January 2012 I thought I'd take a unique vacation and went to a Dude Ranch in Bandera, Texas for a whole week; because I'd always liked Western books and movies. I was in terrible physical shape and had no real riding experience. What was I thinking? By the end of the week I'd logged 15hrs in the saddle, could hardly walk through the airport; but had been transformed into a horse addict. When I came home to SC (and recovered) I started going to the gym and used a personal trainer, found a great Chiropractor (a must have), and began taking (English) riding lessons a month before my 50th birthday. By the end of the year I was riding 3 times a week and helping at the barn on weekends. For New Years (2013) I went back to the same Dude Ranch in TX and showed off my improvements; logging 25 hours saddle time, and just being comfortably sore at the end. This year I have been going to the barn every day and have been leasing since March, riding almost daily. My core, legs, and balance are easily as strong if not stronger than they were in my 30's, or ever. Since May I've been working with a 6yr old Saddlebred rescue "project horse" that my instructor traded for with me in mind. Aaron is a hot mess but adorable. My wonderful instructor is teaching me the basic techniques of horse training and I love it. The more I learn, the more I realize how much more there is to discover about these amazing animals...and myself. Those of you who grew up with horses and/or have had them as part of your daily lives for years are truly blessed. Never ever take the experience for granted!!