Stephanie Scarlata, Age: 51
Executive Director, UBS Asset Management

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Scarlata was around horses but didn’t ride. “My grandfather had a farm and was a member of a hunt club in Altoona. My mother would go on fox hunts with him, but she discouraged me when I was young because of the risks,” says Scarlata, who now lives in Pound Ridge, N.Y. Nine years ago, after seeing how much her two young daughters loved the sport, she finally signed up for riding lessons. Within a year, she was competing in local shows. But the satisfaction isn’t so much about winning. Scarlata, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, finds “riding takes me away from stress and gives me peace,” she says. “I love riding with my children. It’s a beautiful connection, my kids and the horses.”

GETTING IN THE GAME: Start easy—visit a barn where you can learn to be comfortable with horses and their different gaits, as well as jumping. Once you’ve mastered that, you can look into leasing or buying a horse, and hiring a coach to help improve your technique.