The Dressage Foundation’s Century Club just welcomed its 100th member. How perfect is that?

For those unfamiliar with the Century Club, it honors horse-and-rider pairs competing at dressage, who have a combined age of 100 years.

Of course, if you do the math, the burden of achievement does fall on the human, but it gives you something to aspire to (yes, you have another thing to aspire to).

You can cheat, of course, by buying an older horse.  And for horses — especially older schoolmasters or mistresses — how perfect is that?

If that’s not in your plan, but you still want to make it to the Century Club ranks and you’re not too green yourself, have you considered an an eleven-to-fourteen-year-old horse…or a ten-year track veteran?  Given how tough track life is and how far young horses are pushed these days, if you find a horse fitting those criteria that’s sound of mind and body, there’s a good chance that he’ll be able to be a wonderful comrade for a long time.  If you’re bargain-hunting, the prices go way down as you go further out the bell curve (schoolmasters notwithstanding) and dare I say it — how perfect is that?

It’s funny (funny peculiar not funny haha) how horses are young one day and then old the next.  It seems to me that this happens between the ages of 8 and 9.  Then again, I’m old-fashioned, so for others, the same transformation might occur between 2 and 3…or 4 and 5…or 6 and 7.  Wherever the hands point on the clock, it’s early, then late…young, then old.

It’s all in our minds, of course.  Happily, there’s no reason to panic if you find yourself there.  That just means it’s time to remember that it wasn’t all that long ago (ask Walter Zettl) that canter work didn’t begin until six.

A different way of looking at futurities, isn’t it?

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