Can you learn horse riding post-20s?

AB-SO-LUTELY. You can at any age. Of course, your “fast twitch” reactions are slower as you age, but I presume you’re not proposing to ride broncos. I went along on a fox hunt last year, and the master of hunt (who could ride like the devil) informed he _started_ riding at 46 … and had never suffered a serious fall. Moreover, as you ascend the competence scales – should you pursue high school-level equitation – your age will actually become a benefit. Once you’ve developed your basic balance and coordination (such that you can move your arms and legs independently of your trunk while in forward gaits), higher levels of dressage are very much an intellectual and academic (in a positive sense) exercise – to an extent I believe I and most other life-long riders would admit we did not truly grasp/appreciate until well into our 30s (if then) – and this same observation was made by several of the great masters of the art. By all means, saddle up if you have an interest. Find a competent, experienced instructor with good horses, and don’t be afraid to “switch horses” as it were. If you’re not having fun from the beginning, you’re not doing it right.

Henry Fleming
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Henry Fleming

Editor at harmony+cross
Henry Fleming is a horsemanship and equitation writer, trainer, tutor, and clinician. He advocates historical ideals of advanced horsemanship, applying principles espoused by William Cavendish and Francois Baucher to achieve them quickly and safely.
Henry Fleming
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