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Hi everyone!

I am new to the forum so I do hope this thread in the correct place. I am getting back into riding after a 3.5 year break and I was curious to hear other people's experiences with getting back into the horse and riding world after taking a break...I am looking to purchase a horse in the near future and I just feel like I don't even know what to look for anymore because I was not a beginner before, but now I feel so rusty...Did you start right where you left off? If you were competing before, were you then riding at the same level after your break? Were you riding beginner friendly horses as you got back into it?

In the last few years, I have maybe rode less than five times and only on trails for fun. Before that, I had been riding for around eleven years. I started off taking lessons at a dressage barn doing small schooling shows here and there, dabbled in Hunters some and eventually found my "home" at an eventing barn that I loved. I worked, took lessons, and showed with that barn, but kept my horse (a 4 yo very green Paint mare, my project pony, really) at home on our farm. The facility I was at eventually sold, the instructors moved out of the area for other jobs and all of my "horsey" friends either quit all together or are scattered around the state now at other barns. I sold my horse before I left for college because I couldn't devote the time I knew she needed. With that being said, I don't really have a horse community around me and feel lost.

My family rides as well, but they ride Western and really leisure and trails for fun. I don't plan to take refresher lessons or compete as I am just older, typical 9 - 5 job, etc...So after a lot of thinking about my options I think I would like to buy another horse to keep at home, and make my way back into it. I just don't know where to start because I truly feel like a beginner again. I was working with green horses before and always loved a project, but I feel like with being out of the saddle so long I have just lost my confidence, honestly. I've been looking at "beginner safe" horses but the search just feels strange, because before I quit riding I was certainly not considered a beginner? Just looking to see if anyone out there also had this weird feeling of not knowing where you stand or where to start.
 

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My journal on here is all about having started riding after... wait for it... a 16 year break.

You probably won't have the same setbacks that I did after that much time, but I'm sure you'll notice things not feeling like they used to!!

I would, based on my experience, rethink your stance on skipping lessons. Taking them for at least a few months to get your seat back will be extremely, extremely helpful in getting you ready to find the right horse for you. It would also help you network a bit with the current equestrian community in your area. I didn't think I would need lessons again either, but boy, was I wrong, and I'm so glad I went that route!
 

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That short of a break, and you being young, should mean almost nothing to you coming back to your former level in a very short time. Just a month, tops, and you'll be back to where you were before, IMO.


I couldn't say what sort of riding you should do, but having a community around, to ride with, learn from, hang with, is pretty important.



Hope all goes well!
 

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I think you should take some lessons so that you know what your current abilities really are. You want to have a realistic understanding of what you need before you go looking to buy a horse, IMO. It's also possible that an instructor could help you find a horse suitable for you.
 
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