NEVER TOO LATE
On returning to Old Bar, Lynda worked in disability for about six months and then took up a job as manager of a programme that looks after people in the community with severe mental health illness. She is now also studying for a diploma in counselling. She has also updated her coaching accreditation and is learning to become a dressage judge, having nearly completed all the work and practicals required. She feels it is an advantage to see the sport from where the judges are looking, as it then puts training and competition in a better light. She believes that, “It’s never too late to study and learn new skills so you can become a better person.”
Asking Lynda what it was like starting again, she says: “Firstly, it was daunting that I needed everything from a halter and lead to saddles, bridles, my clothes, boots and the lot. There was feeding regimes to sort out and rugging. Stables and yards to be prepared and above all finding time to fit it all in with my work and children and family.
“The realisation of needing to work super hard to pay for an addiction was a bit daunting, but the love I have of riding and training to get out there and compete is all worth it. But to wake up in a house that we built ourselves and go to the stables and enjoy my two ponies has made the full circle in my life.
“For anyone out there contemplating getting back into riding and competition, just throw yourself at it full-on. I was so scared at first and I took so long to gain trust in Kirrah. I lost 12kg and I did Pilates and fitness work as it was partly my lack of fitness and core strength and a feeling of not looking good on a horse that was creating my lack of confidence. I started to eat better and felt re-established about myself.
“I was getting fitter with all the work associated with the riding and the maintenance of the ponies. Once I lost weight and started to get better strength and hence balance, it really affected the entire well-being of my life. To train again was amazing and you really don’t forget how to ride but you do develop a better way as you understand it’s not about strength only; it’s about logic and really being a partner with your horse. It’s about learning new and interesting exercises to create a better riding horse. It’s about empathy and passion. I never stop being amazed and excited by the new feelings I can create within my two horses.
“Of course, that will to win is still within me and I ride every day with the intention of being able to better my performances and see how far up the ladder I can get. My life without horses was indeed a challenging time and one I don’t regret, but to now have the chance to do what I so love is incredible. My life with horses is far from over and it excites me to be able to feel better and fitter every day. Thank the lord for horses.”
To learn of Lynda’s life and where it has taken her, the diversity, the ups and downs, then the joy she has found in returning to the primary love of hers, is totally inspiring. Her attitude is something to applaud. What a story and what a life, but ask Lynda and she will simply say you are never too old to give things a red-hot crack. You will never know until you have a go.
The dressage world will be seeing a lot more of this competitive lady and all will be proud of her tenacity and share in the delight she sheds in her life and association with riding and dressage — not to brush over her life helping so many troubled people. Lynda is a special, caring woman and a fun-loving, positive, good rider and mentor. EQ
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE TO READ:
‘Destination Tokyo For Simone & Destano’ – (Equestrian Life, July 2021)
‘Will My Horse Make It To Grand Prix?’ – Roger Fitzhardinge (Equestrian Life, July 2021)