Learning to ride English at 25...
 
 

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Learning to ride English at 25...

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    04-06-2009, 03:45 AM
  #1
Yearling
Question Learning to ride English at 25...

Hey! I'm a 25 year old who's never really rode a horse and I would like to start taking lessons and progress from there. My main interest is in English riding with more of an emphasis on hunter jumping than say dressage although I completely understand I'm extremely far from either of those two.

I've always been very interested in equestrian since I was younger but never had the courage to take lessons - more so because it wasn't considered "cool" amongst my friends. A lot of my female friends growing up were competitive English riders so I'm well aware of the hard work, commitment and money that is required to undertake something like this.

When I told a friend of mine who is a dressage instructor that I would like to take riding lessons, her first questions were am I passionate and dedicated enough to devote my life to equestrian as it should not be considered a sport per say and definitely not a hobby.

The answer is yes! I'm an extremely dedicated person who doesn't give up, not afraid to get hurt and not afraid to get dirty. I run my own small business, so I know what it takes in regards to creating something out of nothing which could never have happened without a strong commitment and more importantly a strong desire to learn and succeed.

Maybe that's a horrible example, but I'm trying to convey that this isn't something I'll lose interest in if I don't progress as fast as I hoped and that I'm willing to dedicated a significant portion of my life to become a decent rider and learn everything I can about equestrian.

My friends who ride naturally think it's a great idea and are encouraging me to get lessons as soon as possible, however their opinions are biased which is why I've come to this forum in search of honest answers. I'm more or less wondering what everyone thinks? Is it realistic to believe that a 25 year old can learn this late to become a proper hunter jumper, with enough lessons, an excellent instructor and of course tons of dedication?

I look forward to reading any replies when I wake up in the morning! :)
     
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    04-06-2009, 03:14 PM
  #2
Weanling
Hi. I rode for a little while when I was younger but took a long break and didn't start back riding until I was about your age (I'm 28 now). When I stopped riding at a younger age I was just starting to do crossrails so when I came back to riding, I really did not have any H/J experience. Anyone at any can learn to ride and learn to jump. Naturally, you won't jump for a while since you are new to riding altogether. You probably won't even canter right away. I would visit a few barns that offer lessons and sit on the sidelines and obsereve a lesson or two at each place. That way you can see the instructor's teaching style. Ask questions to some of the people taking lessons. They will be a good source for information. Finding a good trainer that you are comfortable with is key.

It's a ton of fun and there is nothing like it. Good luck!
     
    04-06-2009, 03:19 PM
  #3
Weanling
Of course it is a wonderful idea to do this...you obviously want it..what would stop you?? I have been riding for 6 months. I am 25. I ride 3-5 times a week. It takes me a bit longer to get something than it does the 8 year olds, but I have more understanding of what I am doing. I think you will have a wonderful time. Just remember, this is supposed to be fun. It can just be a hobby. No one can dictate at what level you have to reach, but it is great to have goals.
     
    04-06-2009, 03:29 PM
  #4
Foal
Of course you can! I thought I was starting late at 16 You sound really dedicated! If you love horses than there could be nothing stopping you. I don't think your too old to start, not in the least. Good luck and have fun!
     
    04-07-2009, 11:42 AM
  #5
Started
Like mentioned NO you are not too old!!! If it is something that you feel will be a joy in your life you need to pursue it and enjoy it. I think horses could be a hobby for ya (thats how I look at it even though I compete at a local level)... but if you want to show and get really competitive then you need to understand that you will need to ride many days a week and go to shows to watch and see what all takes place. Run with it have have a fun and safe time!!!!!
     
    04-07-2009, 07:20 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Starting lessons at 25 is a GREAT idea! I have several adult students who are much much older then you and they are having an absolute blast! I think my oldest to start was like 63 and she was actually pretty good! It's not like figure skating where you peak out at 12 (or whatever crazy age it is...). 25 is great because you're coordinated, more or less balanced :), able to understand and follow directions, and young enough that you aren't afraid to break a hip! ;) (just kidding, for all those 'vintage' riders out there!) I would definitely take lessons if I were in your place. Have a blast doing it and take lots of pictures for us!
     
    04-08-2009, 03:07 AM
  #7
Yearling
Hey! Thanks everyone for your encouragement, it's good to know that I'm not the only one who started out later in life! Although I suppose 25 is not that late in life when you think about it. My mother would be upset if she heard me refer to 25 as "later in life", especially since she's turning 60 this month! Haha. :)

I plan on viewing the riding facilities up here in the next couple of weeks, talking to the instructors and hopefully getting a chance to watch a lesson or two. Apparently one of the barns I have in mind do not permit people to watch the lessons and that makes me a bit uncomfortable as I would like to see their teaching methods - mainly, how the instructors speak to the students. It puts me in a weird situation if that's the case because I've heard good things about the facility and instructors...

My goal is to start off with private lessons initially, then when I'm comfortable on the horse and have the very basics down, transition to semi-private lessons twice a week assuming that the instructor thinks I'm ready to be paired with others. It's obviously more expensive for private lessons, but I think having the one on one interaction to start is definitely the way to go?

For those that started riding late, were there any unique challenges that you had to face that you probably wouldn't have if you started out at a younger age? My friends are telling me that posture will likely be the biggest problem, so I'm already doing specific exercises and stretches to try and correct bad habits. Hopefully it helps! :)

*sits up straight in his chair*
     
    04-08-2009, 11:07 AM
  #8
Yearling
No way am I telling you not to start! You seem like you'll have a ton of fun with it! =]
As for staring lessons, I have been at the same barn since I was 8. Now that we're looking into buying/leasing, I realized how completely overly expensive the leasing coasts and boarding costs are, and looked back on another barn I'd been looking at.. it's 250$ cheeper for boarding and a heck of a lot less for leasing. So I'd look at that if you think one day you might want to buy a horse.
I agree that you might want to look on a lesson & decide if you like the instructors style.
I don't see a problem with age at all. I know a some 50 year old who rides and she has great posture. She started when she was in her 30s, but hey, that's older than you are by a lot ;]
Keep in mind that if you're doing lessons, depending on your barns style, you probably won't stay on the same horse all the time. Another thing to remember is that group lessons aren't bad for you unless your instructor doesn't like to take the time to individually critique you.. they teach you how to space yourself out and really control your horse so they don't fallow everyone else. I've been riding for five years & I have only ridden in 2 private lessons. They might be a bit harder to ride in, so if you're just learning, I think one-on-one might be best for you for a little while, but group lessons are fun too.
If you hear good things about the barn, keep it in mind but keep looking! If you go to a barn and you like it, I'd say it's a better choose than the one your friends say are good, ect.
     
    04-08-2009, 11:15 AM
  #9
Weanling
The problem with being a little older is you have that sense of mortality that you don't have when you are younger. Also, as adults we over think things and over analyze everything, whereas kids just do it. You tell them to keep their heels down they do. We have to know why? How far down is enough? Etc. Kids will flap around for a while and then just eventually "get it", and adults don't seem to adapt as easily.

Doing exercises and stretches is a good way to prepare.

I have to agree with you that I would not be comfortable going to a barn that would not let watch a lesson before committing to one.
     
    04-08-2009, 12:48 PM
  #10
Yearling
No your not to old! I started at 10, though there are women at my barn who have never rode a horse but love horses and have just started taking their first lessons at 45! So its not unrealistic. Just have fun with it and excell at what you feel your comfterable at!
     

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