Why do I do it, any suggestions?

I am wondering if anyone out there is in the same situation as I am. I am new to this blog ( and not to be confused with black eye Beth, the administrator). The network seems to be friendly and supportive, so here goes….

I have had my horses in training facilities an hour and a half away from my home since 1999, so for the last ten years with a few breaks I have driven to ride as much as I can. Unfortunately life interferes, job, elderly parents etc. every year I think this is the last, and yet I can’t seem to give it up.

I know alot of people with horses away at trainers have horses at home to ride, I do not.  I also ride saddleseat which becomes more of a challenge now that I am the ripe old age of 44!

Fortunately I have a wonderful, supportive trainer whom I will never leave. I know there are other people who do this, how do they manage? Any exercise or training tips (for me) to suggest?


12 Responses to Why do I do it, any suggestions?

  1. Black Eye Beth says:

    Hi Beth, its Beth (blackeye, that is). I am 42 this year and feel your pain figuratively and literally! I had the same situation for several years. To help me out in riding the horse I was showing once a week, I took lessons at a local barn. Do you have any saddle seat instructors in the area? It really helped me a lot to ride various horses (the good, the bad and the OLD) and I progressed much more quickly.

    Good Luck in your efforts. I hope you get some good ideas.

  2. Carole says:

    You girls are just young ladies! I am 65 and ride four horses every day….Some days I think I should skip the ride, I love what I am doing and I am going to keep riding until I am permently dumped in the dirt ( underground.)The lessons are a great solution. Just ride.ride..ride. and always SMILE. Cheers, Carole Mercer /Dancing Morgans

  3. getmorganizedkc says:

    Well I am currently in college and I don’t have my horses with me, and unfortunately the hunter/dressage team has done everything in their power to prevent the western team from doing well…ok so basically the point is we only get to practice once or twice before each show and we have two show weekends a semester…so I try to run a mile and a half at least 5 times a week, I have found it helps me a lot when I get in the saddle and it only takes up about 20 minutes of time each run. I also try to do just 10 push ups before I go to bed and when I wake up…honestly I am amazed at how much so little working out can do if its continued. My mom who is 56 also takes the approach of a little everyday and she says it helps keep her energized.

    Just last year I saw a 92 year old woman jump her horse at a cross country event and I have since made it my goal to become her (not in the cross-country sense but the ride until I am 6 feet under…and this summer I am learning to drive so if I get really bad arthritis or something else that prevents me from riding, Ill be driving!). I think horses are one of the best things to keep us physically and mentally healthy and thats one reason why we do it…plus its just so much fun and horses are amazing animals! I cant imagine my life without them, I get depressed at school once our shows for the semester are over and I dont get to ride until I go home :-(

  4. colwilrin says:

    There are many of us “40-somethings” out there in the same boat…as well as 20 and 30-somethings. I just don’t have time to join a gym or take exercise classes. So, I try to do little things that don’t seem like exercise. Try parking in the last aisle of the supermarket/mall/church lot. Take the stairs. If you park in a ramp, once you are comfortable walking up the stairs…try parking one level higher the next day.

    Go for a walk with your dog, kids…or just alone. Find a hill on the way. When you sit down at night to watch your favorite TV show, do a few sit ups…grab a book and do some arm curls.

    While you are waiting for your coffee to brew in the am, or washing dishes in the sink…do plies (for non-ballet folks…it is a type of knee bend that can be done in 5 basic positions).

    In answer to you question “why do I do it.”
    Because I can not imagine life without it.

  5. snerland says:

    I was wondering the same thing when I got out of bed this morning. For the first time in over four months I took my stallion out for a drive. He is NOT the horse for a 60 year old with knee replacement, who is very overweight, and has COPD. As I sweated and manuvered my way into the Houghton with the horse bouncing around and my husband yelling, “Aren’t you in the buggy yet? I’m having a hard time holding him”, I really questioned my sanity.
    With one giant heave, I was in the cart; my stallion headed out the barn like he was headed down the in gate at the Grand National. As we trotted down the driveway at a park trot, I mentally pictured myself driving at the Grand National. I was doing what I loved to do, driving a “big engine” stallion.
    My doctors have told me I can never show again but I can picture myself in a show ring. Once again I am behind a show horse and the excitement is the same even though I am trotting down our driveway. The joy, the wonder, and the elation I have driving this horse at my age is better than any exercise, physical and mental, I can imagine.
    Today I am sore, stiff, and tired. Do I regret that drive yesterday? Never! For show people age is never an issue, just the location, whether it be a Class A or a park trot down a driveway in full show regalia.
    I plan to drive my stallion often; it keeps me young and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  6. Black Eye Beth says:

    I have to admit that even though I don’t know you I was picturing the thrill you were feeling while reading your comment. It has occurred to me in the last few months that while the “moment in the sun” at shows is a thrill in and of itself, it is the little daily victories that can mean the most in the long run. I hope you have many more opportunities to drive your stallion and continue to enjoy each and every moment. Thanks for sharing!

  7. colwilrin says:


    I also got a fantastic visual of you whooping it down the driveway, hair flying, having a blast. Brings back my own memories of those wonderful Morgan moments. Keep at it and thanks for making me smile today!

  8. Scottfield03 says:

    You do it because you love it, and you are good at it. :-)

    Joy got a book for Christmas, Yoga for riders, and I have seen a HUGE difference in her riding since she started following that routine, and liking Yoga as I know you do, it might be a good book.

    Take care of your family, keep breathing, and exercise as much as you can. And try not to worry… you’ll be great!

    OH! I have heard that 15 minutes of Hula Hooping per day is great for loosening the lower back and toning the core. You might feel a little silly, but I would love to know if it works. Would you be the barn guinea pig for this one? You know, give it a whack, and report back to the blog your findings, “Myth Busters” style!!!

  9. Black Eye Beth says:

    If you try the Hula Hooping be sure to video it and post it on the blog!! Maybe we can get a bunch of others to do it too!

  10. deb richter says:

    ripe old age of 44? I almost choked on my prune juice! Honey, I’ve got saddle pads older than you! Most mornings I wonder why I do it, too. There’s an old British racing proverb…”No man ever committed suicide with a fast 2 yr old in the barn.” Every year I swear is going to be my last, and here I am with a new 2yr old from the Harrisburg sale……
    After the last show in the fall, I pull shoes and turn out, and don’t crawl back in the saddle until spring. (If you knew about western NY winters, you’d understand why) I keep in shape (such as it is)with the big exercise balls and a 40 minute routine. It’s the best thing I’ve found for keeping those core muscles toned. The balls are cheap and readily available and the workout is low impact and actually rather fun. It does get harder every year to come back, but the thought of everyone starting the show season without me is unbearable!

  11. Beth says:

    Well, thank you everyone for all the suggestions! I guess I’ll stay on the treadmill and pop in another yoga Dvd and wait for the spring thaw! (As I am NY as well) I think I’m going to have to think about the hula-hooping though, I’m seeing major injury…..


  12. IED says:

    The hula-hooping is actually pretty cool. I have a Wii Fit and they have a hula hoop routine on there. It is REALLY a workout! Breathing and sweaty by the end and all :) It’s fun though, and a lot more fun than running on a treadmill.

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