Retirement Spurs Renewed Passion for Horseback Riding
Yolanda Girouard spent the first half of her life teaching Spanish to young children and traveling the world
Yolanda Girouard spent the first half of her life teaching Spanish to young children and traveling the world in her spare time (Spain, Ecuador, Peru,…). After retiring from teaching and enduring the challenge of the much too early passing of her husband Mike, Yolanda landed some part-time work at a local veterinarian’s office where her love for pets expanded. She decided it was the right time to renew her interest in horsemanship. “Horse-riding has been in my blood since I was 6 years old when I would periodically enjoy half-hour lessons. Every now and then, I would ride as I got older. When I entered retirement, I told myself it was time to try it again.” A few short years after re-starting, Yolanda became the proud owner of a Fresian horse named Sarrisina. “I never imagined I would own my own horse,” admits Yolanda.
Yolanda thinks retirement is a great time to try new stuff. She has a renewed her interest in snow-shoeing these last couple years and she even took karate in the not so distant past, but nothing can compete with the enjoyment she experiences from horseback riding. “It’s so challenging and mentally stimulating.” She tries to get up to the farm where Sarrisina is kept at least three times per week. “I can’t go two days in a row. It’s just too tiring, and it’s as much of a mental workout as a physical workout. I had no idea about the mental part when I started…Riding is just 20% of the whole picture. The other 80% is how the horse relates to you and how you handle the horse.”
Yolanda enjoys a comfortable lifestyle that includes frequent visits to Sarrisina at the farm. Her life, while thrown many wrenches along the way, is a great example of the freedom that can be enjoyed while planning your life with purpose. Dennis’s daughter Shelby (pictured to the right) hopes to take her up on her offer for a Sarrisina carriage ride in the upcoming months.