Whether you spent your childhood years dreaming of owning a pony or strayed from horse riding due to life’s other commitments, it’s never too late to take up horse riding. Not all of us were ‘born in the saddle’, and whilst learning to ride a horse as an adult can seem daunting, horse riding can be an amazing way to spend your pre-retirement or retirement years. So, if you’re ready to enter the horse world, we’ve got some advice for those of you thinking of taking up horse riding in later life.
Get in Shape.
Horse riding is a sport and so staying fit is crucial. The more fit you are, the better for you and your horse. Building strength, balance and agility will not only help your riding but also reduce the muscle aches between rides – bonus! Start slow and include stretching, core building and cardio activities. When you get into a routine, you’ll find riding regularly will help keep your muscles and reactions in tip-top condition.
Embrace your Age!
It’s inevitable our strength and ability to limber up will change over the years. If you’ve been out of the game for a while, you’ll need to accept the fact you’re not as young as you once were and therefore can’t take the same risks you once did. In your 20s you may have been able to fall off a horse and get right back on, but in later life, your body will take longer to heal. Go at your own pace and keep riding fun and safe. And it’s not all bad news – maturity increases your capacity to learn in many ways and you’ll more than likely have a different patience and perspective that you did when you were younger, so use it to your advantage.
Keep it up.
As with learning any new activity, the more frequently you’re able to practice, the faster you’ll progress! Horse riding is no different. Treat yourself like an athlete in training, be committed and consistent. Remember, the quality of the time you spend riding is even more important than the quantity.
Build a Network.
With any strong network comes wisdom and camaraderie. Try to find age-friendly rider groups and get connected with likeminded people. The horse community is huge so why not utilise that support and join an environment that caters to your learning level and goals.
You’re never too old to learn more! Do your research, visit local riding schools and look for lessons that will suit your needs. During a lesson, your instructor will be able to offer guidance and advice based on your ability. Regardless of your level, lessons will allow your instructor to analyse your performance and offer feedback and improvements.
So, there you have it, riding is a fantastic way to keep fit and healthy and there’s no reason people in their golden years shouldn’t enjoy horses and the health benefits that riding them can provide. As with any sport, riding comes with a risk of accident or injury. Horses can be unpredictable, so it’s important to make sure you have suitable cover in place. If you’re thinking of taking up horse riding, you might want to consider taking out Horse Rider insurance to help protect you against the unexpected. At The Insurance Emporium, our Horse Rider Insurance policies come with cover for Emergency Veterinary Fees and External Visible Accidental Injury as standard and can be customised with our optional benefits, such as cover for Riding Clothes. You can also get up to 30% discount^! So, why not head to our Equine product pages to find out more?
^ The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Multi-horse Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.
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