Equestrian Life Then and Now


Young Rider

Though our love for horses is everlasting, our youth is not. That unfortunate fact means that with each birthday, it becomes more obvious that we aren’t quite the same person, in or out of the saddle. Yet don’t get glum. We’re still diehard equestrians; we’re just a tad different than we were back then. Here’s a brief, humorous look at how the years can alter our perspective:

At the Horse Show

Between classes you flirt with the cute guys in the ring crew.

Throughout the day you confirm the precise location of the EMT.

Buying Riding Apparel

You excitedly ask the sales clerk, “Where are those new, low-rise booty jeans?”

You quietly ask the sales clerk, “What do you have that compresses cellulite?”

Naming Your Horse

Your horse’s nickname honors a pop star or TV idol (or the character from a vampire novel).

Your horses are given the names you would’ve chosen for your children (if you’d had any).

Stable Stuff

You decide that turquoise and neon pink shall be your barn colors, and everything must match.

Heather gray and denim blue seem to camouflage horse slobber. Thus they become your barn colors.

On Hot Summer Days

You wear boots with a pair of shorts and ride your horse bareback.

Either you ride at sunrise or you make it a spa day… for you and your horse.

The New Horse Flick

Regardless of the storyline, you’re captivated by watching beautiful horses on the big screen.

You spend 90 minutes in the dark critiquing the woeful riding skills of the actors.

Personal Style

Your wardrobe includes a smattering of equestrian jewelry and fabric with horsey imagery. It makes your connection to horses believable.

Your jacket bears chew marks and your jeans are stained with purple thrush medicine. No one doubts that you’re a true horsewoman.

Liked this article? Here are more humorous musings from Cindy:
The 7 Stages of Aging on Horseback
Not Quite out to Pasture

This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Horse Illustrated magazine. Click here to subscribe!

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Cindy Hale’s life with horses has been filled with variety. As a child she rode western and learned to barrel race. Then she worked as a groom for a show barn, and was taught to harness and drive Welsh ponies. But once she’d taken her first lessons aboard American Saddlebreds she was hooked on English riding. Hunters and hunt seat equitation came next, and she spent decades competing in those divisions on the West Coast. Always seeking to improve her horsemanship, she rode in clinics conducted by world-class riders like George Morris, Kathy Kusner and Anne Kursinski. During that time, her family began raising Thoroughbred and warmblood sport horses, and Cindy experienced the thrills and challenges of training and showing the homebred greenies. Now retired from active competition, she’s a popular judge at local and county-rated open and hunter/jumper shows. She rides recreationally both English and western. Her Paint gelding, Wally, lives at home with her and her non-horsey husband, Ron.


  1. It was bad enough that they published this in the magazine. Did we really need to reinforce the stupidity online?
    This is juvenile and insulting, and manages to insult both young riders and mature riders. Impressive.


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