To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I've always said I want to ride until I die, and each time I get a horse I think about how long our relationship could last, if all goes well. With Lance, I plan to dance into my 70s/his 20s. (Typing that made me realize for the first time that 'dance' rhymes with 'Lance' – it's a sign!) I would love to earn admission to the Century Club with him someday!

Years ago I had a Swedish Warmblood mare, and I have remained a member of the SWB Yahoo group (What can I say? My favorite grandma was Swedish, so that heritage is very special to me.) Yesterday two inspirational messages were posted by members of the group. I figure if they inspire me, they might inspire you. :-)

First message: "I rode my more-than-likely last event last July at the ripe age of 78. Unfortunately (or it was sloppy), the right stirrup leather broke at the second-to-last cross-country fence. At my age I didn't want to jump without it. They let me do the stadium and that was okay with new leathers. But I wanted so much to finish on my homebred Victoria's Electra! I did have some short but scary stroke-like symptoms and they found subdural, rather large hemotomas. So my wife took me off showing and I must not fall off a horse. Bummer."

The response (from a woman): "You are such an inspiration! I love it that you are eventing while pushing 80. Goes to show what good Swedish stock is made of – both 2- and 4-leggeds! I count myself lucky to be your cheerleader although I do get it that you don't need to injure yourself if you can help it.

"I showed a bit in dressage last year (now 75) just so the owners of the horses I have been training could see what level they were doing. Normally my assistant shows for me and I am her coach and teacher. She does really well but is just starting to show at the upper levels. My point being that just because you reach some number with your age, it does not mean you have to roll over and stop living.

"So happy new year and cheers to all of you – young and old. Age is just a state of mind (with a few aches and pains to remind us that we are still in our physical bodies."



Mary Ann said...

What an inspirational post! Thank you, Michelle!

toastyyak said...

love (1)

aka Spicyfleece

Laura said...

Thank you! I'm looking at the last year of the fifty's on Saturday. Next year I'll be 60 (I'll have to change my profile description!!), and I'm looking to be riding way longer than I ever thought possible. It is inspiring to see people older than me still ticking along!

Marie said...

Thank you!! I have a ways to go to reach those numbers, but having fairly severe scoliosis I always worry about not being able to ride.

Theresa said...

My plan is about the same, although when I retire the present two, I'm thinking gaited...