He's not the "naïve young person" he was when one of eventing's most dominant riders, but Blyth Tait's enthusiasm, at 57, remains undiminished.
His naming in the New Zealand team for the World Equestrian Games yesterday has left him chuffed. It's his first time back in the national team since the Athens Olympics in 2004.
Tait's CV is impressive. He's won four Olympic medals, individual gold and team bronze in Atlanta in 1996, silver team and individual bronze at Barcelona four years earlier.
Only three New Zealanders have more – fellow horseman Mark Todd, and paddlers Ian Ferguson and Paul MacDonald with five apiece.
He won two gold medals at the inaugural WEG in Stockholm 1990 – when all the disciplines were brought together for the first time – and again in 1998.
"As an older rider I hope we can have as much success this time. They've treated me well," Tait said.
Tait will ride 14-year-old Dassett Courage, a horse who easily wins praise from his rider.
"He's my type of horse, nice and athletic and capable of good performances in all three phases. He doesn't really have a weakness."
Tait and Todd were New Zealand's standard bearers through the 1990s when the country forced its way into the top echelon of eventing nations and began its remarkable haul of major eventing titles. It is still among the most successful.
They're still going strong, and Todd, at 62, is also in the team for WEG in North Carolina next month, along with husband-and-wife combination Tim and Jonelle Price and Dan Jocelyn.
Tait is adamant that within the riding community the quadrennial WEG ranks at least as high, if not higher, than the Olympics.
He acknowledges the significant of the Olympics but pointed out the fields tend to be stronger than at the Olympics, and the crucial cross country phase is distinctly harder.
"It's limited to the best nations, not (open) to all nations, and that can be a little more challenging."
Next month's edition is in Tryon, North Carolina, from September 11-23.
Tait packed in competing in 2005, then returned six years later. Now he's very much armed with a year by year philosophy. One thing hasn't changed over all those years – the buzz he gets out of competing and being involved in the sport.
"You have to, otherwise it's not really worth doing. A lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes.
"Obviously I can't recreate what I was as a naïve young person so it's a different approach."
His philosophy is to get through WEG and go from there, not pitch too far ahead.
But if all goes well whisper it, but Tait might have an eye on a fifth Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. After all, Todd is still going strong at 62 and Tokyo would be his eighth Games.
"I don't have any hard and fast plans. I don't think I will be at another world games but we'll see how the horses come out of this year and go forward in a sensible way."
Tait has a team of four horses but hasn't been looking to develop younger horses just yet.
"There's still a bit of mileage left in these ones and if they're fit and sound at the end of the season we can maybe think about next season. Just one day at a time."
Which sounds another way of saying 'watch this space'.