Gransnet forums


horse riding

(45 Posts)
jenn Tue 22-Sep-15 19:45:42

Are there any other grans who still keep horses and ride?
Many people seem surprised that at 64 I still look after my horse and ride regularly. I feel as fit as I did 20 years ago and apart from an 'old back'(physio,s words ) I'm fine. I retired 4 years ago and I'm loving it.
I know that eventually I will have to give up but I am planning to ride out on my 70th birthday.
That's my ambition now.

janerowena Tue 22-Sep-15 20:02:30

One of my friends does, she is 60 and rides most days She also jumps. Another does too, but has ME so has had to find a mobile armchair-type and just pootles around the farm. I wish I still could, but have a dodgy hip and knee so would have to be lifted on by crane!

Alea Tue 22-Sep-15 20:10:27

In my riding days it was simply "riding"(no criticism of you intended, jenn but when it turn into horse riding? Is there another sort, other than the seasid donkey rides of our childhood?
At least we don't refer to it as " horseback riding" like they do In the U.S. as if you could (deliberately) ride on the front of a horse, other than clinging on for dear life when you have been shot on to your horse's neck and are slowly sliding round under its chin.
I gave up when I realised I don't bounce any more and the fear of actual injury as opposed to hurt dignity and a bruised bum became more likely. Still love the beasts though, those noble heads, and huge dark eyes!

tiggypiro Tue 22-Sep-15 22:17:04

I wish jenn. I did Endurance riding for years and after breaking my leg falling off my bike (at a standstill !!) got back to riding. Unfortunately I had a potentially serious fall from my pony which completely threw my confidence (as Alea says as we get older we just don't bounce any more). Not having confidence riding was something new to me but there was no way I wanted more broken bones. I have not ridden since that last fall and sold the best pony I had ever had but life moves on. I have had many offers to ride other horses but if I can't gallop over the stubble and do what I used to do then I don't want to do it. On the plus side my bank balance is much improved and I can travel easily.

merlotgran Tue 22-Sep-15 22:26:00

I gave up riding in my fifties. My knees wouldn't take any more punishment. My horse was pensioned off and lived in happy retirement for a few more years until arthritis got the better of him as well.

The Queen amazes me. I don't know if she is still riding but last year she was filmed riding out on one of her Highland ponies.

Anya Tue 22-Sep-15 22:50:07

Sold our last horses when the children went to university. Was DC of the local Pony Club, ran the Prince Philip Cup Team, hosted the Area Trials.

Seems a life time ago. Can't say I miss breaking ice on the field troughs in mid winter, hunting round the fields for New Zealands that have been rubbed off, trying to get stable stains out of grey ponies ready for a show, desperately ringing round for an emergency farrier, trying to persuade fractious ponies into trailers......

But I when I catch the wiff of a sweaty numnah, what memories that brings back sad]

Anya Tue 22-Sep-15 22:50:49


jenn Tue 22-Sep-15 22:54:15

Alea, I did put 'Riding grannies' at first but it gave me the dirty mind!!

Anya Wed 23-Sep-15 07:11:06


gillybob Wed 23-Sep-15 07:40:14

hello jen My 2 DGD' s (9 and 7) are horse mad. They take part in various gymkhanas and county shows and always do very well indeed. Infact so well that my son has converted their small loft into a kind of trophy room ! My elder DGD rides a pony belonging to a well renowned stables and they say she has potential to go "all the way" although sadly probably not the money.

I do wish I had learned to ride. My DDiL tells me that it's never too late and she has a lovely gentle horse in mind that I could learn on. The problem is that he is so big I am a little bit scared of being " right up there". I once held their Shetland at a county show while they were preparing the other horses and he ran rings around me. Stomping on my feet. Apparently he thought he was holding me, not the other way around. smile

jenn Wed 23-Sep-15 09:13:53

Gillybob ,go for it!
But be aware ,it is addictive.

tiggypiro Wed 23-Sep-15 09:25:32

I agree with jenn gillybob - go for it ! Don't worry about your experience with a Shetland, they have a mind of their own and can spot a 'not too sure' human a mile off and have what they perceive as a little bit of fun ! Your DDiL gentle 'giant' will be just that and far more amenable than the Shetland.

biffydog1 Tue 10-Nov-15 14:19:52

I still ride and I am 64. Have my old girl who is now 22 and I have owned her for 15 years. Would not be without her x

NfkDumpling Tue 10-Nov-15 14:45:28

Go for it Gillybob! The bigger horses are easier to ride and tend to be better natured.

