Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Not just my dream, and the difference it makes.

First off I want to thank you all for your kind and encouraging words after my last post.  You have really helped and are such amazing ladies.

I have 3 girls ages 6, 7 and 9.  So far all of which love horses, but what 7 year old doesn't love horses?  I am not foolish enough to think that all of my girls will love to ride or even silly enough to think that they would have learned to love it so much had I not been so in love with it.  I mean I AM my 9 year old daughters idol right now.  She is my biggest cheerleader and help.   For her the sun sets and rises on my command.  Hahaha I have done a really good job fooling her, right?!  I would guess if I had some obessesion for space travel that they all would want to be astronauts.   But alas space travel would be too cheap an obsession for me.   Instead it is horses that consume me and thus is being passed on to the young and impressionable in my life.  I don't see many kids look at their mothers the way my kids look at me.  It is a huge responsiblility and equally a joy to have such an impression on another human being.  I think many mothers fall into the self sacrificing life of a wife and/or mother.  I see it all the time.  In nearly every mother I meet.  They have put their dreams somewhere they can't see anymore so that they can give themselves to their family.  They have lost their drive somewhere along the way and who knows if it will ever be found again.

Maybe not all too surprising that depression is rampant among these same women.  And tell me what messege are you sending to these people you are giving so much too?  That you are not as important as everyone else.  That you are only as valuable as what you give of yourself.   That you are not worth time or money.  Don't get me wrong there has to be a healthy balance or you then become a selfish, self centered person.  But the balance, yes you give but you also require.  You give some of your time, you give some of your money, you give some of your energy but a portion of each of those things should be kept solely for yourself.  I see such lack of respect between mothers and daughters and tell me if your number 1 role model in life did nothing for themself and was depressed, had no goals or ambitions would you respect or look up to them when they told you how to live your life?  I have two rules in parenthood that I abide by.  1) raise a person whom I would enjoy being with.  That may seem like a strange statement but it has worked well for me.  There are many children out there that I would not want to spend 10 minutes in the same room with them let alone every day of my life.  And tell me how will those kids just magically become less annoying, selfish, unhelpful adults one day???  Most likely they won't.  #2) be someone who your children would want to grow up to be like.  Parenting is 2 part: what we teach and what we live.   You can't be successful with out both.  We cannot expect our children to live something we don't purposfully teach them to do just because we did it.  Nor can we expect them to live what we teach if we ourselves cannot live that way.  I do it in any lesson I ever give.  I never ask of a student something that I could not get on a horse and do that very moment.  And if I ever start doing that then it is time for me to stop teaching.  If I tell you to two point for five minutes and I can't?  Then shame on me.  I keep the same standard in being  someone my children can look up to.  If I tell them to be strong, love and respect those important to them and live life with passion then I must be doing the same.

Aside from this becoming a post on raising children which was not my intent I want to address the ever so present challenge that I am just now having to face.  If you think pursuing your own riding dreams and goals is hard try attempting to pursue your own while also helping pursue someone elses.  It is twice the work, twice the cost and twice the time. many of us have double the time, money and effort we put into our horses just laying around???  Up until now I have mostly pursued my own riding goals while slowly bringing along my children and nurturing in them the love and deisre to learn to ride.  I have done nothing but try to make it safe, happy and fun for them to have horses in their life.  Here is just one example of the childhood with horses that my kids have had.  Them on their ponies in their back yard on long summer days. 

 So far I have exceeded my goals.  My girls love horses and have not once cared a bit about winning or losing.  They have competed at the fair and whether they won a trophy or never even placed they come out of the arena with a smile on their faces and loving their horses.   My 9 year old (soon to be 10) is a d-1 pony clubber going for her d-2 this year has put in the time, work and proved her passion enough to me that it is now becoming time for me to share some of the alloted equine training and competing budget.  She won't do much competing but she has asked to do a combined training in April and I would like her to do and event derby in the fall.  Then she will be attending two pony club camps.  Our local club camp and our regional d camp.  Then there are PC rallies, dressage rally, games rally and D rally all of which I would like her to attend but that may just not all be possible this year.  Each rally is probably $100 x 3, club camp $100, D camp $300, CT $100, clinics? $75 x 2 totaling about $1000 and those are all just entry fees not fuel and accomadations.  And that is just my kids not to mention my goals.  I am not willing to put my goals on the back burner but I am willing to cut back a little to help her pursue her equestrian education.  She is young and if she continues on this path it will just get more and more expensive and extensive so I know it is coming down the road I may have to cut back even more but I won't go down that road yet until I have to.  For now we will take it one step at a time and make adjustments as needed as we tread new territory and I learn to share ;).  And at some point go from being my daughters instructor to her being my instructor.  I know that day will come one day.  It may be down the road a ways but some day that girl will be great!


  1. I know nothing about kids or parenting but I really enjoy your mindset. My mom made those sacrifices for me and now we share the passion. Now that I'm an adult she can pursue her dreams of showing second and third level and I can pursue mine. You have lucky kids!

    Plus, horses will keep them out of trouble! Lol

  2. Your girls are so fortunate and I love that you recognize that your oldest may become your teacher one day! I live that now :) This passion will keep you bonded.

  3. My husband is always quoting CS Lewis to the effect of "You can tell a woman who lives for others by the hunted look in the eyes of her family." ;) Nothing like modeling the fact that you're not as important as everyone else by forcing people to acknowledge that you gave up your dreams for them.

    I like your way much better. Your daughter will never forget these years, and as someone who was a nine year old girl once, I thank you. You're awesome, mom. Don't you forget it.

  4. What a fantastic post! I am sick of people telling me that I will have to give up my horse (and cats! I know, right?!) when I have kids. That I will have to sacrifice everything to concentrate solely on them. When I say I have absolutely no intention to do anything of the sort I'm called selfish.

    Thank you for putting into words what I need as my argument! Amy, you rock!

  5. This is such a fantastic post, i love how you keep your dreams going and have kids.

    My mums my inspirations she physically can't ride anymore because of the damage to her shoulder but she's always supported me she is such a strong lady and i really respect her, she's always been self employed and walks harder than most people than I know

  6. I love this post! You are such an awesome mom!

  7. Bravo! And will you adopt me after we go back in time about 25 years? Ever since I was a little girl I have loved horses and farms. I had to go out and find my own farms to work/ride at because my family lived in the 'burbs.

    I am a new visitor to your blog and I am so completely impressed by this post and your philosophy of parenting. Shortly after I bought my first and only horse (I was 27 years old.), a family member told me that I would have to give him up when we started a family. Excuse me? What? I have just started to realize my dream and you are telling me to give it up? I do not agree with that cultural norm (?) at all. I would not be a very interesting person or mother if I had to give up my life's passion. I do not see how it would even be possible for me to be a good role model or parent under those circumstances, because children learn more by example than anything else, as you so aptly expressed in this lovely post.

  8. ugh I can not stand the cuteness...I DIE for that video of your two cuties racing around on minis. All is good in the world w/ that :) :)


Steady and I love your feedback, so don't be shy!