Riders of a
Your Guide for Loving Horses
Midlife and Beyond
A delightfully honest book that looks at the realities of starting out with horses…when you’re getting older.
Surveys show that riders over the age of 40 are the fastest-growing segment of the horse world, with those age 65 and above seeing the biggest jump. Yes, when we conjure up images of “horse girls” the picture is generally comprised of happily grubby youngsters or teenagers with roomsful of ribbons, but there is healthy segment of the equestrian population that first finds—or first finds time for—horses in midlife or beyond. And this is the only handbook available for these riders, trainers, rescuers, and volunteers.
With carefully curated guidance collected over years of horsing around, rider and writer Fran Severn knows of which she speaks and wants readers to feel emboldened and empowered by the tips, lessons, and advice shared in these pages. You’ll find:
- Options for riding…and not riding (but still having horses in your life).
- Finding an instructor and being a good student.
- What can your body still do? Fitness, weight, and fear.
- Effects of menopause, arthritis, and changing vision, hearing, and breathing.
- Rules for buying, leasing, and boarding horses.
- Budgeting for horse-related finances.
- Dealing with family.
- And much more.
What Readers Say
Riders of a Certain Age is the most comprehensive book for new equestrians that I have read. It answers typical questions regarding equipment, barn, and horses. But more importantly, it addresses the nuances associated with getting older—notably, how to be more comfortable with horses physically, mentally, and emotionally, as well as how to find long-term success with them.
Fran Severn’s new book, Riders of a Certain Age: Your Guide for Loving Horses Midlife and Beyond, and its resonant cover, ride to our emotional rescue at just the right time, and with just the right tone of pragmatic advice, to keep us riding forward at a point in life when others might expect us to whoa. From leasing to leakage, money to manure, this engagingly candid, comprehensive resource is an owner’s manual for reclaiming the right to indulge your horse-loving inner child.
Fran has written a very timely book, given that the demographics of the equestrian industry have changed over the past 50 years or so to become very female-centric. And not only female-centric, but for the most part comprised of mature female baby boomers whose husbands are out playing golf, and whose children are off at university or getting married and starting families of their own. Some of these women are coming back to riding after having enjoyed it as youngsters; others are just picking up the hobby or even beginning to compete as adult amateurs. As such, there is much knowledge that has been lost, that has changed over time, or that was never learned. This book is a comprehensive revelation, touching on pretty much every current topic you can think of related to riding: buying a horse, owning a horse, training a horse, legalities and health issues surrounding the horse, and more. Every question is addressed; you would be hard-pressed to find this much information elsewhere in a single reference! And beyond that—it's just fun to read.
Fran Severn's Riders of a Certain Age is a wonderful resource for women who are starting their riding lives later in life or returning to riding after a break, and even for those who are experienced long-time riders. Women over 60 have different abilities and needs, and Severn tactfully explores the differences that we experience as we age and how this impacts riding. If nothing else, this book is a reminder that we need to acknowledge the process of getting older and embrace the gifts of aging—not just bemoan the changes. A fun and easy read, this book is now on my recommended reading list for all my students!
Riders of a Certain Age is full of wisdom and sound advice for people coming into horses as adults. Fran Severn’s book has been extensively researched, and her suggestions are backed up with facts and figures. Yet, she has an easy writing style and the refreshing ability to address difficult topics with tact and grace. The suggestions for handling horse-related fear are in accordance with my own experience and methods, especially her constant reminders to be kind to yourself and others. Despite my commitment to safety, I even found myself being reminded to recheck several areas addressed in the book, including updating the emergency contacts list stored in my trailer. Fran’s 'Ageless Advice' sections are helpful and easy to read. The information in Riders of a Certain Age is timeless, and I highly recommend this book.
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