FAQ Riding

Learning to Ride Horses in Your 60s: It’s NOT too late

senior woman watching horses
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Written by Channing M.

Welcome to the horse world!

Maybe you rode horses as a young child, or maybe you never got the chance. Regardless of your history, taking up horse riding lessons in your 60s is absolutely possible.

Horse Rookies come in all sizes, shapes, and ages, and we support your dream to saddle up. Soon, you’ll wonder why you were waiting so long to start your riding adventure.

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

Why It’s a Great Time to Start Riding

Your love for horses runs deep: Taking up riding in your 60s is less about what’s popular, and more about the actual love of horses and the type of physical activity it can bring to your life. You’ve developed patience, you’re not in a rush to climb the competitive ranks, and you’re there because you want to be there.

As one later-in-life beginner put it:

Taking riding lessons now is like my first marriage versus my second. My first husband was who I thought would impress my friends. My current husband impressed ME.

You’re not alone: Don’t let an arbitrary number discourage you from achieving your horse goals. There are plenty of older riders out there, having a great time and enjoying barn life and the activity. If you’re worried about any physical limitations, talk to a riding coach before you begin lessons. They should be able to address any concerns about what you can handle, or even mobility issues. Riding improves fitness: You’ll gain all kinds of overall muscle toning, improve your reaction time, and develop better balance. All of these are areas that show a decline as we get older. Much like slower, gentler fitness activities like yoga or Pilates, riding gets results with focused concentration and smaller, coordinated movements.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!

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Tips for Horse Rookies in Their 60s

  • Be honest about your health: Make sure you’re ready by doing a physical assessment. Riding is a real sport, and you’ll want to make sure that you have a base level of fitness to enjoy yourself. 
  • Get up to speed on the latest safety gear: Helmets have come a long, long, way – they’re lighter, cooler, come in cool colors, and don’t look like you’re wearing a mushroom. You might also want to check out protective safety vests, which are incredible. Learn more about horseback riding safety that’s worth every penny.
  • Start a basic fitness routine out of the saddle: You may well be increasing both your cardio and physical activity levels. If you haven’t been engaging in activity that gets your heart rate up at least three times a week, it’s advisable to get out there and walk to strengthen your legs and prepare. You’ll also want to strengthen your whole body. We love the honest approach of this adult rider to her exercise regime.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlJxQrZYUIo]

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

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Channing M.

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.