A friend of mine at 60 watched some John Wayne movies and decided to take up riding. He bought a horse that was well-trained but had a lot of Thoroughbred blood and was excitable. He kept saying that he wanted to ride, but at his age he was not willing to fall off.
All the ladies at the stable kept telling him that if he rode he was taking the risk that he would fall off. He said, "I just can't do it. It will be the end of me." We said, "Well then you just can't ride."
He kept riding and got himself hooked. After four or five months, a few of us were all out on a trail ride when our friend tried to slow his horse as the trail narrowed, but his horse was a bit excited and pushed ahead, causing the man to lose his balance and come off.
We could see that he was down but breathing and moving, but the trail was too narrow for us to go back and assist. After informing him of this, our friend managed to himself up, cussing and yelling, and found himself bruised and unbroken and able to get back on his horse.
That was several years ago, and he is still hooked and riding. He's come off a couple more times, but thankfully has not been seriously injured. My impression is that once he came off the horse and survived, he decided it was worth the risk to be doing what he loved.