When I saw the original poster's age, I just had to laugh. 26? Bless your heart! You go girl!!
I'm almost 58. I rode grew up riding western (4-H, Texas Youth Rodeo) then in high school switched to hunter jumpers and continued in combined training until about 20 years ago. I rode at modest novice levels, nothing really wild or crazy. 20 years ago I went through a very traumatic divorce and with 2 small kids (twins) had to give up riding. It was like losing my heart.
Now, I'd love to get back in and barrel racing is one of the things I'd love to do, but I also wondered if I was too old at this point. Obviously I couldn't compete at the professional or even super amateur levels, but surely there's a place for a (still) horse crazy old lady to ride and compete at some level?
I have a good foundation in riding, even if it is rusty after so long away. I'd love to have some feedback from y'all and while I'm at it, what a great site! I'm glad I stumbled across it!