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84-year-old Utah woman saddles up for dressage

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Posted at 8:34 PM, Apr 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-14 22:34:26-04

PAYSON, UTAH -- Dressage is a competitive sport focused around the training of horses; the sport isn’t as common as many, but an 84-year-old Utah woman is trying her hand at the reins.

Gloria Perry, 84, is from Payson, and she has been riding horses for 32 years. She said she wants to start learning dressage, even at an older age.

"I hope I never stop learning,” she said.

It took nearly a lifetime before Perry took an interest in making her horse dance.

“That's what dressage is: It's literally a physical and emotional dance with the horse,” she said.

Riding in such a way requires flexibility, and Perry was told she wouldn’t be able to do it because of a stress fracture in her ankle. Perry went ahead anyway.

“I have been able to unlock all of these muscles from the ankle to the hip, and now I am walking normally,” she said.

Perry said most days she doesn’t feel her age, and she has some lofty goals.

“I would say once and a while, yes, when I get real tired, but basically no: I don't feel 84,” she said. “My goal is to live hopefully to 120 and still keep riding.”