Yesterday I posted about Janne Rumbough and how at 75 she is still riding, training and competing in dressage at the highest level. Just like Clint Eastwood who, at 88, is still working non stop and not letting the “Old Man” in. Janne is not letting the “Old Gal” in. Today I am posting my interview with Nancy Hutson. Nancy comes to train with my Florida coach Lou Denizard once a month for a week at a time during the winter. Nancy is going to be 70 this year.
1. When did you start riding? I started at 3 doing pony rides at fairs. I was obsessed with horses from the beginning. Also, the horses in front of various stores that you could ride for a nickel were compelling to me.
2.Have you always ridden during your life? I have ridden most of my life. I took breaks at various times because of money and work pressures but, for the most part, I was never able to stop. Luckily, I was always able to find a horse to ride.
3. What disciplines have you ridden? Western until mid-20’s and then I had my first dressage lesson on a 26 year old retired hunter pony. That was addicting and I never looked back.
5. Do you compete now? I have shown sporadically and have my silver medal. I show I-1 now.
6.How do you stay fit for riding? By riding one or two horses a day and doing yoga up to three times per week.
7. At age 70 are there any physical problems that you feel have come with age? Staying flexible in the spine is the most challenging. I have atlas/axis chiropractic, rolfing, massage, and yoga to keep me fit, balanced and maximally flexible. It is important for me to be aware of my body, feel it’s imbalances and correct them. Being out of alignment in my spine, or tight/stuck in certain muscle groups leads, in my mind, to injury. Thus I spend a good deal of time getting help by the above professionals to keep my body going. Interestingly, my horse gets bodywork/massage, chiropractic and Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) on his back. So he gets the same treatment I do.
8. How do you find your energy level? Do you take any vitamin, mineral or other supplements? My energy level is better than ever. I have never been fitter or had more well-being in my body. That is because I spend a lot of time doing what it takes to keep it that way. I take CBD oil, glucosamine/chrondroitin sulfate, Vitamin D3/calcium and a multi-vitamin.
9. Do you have any unrealized goals in your riding that you still hope to achieve? I would love to show Grand Prix. I would have to conquer my show nerves to do it. An on-going issue that I have yet to conquer.
10. Are there any adventures or dreams would like to pursue that you have not done so far? My husband and I have done many riding safaris in Africa; galloping and riding for 8 hours a day or more. We have been to Kenya four times, Malawi, Botswana twice, South Africa twice, Namibia (rode across the Namib desert from Windhoek to Swakopmund (400K) in 10 days. All of this was in our 40’s. . We have also ridden in Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, France (a vineyard tour in Bourdeaux!), Costa Rica. These were all booked with Equitours (https://www.equitours.com). I highly recommend them.
11. Is there anything you fear, in general, about getting older? Not being able to ride is my greatest fear. I have just bought a 14 h 3” German Riding Pony in anticipation of needing a smaller horse than my lovely, loyal, 16.2” hh Hanoverian
12.Tell me a bit about your new position with Dressage Foundation. I have just joined the board of The Dressage Foundation which is a not for profit foundation that gives grants and support to professionals, amateurs, clinics, etc. These are all geared to the support of dressage in this country. They support the and invented The Century Club. This is where the combined age of the horse and rider is 100.
13 What advice would you give to a young rider about riding and about horses.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP! Stay humble and get the best coach and trainer you can find. There is always much to learn so stay open to advice. Do Not let anyone make you feel small in their training and coaching. Find someone else that can advise you while maintaining your dignity.
Thank you Nancy for taking part in my investigation of how to keep the “Old Gal” out.
To see the video of Clint Eastwood and the ‘Old Man” song please see my previous post.
Tomorrow I will be answering the questions. I will let you know how I am keeping the “Old Gal” out of my life. I hope you will join me.
I’d love to hear from you!