I gave up riding when I was about 15. My cousin carried on, and eventually owned her own horse until a couple of years ago.
I had a brief mid-life crisis several years ago and decided I’d like to take riding lessons again. I did pretty well (after the initial shock of finding muscles I didn’t know could hurt so much). Over time, I discovered that the instructors were keen to challenge me, and gave me increasingly perky horses to ride. One had got into the habit of bucking like a bronco every time it was asked to go faster than a trot. I was nominated as the rider to break that habit. I duly stayed on, and in the course of the lesson, the horse learnt to progress seamlessly into a canter, without indulging in the fireworks display in the middle. I was quite proud of myself.
It was not until that evening that I realised falling off might actually have been the better option. In the process of surviving the rodeo, I had injured my neck. This ensured that I couldn’t actually get out of the bath, and was stuck like a beetle on its back, feebly having to call for help. My kids (aged 7 and 9-ish at the time) thought this was the best performance in the comedy category they had ever witnessed.
It took a while to recover. In that time, I reconsidered and came to the conclusion that I couldn’t afford to be out of action with two kids around (however much entertainment I provided). Since then, I’ve admired horses from a safe distance, armed only with a pencil or paintbrush.