Getting back into horses after many years!
Hello, this sounds like a great forum! So here's about me: Yes, I am one of "those" women of a certain age (48 to be exact) who finds herself bereft of horses for many years and trying to get back into regular horse life.
I've been riding since I was 5 years old and won my first (and only) horse show when I was 7. What sweet memories. I rode my Great Aunt's horses as a kid. Then as a teenager I had more lessons from a couple different riding stables for a couple of years. Then I got hired to work at a very large, fancy boarding stable in New Jersey where I learned even more about horse care (feeding, cleaning, medicating, illnesses, etc) to the point that at 16 years old, they had me train the new barn manager! (they didn't tell me who he was, just that he was starting and needed to learn the ropes and get to know all 50 or more horses in the barn). We were allowed to sign out the lesson horses that belonged to the barn and sometimes I rode friends horses as well--lots of trails out there and I spent many happy hours each week riding around the countryside. I worked at two more barns before I left for college. Then I had a year or so off from horses, until I met and became friends with a Veterinarian I worked with (I was a Vet Tech while earning money to go to college) and she had a farm and horses and hardly rode at all--so she adopted me and I rode and cared for her Arabian mare and rode a paint mare she had as well, and a couple of draft horses as well. But mostly the large Arab mare (15.2 hh) for many years. Then, I moved out of the state again and had no horses in my life for many years--while I worked as a zookeeper and then cared for a trained tigers and lions--hands on. Then, many medical problems, chronic illness and I became slowly legally blind in both eyes--one eye is just at the level of legal blindness, the other is only light and shadow. Just before I had to stop driving entirely, I made a new friend who was in a polo club and her friend had four polo horses. So I started hanging out with them and riding only a very little bit-but I became a polo groom and went to their matches and took care of the horses, grooming;/tacking/hot walking, etc. Did this for a little over a year and then had to stop driving and my friend dumped me. Some people get weird when those close to them become disabled. That was 2006. So that was the end of my horse experience until about 2 months ago. (2019). Except for dragging my fiance and then husband out to do paid trail rides at least once a year, and on our honeymoon we did a 5 hour horseback wilderness trek in Colorado. I never wanted to leave! That long ride was 10 years ago. I did care for a couple of horses for a couple of weeks--pet sitting a couple years ago. All the time, I have been pining, pining, pining to have horses back in my life and get my own horse finally! But we live in the city and I can't drive to a boarding facility. So my husband, after a vacation to TN in May where I cared for and rode a couple of horses on the property where we stayed, decided he wanted to help me get horses back in my life--he saw what they did for me. So a few months later, I finally found the perfect setup--a little Icelandic mare for partial lease. Just one day a week we go out (it's about a 45 minute drive) and he sits in the car reading and listening to his ham radio and sometimes petting the horses, while I spend several hours "doing my thing" and riding. I am also a shamanic practitioner and do some other energy healing and I am looking forward to honing my skills using some healing techniques on the horses. The owner of my lease horse is wonderful and she has two other horses at the boarding facility and she doesn't get out there much so she lets me look after them too if I want--grooming and giving them some attention. It's a great setup and I couldn't be happier. Oh, excpet now there is all this "insecurity" about being too old, too stiff, too out of shape and feeling my mortality around the horses. LOL I never worried about getting hurt around horses until now. And I still can't get my courage up to canter and gallop yet (and I used to gallop bareback!) But I'll get there with the help of this sweet little Icelandic mare.