For late has getting a horse changed your life? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 03-18-2012, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Question For late has getting a horse changed your life?

Late riders = people who discovered riding as adults and they already had a career, family etc...

changed your life = I mean in terms of time and priorities.

For example did you have to give up some of your social life, stopped seeing some friends, even change jobs in order to have more time with your horse? Even daily schedules, did you have to start waking up super early and sleeping even later? I am just curious because I have read in other posts where some horse owners, when giving advice to horse owner-wannabes, say that's it's a huge commitment and they had to give up so many things. I would like to hear more about that please. I've even read some posts where people gave up their horses because it turned out to be too much for them. Is that really true?

Also some people on posts said that some get tired of riding "after a couple of years" and give up. After spending so much money on lessons etc...

Please elaborate and share your stories and experiences.

ps. my instructor is 59 years old and after running two equestrian centers she's going to college to get a degree in physical therapy. So I guess she's tired of horses. I don't know her well enough to ask why.
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post #2 of 40 Old 03-18-2012, 02:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Well, i just got my first horse about 2 weeks ago, and it has been quite a life altering change, for the better.
Yes, she takes up a substantial amount of time, which i now have to divide between my 5 passions-my wonderful woman, my dogs, archery and hunting, work, and my horse, and not necessarily in that order.
I take a half hour after work a couple days a week to shoot in the warehouse, so i stay sharp on the range.
I spend as much time as i can with my woman and dogs in the evenings and sundays, as it's our only day off together.
My other two days off are maintaining the house, fixing stuff, and working with my horse.
It stinks that we have to board about 15 mins away, but at least i have a horse to play with.
We're working on getting our own place with room for everyone (all 3 of our horses, 3 dogs, and the two of us).
It's a major responsibility, but well worth the endeavor.
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post #3 of 40 Old 03-18-2012, 02:38 AM
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I started riding at 43 and bit by bit it has become a obsession I've never had so much social time, with people since this has started either. I let a few friends and family board at my place as well and pretty much everyday I have someone to gab with and it's usually about horses I told my husband just yesterday that I haven't had this much fun in my life since my twenties. The downsize is my back hallway is always messy, my coat rack has become a bridle/leadrope hanger, my laundry is always backedup, and its very hard to get me to go and socialize somewhere else when all I want to do is enjoy myself at home It's kind of expensive but that is probably my own fault, I've got to say no to going to tack areas in the store lol My husband just built me the most awesome roundpen, and sometimes I'm so tired I don't pay enough attention to him, I apologize all the time he just says if it makes you happy that's all that matters. I feel like for all my life I've searched for something elusive that I just couldn't put a finger on, not anymore I feel very contented.
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post #4 of 40 Old 03-18-2012, 02:52 AM
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Oh goodness I thought you meant "late"as in "dead"...worried me for a second riders speaking from beyond the grave!

Equestrianism; 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain and 100% reason to remember you're absolutely insane to be riding a beast that big.
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post #5 of 40 Old 03-18-2012, 04:29 AM
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Well, for me it means that I am never satisfied. I mean, I have some great days , where I come home tired and feeling satisfied. But what I mean by not satisfied is that the need to ride cannot be satisfied enough. I started out thrilled to be able to ride once or rarely twice a week. Then twice was "de riguer", now I feel the need to ride three times a week, and if not I feel like I am falling backward.

I think because I am older, I feel the drag of gravity on my physical body and if I dont' work constantly to keep from losing some meagar amount of physical condition that I have, I get worried about falling behind.

I also think about riding, things that I have learned from others, things I read or saw on the internet, clinics, things I want to try myself, things I did wrong and wonder how not to repeat. my mind is on these things all the time, such that I am pretty distracted.

But, I love horses, and that I have finally been able to live out that lifelong passion, in whatever limited way I do, is something I wouldnt' trade for the world.
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post #6 of 40 Old 03-18-2012, 06:31 AM
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I read "late" as what happens when I'm at the barn and seem incapable of getting anywhere afterwards remotely on time. My friends and family refer to this as "horse time."

