Whether you’ve recently moved to the countryside, are looking for a new hobby, or have simply always had a soft spot for horses, you might be interested in learning to ride but worry that you’re too old to begin. The short answer is no, you’re certainly not too old to learn to ride! While riding might look like more of a young person’s game, everyone whatever their age, gender or capabilities should feel encouraged to start. Take a look at our tips on the best steps to take.
Think about your physical health
Whatever your age, you’re likely to feel some kind of muscle soreness or aching joints after you begin riding. Treat horse riding the same as you would a big run or a heavy workout session, and allow yourself some time between rides to let your muscles recover. To prevent muscle soreness, try pilates or yoga to improve flexibility and take a hot Epsom salt bath after each session to speed up recovery and ease pain.
Join a riding school
Joining a riding school is one of the easiest ways to learn to ride, and has the added benefit of making new friends who are at the same stage as yourself. Many riding schools cater to adults and offer both group and solo sessions to help you gradually build up confidence. They also often offer ‘taster’ sessions, where you can sample riding and make sure you’re 100% sure before making any commitments.
Invest in some quality riding gear
Once you’ve decided you are going to continue riding, you need to make sure you’re kitted out with the right clothing and equipment. Invest in some quality riding boots, a helmet, comfortable trousers and a jacket or fleece.
Go on a riding holiday
Similar to a riding school, riding holidays offer lessons for every age range and experience level, with the added benefit of exploring a new place! There are lots of horse riding getaways available throughout the UK, held in some beautiful and scenic locations. If you have kids, why not encourage the whole family to get involved and make some memories that will last a lifetime.
Consider horse sharing
If you decide you’d like to own a horse of your own but are worried about the cost and responsibility, consider horse sharing as a cheaper alternative. This involves you splitting the cost of ownership and general care in return for visiting and riding the horse on pre-agreed days. This is a great arrangement to make for new riders, allowing you to sample ownership without the full responsibility. If you’re not sure where to begin when caring for a horse, try buying horse feed online for information on the best food for each horse’s individual needs, and join online communities for advice and tips.