Getting back into the saddle can be very rewarding, and getting back into the horse show ring can be even more so. This article takes a look at some things adult riders can do to make their reentry into the horse show world more fun.
So many people who enjoyed horses as children are getting back into the sport that there is now a special term for the phenomenon. That term is re-rider and it has come to refer to anyone who rode horses as a child or young adult and who is now taking the plunge again at an older age.
No matter which equestrian sports and activities you enjoyed as a child, you can recapture the fun and excitement again, no matter what your age. Entering the world of competitive equestrian sports can be more of a challenge for the older rider, but there is no reason you cannot recapture the things you enjoyed as a child.
If you are currently just enjoying a hack out on the trails with your new horse, you may want to give competition another look. It is not easy to get back into the show ring as an adult, but it can be extremely rewarding. Competing as are-rider also has its good points. For one thing, many older riders find that they are not as worried about how they place as they were as kids. They find that they are now able to just relax and enjoy showing off their new mounts, without worrying about winning every class or taking home a trunk full of ribbons.
That is not to say that older riders cannot be competitive. In fact, many of the top riders at all levels of equestrian competition are well into their 40s, 50s and even 60s, and many of those riders reentered the show ring after many years away. If you are willing to work hard at your sport and lear from others, you can work your way up to some very high levels of competition.
If it has been decades since you last trotted into a show arena, it is a good idea to take some lessons, even if you have been doing well on your own until now. Having a professional evaluate your riding and give you some pointers will not only make you a better rider. That professional opinion and guidance can also give you the confidence boost you need to get out there in front of the horse show crowd again.
It is also a good idea to attend a few shows as a spectator, preferably with your instructor, before bringing your horse. Show ring trends come and go, and it is important to observe what is currently in fashion so you know what the judge will be looking for when you enter your first competition. From the low and sow movements of the western classes to the more elevated and animated movement of the hunter and dressage rings, it is important to understand the current trends and evaluate how well you and your mount fit the mold.
When you do enter the show ring again, it is a good idea to choose a smaller open show for your first time out. Your instructor should be able to help you find a local fun show that matches your level of ability and allows you to have a great time while enjoying some friendly competition. The good news is that the large number of re-riders in the modern arena means many shows have added adult beginner a adult walk trot classes designed with those equestrians in mind. Once you enter the ring for the first time, you just might find that all the gears click right back into place. Many of those who have reentered the show ring find that showing horses is just as fun, and just as addictive, as they remember.
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