The Horse Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've not been around this forum long but I'm already getting the sense that there are plenty of other adult "re-riders" out there. I"m actually really relieved to find out that my experience of having a loooooong break from horses post-teenhood and then returning in my thirties isn't as uncommon as I thought it would be!

A year ago - actually even 6 months ago - I had no idea that I'd be riding again at ANY time in the future, let alone regularly! Late last year my eldest daughter said that she'd like to ride a horse, so I organised a visit to her great-aunt, who has been a competitive rider for years and keeps horses. After our first visit the great-aunt said that I'd have to have a ride next time... so a couple of weeks later we visited again and I made sure to wear jeans... and I had my first ride in about 20 years! What an experience! :oops::lol: The last time I'd ridden in my teens I was confident and competent - this time I felt like a complete novice! The experience shocked me so much that I decided I needed to have a "few" more rides to get back to feeling competent again. This quickly turned into a weekly visit and coaching session/ride on the great-aunt's 18hh GP schoolmaster, which left me yearning for more. :DI've just started part-leasing a horse for the very first time and I'm well and truly hooked on horses again!

I have felt quite odd about getting back into horses and riding - good, obviously, but also a bit shy and uncertain! The "old" rider me (who was actually young! :lol ) was confident and relatively fearless... the "new" rider me is FAR more conservative... age + motherhood seems to have given me a different sense of mortality! For instance I used to really enjoy jumping but this time around dressage seems far more appealing! ;) :lol:

For all of the re-riders here, how did you end up coming back to horses and riding? And why? I'd love to hear other people's stories! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,540 Posts
I only had about 5-6 years off or so, it was a conscious decision on my part. When I went to college I intentional moved away from the horse world. In my family horses are a lifelong commitment (you get one and you KEEP it until the end unless you cannot feed the kids), so I wanted to make sure that I really wanted horses before I kept on with it.

Those irresponsible days were fun, I got a dog, played, blew a lot of money on stupid stuff in a pretty typical way. Experimented in a pretty typical way. Something was always missing though and I knew at some point I'd move back to the country and get a horse or two.

Fast forward a couple years, my boyfriend, my first love, and I had broken up. I re-met an old friend who had some horses and started riding again. We took a horseback trip out to MT and that fall I decided to move back home, buy one of my friend's horses and save up money for a bit until I could afford my own place. Things worked out a little differently, but that was seven years ago and other than a long year off due to a stifle injury I've been riding ever since.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
I'm much like you. Rode a lot (read no less than three hours a day) in my teens and into my twenties. Then dropped out of the horse world. Work, kids, dating, college, work, travel, travel, travel, travel...marriage. I stopped traveling, sold the trailer, moved to PA with my new husband, and started riding again. My old self was almost fearless on a horse. Get on, go. Fall off, break arm? Pfft....get on again and ride until the pain is too great. Then ride in a cast. This new rider me is cautious and very aware of how much hurt can come of horses. I'm less excited by speed and behavioral challenges and more interested in horsemanship. I'm moving from barrel racing to western dressage and endurance, although I'm so familiar and comfortable with building a barrel horse, it might always play a role in my life.

right now, I'm just looking for a new lease. I may have found one, but her ground manners are atrocious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I had about eight years off, and while it was easier for me to forget how much I loved it as I transitioned from teen to adult, all it took was one taste for me to be back and as rabidly into it as I ever was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
Because they made me ultimiately happier than anything or anyone could make me.

I "got out" of horses for about three years. I lost a horse that was the world to me prematurely to a freak accident, and then a few months later I ended up underneath a green horse who reared and flipped on me. Putting me in the hospital with a broken knee and crushed weight-bearing bone. I was already struggling with horses after losing my mare and it got progressively worse. The first horse I purchased after losing her was a nice mare, great potential, ended up bucking/crow-hopping every time I rode her at the canter. Osteoarthritis in her hocks at 9. I "gave her away" to a wonderful family after I couldn't sell her. I ended up with a 9ish year old Jet Black Reining gelding. Flipping amazing horse, but we didn't click. I think I tried to force myself back into the horses and it was just exacerbating my problem.

I sold him and stopped looking. The horses came to a standstill. I had my gaming gelding who couldn't be used for anything but gaming (for me at least) and I had no drive or desire with the horses. I was moody, emotional, and generally felt like I hated life (not that extreme) but I needed the horses back in my life. I started to find what direction I wanted, and went looking for that next horse.

I got Fiona almost two years ago and she is like a big "Cammy" (the mare I lost). She has ultimiately changed my life, she's become my world, taught me patience, and has been a great partner... Despite her obsessive compulsive way about spooking :p
 
  • Like
Reactions: Thunderspark

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I'm an idiot and hit 'post' too quickly. I meant to add:

I had to get out because I was a non-licensed teenager living in a suburban area while my horse was 70 odd miles away, my parents were divorcing, and my mother then was working about 80 hours a week to keep us afloat. Asking her on a Friday evening after a LONG week's work to drive three hours round trip and come get me again on Sunday wasn't something I was willing to do. So I sold my gelding (though I do harbor a deep, secret desire to find him again) and other than a sensitivity to anything I *heard* about horses (ie. "Oh, you own horses? I automatically like you." or getting excited for the Kentucky Derby, or deliberately walking down the horse aisles at fleet farm even when I didn't have horses to buy for.) I didn't 'suffer' and I didn't realize how much I missed it until it hit me in the face.

