musical comedy wrote:Tsavo wrote:Very interesting reading the posts in this thread!
To the OP...
You wrote: "When you feel your horse needs to be retired, will you buy another? Or, is this your last hurrah?"
I am in my late 50s and my horse is 20. I will retire my present horse in a few years even if he is sound and buy one more horse I suspect.
I was about to turn 57 when I bought my current horse. I backed a baby I bought at that age. At that time, I had 3 horses I was riding
here at my farm and doing all the work except for the mowing and ring dragging which DH did. I felt good then and looked pretty good
for my age. That summer, I drove my <unloaded> horse trailer all the way to Wellington alone (horse went commercial) and spent the Winter there.
I drove straight through 24 hours, taking a quick nap at a rest stop. That's I good I felt at the age of 57.I have always been very VERY careful about long warmups and cool downs, regardless of a horse's age. I am picky to a fault about footing, and consistency in riding. I think that contributes to why my old horse is still very sound. However, I think luck plays a big part too. I am not happy just hacking and doing what some others think of as 'fun'. From the start, it was all about competition for me. The more I learned about dressage and riding in general, the more I realized that it was impossible to reach the point I wanted to be.You wrote: "I don't want to ride my horse anymore. Sound as he is, how long will that be true if I keep on riding him? I feel bad for him each time I tack up. I feel he has earned his retirement, and I do not feel (like most) that horses would rather be working than loafing."
Here's what happened to me... last year I told my vet my plan to retire my horse in two years whether he was sound or not. He responded that he wouldn't be as comfortable out of work as in and that there really is no reason to retire him at 22 if sound. He shows no indication that he doesn't like work and come to the gate every time for me to take him up to the barn to ride. We do 15 minutes of large walk on the trails up and down hills for warm up which my horse seems to enjoy. After, we will do ring work 2 times a week or hills or work in a slight hilly pasture or work in the jump field (flat). The variety and slow warm up I think contributes to my horse showing no indication of not wanting to work. That plus I ALWAYS graze him at least 15 minutes after each ride which he enjoys. He is on pasture half the day but it is eaten down which is not a bad thing in spring.Wow, BMI in high teens! Congratulations. Is that a special fat measurement, or just the one you get from the weight charts? I'm a 23, so on the high side of normal. However, with age, often we don't look so good too thin. I agree with you that riding isn't really fitness exercise. It is better than nothing, but doesn't compare to gym work.The other piece was I finally got my act together and was able to ride my horse into fitness. I got fit, have a body fat in the high teens, and ride every day I am not at the gym so usually 5 days. My trainer recently remarked that my horse is the soundest she has ever seen him. He was sound before but had the usual one weak hind and one stiff hind. Through walking and trotting in long and low on a huge, hilly figure eight on the property, plus removing the hind shoes, plus 53 mg of previcox, he can work in comfort.Chisamba, that's a hard question to answer and probably depends on the person. I think no matter one's age, if you cut back significantly on your exercise for a while, and then try to go back to the more strenuous program, you might feel tired/sore or whatever.Chisamba wrote:as a person who is fifty five, and rides as a career, i have a question that might take some heart searching but would like as honest an answer as you can summon.
I read a few comments up the thread about how different the recovery time was as you got older and my question relates to that. Is the recovery time worse because you got older, or because circumstances allowed you to start riding less frequently?
I find if i ride three or four horses a day, and then for some reason do not ride for a few days, the first few days back on schedule are taxing, but if i ride consistently, i remain fit enough to ride. So which came first, riding less fequently and finding yourself having difficulty recovering, or did having difficulty recovering cause you to ride less frequently?
I mean even i you are a runner, or a walker, if you suddenly started walking only once a week, rather than daily, it would be more difficult, would it not?
one of the people i have cliniced with was born in 1943 and rode to third place in regionals at Grand Prix last year, scored a seventy something. She had cut back a lot, but still rides horses she feels safe on daily. I only hope i can continue to do the same.
When I was eventing, I was riding every day and jumping a couple times a week. The day after a horse trials, I was feeling worn out. I wasn't young then though, as I didn't even start to event until I was 40 years old.
I think for most people that are aging and riding, they just slowly start cutting back. Maybe it isn't even planned. It wasn't in my case. I had some horrible horrible luck with losing several promising young horses (I know you did too, Chisamba) leaving me with just the older guy. Losing horses takes the wind out of your sails, much like LeoApp wrote. Some of us can't get over it.
Anyway, I have a story for you; sort of an update on myself. I have never talked much about myself on the internet, especially about health and personal things. About a month before I started this thread, I got my very first UTI. Long story short, 7 months later I still have it!!! I have been on antibiotics since then. I'll finish a round, and then several days later the UTI is back. I've been through 3 urologists, had a uro-ct scan, ultrasounds, etc. Shortly after the UTI started, I was getting all kinds of weird symptoms. The symptoms are similar to those of MS. MS is not a disease that one generally gets at at 70. However, I went to a Neurologist. I had an EMG and an MRI on Brain/Cervical Spine. Nothing pointing to MS there nor peripheral neuropathy. I'm seeing a new Neurologist tomorrow.
These two health issues have taken their toll on me big time. I've aged a decade in 7 months. I stopped riding in December completely, something I never thought I would/could do. But then, this month (April), I decided to get on. Don't ask me why. Maybe Spring. I was feeling timid to get on, not knowing if I could stick if he spooked. My God, how strange it felt to be out of the saddle for 5 months. Horse was good as gold. He's never been one to need lunging or anything, as he is out 24/7. My plan was to just walk, which I did for a few days, knowing that really he should walk for a month before doing anything more. Then I saw him trotting and cantering in the field, and he looked so good, that I took the risk. I have now been on him 9 times, walking for 25 minutes and trotting about 10 max. He feels wonderful! I feel like a wet noodle. My weak right leg is just wobbling and my foot keeps going 'home' in the stirrup.
So, this year I turn 71 and he turns 23. That makes 3 more years and we can do the Century Ride. Never thought that would be a goal, but I guess I should think about it if I don't die before that.
thank you for the thoughtful answers, i guess every person is different, but it is interesting to me, because i I suppose to some extent i have to plan for my future. I do not suppose it is reasonable to think that I can continue to make riding horses my major source of income forever, and I do hope that i can continue teaching when I can no longer ride myself. I suppose in some ways I just get up and go to work, and ride, even if perhaps on that day i do not feel like doing so as much on others. It is sometimes for joy and some times simply discipline.
I am sorry that your health has made it so much more difficult for you, I hope your situation becomes comfortable that if you enjoy the idea of the century ride, that you can do so. if not, at least that you become comfortable enough to have great quality of life.