Country and Western singer Toby Keith was playing golf with Clint Eastwood and Clint mentioned that on the next Monday he would be turning 88. Toby asked him what he was going to do and Clint replied that he was starting work on a feature film. “What keeps you going?” Toby asked. “I get up in the morning and I don’t let the old man in.” Clint replied.
When I heard this story I started thinking about the more mature women I know who are dressage riders and I decided to interview a couple of them and add my own thoughts in as well. How do we keep the Old Gal out? I asked all of us the same questions.
The first person I spoke with was Danish rider Janne Rumbough. Janne is now in her 75th year and still competing, as an amateur, at the highest level of dressage the Grand Prix.
What age did you start riding? I started riding when I was 11.
What disciplines have you ridden and what do you ride now? I rode in the jumpers and now I do dressage. I ride the Grand Prix.
How do you stay fit enough to ride? I don’t go to the gym I just work a lot and ride three horses. I always run up any stairs two steps at a time. I never take an elevator.
Do you have any physical problems that have come with age? I have them but I don’t pay any attention to them. I injured my upper arm lifting my husband when he was ill. I saw an osteopath for that and now I have a full range of motion again. And I have a coach, Mikala Munter, who puts up with me.
Do you take any supplements? I take glucosamine and I eat very well. I am not a big eater but I eat well.
Do you have any unrealized goals in your riding? Yes I want to train up another younger horse to Grand Prix.
Do you have any dreams, even frivolous ones, in your riding that you would like to do? Oh …I have done frivolous things before but I don’t need to do them now. At my age I now have a stop and go whereas before I didn’t care.
Is there anything you fear about getting older? I’m so ignorant I don’t think about it and there’s no way I am going to an old people’s home I know that.
What would you tell a young rider about their riding or their horse? Hurry up slowly.
Janne’s reaction to the story about Clint Eastwood was this: I have a white picket fence around me. I tell that old gal she has to stay out. You are not allowed in here. And I have a candle burning in my chest. If it starts to flicker I know I need to work on myself.
Thank you Janne for taking the time to speak with me. Tomorrow I will be posting my interview with Nancy Huston, who is a fellow student of Lou Denizard, and like myself is heading soon into her 7th decade.
For my interview with Janne from 2017 please click on this link.
To see the video, starring Clint Eastwood, that features Toby Keith’s song, about not letting the old man in, see this link. It’s worth watching!