A friend that I was "re-connecting" with had somehow gotten into horses and we went riding together once. That's all it took. I had the bug again.

And let me tell you, owning a horse as an adult is so much more satisfying for me as an adult. I can do what I want, when I want. *I* choose the vet, the farrier, the tack, where I'm going to ride. If I have an issue with the BO, I always have the option to move. I can afford Stella without needed to live on Ramen for six months and scrap and save babysitting money. It's pretty liberating.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
In your boat (minus the motherhood).. The one thing i can't figure out is, I was pretty fearless in my teens... but I don't think I learned much! I rode all the time (leased over the summer vacations) and took weekly lessons. but other than heels down and what two point was, I honestly don't remember what else I learned. And I saw a video of myself and my equitation was horrible :) and yet i jumped and ran around and fell off and got back on and no big deal.

now I'm actually learning to ride. I swear I never heard the term "half halt" before. or sliding your leg back for the canter? what? and perhaps if I knew to circle that bolting horse i leased back in 1992 or a one reign stop i wouldn't have fallen off him a zillion times. or maybe if i knew gripping w/ your knees was a thing - he wouldn't have bolted in the first place! What's a bend? what's lateral work? it shocks me how night and day my second run at this is.

my mom always said if you want a horse, you could get a horse for free.. but now i realize there are so many types of horses! green horses, young horses... and yes maybe you CAN get a horse for free.. but MAYBE it's worth it to spend a little to get a good horse instead of the one they're trying to give away who has a couple of "small" issues.

Anyway. I think it's normal for us to leave and return. it takes a lot of time and money... and when you first go out in the world w/o parental support - usually one or both of those is lacking! I can't explain what drew me back. I literally just woke up one day and said "I'm going to the stable." and like you I started with "can i take a lesson every other week?" to "spending 120% of my discretionary spending budget on a half lease? where do I sign up!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
558 Posts
I was a typical horse crazy kid that was lucky enough to have parents that supported my addiction
I showed jumpers and was totally fearless. When I got married, circumstances changed, and I had to sell my horse and quit riding. It hurt for a long time, but raising kids and showing and training dogs gradually eased the ache. Inever thought i'd have another horse. Then my daughter bought a small horse farm, and when I walked into the deserted barn, it was like a light went on, and I knew I had to have another horse. Like several of the others, my wants and needs had changed. Jumping no longer held the fascination that it used to, and calm, well behaved horses were much more appealling. I bought a sweet two year old filly who has been an absolute dream, and my husband just purchased a gelding so we can trail ride together. Most of the other re-riders were away from horses a few years. When I bought my filly, it had been FORTY years since i'd stopped riding
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,863 Posts
I only had a few years off. I stopped when I was 16, partly because I was interested in boys, partly because I moved away from home and couldn't afford a horse of my own. After a couple of years I just missed it. It wasn't just the riding, it was going out there everyday, getting out of the daily grind.

So I just bought a horse and then more and sold some and now I have my boy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
398 Posts
I have taken a 7 year hiatus. I rode non stop from the time I was 5 til 18, and only stopped because my horse went into retirement. My dad was very involved with me and the horses, his health deteriorated and he passed December 2012 three months before my life long horse did. My mom took care of everything in the later years, I couldn't afford a horse on my own and I could hardly ask her to pay for another one. It's been hurting me immensely not being able to ride over the years, I've always dreamed... it broke my heart to the point I'd avoid anything horse related simply because it upset me so much. Now that I'm a little older and self sufficient, I finally brought another horse home and I am so excited. I feel like myself again. I could've found other peoples horses to ride over the years but its not the same as ownership.

No kids, no husband, just a spoiled dog and a parrot. Now a horse!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
I agree, owning horses when youre an adult is a gas...when you're a kid you have to make promises and work so hard to ride horses, and there are always strings attached. When you're an adult you can decide you're doing it and that's that. Gotta love that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,052 Posts
As a kid I was horse crazy, when I was 11 or 12 my parents bought an acreage and the following year I got my own horse! I also had a older sister who wanted a horse but she didn't have the passion I did.......when I was 17 my sister sold her horse and my Dad figured I would loose interest too and sold mine.......I never rode with my sister but always by myself so I don't know how he figured I would......

