FAQ Riding

Learning to Ride Horses in Your 30s: It’s NOT too late

horse riding in 30s
Written by Channing M.

Welcome to the horse world!

Are you one of those people who still happily calls out “horse!” whenever you pass one in the car? Do you still have a few model horses stashed in your closet?

It’s a great time to think about trying a new sport that’ll keep you active — without the eardrum-bursting music and clanging weights at the gym.

Riding in your 30s can be really fun, introduce you to a new social network, build muscles (that you forgot were there), and connect with a beautiful animal in a deep way.

Click to see one of our favorite books for beginners at Amazon

*Cover photo provided by Angie Misaghi (@angisaghi)

Why It’s a Great Time to Start Riding

You’ll get more fit.

Riding is a core-building, leg-strengthening, balance-improving sport that can give you lots of lean muscles and great upper arms. Throw in some barn chores, and it’s a great workout.

Your 30s can be a weird decade.

People are settling into careers, marriage, family life, and you may be craving a new activity and/or new friends. If you had previous dreams of horse riding, you may have had to sideline them while you got on with “adult life.”

Spending time at the barn will provide social, psychological, and physical benefits.

You can learn faster through lessons.

Although you’ll gain the most progress by attending lessons regularly, there’s also nothing wrong with picking up a class now and then as your schedule allows.

You’ll still retain the basic skills you’ve learned thus far and be able to keep building on them.

inspirational horse quote about age

Age is just a number when it comes to horse riding. Check out Horse Riding as an Adult: Why It’s Never Too Late to Learn to see why!

Tips for Horse Rookies in Their 30s

  • Shop smart: Get your gear together before you take the plunge. You’ll need a riding safety helmet, comfortable riding clothes, and other items, depending on your discipline. (Check out our list of gear you need to ride horses as an adult.) Be prepared to be both a bit overwhelmed at all the choices — and as excited as a 12-year old when you see all the fun options out there. Riding gear today has ALL the colors, and a lot of it is cute enough to wear away from the barn, too.
  • Don’t think that riding is too easy: You’re going to be actively balancing, compensating for the unfamiliar moves of your mount, and gripping with your legs. If you haven’t been active in this way before, make sure that you practice horse riding yoga poses and establish a stretching routine before every ride. You’ll also feel better if you’ve been getting some moderate exercise, such as walking.
  • Plunge into the horse world: There are plenty of ways to socialize and just have fun on horseback. Trail rides, fun shows, and attending events — even as a non-competitor — will introduce you to a lot of new people. You’re guaranteed to make new friends and broaden your horizons. 
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Brush up on the basics before heading to the barn by reading How to Ride a Horse for Beginners (Basics, Safety, Mistakes).

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About the author


When I'm not using my equine anatomy, physiology, veterinary care background to educate other equestrians, you'll find me volunteering with retired racehorses or vacationing in the Gulf of Mexico with my hubby and beach-loving lab.