Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Is 60 a Good Score?

You're probably wondering what this picture has to do with the title. Basically, it's a red herring. I figured a photo of me feeling crabby about turning 60 would be an instant turn-off. So instead I'm luring you in with a photo of my daughter and my new grandson, Dillon. That's Leo doing the meet-and-greet on behalf of the herd. He won the honor by being voted least likely to eat the baby.

Down to cases. I'm here to report that it's simply not possible to put a positive spin on 60 unless it's a Training Level II score on a Training Level Not-Likely horse. I've been assured by friends who are even closer to dirt-old than I am that this is the prime of my life. If that's true, then someone pass the Prozac, please.

What I know about 60 is that things aren't getting better from here on. Oh, I'll certainly ride better when I'm 61, but that's because I was laid up for most of 59. Anything is an improvement over that.

I know that a "what the hell" attitude comes with the territory and accounts for my willingness to try out my dear, wonderful friend Ellen's magnificent dressage horse, Tico. That would have been beyond the ken of 58 and certainly out of range of 59.

I know that some people who shall remain nameless think parties are a requirement of certain birthdays. Shun those people unless you are in the market for a lifetime supply of gag "Over the Hill" gifts. Those people never give you good stuff like new bling stirrups or a $400 helmet. They tend more toward monogrammed denture cups.

I know that there will always be moments when Mount 60 looks like nothing but a pimple on the butt of an otherwise excellent lifetime. It's neither as impressive as 75 nor as exciting as 50. It's just the top of the hill you're headed over.

Zip told me that he's excited about my new 'tude. At least I think that's what he said. It was hard to hear him through the rush of blood to my head as I hung upside-down from his left side. I really thought a looser girth was the way to go.

So let's add that 60 brings with it some intriguingly odd decisions and a what-the-hell attitude to back them up.

Regardless, and despite the incredibly bad weather (was I the only one awed by today's 34-degrees, fog-over-ice accented by a subtle hint of thunderstorm?), this will be a horse year. Any year with horses in it is good. If it's a little more difficult to keep my heel down and my calf pressure even, I will let 60 take the blame. Might as well get some use out of it.

To all you over-30 riders, Happy Horseday!