I started at 42 and now 9 years later, I can say self-taught.
My equestrian facility consists of about 30,000 acres of state park & private land.
My present horse is very forward with an all day let's go button.
I reckon I don't ride pretty but I can say we're a great team.
Had a trainer evaluate my wife's horse once, not impressed.
I think he just wanted to suck money out of another client.
Yeah, I watched him go around in circles, he wasn't getting very far though.
Trainer wouldn't be there to help with swimming in the river,
or dealing with the train @ the crossings, or sliding down steep hills,
or disturbing the ground bees, or bushwhacking where the trail ends,
or the motorcycles at the burn out pit with the loud music @ the pub,
or riding under the highway over-passes, or the dozens of deer encountered daily,
or the forty other riders in your group, or the nesting waterfowl by the river,
or the kayaks and people in inner-tubes, or the pedestrians hiking with
ski-poles they tend to wave around when you ride by, and all the little
children that run up when you travel near a camp ground.
"Mommy look at the horses, can we go see them?"
Let's not forget the driver with the cell phone when your're crossing the road
and he skids to a stop.
Sometimes lots of miles and been there done that brings'em around.
I'm just sayin.
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