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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

March 28, 2014

The Old Lady Sport

I read this somewhere this week and it kind of stuck with me.  Endurance, the "old lady sport."   Interesting that others would view it that way.  The demographic for AERC is relatively strong in old ladies.   You have to wonder why that is.   Riding a fit horse for 25-100 miles certainly isn't easy, or comfortable, and doing so above the age of 50 magnifies the symptoms, aches, pains, and misery of riding long.   Remembering my first couple of LD's and how I could barely move past 20 miles, and the aches and pains post was rough.   Now five years later I can double that mileage, and I'll feel tired, but not the crippled up mess I was in the beginning.   The sport and my equine adventures in general have made me stronger I think.  Then there is the focus that goes along with riding long. The rhythm of the ride itself, chugging along, watching for the turns, emptying your mind of the trash that clutters it up.  The freedom from ringing phones, chirping text messages, needy families, and jobs that want all of you.   Maybe we "old ladies" have got it figured out.

AERC is making a push right now to try and build their membership numbers.  It is just a matter of time before the old lady demographic literally dies off.  The sport will need new blood, young people to sustain it in the future.  They will need to put down their electronic gadgetry long enough to condition a horse, and ride a ride. They will have to have a motivator of why ride a horse that far, for that long, and the expendable cash to join and participate. It will be interesting to watch the future (if I'm still here to watch it).  I'll slide on my bifocals----just in case.

1 comment:

  1. I've never been surprised that it's an "old lady" sport. First, except for cowboy-land there's always been more women involved with horses than men (in America). Although it's interesting that probably half or more of the elite riders are men. So that takes care of the "lady" part -- there are simply more women into horses then men. As for the "old" part, this sport requires alot of time, quite a bit of disposable money. These things aren't easy when you're young with a new family or putting all your energy into building a career, maybe getting your first apartment or home. I'm not sure this fact can ever be reversed especially if younger generations find it harder to make decent wages. But yeah, how funny is it that by the time we old ladies have the time and money to do the sport, it is SO damn physically demanding for us!