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I started riding for the first time in May 1997 at the tender age of 66.
Last Fall I "hurt" in many places after a short pleasure ride or an hour
dressage lesson.

Having just  completed my first 15 and 25 mile rides in
pretty good condition.   ( I had a few stiff leg muscles,  the
next day,  but if my calculations are correct,  in a 4 and 1/2 hour
CTR we post about 8000 times!!)

I'd like to pass on my experience to the recent
postings on the subject.  The following came about by trial AND error BIG error was trying to ride "Western"...that saddle about
ruined my knees.

The HORSE had to come first...this Arab is VERY sensitive to tack!!
Anyone else seen this in Arabs?

1 Got an "endurance" saddle from Thornhill in Delaware (Trail
    Model 123,   $595)   Quilted seat,  cut forward,  well-padded for knees.
2 Got Easycare Stirrups with safety cage from Sportack ($85)
3. Lowered stirrups one or two notches (inches) below that used for
    dressage/jumping.  (One more inch is too short for posting).
4. Got Lycra/Nylon riding tights from Sportack ...padded
    knees and seat, (eliminates the need for Athletic Supporter which
    often chaffed).  One disadvantage you gals can appreciate.....
    for the first time in my life I must drop my pants to pee!!
5  Got comfortable work boots with HARD TOE and leather half-chaps.

6. Rode all Winter..dressage and jumping, .three or more times a week.
7. Worked out all Winter...three times a week at the local health club.
8. Took Ibuprofen before, during, and after the ride.

Not sure of order of significance....maybe Ibuprofen should be FIRST!

We appreciate all your help...hope this can help someone else.

John and Meshack (VT)

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