Opinion time: No-Kid-Equestrians

This is a very common topic around my stable, and I’ve finally gotten curious enough to ask the blogland what their opinion is and if it varies from place to place.

My stable is full of both youth and adult students.  Of this group of lets say, 12 adults, only ONE has children.  Another one is cooking a baby at the moment, but that doesn’t count quite yet.  The rest of the adults are adamant about not having children.  As an adult rider who someday wants to have a family I’m fascinated by the strong “I never want kids” opinions that I get from the stable.  I do not get this same vibe anywhere else, or in any other activities I’m in, so I have to ask…

Is not having kids an equestrian thing?  

Maybe I’m totally off base, but I’m truly curious what you all think?  Maybe I just happen to have only group like this…And not that our adult group doesn’t love the kids that around by the way-they just don’t want any of their own.

Watch this link for your cuteness quota!  Pony Slide

31 thoughts on “Opinion time: No-Kid-Equestrians

  1. Hmmm…interesting. There is a good mix at my barn- adults with no kids, adults with little kids, adults with adult kids. My trainer has kids who ride so maybe it just sets the tone for her clientele.

    I think time is the biggest factor. If you don’t have kids, you generally have more time to pursue personal interests. Probably true with any time consuming “hobby.” I personally think horses love kids way more than is picky, driven adults.

  2. I don’t think so, but I know several equestrians (myself included) who may not want kids because it will change their horse life so dramatically. I’m still undecided, but leaning towards no.

  3. no kids has always been my path, horses or no. but as an adult with a serious horse commitment (addiction!), i cannot imagine how the finances and time management would work out. thankfully i don’t have to choose–that would be a terribly difficult predicament.

  4. I’ve never been into kids. While others were babysitting I was horse sitting. In advance I will say my comment can sound snarky on this subject because I’m used to defending my desire not to have kids. I guess my first thought is why have kids when you can have horses? Very unlikely my horse is going to poop on me and they can’t throw up so I’m safe there. They produce less snot and have predictable eating habits. Second thought is that I have no intention of riding less at any point in my life so it would not be fair to burden my husband with a kid. Also I wouldn’t want to give up the riding time required to grow a baby. Some could call it selfish I suppose, but probably worse to have a kid just so you can make someone take care of you when you are old and I know people who had kids for that reason. I could go on forever…regardless there is no one else my age at the barn with that mentality but several older women who never had kids who I ride with regularly. We have very few adults with kids at the barn who ride and they don’t ride regularly at all.

  5. Nope, almost everyone in barn who is of an adult age for having children, has one or several, or is planning on having one or several. I am the lone dissenter in the night but that dissent is not uncommon in my Family. I have 2 uncles with no kids, neither of those uncles or their wives are horsey people, they are world travelers. So no, its not an equestrian thing.

  6. We have adults with kids and adults with no kids where I ride, and I fall into the no kids category. I can remember being 8 years old and horrified at the thought of having children, and I never changed my mind. I think a lot of factors can play into the motivation toward a decision either way, but with equestrians, time and money are precious regardless of your day job, and horses can take a lot of both, and kids can take a lot of both. I admire anyone capable of balancing the two, but I would not give up my current lifestyle for anything. A kid just doesn’t fit with how I see myself or my lifestyle.

  7. interesting topic! my barn is definitely a mix re: kids or no kids, but my barn is also a mix on pretty much everything else too (including discipline, age, etc). plenty of boarders bring their kids (or grandkids!) around to play with the ponies, and plenty others are solidly in the no-kids camp. also, all of my trainers ever (with one exception) have had kids of their own. so my sense is that it’s probably not a horsey thing?

  8. My barn is a mix- there are some mothers who ride and bring their children to have lessons, too. There are plenty of adults who are childless by choice. And there’s a couple of people who have kids too young to ride. I have mixed feelings on it- while I think kids are generally okay, the thought of changing my entire lifestyle is a little scary!

    I’ve seen the same kind of dynamic in the dog world- I have some friends who breed and show Irish Setters and I go to their shows to support them and volunteer. Many of the people in the dog show world (at least in this area) are not into kids- their dogs are their kids!

  9. Great topic!

    So, at my barn, there are two moms out of the four boarders. The trainer has a kid. One boarder isn’t really at the “kid” stage. I’m leaning towards one kid, but I’m patient.

    I think one aspect (maybe someone else mentioned it?) to consider is this: there are mothers out there who were equestrians and are now (semi?) retired due to the requirements of motherhood. (That’s something else, too… are you ever really not an equestrian?) It’s something that I’m weighing heavily: will I have time to ride? Neither of the mothers at my barn really ride. They have horses who hang out in fields. If I have a child, where does that leave Archie? Do I expect my hubs to be on child duty for horse days or do I ride in the wee hours of the night, when he’s already home? Do my plans for a truck and trailer go to the wayside because I need to buy kid clothes/toys/shoes/bedding/medicine/food? I rarely see successful examples of women who work full-time, have a kid, and are active equestrians. I think my hubs and I can make it work, because we both have hobbies to which we are devoted, which leads the way for good negotiations about maintaining those interests while also successfully turning a couple cells into a well-rounded human being.

