Old and first time on a horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-24-2016, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Old and first time on a horse

Hello all,

I am an import from Europe and horseback riding is not very common at all.
I moved to the states about 10 years when I was 40 years old. Last weekend I have been horseback riding for almost two hours for the first time in my life.
I cannot explain it, but I immediately felt in love with it and I cannot stop thinking about to go again. People told me you get sore in your legs etc after the first time, but I am a weight lifter for almost 20 years and I felt nothing.
The "rental" horse I had was big and bulky like me and I loved him.

I am thinking of selling my house and getting 2 acres land, built a house on it and get a horse, but I have no clue about horses.

As for me there is nothing more relaxing than horseback riding. My friends do not understand this, but I do not care.

I had to get this off of my chest. Thank you for reading.
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post #2 of 21 Old 03-24-2016, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MAD King View Post
Hello all,

I am an import from Europe and horseback riding is not very common at all.
I moved to the states about 10 years when I was 40 years old. Last weekend I have been horseback riding for almost two hours for the first time in my life.
I cannot explain it, but I immediately felt in love with it and I cannot stop thinking about to go again. People told me you get sore in your legs etc after the first time, but I am a weight lifter for almost 20 years and I felt nothing.
The "rental" horse I had was big and bulky like me and I loved him.

I am thinking of selling my house and getting 2 acres land, built a house on it and get a horse, but I have no clue about horses.

As for me there is nothing more relaxing than horseback riding. My friends do not understand this, but I do not care.

I had to get this off of my chest. Thank you for reading.
You've been bitten by the horse bug! Welcome to the club.

However, I would say that rather than selling everything and building a ranch, you might want to start with taking lessons. Preferably some that involve horsemanship. There is soooo much to learn before you can even start to think about owning a horse. It's doable, don't get me wrong, but I'd advise you to take baby steps for now. Find yourself a local stable that will let you take lessons with a knowledgeable person. Spend lots of time learning what it means to care for a horse. It's an expensive passion, and horses require a lot of care and preferably, a knowledgeable horse- owner.

Good luck and tell us how this evolves!
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post #3 of 21 Old 03-24-2016, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you.

I live in TN and I do not know any reliable and knowledgeable stable. I also have not idea how much a horse cost per to maintain. When I was saying I might consider to buy a bigger land, I did not mean right away. Maybe in the next years.
I have already a high maintenance pet which is my rescue GSD and I love her to death.
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post #4 of 21 Old 03-24-2016, 06:36 PM
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I imagine you would be able to track down a lesson barn in your area (I'm in Canada, so not much help). Think of lessons as a way to learn about riding, but also about horsekeeping. I have two dogs (in fact, have had dogs all my life, also, four horses and countless other animals). Trust me, even the hardest ones to manage don't even come close to being as demanding as a horse. However, horses don't live in your house, so there's that :) But the fact that you felt that instant connection means you should definitely pursue this! Maybe you can just spend some time at a stable, even volunteering to help with chores so you can see what it's all about.

It is a lot of work and a huge commitment, but the horse people you will meet in here will all tell you they would never even think of life without their horse - much like you couldn't imagine yours without your GSD. What you give to them, they give back to you tenfold.
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post #5 of 21 Old 03-24-2016, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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That is a very good idea with volunteering. Probably consider this if I can find a place who takes an old fart like me.
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post #6 of 21 Old 03-24-2016, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MAD King View Post
That is a very good idea with volunteering. Probably consider this if I can find a place who takes an old fart like me.
Hehehe... I don't know any stables that turn people away for any reason.

My daughter and I got into the good graces of our neighbors by mucking out their stalls every Sunday for a winter. I just phoned them up one day and asked if we could do it. They were thrilled! Now, my horse is boarded there and they treat him like family.

Just reach out... and you might be surprised at the doors that open as a result.
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-24-2016, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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I am searching right now for stables close to me
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-24-2016, 07:03 PM
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Welcome, bravo. You have a whole new world ahead of you.

I second the advice to find a barn that gives lessons, and spend extra time there to watch and listen. If they don't immediately encourage you to help out just keep watching and asking questions and making a polite nuisance of yourself until they take you seriously. Especially if they are younger they may feel like they are rude giving an older person barn jobs! If you are a good talker you will 'break the ice' much quicker.

And we love photos here. . .

best wishes

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post #9 of 21 Old 03-24-2016, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you
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post #10 of 21 Old 03-24-2016, 07:39 PM
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You've probably done this more than I; but one tip I have with voluntary is to make sure you get some clear goals and exchanges in place when you sign up. It's very easy to be a worker and do the menial tasks and be left to them, but to end up not getting the teaching/experiences nor development that is, in a sense, your payment for your work.

So it can help to have formal agreement with known reward points; things like an agreed period of time each week when they will teach you. You will certainly pick things up as you go, but without any formal pause to actually focus on it you can find that you will learn very slowly and in a haphazard way; with a formal moment regularly spaced you allow yourself and them a chance to get some proper grounding in things. It also gives you a formal time to ask questions, get feedback and practice on some things that might be important but which don't factor into your regular voluntary duties.


IT also helps with your moral too because you can see the "reward" point regularly and you can also see yourself learning and improving.


Going at it without any formal agreement can end up with you feeling frustrated or lacking confidence; it can also mean that you learn bits of skills without a complete picture; so you end up able to do half a job but not the other half etc....


Note this can happen even at teaching sites where the staff are more aware of training in general because you're the "worker" not the student; unless you get that formal agreement to be a student for a few moments each week.


But it really depends; you might find yourself on a site where its you and one other person most of the day and you're getting 1-to-1 teaching all the time you're there.
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