Hi! Iā€™m Kim. I’m a wife, a mom of two adult kids (24 and 21 as of early April 2023, ack – when did I get so old?!!), and an avid equestrian – or at least I try very hard! šŸ˜‰

The TL:DR version: I started riding later in life, at 35. Learning to ride has been a long road as I’m really good at overthinking, overanalyzing, being overly cautious, and seeing all the worst-case scenarios, not to mention being way too hard on myself. However, I’ve learned the skills to overcome all that (or I’ve at least come a very long way anyway, lol)! While the journey is never-ending and there are of course things I’m working on both in the saddle and out, I can now say I feel confident in my riding, secure in the saddle (most of the time, lol), and can deal with limiting beliefs or fears I may have. My riding, and how I feel about it, have changed dramatically since I started. Of course, my skillset improvement was a huge part of it, but really the biggest shifts came with overcoming some limiting beliefs and ways of thinking. Mindset truly is half the battle. My goal here is to share what worked for me with anyone whose story is somewhat like mine and hopefully save a few years of frustration. šŸ˜‰

The long-winded, wordy version šŸ˜œ: I’ve been riding for over a decade but didn’t start until I was 35 (I’m 49 as of this writing). I was terrified of even being next to a horse when I started but loved them to pieces from afar. I was one of those who pointed out horses every time you drove by one (and I still do for that matter!) Finally, thanks to my amazing hubby getting me the name of a riding coach, I started my dream come true of riding lessons after only previously having had the occasional guided trail ride, and a bad experience at summer camp when I was 8. šŸ˜¬

We had young kids at the time and not a lot of extra money, but thanks to my coach who was so accommodating with my schedule, it was the beginning of a whole new world for me. My poor husband had no idea what he’d be getting into!

I’m not sure how I spent the first 35 years of my life not riding – though I did pine for them. For some reason, it never occurred to me that I could have horses in my life without owning one, and at the time, we were in no position for that to happen. I thought only people who owned horses got to ride. Little did I know!

My lessons were in English and eventually included jumping. I didn’t know anything about anything when I started – and I didn’t know or care about English or Western, I just wanted to ride and be around horses. Big credit goes to both my coach and my younger self as I was beyond scared of everything. Looking back, I’m in awe of the bravery I had to persevere knowing, in hindsight, how terrified I was.

But as I’m sure you can relate, horses were my everything. No offence to my husband or kids, but there is nothing quite like them. They’re just a part of you.

Fast forward to now and I’ve gone from being terrified to even stand next to a horse to achieving my English Rider Level 6 by Equestrian Canada certification. I also spent over ten years volunteering for the Errington Therapeutic Riding Association (ETRA) as a side walker, horse handler, and program coordinator.

Some of my favourite things now are helping other adult newbies at my barn. I absolutely love beginner adult riders! I know the courage it takes to be there and the courage to ride with the kids who just fly right by you with their annoying degree of fearlessness (ha!). I love helping newbie adults with the basics like tacking up, getting the lesson horse out of its paddock, and giving encouragement and/or advice during and after lessons to anyone who needs it.

There are so many things I’ve learned along the way from my unique perspective of learning as an adult. It’s truly not the same when you don’t have the memories of fearlessly riding bareback with your friends, not to mention the muscle memory of doing the same.

And though I’ve never formally taught lessons, I’ve been told time again that I should, as what and how I teach and the perspective I bring is something they haven’t found from anyone else. I like to move with mindfulness and patience, always encouraging, and always being aware of both the horse’s and the rider’s perspectives. It brings me such joy to not only share my love of horses but also share my encouragement of adults stepping out of their comfort zones.

I’m not sure being an actual riding instructor is in the cards for me, but that’s what brings me here! I love to write (clearly, as I can’t seem to ever write anything short!), I love horses, I love to ride, and I love to encourage people to follow their dreams and believe in themselves. I aim to do what I can to foster all those loves here. Here, I can write about what I’ve learned and hopefully be a cheerleader to whoever needs it.

And now for some fun facts about me!

  1. I live on Vancouver Island in BC, Canada. šŸļø (okay, so it’s not a tropical island, but it is very pretty!)
  2. I love chocolate šŸ« almost as much as horses (though is that even possible…?)
  3. I get nauseous at the idea of public speaking and will avoid it at all costs. šŸ˜Ø
  4. I absolutely loved the book trilogy šŸ“š, The Horses Know trilogy, by Lynn Mann.
  5. My mother was the mayor of Parksville, BC. šŸ‘©ā€āš–ļø
  6. I’m quiet šŸ¤« in groups but can talk your ear off one-on-one.
  7. My favorite show is Ted Lasso (BELIEVE!! šŸ’Æ).
  8. We have a Boston Terrier named Rip, named after the character on Yellowstone. šŸ¤ 
  9. I’ve been married for almost 26 years ā¤ļø and have two kids, the oldest of which lives out of the country for work. šŸ˜­
  10. I’ve written three nonfiction books (two self-help, and one business book, co-written with my husband), one fiction book (which has horses in it, of course!), and created and published a colouring book, an undated planner, and an equestrian journal. I love to create things! šŸ“–

Thanks for reading my novel. šŸ˜‰ Tell me about you in the comments! Or email me at kim@beginneradultrider.com – I’d love to hear from you!

Kim šŸ˜€šŸ‡šŸ˜