    Man, making me think!

  10. There aren’t a ton of people at my barn and I only know of two that have kids. I have never wanted kids, even from the time I was really little. I especially don’t want them now because of how life is in the horse racing industry. We move at least three times a year and not always to good/safe places. Too many kids that were track raised have drug habits, are extremely promiscuous, or have mental issues. I could never bring myself to put a child through that.

  11. Very interesting topic. I have always been around adult riders that have kids. Being an outsider for being undecided on the subject. A lot of it boils down to being able to ride and have a kid. If a kid forces me to give up riding Im pretty sure I would be super resentful. I also never previously dated anyone I coulf even consider having a kid with before now. I’m not gung ho either way. It’s a lot to consider.

    Long story short I don’t think it’s an equestrian thing. 🙂

  12. Interesting. I think horses are just one of those high money + high time hobbies where you find people who aren’t interested in having kids. Same with flying planes, traveling the world, racing boats, and similarly expensive things… people who don’t have kids can afford to do these things, even if they are fairly average of income.

    That said, I’ve never wanted kids. I’ve known that since before I was into horses (maybe). Getting out of horses wouldn’t change that for a moment.

  13. My barn is a mix, with most having kids. I know a number of people outside of the barn who are not having/don’t have kids. I happen to be a horse person with no plans of having kids. I think that people who choose not to have kids are a minority, but a silent one – personally I get a lot of grief when I share my plans to not have kids, so I don’t share with most people.

  14. Ha! Interesting reading, comments too. I have always felt like the only person who doesn’t want kids, always known (my Barbies or cabbage dolls were baby sitters not moms).

    It is not for me, but I certainly wouldn’t disparage anyone for their choices.

  15. I want a kid eventually, but I want my life to be somewhat more settled (or at least pay all my bills on time) before that happens. I’ve been in barns with kids and without kids. Currently my barn/group of peers are all adamantly no kids and it kindof makes me sad, like will you guys still like me if I have a child? Luckily my hubby loves kids and horses so I think the whole still riding after kids won’t be an issue.

  16. This makes me want to go interview the people in my barn! I think we are pretty evenly mixed with about 50% with kids and 50% without, but my guess is that is not the normal range for a random sampling of adult women! And if it wasn’t 50/50, I am thinking it would lean towards more women without children. Hmmm, very interesting.

    I have always been in the no kids camp, my best riding buddy has two kids so we probably cancel each other out. Very good topic!!

  17. Huh. I think we’re a mix at my barn, from what I know. Most of the really involved riders don’t have kids, though. I know that I’ve leaned against kids personally because of the way it would change my life so dramatically, including basically ruining my horse time.

  18. I adore children and ride professionally; I feel it’s one of the few jobs that you can involve your kids in even when they’re young. (I’m also a teenager, so I don’t have personal experience 😉 ). My trainer lunging horses with his sleeping 18-month-old strapped to his chest is something to see…

  19. No kids here by choice but that was always my plan. I just never really wanted them from a young age (though I did have some stereotypical biological clock moments in my late 30s that were scarily out of character for me. (Intentionally child-free women beware of these crazy hormonal episodes; they are real but they do
    pass!!).

    But, the decision not to have kids certainly facilitated my late-in-life obsession with horses since I had the time / money / energy to invest in a new hobby
    at a time when most ppl have young families.

    My barn is a mix but I think leans more to those with kids than without. My trainer has 2 under 10 and I find it hilarious listening to her talk to them on the phone because she uses horse training techniques on them to modify their behaviour. I think she should write a book about childrearing! 😉

  20. I have never wanted kids, but that decision has always been based on the fact that I DO NOT like kids. I never considered the affect it would have on riding. It seems like plenty of people successful do both.

  21. And that? Is why I bought Ellie and Wilbur. They’ve already been factored into the budget. That being said I think the time and financial commitment of horses can be challenging for those who also have children. For example- a coworker of mine used to full lease and has dropped back to 1 lesson (maybe) a week with the birth of her child because she can’t justify the funds going towards horses versus his college tuition savings. I don’t have any kids so I can’t speak to it- but I wonder if my priorities will change (I’m sure they will) to the point where I slow my horse life down substantially.
    Interesting post! Totally not ready!

  22. I’ve certainly noticed that equestrians tend to have fewer children (or none at all). I do think there is a personality element to it, but I also think it’s a financial issue for many. I’ve never been one to swoon over babies, but I’m also not totally opposed. That leaves me in this weird middle area. I can’t imagine being able to afford both, and since I made the commitment to my boy to always be his home (unless I’m totally destitute), I won’t be having any babies.

  23. Pingback: Friday Five: 10/10 Edition | A Gift Horse

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