Then life took over, kids, marriage and after over 35 yrs. later I finally got my first horse again! by this time it had been so long since I had a horse I wasn't sure how to handle things, I didn't have anyone to ride with........I was 43 yrs. old, never had a lesson in my life, rode bareback when I was kid, had no idea about saddles......here I had a 2 yr. appy gelding, which I had since he was a little guy and I bought a 3 yr. roan mare with 30 days of riding LOL WTH was I thinking!! Spice bolted twice with my oldest daughter and that was the end of her riding! So here I was with a horse that was scared of everything! I spent many times crying, wondering what I had gotten myself into, spent many hours with Spice grooming her and talking to her. I rode her for 3 yrs. with a bareback pad (I couldn't lift a saddle up on her)/halter, I spent many hours in the round pen, working with her.....gaining her trust and me gaining her trust, I wanted to make sure I had a whoa when I needed it LOL She spun many times when deer jumped out in front of her but she always stopped for me, I never once fell off.
Then I get a saddle, one I can get on her because everyone said it was safer LOL funny but I never once fell off with the bareback pad but have now fallen 3 times in the past two years!
Spice is now 12 yrs. old, she is my best riding partner I could ever want! We have ridden so much with friends I have met over the years now. Last year her and I put on 350 miles trail riding, I'm going to break that this year.......so far this year I've already gotten 114 miles!
Spice has a 5 yr. old son, which I did all the ground work with and a good friend of mine helped start him under saddle, he's going to be as good as his Mom......I couldn't imagine my life without horses in it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
I got back into horses a year ago after nearly thirty years off....

As a youngster I rode lots, my spare time was horses. Started with lessons, schoolmaster pony, graduated to a great mare who loved the action. We did jumping; cross-country and hunting together and had loads of fun. I rode other horses at the barn, learnt lots and got reasonably competent.

Then I left home to go to college, we sold the mare, and that was the end of the horses in my life for a LONG time. I studied, travelled, worked, and finally put down my roots in Spain ... marriage, kids, setting up a dairy-goat farm ..... never any time or spare cash for horses.

Then last spring my DH and I started looking at horse adverts and suddenly we were serious about getting a horse. #1 was a pretty Arab mare, in-foal, quiet and perfect for long-time non-riders like us. But she was chronically lame, the seller fixed her up and we innocently bought her without a PPE. She was still a great horse, although virtually unrideable. I learnt tons about barefoot hoofcare in an attempt to improve her lameness, but although I fixed her awful feet I couldn't fix her ringbone. She foaled a mule, and I found someone who wanted a pasture-sound mare for breeding, so I exchanged her for #3...

We bought #2 to keep the Arab mare company. A 3yo unbroke filly, wild in the hands of her previous owner who was rather afraid of her. We must have been off our heads!! But she was so thin and scrawny, long unkempt mane and tail, kind eyes... A month after bringing her home she was filling out nicely, following us round in the yard like a puppy, and started under saddle. A month later we were trail-riding together. I can't believe how lucky we were with her.

#3 is a 14hh Gallega mare for my boys to ride. I'd love to get them hooked on horses too!

The moral of all this is that once you get back into horses, having only one horse seems like not quite enough!
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Bondre do you think your boys will get hooked? I don't know whether to hope for or dread my girls getting bitten by the horse bug!!
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,270 Posts
I suspect they're immune to the bug. They like two wheels way more than four legs. Cross-bikes are no doubt exciting - but so is galloping across country. And motorbikes offer none of the peace and relaxation you can enjoy with a horse. But boys will be boys. If your kids are girls, Shui Long, I reckon they have more of a chance of getting the bug!
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,209 Posts
I was such a horse-crazy kid, I completed a 4 year Bachelor of Science Degree in Equine Science & Training. After less than two years working on a fantastic reining breeding and training ranch after graduation, I gave it all up for "love" with a city slicker and changed myself entirely to acclimate to a glamorous, horseless, city life. Needless to say, that "love" ended several years later and I was lost, but far too in debt from keeping-up-with-the-Joneses to rejoin the horse world's less-than-stellar pay scale.

11 years later, with some money in the bank and a new relationship with another city slicker, I started partial leasing a horse. I became "me" again and I bought my current horse just over 1 year ago. I will do everything in my power to keep horses in my life moving forward; it's a part of me that can't be ignored.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
I started riding again when I finally had a lot of extra income and a car. It was the main reason I bought a car, actually - I live in the city and don't really need one for anything else. Like you, I got on the first time and felt like "this is not how it used to feel!" It took some time to get confident again, but it did happen. Going back to horses was one of the best things I ever did. Within a year of taking it back up I bought my first horse and he's the best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I had surgery almost 2 years ago and while I was recovering I watched a lot of Heartland (Canadian show about a 'horse whisperer' for lack of a more concise term). I realised how much I missed riding (even though I didn't do it a whole lot when I was younger) and decided it's time to start again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Bondre, I think you're right about girls vs boys and the horse bug! One of my girls is completely taken with the idea of horses, the other one seems to take them or leave them. We'll see how it pans out. :)

Cynical25 my husband is wondering if a partial lease is a "gateway drug" to horse ownership... I'm guessing that it was for you! :lol:

Plomme it's a bit a shock when things don't feel the same way, isn't it! I'm still regaining my confidence, but it's slowly happening. My part lease horse chucked a wobbly yesterday after a botched canter aid on my part, and I managed to stay seated - very chuffed with that! :)

horsegrlwpg that sounds like a great show! I wish we got it here in Aus.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top