Riders Who Started "Late" - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-22-2012, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Texas
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Riders Who Started "Late"

I started riding about a year ago at the age of 20. I've loved horses all my life and was in the league of those annoying little girls who constantly asked their parents for a pony. However my single mother could not afford a pony. She couldn't even afford to put in me in lessons. It's not her fault. In fact she gave and continues to give me her all. But unfortunately, as an 11 year old I couldn't really understand that.

So I had to wait until I had my own life and income to satisfy my horse fever that never died out. And I try to do so as much as time and money allows.

I, admittedly, felt "late" and "behind" when I first began. And honestly I still feel that way at times: when someone my age brag and say they've been riding since they were 8, or when I see my riding instructor's kids bound over jumps with their 17hh Warmbloods while I'm trying to get the jog and lope down on a little ranch horse (who I've come to be very fond of due to his extreme patience!).

As time goes on I become more and more ok with this. I recently met a couple who began riding in their mid 30's. After 7 years of riding they now compete internationally in endurance rides and are quite successful.

In my short time on this board I've noticed that a majority of riders started early in life as a kid, but I've also seen a good number of people who started "late" (and I quote late because really, I don't know what others would consider late).

If you didn't start as a younger kid/teen, do share! How did you get into horses? What age?
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-22-2012, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
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I was like you in many ways - loved horses practically from birth, begged my parents for lessons. They told me horses were for rich people, and that was the end of that. I never let go of the desire to work with horses, and once I moved out on my own I pursued it. I bought my first horse in August 2011, but he was way too green and so was I. I sold him, and bought a broke gelding last November. I am a self-taught rider, guided by my best friend who was born in the saddle.

BUT...I just confirmed my appointment to begin lessons TOMORROW! HUZZAH! Finally! After 23 years, I will be doing exactly what I've dreamed of.
I do feel overwhelmed because I am at such a disadvantage coming late to the game, but... better late than never!

also, welcome to the HF!
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We drink to our youth, to the days come and gone; for the age of oppression is now nearly done.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-22-2012, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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I am amongst those who "started early," but, unlike most folks, haven't had a single lesson in my life. My start in horses was rough, with my parents buying too many horses, too fast, and not understanding the costs associated. A lot of heartbreak and struggle followed my brief stint as a horse owner for about 5 years, from founder to severe arthritis, to euthanasia of my "heart horse."

In the time since I have had to sell my own horses, I have trained many horses, strictly through my own personal learned experiences, and have been successful. I have learned a lot of humility working as a small-time independent horse person, experiencing the multitude of personalities out there (both human and horse).

It took me a long time and an insane amount of reading and learning to get where I am now, and I by no means consider myself a professional or anything of the like. I do what I can to help others through my own personal experiences, and I am always pursuing more knowledge and experience.

Tangential biography aside, if I could give you any advice, I would say learn to practice a lot of patience and humility. You will never agree with everyone, and not everyone will agree with you - the trick is to remain humble and patient when learning and sharing your experiences with others.

Welcome to the horse world; you are stuck with us for life, whether you like it or not !

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post #4 of 10 Old 04-22-2012, 07:10 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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I started at 50. I figure starting 'late' means after you are dead...
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"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-22-2012, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
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I certainly qualify as someone who started late to riding, I began taking lessons a couple months ago, shortly before my 24th birthday. I had the feeling that it was too late to begin taking lessons, since most horse people begin learning when they're in elementary school and I'm in grad school. With the encouragement of the members here however, I abandoned that idea. Now I look at it this way, I may be just learning to ride in my twenties, but I've had the love of horses my entire life just like almost every other horse person and that's what is important. I think beginning to ride as an adult things will progress more quickly as well, so I won't be totally behind forever, but I could be totally wrong on that point.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-22-2012, 07:59 PM
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Is 44 too late?
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-22-2012, 08:15 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mid Northern TN
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I started taking lessons when I was 22. Same as you, was always horse crazy, but my family couldn't afford to do anything about it. Now, some years later, I've got a good enough job where I can finally have my horse. Maybe late, but definitely worth the wait.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-22-2012, 08:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Virginia, USA
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Started taking lessons at the age of 39 in preparation for a 40th birthday trip to a dude ranch. Been riding for 3 years now!
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-22-2012, 08:49 PM
Join Date: May 2011
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I started late as well, at age 20 too. =) No previous experience of any sort, except maybe a few trail rides on dead-sided horses. And just got my first horse a few weeks ago!
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-22-2012, 08:53 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New Zealand
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I'm 19 and am looking into starting my first lessons. My dad worked as a header and trainer in the Quarter Horse racing industry for 12 years, my mom started riding as a youngster and before retiring to raise a family she had raised her heart horse from weanling to dead broke as well as trained barrel racers for a lady who boarded at their farm.
I was first led around on the back of a horse at 4 months old and always have loved horses but my parents could barely afford a horse and couldn't afford lessons, so they basically took the "throw her in the water and she'll learn to swim" approach and so I became a self taught rider around the age of 8. Once my dad lost his job due to disability the horses had to go and it wasn't until I was 16 that I finally got another horse.
I'd say I wasn't late when it came to getting into horses, but I'm 19 and can't say I know how to ride properly, hopefully I can change that though.
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