How long will you keep riding?

Dinnie Greenway

After my accident, many people asked me if I’d stopped riding. Honestly, that never crossed my mind. I was too concerned by figuring out how soon I could get back on my horse. While I do know people who have chosen to enjoy horses from the ground, rather than in the saddle, I’d like to think I’m like Dinnie Greenway and will still be riding at age 96, with no plans to stop.

Foxhunting in 1927
Dinnie Greenway (second from the left) in 1927 when she was 7 years old.

While Dinnie might look a bit precarious on her horse now (at 27, he’s also getting on in years), her prowess as an equestrian has spanned decades. She figures she was riding before she could walk and by age 7 was already out foxhunting with her family.

‘I don’t drink or smoke but I do have horses. This is always going to be my addiction.

Dinnie Greeway as a teenager
Dinnie Greeway jumping as a teenager. She was Greenway was one of Canada’s first female riders to make her mark as a competitor and later as a judge on the international equestrian stage.
Dinnie Greenway age 7
Dinnie Greenway age 7. What a handsome horse she’s riding. Greenway has continued to breed horse, including her 27 year old mount, Randule.

Greenway said that her love of horses gave her the chance to see the world and to compete, including   winning the first modern-day show jumping competition at Toronto’s Royal Winter Fair in 1949. But now she just enjoys hacking around the property that her family has owned since the 1880s. Sadly, she has sold the land to a developer who gave her life tenancy, so with her passing, so too will pass a way of life.

“[The developer] calls me regularly to ask how I am doing and I say, ‘Fine, thank you very much,’ and I can always hear a disgruntled sigh.”

I have to agree with her proclamation about horses being my addiction, I just hope I can enjoy myself as much as she appears to have!

Read more about Dinnie Greenway and watch a video of her riding.

9 thoughts on “How long will you keep riding?

  1. I think my additicion is very similar to yours. I turned 65 this year and bought a new horse, the goal being doing a full training 3 day by 70. I do think that’s enough time. Magic will be 10 then. So I have the same type of goals!

  2. That’s a great goal. You’ll do it, too! Me, I just want to get back to foxhunting. This fall I had a lot of family-related support issues that didn’t make it possible (along with bad weather). But I’m already looking forward to the spring.

  3. Sorry to say, maybe no longer. Raven has been gone for several months now and Sue has spent fruitless hours looking for a new horse. Me…I’ve been ill since March and only now can I say that I seem to be on the mend. I lost a LOT of weight..right now, despite my height of 5″8, I could legally ride a race horse as I weighed in at 112 the other day. Were I to fall off, who knows if I’d not break something. SO………………..for the moment, sorry to say, I’m not riding.

  4. I hope the New Year brings you better health and a new horse to ride. That’s a long time to be sick — my husband has been ill for the past two and a half months with no real diagnosis; it can be very frustrating and discouraging. Hope you get well soon.

  5. Thank you, and it appears that I am. I was what they call a ‘train wreck’..four separate conditions all hitting me at once, none of which, on their own, would have been especially debilitating, but together just knocked me ass over teakettle. The one that’s been hanging on is dysphagia…from April on to about a month ago, I could not swallow solid foods. Been surviving on my Ninja blender turning a few foods into baby food consistency and hoping it would go down. It wasn’t from a stroke, it just hit me.
    I’ve lost over 25 pounds, just from managing to exist on a liquid diet.
    But a speech language pathologist, otherwise known as a speech therapist, taught me physical therapy exercises to do at home, and I learned how to swallow again. Thank the stars, if it’s neurological, one can, sometimes, retrain one’s brain to use new neural pathways to one’s throat. You can do them everywhere at any time. They look Very Wierd and I was advised, if you’re driving while doing these exercises, do NOT let a cop see you doing them, he’ll pull you over for thinking you’re drunk. 😉

    1. And I thought I was having a bad year! That sounds very frightening. Anything neurological is concerning and surviving on a liquid diet has to be tough (and monotonous). I hope both of us have a restful and boring 2020.

  6. And I hope your husband recovers, too. I am amazed at how many ‘specialists” I saw, and not a single one of those doctors ever said a word about ‘physical therapy’ for one’s swallow. Sue, a nurse, is the one who told me about it, and that is what saved my life, by getting physical therapy. I truly think had I not had it, I would be dead now, and I”m not being melodramatic. I was so miserable, so hungry, so unhappy..I mean, eating is the only way one can live, right? I was losing weight so fast it was like water off a duck’s back. It’s a horrible feeling, not being able to swallow. Even worse, is when one’s spouse looks at you and is feeling so bad because he can’t help you.
    I hope your husband finds a way to getting better. I am not saying he should think outside the box, so to speak, but sometimes going around that specialist doctor and finding an alternative works.

    1. It is frustrating not to find answers. At least when you know what is the matter you can make educated decisions. Yesterday we discovered our oldest cat has a cancerous tumor on his toe. It’s not what I was hoping to hear, but we can create a plan for moving forward (surgery).

  7. On his TOE? that’s odd. But even should the vet have to remove the entire toe, he’ll be okay.

    As for not finding answers to illnesses, you are right, it IS frustrating. The thing I’ve learned is that doctors don’t listen. What’s the first thing a doctor asks you? “How are you?” and we always say “Fine”…because that’s what we ALWAYS say, even when we’re not. They must believe the ‘fine’ and dismiss everything that follows.
    Which is why, sometimes, I find that a nurse is the better person to talk to. She’s EXPECTED to listen, to annotate, to try and help. She’s a generalist, whereas the doctor is almost always a specialist. I’ve learned that. I’ve learned that, despite one’s digestive system starting at the mouth and ending at the anus, doctors don’t treat it as such. There’s throat doctors. They DON’T treat the esophagus. It’s as if there are two different patients before them, one who has a throat that connects to nothing, and a patient who has an esophagus that is just floating about, hanging from the epiglottis and the lower end dangling in midair. Then there’s the stomach guy, the upper intestine guy, the lower intestine guy, and the guy at the very end. None of them know a thing about anything other than their specialty.
    My neighbor had surgery on her shoulder. She told me there was a doctor who does only arms. A hand doctor doesn’t know a thing about the bone it’s connected to.
    Arrrgh.
    I wish you and your husband a restful and boring 2020, too. Good luck with him…and the cat.

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