Riding As We Age
Recently I have begun to realize the difference between fear and wisdom. On becoming 80 years old, I can look back on my years of riding good horses and not so good horses.
After suffering many broken bones in the past I have allowed fear to overtake my joy of riding. I realize that I don’t bounce back as quickly. Add to that my 18 year old horse still acts like a silly child under certain conditions, such as riding next to a horse he dislikes or spooking at nothing on the trail. Of course there are exceptions. Recently feral pigs bolted out of the woods and crossed the trail in front of the horses. My guy did a 360 that couldn’t have taken a nano second. Fortunately I was still in my saddle.
Which brings me to changes I have made with my tack. The last time I was unseated I was riding in an English saddle which I loved. Nothing wrong with English saddles but as our bodies change and our reaction time diminishes I realized I needed to make a change. I now ride in a deep seated western saddle and I not only feel more secure but it has saved me many times. I have had to make changes about who I ride with and where we ride. My body doesn’t bode well with riding for many hours so now I ride with people who enjoy a leisurely pace and shorter rides. I can still enjoy my younger friends around the camp fire.
Wisdom should not be confused with fear. It comes with many years of trial and error. I pray I will be healthy enough to enjoy many more years of riding with my friends and their horses.
Psalm 56:3 “But when I am afraid I put my trust in you.”