• Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses

Are You on the Verge of Midlife Horses ?

Why Millions of Midlife Women Are Getting (Back) in the Saddle…and How You Can, Too!

Just as the stereotypical icon of male midlife crisis is often a shiny new sports car, many females in midlife are now claiming a shiny new “mustang” of their own.

In fact, The American Horse Council Foundation estimates there are 9.2 million horses in the United States, 75 percent of which are owned by women over the age of forty. These are the women who grew up before Title IX, before young girls had real venues for exploring and expressing their strength, independence, and mastery. These were the girls who once chose Breyers over Barbies, preferring to play with plastic horses instead of plastic dolls.

Then they grew up.

Their dreams of horses, and all horses once represented, were shelved along with those now-collectible Breyers. Today, after two, three, or four decades taking care of others, with the kids out of the house (and sometimes the husband, too), today’s forty- and fifty-something woman suddenly finds herself with the time, money, and health to be all she used to hope to be. Exhilarated by this new freedom to focus on her own priorities, she decides to get back in the saddle—or perhaps to finally get in it for the first time. She Googles “horses for sale” online, signs up for lessons, goes for a trail ride, or takes a friend up on a longstanding offer to “Come ride with me sometime.”

Then reality rears its wrinkled head.

By midlife, her center of balance may have shifted a bit, her muscle tone may have faded, and the well-honed apprehension, courtesy of years of “Be careful, now!” mothering may have replaced her youthful sense of invincibility. She also may have discovered a few new insecurities midlife horsemanship can create—physical, emotional, and financial quandaries she never before considered. This uncertainty may be compounded by the well-intentioned comments of friends and family members—“What if you get hurt?” and “You know, old bones take longer to heal,” and “Are you sure you can afford all this?”

If, however, she somehow manages to turn these doubts into determination—and climbs into the saddle to discover the spell only close communion with a horse can cast—she’ll be the first to tell you there’s nothing else in the world like it. And she’ll do whatever it takes to make it work, because for the first time in a long time, her soul feels whole.

The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses is the book women have been searching for, but haven’t yet found. Offering horses as both metaphor and solution to the natural malaise that often arises within us just about the time we blow out that “midlife” birthday candle, this is the book that will help midlife women ask (and answer), “What about my dreams?” and “Is it my turn yet?” and “If not now, when?” and best of all, “If now, how?”

Connect with Melinda

Click on the Cover Image to Download an Excerpt


“MELINDA FOLSE speaks to those women whose hearts yearn for reconnection at a time when life seems to have run its own course and childhood dreams of playing with horses are only a vague memory. She not only helps you rekindle the possiblity of bringing a little equine energy into yourlife, she also takes you on a gentle journey of small steps to help your childhood passion become a reality.”

—KOELLE SIMPSON, Life Coach, “Horse Whisperer,”
Co-Teacher with Martha Beck
“How to Make Things Happen” Equine-Assisted Learning Retreat

  • This book was as if the author was writing about me.

  • Loved it! I got this book for my sister who is new to horse ownership. I am not but I wanted to read it as well. I also found many useful and insightful parts to this book.

    Barbara Stephenson
  • Definitely worth reading as a woman who always wanted a horse as a kid and never had one. Now I have a horse and this book has been a connection with the women returning or exploring horsemanship for the first time.

  • As one of those "Women of a Certain Age" for whom this book was written I think it's the best book on horses and riding that I have ever read. Spot on for the intended readership.

  • I love that you don't have to ride a horse to love a horse. And sometimes when you get older, riding is not an option. This book made me feel better about my choice to sit on the sidelines with my 30 something year old horse. We are both old, but not dead. We still can have fun and meaningful relationship.

    Cynthia A. Forrest
  • This book is more than a book about getting a horse at midlife. It has helped me question my professional and personal life goals and objectives. The bibliography is well worth the cost of the e-book. So sisters, ride on!

    Francine Micklus

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