What on earth possessed a grown man of my mature years to climb onto a horse’s back at his stage of life?

Plenty of reasons.

The rest of my family – my wife, my daughter and my son – are all ‘hypomaniacs’, which is a fancy word for ‘horse crazy’.  When I first took my boy out to the Twin L Performance Horses, he was clutched to my chest in a baby sling.  He can’t remember a time before Linda Leslie’s Arabian horses.  Whether or not you mention an interest in horseback riding or say that you are looking for riding stables near you, he’ll give you a comprehensive tour of the stables, reel off every horse’s name, describe their characteristics, explain their quirks, and chat about their histories personal and communal.

As for my daughter, under Linda’s tutelage she’s progressed from an awkward beginner whose enthusiasm was all she had going for her as a rider to a keen and successful competitor, proud owner of her own horse.  Finally, my wife is blissfully happy on horseback: and, like any man with any horse sense, if my wife’s happy, so am I.  So horses captured my interest.

It’s great fun just hanging out with Linda and the gang, but my status as passive observer started to chafe.  From childhood I’d appreciated the nobility of horses and reveled in the legends – Bucephalus, Alexander the Great’s horse, the heroic cavalry charges in Westerns – but the opportunity to turn legends into my personal reality never emerged.

Until the Twin L Performance Horses – why not get personal with a horse? I was spending time out there anyway.

At first I felt bashful taking horseback riding lessons. Not only am I not in my first youth, I’m also not very athletic. And I might have been a little afraid of horses.  Add to that the curious fact that few men sign up to learn to ride, and I was embarrassed to be more or less the only guy among a bunch of women.

But Linda set me right. She couldn’t have been more encouraging. Her firm but tactful guidance swung me into a saddle, and I’ve never looked back.

What’s not to like?  Now I communicate directly with my wife and children about very special experiences. We trade horsy anecdotes and help each other to ride better. The time we spend together in the car always includes at least a few minutes of bonding over our shared sport. And yes, there’s a bit of gentle teasing as well because none of the day’s mistakes are likely to be unique to any one of us.

There are many sports that it would be unadvisable, if not plain stupid, to take up at an older age.  I can happily report that horse riding is not one of them.  Riding has helped me to get in shape, and the desire to ride more has helped me to stay in shape.  There were a few riding lessons in the beginning that had me turning to ibuprofen to ease muscles that hadn’t been asked to work much in too long. But those days are behind me.  The better shape I’m in, the better rider I can be.

And being the only man in the midst of all these women?  If not unique, equine sports are rare in being unisex.  Almost everything I’ve learned about horses I’ve learned from Linda Leslie, of course, but also from the women and girls at Twin L Performance Horses. What’s not to love about that?   Join me! Call: 480-515-4495 or email: [email protected]