- by Debra Lindland, sassy old broad and KEC boarder.
A couple of months ago I attended a clinic at Klamath Equestrian Center. As I scanned the group assembled for the lecture portion of the class, I couldn't help but notice that we constituted a very specific demographic. Every one of us was over 45 years old, and most of us were north of 60; a bunch of tough, funny, audacious "old broads"--a term of endearing praise I use, and proudly wear, as a badge of hard-won honor--still in love with horses.
Now this was not a new observation for me. When I stubbornly decided two years ago that by gawd I was getting another horse, I did a lot of research (I tend to research things ad nauseam) into resuming a passion I'd had as a kid, but hadn't owned a horse or ridden much since my late teens. The prospect was a little daunting, but I was determined, and wanted to see how other older folks had managed.
In my reading I happily discovered that not only are there a lot of older women returning to riding, but we represent the largest and fastest growing group of horse enthusiasts! A 2014 article by Midori Morgan in COWGIRL magazine reported that:
"According to surveys like the 2012 Equine Industry Survey conducted by the American Horse Publications (AHP) and prepared by Jill Stowe, PhD Dept. of Agricultural Economics (University of Kentucky), the 45+ age demographic represents 61.2% of people actively participating with horses. Another tidbit gleaned from these surveys: 90.8% of those 45+ horsemen are actually horsewomen."
I even found--and of course bought--a book specifically written for women returning to life with horses appropriately titled Midlife Horses by Melinda Folse
We are a large and diverse group of women in multiple disciplines of all levels of skill and interest. Best of all, there will always be a bunch of sassy old broads to play ponies with.
There are a lot of articles and blogs for older riders in general, and older women riders in particular. If you're interested in reading more, below are a links to a few articles you may enjoy.
Meantime, Giddyup, y'all!