• 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
  • 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 possibility of bringing a little equine energy into your life, 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

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?”

Midlife Horses Blog

Happy Trailering, Part 2-Tight Spaces

First of all, thanks to all who responded to Trailering, Part 1! As I suspected, there are some great tips and kindred spirits out there, and I am so glad to provide a place and space to make those connections. Keep 'em coming! (And let's keep these discussion threads going! A funny and unexpectedly related trailering incident happened this past week to my friend and Pilates instructor, Cassandra Thompson. As with many of us, Cassandra […]

Horse help for “heavy” lifting — and leverage on life baggage

I heard an interesting story yesterday that's too good not to share. It came to me by way of Jennifer Fulton, a trainer and riding instructor in Aledo, Texas, who spends a lot of her time and professional energy working with women on the Midlife Horses trail. We were discussing our upcoming panel discussion at the AmerEquine Festival of the Horse next weekend, and she told me about one of her students, a 60-year old […]

Is that fear lurking behind your dream? Come find out how facing down hidden fear opens the door to forgotten dreams

Sometimes the thing that stops you from rediscovering and reinventing those favorite old dreams is that thing very few of us want to talk about — and even fewer are willing to admit. It may disguise itself as any one of (or several) excuses: not enough time, not enough money, too old, too tired, physical challenges, health challenges, geographic challenges. Or it may not make any excuses at all, but choose instead to sit in the […]

Aren’t we worth it?

After decades of paying for piano lessons, dance recitals, sports camps, summer camps, tuition, cars (and insurance!), prom dresses, and homecoming mums, isn’t it your turn? Isn’t it about time to invest some of that hard earned money in  your own future? And if not now, when? At Dust Off Your Dreams Retreats, we think midlife is the perfect time to say, “YES!” to those "someday" dreams for one reason and one reason only. You’re […]

This retreat captures the magic of putting a horse in the middle of your life.

Here’s a little background on the Dust Off Your Dreams Women's Retreat you won’t find on its website. The premise is built on what we on the Midlife Horses journey already know happens when you put a horse in the middle of your life. We know very well how the issues that get called front and center — and all the wonderful breakthroughs that happen with the help of our equine teachers — lead to […]

So what is a “perfect storm” retreat? Aren’t those terms contradictory?

I realize that calling the creation of the Dust Off Your Dreams Retreat concept a "perfect storm" may sound like a huge contradiction in terms, but in reality, that's exactly what it was. A congruent, if unsuspecting, collection of  sincere people, perfect elements, and collective intent, all falling into place at exactly the same time to create something so fresh, new, and potentially transformative for midlife women . . . well, what would you call it? […]