To Ride Your Horse or not, Am I too Old to ride horses?

The anxiety and fear are gripping.  The sweaty palms, the shortness of breath, the butterflies (or worse) in the tummy.  Those feelings that come up when thinking about riding your horse, they feel insurmountable.  They suck the joy right out of riding.


So how do you know if you should enjoy your horses and not focus on riding them anymore?  I hear the question so often, "I am not sure I want to ride any more".  


First of all, this comes with so much stigma.  What will others think?  This is an easy one for me but not easy for everyone.  I learned a long time ago that my horse and my relationship with my horse must always come first.  There were so many times, I would hear what others said, and do what they said even though it didn't feel right to me.  It took almost wrecking one of my horses to snap me out of caring what others think (which I talk about in my video blog if you want to know more).  I now, take what others say, say thank you, and then see how it feels for me and either try it or not, based on my horse and myself.  Where horses are concerned, this is so important, others don't know your horse like you do.


Secondly, there is so much that goes into the relationship with your horse.  To put it mildly, your horse doesn't really have being ridden as a priority.  Their priorities are food, shelter, water, and surviving.  The riding, if they enjoy it, is a bonus.  I have one horse that clearly does not want to be ridden, at least at this point in her life.  I will honor that until she lets me know she wants to be ridden.  We can have an amazing partnership with our horses and never again get on their back.  I personally LOVE trail hiking with my one that does not want to be ridden and she loves it too!  You can find things that fill you and your horse up without riding.


Thirdly, and probably the hardest part in this decision is the cost of owning a horse.  We rationalize the cost with the joy of riding and/or competing.  This is a hard one for some people (and usually spouses or significant others) to understand.  How can you spend that much and not ride?  This is so very personal for each person.  I know for me; I made the decision to ride.  Not for financial reasons but for the joy of partnering with the horse as one, like a kid sitting on the shoulders of dad.  The balance, the dance, the oneness is important to me. So, I have two horses that love to be ridden.  And I just dance on the ground with the one that doesn't want to ride.


These are just three of the big things, for me, in the decision to ride or not to ride.  The most important thing is you and your horses being happy and healthy and how that happens is a creation you two get to make together.  If you would like to ride again and are not sure where to start, I created a self-paced virtual clinic that follows my process to riding again and you can get more details here if interested. Rise From Fear to Courage Virtual Clinic


Leave a Comment