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Horseback Riding in Your 50s: Benefits Finding the Right Barn and Gear Essentials

Starting Riding in Your 50s: An Introduction to Horseback Riding

Horseback riding has been a beloved pastime for centuries. Although it’s often associated with youth, horseback riding is increasingly becoming a hobby for the middle-aged.

Joining an Old Peoples Riding Club has never been more popular. Riding horses can be a fun and healthy way to stay active and engaged in your later years, but it can take some adjustment for rookies.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of starting riding as an adult, how to find the right barn, and what gear you need to invest in.

Increase in Middle-Aged Riders

With the advent of programs such as the Old Peoples Riding Club, more and more middle-aged people are getting into horse riding. The mental health benefits of horse riding are well-documented.

Horses are therapy animals that you can connect to, and forming a bond with a horse can be a genuinely authentic and fulfilling experience. Riding also requires focus and concentration, which can improve neurological pathways and keep your mind sharp.

Benefits of Starting as an Adult

In the 50s, life experience often translates into a sharper ability to focus and remain calm under pressure. Horse riding promotes mindfulness, which is the ability to stay present in the moment, to the exclusion of external distractions.

Staying calm under pressure is the name of the game in horse riding, which is why it’s a great way to refine those skills. Additionally, horse riding itself is an excellent form of physical activity, so it’s a great way to work on your fitness goals too.

Finding the Right Barn

If you’ve never ridden a horse before, finding the right barn can be a daunting challenge. The good news is that most barns now offer beginner programs for those who have never ridden before.

Look for a facility that offers an introduction lesson that includes an overview of the basics such as grooming, tacking, and instruction on the safety of horses. Ask around for recommendations from trusted sources, including friends and family members who already ride horses.

Lesson Programs and Riding Instructors

When evaluating barns, examine the programs and the instructors more closely. Good lesson programs not only teach you how to ride but also demonstrate how to care for horses.

At least at the beginning, expect to attend weekly 60-minute lessons. Check out the instructors’ credentials, seek referrals, and check their certification level.

You want an instructor who is familiar with the discipline you are interested in, patient, safe, and competent.

Work on Fitness Outside of the Ring

Starting in horse riding when in the 50s means that you may have some physical limitations that require extra consideration. Maintaining your physical health is a vital aspect of any horseback riding program.

Please talk to your doctor before you begin if you have any injury history or present concerns. Horseback riding can be strenuous, so it’s essential to prepare your body for this type of activity.

Stretches and strengthening moves can help you strengthen your core muscles and increase balance.

Invest in Good Gear

When it comes to horse riding, your equipment matters. Invest in quality gear, particularly comfortable riding footwear and a riding helmet certified by safety standards.

Ask barns offering programs if they provide helmets, as some do. Purchasing your helmet ensures the correct fit and personalized protection.

Riding gear items should also be cleaned properly after use, and storage space is needed. The right gear can make a big difference in your experience, and it’s an investment in your safety.

Conclusion

Horse riding is a fun hobby that offers numerous physical and mental health benefits. Whether you are already a seasoned rider or it’s your first time giving horseback riding a try, riding can be an exciting way of getting active, connecting with horses, and refining mental skills like focus and mindfulness.

Choosing the right barn and equipment is crucial for new riders. Still, with the right preparation and a receptive attitude, horse riding can be a safe, healthy, and enjoyable activity at any age.

In summary, horse riding is a rewarding and enjoyable activity that offers numerous physical and mental health benefits. As more middle-aged people join the Old Peoples Riding Club, it is vital to find the right barn with good lesson programs and riding instructors, invest in good gear, and work on fitness outside of the ring.

Horse riding is an excellent way to work on physical fitness goals while promoting mindfulness, which makes it an ideal activity for those aged 50 or above.

FAQs:

  1. Q: How often should I expect to attend horse riding lessons when starting?

    A: At least weekly 60-minute lessons are recommended.

  2. Q: What are the recommended stretches and strengthening moves?

    A: Consult with your doctor and personal trainer to customize a fitness program that works for you.

  3. Q: What type of footwear is best for horse riding?

    A: Look for comfortable riding footwear that offers good support and grip to avoid accidents.

  4. Q: How often should I clean and repair riding gear?

    A: Clean riding gear after every use, repair it as needed, and store it correctly to maintain its quality.

  5. Q: What personal qualities are required to be a good horse rider?

    A: A good rider demands a combination of focus, mindfulness, patience, and respect for the horse.

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