Originally Posted by Reiningcatsanddogs View Post
... life took me in directions that made it not such a good decision to own a horse until I was about thirty five.
If you are honest with yourself, you will know when the time is right to own.
As to getting back into riding....get yourself into good physical shape (riding uses muscles you might not have used in a long time) and mentally prepare yourself for successes and failures. Be prepared to accept both as part of the learning process.
Keep an open mind to new experiences, don't put too many hard and fast expectations on yourself while, at the same time still keeping short term goals in mind (the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time) and always work to stay positive. Picking the right instructor, barn and horses will go a long way in aiding that.
This is all so true! I promised myself I would not get a horse until I (a) had enough land to care for a horse properly or (b) enough money to afford board at a facility. After two [ex]husbands, several moves zig-zagging the country, acquiring two more degrees, and a child later I was able to buy a horse. It took 30 years. I wouldn't change a thing.
That part in bold above: truer words were never spoken. Despite 24 years of ballet, I'm not spring chicken. I was frustrated when I started riding again, but have become more patient. I took a tumble a month or so ago and am still suffering. I know for sure the suffering would have been less if I were in better shape. Ironically, I had already started stretching and strength training, but it was not enough to keep me on a horse when she zigged and I zagged.
Take your time with it all. I rode at a number of stables with a number of instructors, and on all kinds of horses. It helped quite a bit when considering riding/boarding/horse options.
As for riding well, remember to keep your heels down, keep your hands low when holding the reins- don't hold them too short or too tightly. let your body flow with the motion of the horse, even at the walk and remember to breathe!
Great list. I'll add communicate with your instructor to the list. That said, breathing was the most difficult thing for me to remember when all the other things on the list were going strong.
Enjoy every moment of your horsemanship journey, no matter the stage.