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It’s never too late to learn horseback riding

“It’s Never Too Late” is a new series that tells the story of people who decided to pursue their dreams with their own thoughts.

Rose Young has a great ability to adapt to demanding work and demanding situations. She was an FBI agent focused on white-collar crime. A lawyer who filed an insurance proceeding. He was responsible for medical compliance after returning to North Carolina from Lafayette, Louisiana in 2003 with her husband and daughter.

But the only pursuit she was afraid of was going horseback riding, even as a kid, desperately desperate to do it. “I grew up in Hamlet, a small railroad town in North Carolina,” said Young, 65. “I was five years old when I saw my first horse and longed for a lesson. I was guided once or twice by a neighbor who had a horse on the farm, which was unusual. Riding a horse again. There wasn’t. “

A few months before the pandemic, Young, then 63, took his first English riding lesson. (She happened to meet an instructor who was willing to take on an older student and a woman at work connecting her.) One class went into two, which quickly changed every month. Then it became a year-round project. Then a life-changing experience. (The following interview has been edited and summarized.)

Why didn’t you take classes when you were a kid?

I grew up in a small house. My parents were blue collar workers and worked really hard. There was nothing in the extras. So I was convinced that I wasn’t fit for myself. That’s sad. As I got older, I might have had time to take lessons once a month, but I was scared and uncomfortable. And I was afraid.

What were you scared of?

You may drop out or get injured. However, in 2003 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. It changed things. That is motivation. I don’t know how long I have a chance, so if I have a chance I have to chase my dreams.

How did you find the courage to take the first step?

I didn’t scare breast cancer or deprive me of the joy of life. That would have been a disaster. I decided to live another life. Learning to ride was to find new joy. It was also a reward for surviving the very dark and coming out on the other side.

How did you get started?

I live in an area where many people own horses, but I had to find someone to make myself and the horse available to older students. Many places train children. It’s harder to find older students who are at risk of injury or who may not be open to learning and who seize the opportunity. It took me a month to find my first instructor. I also read books and watched countless videos.

What were some of your biggest challenges?

Find the right instructor, then find the right horse. Now I’m riding a 5th instructor and a 6th horse. I think I finally found the right one. It also overcomes the risk of falls and injuries. I knocked it down four times and had one concussion. I reconsidered to continue. Maybe I thought I was crazy about doing this. I took a few weeks off. Then I tried another horse and another horse until I found a horse that I wasn’t afraid of.

When was the moment of your light bulb?

I had some friends who started riding later in life. It was exciting. Then, after undergoing knee replacement, an older friend who thought she would never return decided to start the competition again. It was also exciting. I thought, “If she can do that, I can do it too.”

How was it finally feeling like riding a horse?

Initially, it was more arousing than awe-inspiring. I let myself breathe and disperse my anxiety. Horses are beautiful, intelligent and sensitive. Their eyes are soulful. There is nothing better than being there and feeling true synchronization and connection with other beings. We both work for the same purpose. It’s a fleeting, effortless, fluid connection. You feel outside of yourself. And there is something very fascinating and empowering about being able to control and influence the behavior of something bigger than you.

What did you learn about yourself during this time?

I’m not afraid to fail. I’m willing to look stupid to learn new things that are valuable to me. You can’t rush this process. It took me a while to figure it out. I wanted to learn everything in a month. It didn’t happen. I’m still studying. There is still a long way to go. It was inconvenient, expensive, too time consuming, and out of reach, so I suppressed the desire to ride for a long time. They were excuses to justify my negligence. I found it stupid. I wanted to do this when I was a kid, but now I learned that I need to give it to myself.

How has your life changed since you got on it?

It is enhanced by this process. A small win is a bigger goal. I learned to enjoy the moment with a horse slowly. I am enjoying the sense of accomplishment.

What are your future plans?

My next big step is to rent a horse in October. This means riding outside the lesson. I would be riding a horse alone. You must reach a certain level of ability before you can do it.

What did your unexpected riding give you?

It strengthened all aspects of my life. It made everything more interesting, brighter and more lively. It activated my level of curiosity and interest in everything around me.

What do you tell people who are feeling stuck and trying to make a difference?

Look back at why you were happy when you were young and see if it’s something you can reach for inspiration and joy. Then find the time and ability to do it.

What lessons can people learn from your experience?

Don’t be afraid of embarrassment or be criticized. You don’t have to be familiar with anything. And don’t let your fear get in the way. You won’t be scared every time you try.

I’m looking for someone who decides it’s never too late to switch gears, change lives, or chase dreams. Should we talk to you or anyone you know?Share your story here..

It’s never too late to learn horseback riding

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