Horseback Riding as a Senior
Horseback Riding Following Retirement
As a hub for horseback riding activities, riding lessons, equine services and equestrian sports facilities, as well as miles of bridle trails, Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club preaches lifelong horsemanship. Look at Queen Elizabeth — she’s 93 and still riding! But, of course, it depends on the person, the safety and reliability of the horse, and several other critical factors and thought processes.
When Age Meets Horseback Riding
Horseback riding, like many other things, is different for those 65+ than for young and middle-aged adults. Fear tends to be a major issue, as people who are taking on more responsibilities start to think about what could happen if something goes wrong. After all, when was the last time you met a child who thought about the odds of a personal injury when doing anything? Riders 65+ automatically consider these odds when they lose their nimbleness and reach a point where bruised bones could easily become broken ones.
Safety Before Saddling Up
If you are an ambitious retiree who desires to try horseback riding for the very first time, the sport is always harder, because it means learning a new skill. You should start by looking for a very steady schoolmaster, otherwise known as a horse, that comprehends the physical and mental limitations of age, as well as a patient instructor who incorporates stretching on horseback into his or her lesson plan. From there, take courses on safety. Remember, even the best horses are unpredictable, so everyone must know how to react while riding.
Then, before you place your foot on the saddle, know how that saddle should fit, how to tack said horse and what each piece of tack is called. This level of familiarization prepares riders at all levels for a multitude of circumstances and a wide variety of malfunctions. The horseback rider knows their comfort level and that of their horse best, so do not pass up the opportunity to learn.
After you invest time into the activity, you must invest the money. Those who do not own a horse only need a handful of basic items — boots, breeches, belt, helmet and gloves. However, owning a horse infinitely and continuously expands this list.
If you happen to sustain a minor horseback injury, you will ultimately heal physically. That is when you should get back in the saddle to maintain a quality mental health status. Consider this — there is nothing more unfortunate than horseback riders age 65+ who can do it, but won’t, because they revert right back to their initial fears of what was once their favorite sport.
At the same time, there are exceptions to every rule. If your body tells you that it cannot handle the stress of riding, your days on horseback should cease, at least temporarily.
Giddyup at Golden Ocala
No matter what the challenge may be, riders 65+ can seek comfort at Golden Ocala. It is a closed, quiet, safe and regulated environment where you can get to know horses and fall deeply in love with equine offerings.
Horseback riders will also be made aware of conditions, such as lawn mowing, that may spook these whimsical creatures.
If, after you develop the skills and obtain the tools, hopefully right here in Horse Country, your body tells you it’s time to go from recreational to competitive horseback riding, listen up! With time, effort and the right kind of trainer, you’ll get there — and Golden Ocala will be readily available to help.
We anticipate your readiness to try or improve upon horseback riding as you enter each new phase of life. If that time is now, call Golden Ocala’s Alaina Olsen at (650) 773-1812.