be able to go out alone you might be able to part-loan/share someone else's horse which you could hack out, once you reach a reasonable standard in your riding and know enough to do normal yard chores e.g. mucking out....

Prepare to be stiff and sore, much, much poorer than when you started and totally addicted OP, welcome to the wonderful world of horses!

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countrygirl99 · 28/03/2021 19:58

I started riding at 40. I bought my first horse at 45. I usually hack by myself and have been to TREC championships.

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HappyGirlNow · 28/03/2021 21:05

I started taking lessons age 45, I’ve just turned 48, my husband decided to learn to ride after I did and we now own three horses (one retired). We have both been learning to jump and love hacking out 😊 my husband is 55.

So you’re definitely not too old. I do think it’s definitely more challenging than learning to ride as a youngster but so worth it 💕

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Feawen · 30/03/2021 10:49

Definitely not too old! My dad got into riding in his mid 40s. He became a very capable rider and did all sorts - lessons and accompanied hacking to begin with of course, but later on he took part in jumping clinics, cross-country, sponsored rides, and went on various riding holidays. We had a horse between the three of us (mum, dad and I) who he rode, and for several years he shared a horse at the same yard so we could ride together.

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bunnygeek · 30/03/2021 13:54

Yep never too late!

Definitely get doing some yoga and/or pilates though - core strength and balance is important for horse riding and that can be a shock to the system, you'll use muscles you never knew you had ;)

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AwkwardPaws27 · 31/03/2021 16:26

My nan started lessons at 60 (her retirement present to herself) & continued until her mid-70s. She regularly went on hacks with her riding school.

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Easterbunnyishoppingmad · 31/03/2021 16:36

Well if it's good enough for Lizzy, get yourself up there op!!
Remember she is 94!!
I had lessons at 35..go on a trek every year I am 49..

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DotBall · 31/03/2021 23:22

I started lessons at 48 (after having got to just beginning canter age 29 and had to stop for all the years in between). Now have a pony on full loan and having the time of my life, long hacks, short hacks, lessons, schooling and jumping. It’s all I ever wanted as a child and now was my time! I can’t imagine a time in the next 25 years that will ever be horse-less, barring illness.

Life’s short - go for it!

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Postapocalypticcowgirl · 03/04/2021 12:40

My dad learned to ride in his 60s and can now go out on a trek- walk, trot and canter- independently. It took him a little while to get to that stage because of nerves, but before lockdown, he was doing very well!

A good riding school will have lots of horses that are able to look after nervous riders!

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Tocktickclick · 03/04/2021 15:00

Never too old! As someone who used to be a riding coach, may I suggest that you try, ideally, to be taught by someone nearer your age than a newly qualified 18 year old?

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Mysa74 · 05/04/2021 09:19

Never too old. I'd go to a few different riding schools and have a aleson at each, no matter how well the first class goes. There are a lot of different horses and teaching styles out there. After you've had a few different lessons pick the one you enjoyed most and that gave you the biggest sense of achievement. There's nothing worse than being run away with or trying to force a horse to start moving or simply keep walking while your teacher yells "legs, legs, legs" you'll be there for months and not get anywhere and the day you sit on a "normal" horse who isn't dead to the leg you'll end up in the next county, or sat on the floor looking for your confidence...
At a good riding school you should feel safe and motivated and simple things like stopping and starting should be simple not a struggle or frightening.

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Mysa74 · 05/04/2021 09:24

Oh, and adult pony camp and riding holidays exist... They're excellent fun!

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