Are you an adult and interested in taking up horseback riding? Are you worried you’re too old at this point? Perhaps you have an image in your mind of small children on ponies, trotting around a ring, or maybe some adults riding, but these adults all started as children.
I can understand why people might think this way. Youth sports are big. Lots of kids play soccer, baseball, or football, but then as they grow older, many abandon it. The ones who are left are basically the professional athletes of the world. I do know that there are some adult hobby groups that play these sports, but as an outsider looking in, I would assume it’s just for the really passionate that are leftover from kids. I don’t know how to play any of those sports, and joining a team like that would feel intimidating to me.
But, I want to change that perception, at least in regard to horses. There’s absolutely no reason you should think you’re too old to start riding. Too frail? Have hollow bones? Maybe that’s a good reason not to ride, but not specifically because of age.
Let me just be straight with you – if you want to take up horseback riding, take up horseback riding. There is no reason that an adult can’t begin riding as an adult. There’s no rule that says you must have started riding as a kid to be able to ride into adulthood.
Riders of All Ages
I really want you to believe that horseback riding is for all ages. In many sports, people age out as they get older as their bodies break down from the intensity.
But not equestrians! Horseback riding is one of the few sports where people continue to compete as they age. In fact, take a look at Hiroshi Hoketsu. At 71 years old, he was the oldest Olympian to ever compete for Japan, and the third oldest Olympian ever.
While Hoketsu is unique, you can just look at the regulars who go to the Olympics and see they aren’t exactly young.
Of course, these are all people competing at the top of the sport, but you don’t have to compete at all. You can just ride simply for the fun of it. Or you can compete too, but just to be clear, don’t expect to become an Olympian…. I mean, it may be possible, but the amount of people who make it to Olympic level is quite small, even from people who have ridden their whole lives. Most of us ride at a little bit of a lower level.
This is Your Life, Use it the Way You WAnt It
Horseback riding aside, you don’t need to ask permission to live your life! If you want to ride, you can ride! If you want to sky dive, go do that! If you want to travel, explore, read a book, play adult soccer, just go do it! This is your life we are talking about. You don’t get a redo, you get the one life, and you should live it the way you want to live.
It seems very common for people to say, “I’m too old for that,” whether it’s a career change, or college, or even finding love. But this is your life we are talking about. You can decide if you’re not interested in pursuing something, but don’t use age as your excuse. Until you are actually dead in the grave, there’s always time to live your life. There’s time to change your life. There’s time to have the life you want. Are you really going to limit yourself because you think that others might think you’re too old to do something? No one else cares, it’s only you that thinks you’re too old.
Please don’t give up on something you want just because of your age. I know age can be a sensitive topic, we start feeling like we are out of the loop, or if we compare our experiences to others, we seem behind. But your life will be what you make of it, so if you spend it dawdling and procrastinating because you think you’re too old, one day you actually will be too old. Then you’ll have a life of regrets.
Don’t live a lift you’ll regret – live a life that will make you satisfied. Really, you are never too old to start living your life the way you want. Your age is only as big a deal as you make it. Take control, and let your age empower you, not bring you down. Older people have life experience to draw on, they have interesting stories, they have so much wisdom. Make it your strength, not a weakness.
I hope you take up riding. Even if you decide later it’s not for you, you might have a thought or experience that will open up something else for you. Live a life looking for opportunity, not a life avoiding it.