I gave up riding when my old pony died, must be 15 years ago. Riding out in a line of riding school horses just didn't hold the same appeal as meandering around the countryside with him. We'd got to the stage of knowing each other so well I was never aware of actually steering him, although this had it'd drawbacks - he stumbled really badly once as we were both peering up someone's driveway being nosey and neithert of us paying attention to where we were going!

This year though, we went on a family holiday in the New Forest and I really, really wanted to go out riding with my DD1 and her DD. Three generations together and DGD's first hack out. So I did lots of knee strengthening excercises, took painkillers (for said dodgey knees) and off we went. It was fantastic - I even managed a couple of canters! I can't wait until we can go again but I don't think I'll ride regularly again as the knees really aren't up to it. (I'm 68 this week)

NfkDumpling Tue 10-Nov-15 14:54:17

Getting nostalgic now..... Imagining leaning over a stable door on a winter's night watching and listening to a contented horse pulling at his hay net standing knee deep in fresh straw in the glow of a 25 watt bulb ....... Miss it!

stillhere Tue 10-Nov-15 15:04:50

I had a little Shetland as companion to my pony - he was so funny. He used to go running with me, he loved it. Woe betide anyone wearing a ring - he would nip your hand.

I used to love being in the stables mucking out on a really miserable day, watching the rain fall outside above the stable door but feeling warm, with the lovely stable smell around me and gently horsey mutterings. Was not so happy trying to break the ice on the trough in the winter! There was never a dull moment though, I can't believe the energy I must have had.

biffydog1 Tue 10-Nov-15 15:51:07

Its the smell Lol and the companionship of a beloved horse. You cant beat it and it keeps you young x

fofo Mon 25-Jan-16 11:16:50

I do!

I had a feisty Welsh mare up to March last year but as I approached 60 I downsized to a smaller quieter Connemara pony. I love hacking out and starting to do a bit of dressage with her.

I don't envisage ever giving up. What would i do with my time? Where would I get my place of calm in a mad world?

Granarchist Mon 25-Jan-16 11:56:59

about to be 64 - ride most weeks on my retired Badminton horse. He is 26! I have a new knee, repaired shoulder etc but have no pain whatever when riding. I use a mounting block and I ride out regularly with a friend who is over 70. I haven't jumped for a bit but see no reason why not except horse is cracking on. Whether when he meets his maker I can afford to replace him - that's another matter. I have already started granddaughter on furry (lent) pony and maybe that's where my equine future lies. Secret of riding when older? Stick to well-behaved horses.

jenn Mon 25-Jan-16 23:06:23

My 65th birthday ride out( hat is in hand) on my Dales ,Jed.Best retirement plan ever.

loopylou Tue 26-Jan-16 06:58:21

I used to ride (my scatty chestnut Arab mare with four white socks - everything you're told to avoid!); we did dressage and long-distance rides. I don't miss it, largely because life has changed so much since then.

Lovely photo!

HannahLoisLuke Tue 26-Jan-16 16:47:36

I rode all my life until 15 years ago when I cracked three vertebrae in a fall. Took months to recover and now I've lost my nerve. I content myself with watching my granddaughter eventing, but still miss it.

gallopinggranny Wed 02-Nov-16 13:44:06

I went back to riding when I was 62, after I had retired. I bought a sweet 13.2 mare who has three paces - walk, trot and gallop (hence my name). Canter seems to have passed her by! I am now 68, nearly 69, and have no plans to give up until either I can't get on, can't get off or can't get my jodhpurs off! The last is the most difficult of the three. Or, of course, if my pony needs to be retired. So my advice is, if you and your horse enjoy it, carry on.

Jayanna9040 Wed 02-Nov-16 13:50:16

My mother in law rode hunters till she was 82. She had to give up after her mastectomy, otherwise she would still be in the saddle, I'm sure!

HBoss Wed 02-Nov-16 20:35:26

Like GallopingGranny I bought myself a pony (with some trepidation) when I retired aged 62. He is a 15h Connemara which I keep with my DD's horse. I reckoned that, as I did lots of the stable work for her while babysitting GCs, I might as well get thoroughly into it while still able to. I must say, so far it's been the best thing I've done. I hack out with various local ladies, have lots of social contact and never-ending interest of talking all things equestrian. I am lucky in that DD enjoys schooling and competing, which I'm not good enough - or brave enough - to do, so pony stays nice to ride. I get lots of exercise and fresh air and have to push myself a bit. I never want to go away on holidays or trips, and am very contented with my busy horsey life! Fingers crossed if I look after him he should keep going into his late teens, which will see me well into my seventies.. So if you have the chance I would say go for it!