The Feedback from No-Kid Equestrians

I admit that when I posted No-Kid Equestrians two weeks I wasn’t quite sure of the response I would get.  Thank you to all who opened up and shared their opinions on this very personal subject.

As I’ve mentioned before, I fall on the side of wanting a kid or two down the line somewhere, but totally understand those who do not.  Sharing time with kids definitely changes your equestrian life.  Someone mentioned in the comments that I should post what feedback I do receive so here it is.  I love a good data dump, so enjoy the following.

Number of People Who are Undecided:

4 out of 21 sited themselves as still deciding whether kids are in their future. Roughly 19% of commentators.

Number Who Do Want Kids:

3 out of 21, roughly 14%.

Number who Do Not Want Kids:

14 out of 21, roughly 66%.

Out of the 14 who do not want to have kids the reasons pretty much feel into 3 categories.

1)  No, but it’s not about horses.

2) Changes are too much.

3) Horses needs come before.

I was interested to find that most people (9 of the 14) who are going to be childree actually feel into the 1st category siting  that is wasn’t their horse lifestyle that affected their decision to not have kids.  The other two categories were split evenly which is a huge testament to putting our animals needs before all else.  Okay so remember all this, I’ll come back to it.

The statistics on women choosing to not have kids are pretty scattered, so I’m going with the US Census number from 2012 that 16% of women 40-45 have no kids..  Comparing that to our little commentary focus group you can see that our 66% is much higher than the 16% cited there.  That paired up with the majority comments of our 66% say that horses didn’t directly affect their decision; I feel I must point out that it seems that while horses do not make that decision for us, those involved with horses are able to stay more involved in the hobby because they have chosen a childfree life.  Interesting trends ya’ll.  Sounds like something we already know–horses are high maintenance!

 

 

 

Hand Gallop Blog Hop: Fit to ride

Stephanie at Hand Gallop has a new topic this week.  What do you do to stay fit to ride?

First, an easy answer:

I ride as much as possible with my schedule.  Usually that consists of 4-5 times a week in the saddle.  I know this is obvious, but there are muscles used to ride that you really can’t duplicate use of in another way.

The rest of my week is basically spent trying to maintain my weight, stay fit, and feel good about myself.  Working out doesn’t just help with the physical stuff, but really helps with any head trash I’ve got going on at the time.  I like to work out either first thing in the morning or later at night.  I feel like it clears my mind and I like to jam out to music while I cardio around.  Lately I’ve also been really into some circuit training work, lots of work for legs, specifically thighs, and upper arm strength gets thrown in and it’s time efficient for my tight schedule.  Other than that I use the weight lifting machine my husband brought to the table.  I’m probably doing something like this around 4 times a week, 5 when it’s quiet and I have more time.

I definitely think that staying fit out of the saddle helps me in it, whether you agree with the 4-5 times a week I get.  I have allergy and sport induced asthma, so personally I think the more fit I am, the more fit my lungs are and less chances I have breathing issues while riding.  All around, it makes me healthier, my brain sounder, and the pony happier with her rider.

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October’s 10 Questions

1. How many pairs of breeches/jods do you own? 
4 Tailored Sportsmans
1 Rompf
1 Equine Couture
1 Kerrits Riding Tights
2. How many horses have you ridden?
A lot?  I tried doing a nifty spreadsheet to write them all down, but that just got messy.  I’m guessing between 60-80.  I was a working student for a few years and without having my own horse, I rode anything and everything I could.
3. How many trainers have you had?
5
4. How many barns have you ridden at?
4
Current barn's pastures.

Current barn’s pastures.

5. What is the name of the horse you consider yourself to have the greatest bond with? 
Dis one.
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6. What is your favorite show name you’ve ever encountered? 
There used to be a FANCY jumper gelding at local shows named Daddy’s Porsche or something. It was pretty funny!
 
7. What do you consider your greatest weakness or flaw in riding? 
I struggle with being a passenger…sometimes I get so caught up in my own brain I forget to keep pushing, to keep actively riding.  The clinician this weekend pinpointed this immediately.
 
