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!




11 thoughts on “The Feedback from No-Kid Equestrians

  1. GREAT statistics! I definitely don’t think it is al about horses, but I do firmly believe that we have a time consuming hobby and don’t feel that “void” that most moms want/need.

    KID FREE FOR EVERYBODY! (Just kidding. Just the horse women of the world).

  2. I can’t remember if I commented on your original post or not, but I too fall into the “no kids” category. For me, it’s really never had (that) much to do with being an equestrian, it’s more about me never having seen myself as a mother of a human child. To be completely honest, I don’t really like kids all that much and definitely don’t have the patience required to raise another human being. However, at some point I’d like to rescue a few dogs from the SPCA and finally own my first horse, and I’ve definitely imagined myself as a “mom” of those animals. But there’s never been a day in my 29 years of life that I’ve thought about having kids. And for me, that decision is perfectly ok. Of course, as most readers commented, the decision to have a kid while remaining an equestrian is tough, especially time-wise. You have to really figure out a schedule that works for you, and that schedule can vary from mom to mom. I give a TON of credit to the equestrian moms out there, but it’s just not something I want for myself.

    I apologize if my comment here was more personal than you were expecting and I have no intentions of insulting anyone at all, but I definitely wanted to voice my personal opinions on the topic. Very thought-provoking survey!

  3. Great, great read. Thank you for sharing! At this point in time, my husband and I can’t imagine having children, and I can’t fathom committing to 9 months as a human incubator. It might sound stupid, but I always said I wanted to rock Training level before even considering the issue. All this because I watched my mother compete horses all her life before having kids, and then never really making it back to the saddle, which breaks my heart. I never want to give up something I feel so passionately about just to have children- and that may seem selfish, but having been that child I think it’s important for offspring to see their parents living fulfilled, passionate, and happy lives.

    So we’ll see. If I’m ever able to figure out how to maintain this hobby and have kids, then maybe we’ll give it a go. That is, once I rock around a Training course 😉 Priorities!

  4. very inneresting. i wonder too if there’s some correlation about ppl who don’t want kids choosing to invest in consuming hobbies like horses to fill that space? therefore you’d expect childless adults to be over-represented in the horsey population v the general pop?

    idk, it’s all just food for thought – thanks for sharing!

  5. I missed your initial post, but find this really interesting, thanks for sharing! I’ve never been all that keen on having kids – I don’t feel much affection for them, and I don’t think having children would increase my happiness, so I couldn’t conscionably bring one or more into the world with that attitude. If I found a life partner who felt differently, or enabled me to feel differently, I may change my mind, but I can’t see it at the moment.

    I think within my lifetime there’s been a definite shift in attitude – people used to want to “have it all” (career and kids), but I think what people want now is to “have it all for themselves”, there are more and more of us who put ourselves first, and think that we’d rather spend our hard-earned money and precious free time on things that we enjoy. For some, that will be children. For the rest of us, that will be something with four legs which lives in a stable 😉

    • That’s a really great point! At the end of the day it’s how you want to spend your time and money. 🙂

      For me, I know that I’m going to have to figure a way to do both barn/kids at some point and I am really lucky to be in the situations I am to make that work. Thanks for commenting!

  6. What a timely post!
    Someone recently said to me, “So you got a horse–you didn’t have kids so you have your horse.” I was polite, but the comment didn’t sit well with me. I’m in my early 40s and it’s not unheard of for women to have children at this age. Long story short, my not having kids (at least at this point) is due to the fact that I didn’t meet my husband until I was 38 and then I got married at 39. I couldn’t fathom the feasibility of being a newlywed, with a major fixer–upper house, with a new one hour commute to work, AND being a stepmom of two teens AND trying to find a new barn to ride at (in my new town), and add on the possibility of a new life into the equation. Too many changes/stresses all at once.
    All that to say, I never consciously thought, “I will not have children, and so I now devote myself to horses.” That’s just how life played out. It’s such a personal matter and I felt very put in a box when the individual made that remark. She didn’t know if I’ve struggled to conceive. I don’t think of my new horse as a child (family member, yes). I just thought her comment was pretty insensitive and it hurt my feelings the more I thought about it. I still can’t quite put a finger on why it didn’t feel okay to me. And maybe it doesn’t matter in the long run.

  7. Fascinating. I missed your original post, but here is my opinion on the subject: I’ve never wanted kids. I decided I never wanted kids while still a child myself (way before I ever loved horses) and I saw what having children and going through a divorce did to my mother. She was and is the BEST mom I could have ever asked for, but she never was with anyone else after my dad, and she shaped her entire life around my brother and me. She had always wanted children so we were *the* most important thing to her. The thing is, I just don’t want that and the older I get (I’m in my mid-30’s now) the less I want kids. I never have. Ever since I can remember, I just wanted to find true love and have animals and enjoy the journey, child-free. Some people would call that selfish, but it is what it is and we are happy. I work in the veterinary field and this seems to be a really common notion in my generation among those of us that work with animals in general. Very few people at work are also equestrians; I work in the small animal field (cats and dogs). Finances seem to be a huge concern among those of us that don’t want children as well: most vets I know have a huge financial aid burden and they would simply not be able to afford to have children even if they wanted them. This is also true for my husband and me: he has an obscene amount of student loan debt. We would not be able to put a child through school even if we had wanted one. And I most certainly would not be able to have horses if we had chosen to have a child. But my decision to not have children was there before the horses.
    So that’s just one more perspective on the subject. 🙂 I certainly don’t look down on those who want children and I’m thrilled for my friends who have/want kids.
    Thanks for sharing the feedback on your survey!

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