Horses Handed Down

It was an assumed part of having a child with my husbands background that said child would need to, at minimum, be able to handle horses, or sit quietly enough in a saddle to get drug along with a group.  His family still actively use their horses for work on the ranch, and we always planned on any kids we have being able to contribute as well.  From my perspective, though, I dreamed of cross rail classes and braids and bows.

Getting to ride Dad’s horse.


That was until recently.  A friend of mine, whose teenage daughter had caught the horse bug from her Mom early on… she had trained relentlessly for her first Grand Prix with the horse of a lifetime.  The girl is an amazing rider and she was more than ready.

Yet, just weeks before their big moment, her handsome gelding started acting off.  Fast forward to an intensive vet appointment that left the young rider, her coaches, her mother, and even the vets in tears.  Her gelding was done, they weren’t sure if he’d come back to be riding sound, let alone jumped again.

Always interested in Dee.


Everything in my soul ached for her.  All those years of dreaming and suddenly it was all over.  I watched her mother experience it all right with her; the heartbreak was palpable.  Obviously her gelding is living out his days as a very attractive lawn ornament, but where does it leave his rider?

My point here is that the night I learned about all of this, I swore up and down that I could never let my daughter get into sport horses.  The highest of the highs could not be worth the lows, right?  I didn’t know if I could support the heartbreak, the one you know will come.  They are horses after all.

Who doesn’t love a teeny pony?

 

I want to know, would you pass down you love of horses?  But risk watching and experiencing the heartbreak with them?

Every day I bring my daughter to the barn it becomes more of what she knows.  She’s happy there, and people are constantly offering me lead line mounts.  I’m pretty sure my trainer has a pony in mind for her (shh don’t tell my husband) down the line.  But I’m terrified for her.  Not just of her being trampled on, or falling off, but of having her heart crushed by these beautiful animals.  I know all sports can be brutal, but there is something so deeply emotional about horses.  They really become a part of you; which is wonderful until the moment it’s not.  I can barely handle it for myself, I cannot imagine watching your child go through it.

Yet right now, it’s safe to dream and allow her to love horses as much as an one year old can.  And I’m trying not to stress about the future, whether it holds cross rails or soccer practice (or God forbid both).  We’ve got a long ways to go until she has Grand Prix dreams, and that is a huge relief.  For now we’ll continue celebrating days that she stays in the saddle for more than a few seconds.

How Easy It Would Be

In review, 2016 was full of massive amounts of change for me and my family. I will say that for the most part it has been great.  Yet, at the same time I’m feeling driven to give a more transparent look at what my experience has been as a riding parent.  It is easy to focus on the good parts, which I do 90% of the time.

There was the day that my baby finally figured out how to properly pet Dee without scaring her half to death, or poking an eyeball.  The summer mornings where I had fantastic rides while my child sat happily cooing in the shade feeding the barn cats.  Nights like tonight where my kid, with a very limited vocabulary, said as clear as day “hi Dee Dee” to the little mare before my lesson.

I have a very tolerant spouse, local baby slaves family available and a very, very tolerant barn family (including the horses).  All of these things make it possible for me to continue riding the way I want to.  But.  That does not mean it’s easy.  People at the barn comment on how happy my baby is at the barn, and that I’m such a relaxed mother…

Truth be told?  I am constantly stressing.  I stress about people judging my decisions, I stress that my little girl might set off someone else’s horse.  I stress about my husband shouldering too much.  I stress about her getting hurt because of my choices.  It can be suffocating.

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And then let’s talk about pushing a stroller, leading a horse, and carrying a diaper bag during our barn trips.  I mean some days managing it all is oppressive.  Some days it does not seem worth it.  So when a barn mom told me a few days ago that she was impressed with my ability to deal with it all, I found myself laughing and saying, “…it’d be so easy to quit”.  I think my answer surprised both her and myself, but it was the honest truth.  Right now, riding 3 days a week is all I can manage without my head exploding, and sometimes 3 days makes my head explode.  Life would be so, so much simpler if I wasn’t riding.  Which is scary.  But in someways very clarifying.  I know exactly where my limit is.

But for transparency’s sake, I will tell you that even remembering all the good parts, just so I could type them in this post, makes me tear up.  Some days it will be too hard.  And yes, I could quit.  Yet, for now, I want to focus on the fact that I get the opportunity to share my favorite thing, with my favorite little person.  Watching her love what I love (as much as a toddler loves anything), keeps me going.

with-pony

With her pony.

 

Party of 3

Our family has now grown to include our brand new little girl.  She’s just perfect and everyone is doing fantastic.  I’m loving the extra time with family around the holidays.  For now, the blog may be a bit slow since I want to soak up all the time I can with baby girl.  Thank you for all your support!

Upcoming posts:

  • Noble Outfitters Review
  • Baby meets O
  • Update on O’s training program

 

Mint Green and Navy Coming to a Nursery Near Me

My horse is 2.5 hours away being a ranch pony.

I’m too rotund to squeeze into my breeches.

So I’m contenting myself with vast amounts of internet hunting for baby stuff.  And of course, I whipped up a quick little mood board thing for the nursery.  The hubs is allllllll over the decor/building portion of her life (I cook the baby, he handles the manual labor).  As of right now, her room is painted, crib and dresser built, and random decor items has started to collect in the space.  It’s getting real folks!

I thought I’d share my ideas for the nursery.  I’m in love with the bright, minty green that her room is  painted!  Obviously her name will not be Henry. Just stole the image to help sooth my nesting mind.

PowerPoint Presentation

The sheets and accents will be stars.  Neither the hubs or I found some of the already put together themes (owls, zoo animals, anchors) to be a great fit, so we are just pulling stuff together ourselves.  Thank god for Amazon.
Bonus points if you can figure out where the quote is from!  There will be several in the room a few other small touches from that same reference to help ease our nerdy tendencies.

Only 2 and a half months to go!

Trail Mix and Tights

Stunning views!

Stunning views!


Today was “The Trail Ride”. It is practically a holiday for my in-laws. A big group of clients, friends, family, and hell even the family doctor all get together for a trail ride across my in-laws land. It is GORGEOUS this time of year and I made sure take lots of pictures!
Scenery

Scenery

Shasta – My husbands fiery red mare who he bought and broke himself. She’s amazing and I’m a bit addicted.

Such a diva.

Such a diva.

Hubs and his mare, two peas in a pod.

Hubs and his mare, two peas in a pod.

Hubs on the hill.

Hubs on the hill.

Gippy – Yes, she actually is a quarter horse, and has strong racing blood on both sides. This was my first full length ride on her, and she blew me away. So sensitive and aware of her rider. She had some behavioral issues when she was younger, and not the type you can ride the buckle with. But we only had a few discussions over the course of the ride, and seemed to really get along. Plus how cute is she?!

A new pair of bay ears for the ride.

A new pair of bay ears for the ride.

Cold and very sunny out!

Cold and very sunny out!

Such a fun little mare.

Such a fun little mare.

At the end of the ride there is a huge chili dinner around the fire, and everyone chats about life. It’s a great time! As usual, I was incredibly sore the next day (seriously it’s like 5 hours of riding), but can’t wait until next year!