8. What do you consider to be your greatest strength? 
I’m competitive and honestly want to be better.
 
9. Have you ever leased a horse? 
Erv and Mandy were my lease horses when I was a junior.  A jumper and a hunter; both amazing animals.
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10. What is the name of the first horse you rode? 
I can’t remember exactly, but the first school horse I rode was named Queenie.  She was a ridiculous leopard appy mare who carted me around in lessons.

Saturday Stills

From the clinic this morning…the fog made for very cool photos.

My favorite so far.

My favorite so far.  Romantic backdrop.

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She was amazing.

She was amazing.

 

Overall the clinic today was amazing, we learned so much.  I have a bunch to recap-so watch for that coming soon, plus more photos from barn friends!

From the Horse’s Mouth Blog Hop: Thankful

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Originally I was going to do a throwback thursday to some fun memory from when it wasn’t cold or rainy like today, but ended up searching posts from last October and realized what I should be focused on is how grateful and thankful I am.  One year ago (and a few days) I had only been back on my horse for 3 weeks, and the rehab was slow and seemingly useless.  I was completely torn apart by not being able to fix O, or do anything to make her better.  This year, my horse is happy, healthy, and in full work jumping actual courses.   Perspective people, it’s a big deal

Emily has perfect timing with her blog hop at From a Horses Mouth.

What are a few horse-related things that you are super grateful for?

  • I am so grateful my horse is sound and comfortable, major bonus for not having to wear pads or special shoes anymore.
  • While he isn’t exactly game to hop into the English saddle anytime soon, my husband has outdone himself this year between helping at horse shows, understanding the finances associated with this passion, and by simply knowing when he needs to (literally and figuratively) take the reins.   O still thinks he’s the greatest things since sliced bread, and so do I.
  • I’m grateful for my amazing job and the support of friends and family so that I can do exciting things like horse shows and clinics with O.
  • This year taught me I have trainers and fellow riders who will come running when I need them, hold my hand when I need it, and take care of my horse when I can’t.  I do not know where I’d be without my spectacular barn family.
  • Finally, I’m so grateful for O herself.  My little bay mare has dug herself so deep into my heart, and I’m so glad I get to spend time with this special horse.

Wow.  Feeling like a very lucky girl this morning!  Thanks for the great reminder Emily!

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And for more fun go check out Hillary’s giveaway contest at Equestrian at Hart!

Dear O-pony

Dear O,

My dearest equine friend.  I am so sorry that I didn’t come out to ride you last night.  When I got home from my day job I found a house full of laundry, some suspicious looking piles of dishware and a husband who looked severely neglected.  Yes, I know you believe that my only goal in life is to serve you and your mareish ways, but last night I just couldn’t make it out there.  Please understand my apology.  I’m sure you spent the extra day off calling longingly for my attention or watching over the pasture fence for my car; rather than gorging yourself on what’s left of summer grass and tormenting the new pony in town.  Right?

Don’t despair, I will be back out tomorrow, to serve as your entertainment as you gallop gaily away from me when I try to catch you, or to scrub away at your mud soaked coat as you swish me in the face with your tail.  Just please, don’t dump me in front of the trainer when I finally get back on.  You at least owe me that, plus I have cookies, lots of them.

Sincerely,

Genny

Agenda Updates

I’ve really enjoyed the schedule lately. A little less work for O and I, and lots of fun stuff like trail rides and bonding time during important things like grazing.

And it’s all about to get much more interesting. On Saturday, as in 5 days from now, O and I are participating in our first clinic ever! The clinician is amazing and usually comes to visit us once or twice a year. Until now either it didn’t work out timing wise so I’m even more excited to finally work with him. We are doing the 2’6″ stuff with maybe a bit more tossed in? I’m just guessing by who else is in my timeframe.

Also, Nov. 2nd is another local show that my barn is going out to, so I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and take O. It’ll be great offsite experience, the 2’6″ goes first on Sundays so hopefully I won’t be there until midnight.

Wish me luck! Lesson tomorrow, quickly followed by some mane pulling/cleaning session for my hairy beast.

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