Registered name: Gunna Rock On
12-year-old Registered Paint Gelding
Owner: Andrea Cox
KEC boarder since 2008
Andrea bought Jaxon as a 2-year-old from Danette Hartman in 2007. She originally intended for him to be a show horse in english events, but discovered early on that, though he looked like an English horse, he much preferred to go slow. A former all around horse, including working with cows, they specialized in western pleasure but he is now a dressage horse and an eventer.
The two have spent a many years showing at local open shows and regional paint horse shows. Jaxon has points in western pleasure, horsemanship and trail. During his show career, they diversified a bit and Jaxon team penned, dabbled in cow horse stuff and even carried the American flag for a local rodeo series. In recent years Andrea and Jaxon have added jumping and dressage to Jaxon's resume.
Andrea, Administrative Program Rep at Oregon Institute of Technology, has been interested in horses her whole life, but didn't start riding "officially" until she was 11, and then got her first horse at 12. The rest is history. Though influenced by many trainers through the years, Andrea holds particular respect and admiration for Denny Emerson of Tamarack Hills Farm in Vermont because he is a life long horseman, having ridden for the United States Equestrian Team, and has a no nonsense approach to horses and training.
When asked what she most enjoys doing with Jaxon, her enthusiastic reply is, "Everything! I love just being around him. He has such an outgoing personality and fun to be around." Jaxon is known to pack around the grand kids and go on the occasional trail ride. He also has a fondness for black licorice and belly-scratching (see video) where he cannot contain his glee, and must loudly vocalize his pleasure
Regarding her lengthy history at KEC, Andrea had this to say:
"Jaxon and I have been at KEC for many years. He is happy and well taken care of. I love the diversity and the different types of horses there. We are all family and look out for one another and each other's horses. It's a great place to be."
- 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!