I took my first riding lesson at age 8. While I’ve never seen a statistical analysis of when American kids start riding horses, I’d say that’s probably around average, if you factor out those lucky individuals born into horsey families and rode before they can remember. What’s unusual about me—and those of you reading this, too—is that I didn’t stop riding.
Then there are those who ride religiously throughout their school years, but then fizzle as adulthood casts its shadow and career, family and financial obligations take priority over equestrian pursuits.
Denny Emerson, one of America’s greatest three-day event riders, recently posted the following on his facebook page, reflecting on his own 60+ years of riding.
Personally, I think the third and fourth points are the hardest to control. Sometimes the career paths that would bring in the income to support an equestrian lifestyle are also the ones that take up all the free time you might have to actually ride. Some of us make big sacrifices so we don’t have to stop riding, but I don’t think that turning down career advancements simply so that you can have time to ride or live in a horse-friendly location is the best choice for everyone. Assuming you don’t have a horse-related career, juggling your equestrian life with your work life can be quite a balancing act.
What do you think of Denny’s list? Are there other things that get in the way of longevity as a rider, or do you think that if you have the passion, you’ll find a way to keep riding? Click “Submit a Comment” below and let me know what you think.
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