Is there a thread where we get to express our sheer joy

At being back in the saddle regularly, and riding dressage in particular?

I’m a 40 something year old woman who’s never been without a horse, but many years without a rideable horse. In my stiff and aging decrepitness I managed to find a saint of an old cow horse and a saint of a dressage coach who is one of those best kept secrets. She teaches kids but has untold talents and patience for adults and their off brand horses.

Yesterday we were leg yielding down the quarter line and not only do I now know what a quarter line is, my poor old cow horse was floating. For those few steps he felt authentic and I felt authentic and what a feeling.

What a great sport this is.


I think you picked the right spot and did an excellent job of describing your JOY! Yesterday was a glorious Fall day --sunshine and colorful trees --I saddled my old fellow, put my young guy on a pony line and took a road trip. We wandered at a walk down country roads (only 4 cars, one Amazon truck) for an hour --totally enjoyed ourselves, then headed home. Nothing can compare and only peeps here will understand.


I think we need more threads like this. Pure joy at the unity of horse and rider is indescribable, and so incredibly soul-satisfying. :tickled_pink:


Yes, it was definitely good for my soul. And I swear the old man liked it too. He perked up. He was a ball of sweat when we were done but he was bright eyed and perky. When we got home he was loose and limber sauntering across the pasture. Almost as if to say “finally, old lady, you finally got it!”


I agree that we need more threads like this and thank you for sharing as well as reminding us how to stop and smell the roses. I am grateful for every day I get to ride as well as simply having the opportunity to have my horses. I’ve been fortunate in having had horses literally all my life; and I do not take it for granted. Without my horses and my ability (though aches and pains of my own are more pervasive) to ride, I would probably be locked up somewhere or worse. It really is the journey and the relationship with each one (mount) that makes it such a respite from the stress of real life. I am one of those who believes dressage can make every horse better and when done right keep them healthier for the long haul. BTW you are not old…I’m 57 and still starting/backing/training young stock and don’t intend on stopping until I can no longer throw my leg over the saddle.


I know I’m not old, that was mostly tongue in cheek (though there are days…). I am so appreciative that I have come back to this at this age. I latch on to every small improvement and it is enough. That he picked up the trot without a fuss. That he got the right lead. That I managed to apply my upper leg independently or actually feel it when he engaged his hind end.

I take my lessons on a weekday morning and even though my job is fast paced and high stress (and it means I have to work well in to the evening), I can let it all go for those three hours that I’m hauling to my lesson and riding. There’s no other activity (I’ve tried them all) that lets me do that. Even if I go for a run I stress out the whole time, worrying about work.

There just isn’t anyone in my real world life that would get it (outside of horse people, of course, but being away from it for so long I know precious few)


Oh, @Pehsness , you are singing my song :slight_smile:

I am also a 40-something lady, who is starting to notice my age. I can’t do what I once did, and I don’t dream as big. But the flip side of that is a greater sense of appreciation. On Sundays, I hop on my old gelding bareback and walk through the woods enjoying the dappled sunlight. Of all the big rings and bright lights I’ve ridden under, these simple moments are my favorite.


i’m 66, can hardly even remember being in-my-forties actually. Happy for your joie de vivre!

I hauled my fancy mare into lesson Tues and we worked a little bit on turn on the fore and haunches (my coach has to use the word “pivot” instead of turn because i get confused)…

This mare was trying very hard and got a lot of praise simply for trying. At lesson’s end, i dismounted and this strange overachiever of mine crossed her front legs, dramatically…making the letter “X”!! and posed with her neck arched. LOLOLOLOL…

My coach and i were gobsmacked…and i was rather delighted.

Perplexing to me was how to step her out of that little yoga maneuver… finally i came up with a plan and she stepped easily out of it.


I am several decades older, and through a series of extremely fortunate events, am hunting a lovely horse in glorious country this fall. There has yet to be a morning when I’ve been sitting at the meet or when I’ve been moving off that I don’t want to pinch myself because I don’t believe it’s real. If there’s ever a day I don’t think “I must be the luckiest person alive to be doing this right now.” I’ll reconsider my choices, but I don’t see it happening any time soon.


There are days I simply can’t believe my life. I came back to riding as an adult, and never, ever, ever thought I’d be blessed with such lovely horses, and the time, support, and ability to train them myself. It’s a dream come true.

Today, the green-bean took her first round, balanced and through canter depart - and we’ve done the work all by ourselves! I could have cried. She’s the type of talented, saintly, genius horse I never, ever, EVER dreamed I’d sit on, much less own. She makes every day feel like Christmas. I still get the pre-ride excitement jitters (in a good way) as I’m walking to the mounting block and while I’m doing my warm-up walk laps. The same sort of I-just-can’t-wait-jitters I had as a kid before my lessons. I hope I never lose that feeling.

Every single day with my lovely mares is a wish that comes true.


Love this thread ❤️ Thank you OP!
Last week as I was turning my horse out after our lesson, I uttered: I love my life! Not something I’ve thought or said very often these last few months.

Here’s the reason I love my life :slight_smile:
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This thread is making me so happy. I’m going to bookmark it so that I can come back and re-read on days when the rest of the world seems to be in a hellbound handbasket.

I still remember the utter sweetness and synchronicity, the pure rightness, of particular turns, lines and moments 25+ years ago. Now that I’m riding again, I love that Christmas morning anticipation that @Mersidoats talked about. Horses are very much kairos instead of chronos; they’re metaphysics with a thin coating of mud and clover slime.


I feel like that giddy little kid with my first pony every day! I absolutely can’t believe I have my young mare, who is ridiculously talented and beautiful, but also a wonderfully kind soul and quite rideable despite having massive movement. But the fact all three horses whinnied and came to greet me when I saw them yesterday is what makes my heart flutter. 💞


Oh wow, thank you for all the responses! How wonderful to read. So lucky indeed.

McGurk - I get that pinch myself feeling whenever I load MY horse in to MY trailer and drive it down the road by MYself. That is not a reality I could ever have envisioned for myself (once I grew up enough to realize the 100’s acre horse farm on rolling hills with a babbling brook and hardwood forest wasn’t in my future :smiley: )


I went back to riding almost 15 years ago and the first time I sat on a lesson horse, I felt that I’d come home. Moments of joy all the time since then, absolutely!



I get that pinch myself feeling whenever I load MY horse in to MY trailer and drive it down the road by MYself.

Me too!!!


My heart sings every morning when my 30+ old guy nickers to tell me where he is, and that he is ready for breakfast. I think it was Winston Churchill who said “Something about the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man” . . . so true, no matter how old I (and he) get.

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Yes it is the reriders thread in the hunters forum. You do not have to jump. You do not have to own a horse. You do not have to ride a horse. You do not have to read back. (Over 1,000 pages).You do not have to be a rerider.

You just have to love horses and the people posting in the thread.

Just jump in and introduce yourself and photos are mandatory.


How about sitting out on point watching the sun burn the early morning mist off the grass, listening to hounds run, take a deep breath of fresh air and all is well in my small world (my horse’s too).

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I’ll add to that- I’m another 40-something amateur who is just thrilled to be back in the game after more than 15 years away from horses due to life circumstances. I started riding again about 3 years ago, and bought a green TB gelding about 18 months ago. We just did our first recognized event at BN this weekend, and we did not get eliminated! Just so happy to be out there, even if our scores were not the prettiest.

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