Carry on.
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post #7 of 40 Old 03-18-2012, 07:31 AM
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I've never been a social butterfly and have found "horse chores" the greatest excuse to leave a function I didn't particularly want to attend. The gal who's heading for university likely hasn't given up her love of horses, just the size of the facilities, the drama and lack of privacy. I had a few boarders for a few years and altho they were great gals, I've enjoyed not having them too.
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post #8 of 40 Old 03-18-2012, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2012
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The replies have been very interesting to read! Chandra1313, your life sounds wonderful. I am so glad your husband is supportive and you have someone to talk to about horses everyday. Azwantapaint, I like how you divide your week. Tinyliny, you struck a chord when you said "I also think about riding, things that I have learned from others, things I read or saw on the internet, clinics, things I want to try myself, things I did wrong and wonder how not to repeat. My mind is on these things all the time, such that I am pretty distracted." I swear that's starting to happen to me to lol. I feel the more I learn the more I realize how ignorant I am, so I am even more eager to read and learn more. And every minute that I have off I am constantly visualizing and imagining my next lesson. It IS distracting.
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post #9 of 40 Old 03-18-2012, 12:23 PM
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I have found quickly that balance is crucial with my insane schedule.
Thankfully, i only work 4 days a week, but those days are 10-12 hrs long, and i am constantly in motion, running my shop.
It brings other obligations with it, too. Being that i am a Pro Staff shooter for 4 companies, i have an obligation to them to rep their wares at area competitions by competing. That takes an obnoxious amount of time for practice, as i have to drive 20 minutes to get to the big range where i can practice out to 100 yards. Often, at the Pro level, there are targets out to 110, with bullseyes the size of a silver dollar. Try hitting THAT with a 15mph crosswind!
Thankfully, my girl is also a horse fanatic, so I am able to blend my horse time in with hers, making it a joint adventure.
The pups are awesome, and very patient with us. They're content to get a half hour of individual play time a day, sleep in the bed under the covers to stay warm at night, but we're working on the "dad, we gotta pee" dancing on my face at 3am. Meh, at least they tell me when they hafta potty, right?
We're shopping for a house that will enable us to have our whole entourage in one place, good access to the BLM/State/Fed forests that are all over the place, so we can take time each evening to run the horses in the round pen, and NOT burn $30 in diesel to go do it.
So, yes, balance is critical, as is good communication between my girl and i.
We keep the home fires burning, preserving a strong relationship, to facilitate all the other things we want to do in life. Thankfully, we have many areas where they overlap - dogs, horses, and archery.
And, I'm taking her on her first pig hunt next weekend! Baptism by fire for bowhunting!
I can't wait to make up some more summer sausage from her first piggy! i'm hungry!

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post #10 of 40 Old 03-18-2012, 10:36 PM
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I took a strange path to my horse riding obsession. I took lessons as a child, and again in college, but my primary love was tennis. I played since I was 3, many coaches, traveling across the country, college and then became a teaching pro while still competing. My husband coached college football, so our lives really seemed to fit. We were very sports oriented and physically active, even when I was pregnant with both of our kids, it was always go go go. The down side of that is sooner or later, you are going to get an injury, and boy did that happen in spades! Just last year I had my 3rd and 4th surgeries on my knees, it was an extensive surgery on both knees at the same time, I was bedridden for3. Weeks and on crutches for 8 more. Needless to say, I couldn't play tennis to the level I had in the past, so I essentially walked away from my life as I knew it.........then I found Vin and everything started to turn around. Turns out that my knees can handle the angle they are in when I am in the saddle with minimal discomfort, so riding became my new love, but I'd be happy just grooming him every day and teaching him new things.

My schedule has changed drastically, I go out to the boarding stable every day, sometimes before school (I am now an elementary PE teacher and I adore my students) and always after school, every weekend. My youngest boy just started riding lessons, and my oldest wants to start a horse manure business, so they are usually with me. My kids are still involved in all of their spors activities, and I never miss their games, but my husband has taken over their practice schedules, and I help when he needs me.its good bonding time for the guys, since I am with the boys most of the time. At times it is a struggle, but we make it work. We have had dinner at the barn, done homework sitting in an empty stall,breakfast too! my boys go to the school where I teach, and there are days we have shown up just in the nick of time with our barn boots on and tennis shoes in hand. I wouldn't trade this experience for the world,my kids are loving it and they get all the exercise and fresh air they can handle. We do eat out a lot more, so I've got to work on that! So far, I don't even miss strange, I thought I would.
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