Tuesday, January 7, 2014
For The Love of Horses
I'm so happy now to be able to share my love of horses with my kids. For years now, it just wasn't possible. Every barn visit was stressful and miserable and ended in tears. Usually mine. But because of the crying and the misery, I had to step back from something that was such an integral part of my life for so long. When I'd meet someone new and they learned what my husband did for a living, it would always make me pause a little when they asked, "And do you ride?" At first I would say I was on a little break since having a child. Then I would say I ride a little. And last year I would say, "I used to."
I USED to?? I couldn't believe I was that person. Back in the day as a young rider in the upper levels, we NEVER wanted to be that person! A big hit to the ol ego here...
So then, this summer, James's health started improving and we received a pony. And, well, someone had to ride it and it probably wasn't going to be my 6'2" husband. Thus began my re-entrance into being a rider again.
I sure was lucky to have this pony to rehab me too! Most of you have seen the pictures of Punky. She's cute as a button and is wonderful with kids. She's also a complete blast to ride and came to us very well trained. It was the perfect way for me to ease back into things and actually become a better rider because of it.
I have time to ride a few horses while the kids are in school now, which is awesome because it's so efficient, but once or twice a week now, they need to come with me. Now, one kid in a barn while working with horses: not too bad. Two kids?? Ages 5 and 2?? Whew. It can be mayhem. And I really don't want them to ever have a bad experience when they are so young, because we need them to be cool with horses. If they want to actually ride, that's great. But we NEED them to be happy there at least. We also NEED to be able to get a lot done. And the kids have been soooo great about it. Especially through these winter months! But it took some planning to figure out the most efficient way for me to school horses and keep the children not only alive, but entertained!
Hence, the creation of The Nook.
Okay so The Nook is just a line of gymnastics I broke down. They aren't allowed outside the poles, but they can do anything they want in there. They have water and snacks and the barrels provide endless fun. AND, as an added bonus, our horses are now EXTREMELY well broke. If you want to come try one of our off the track horses, rest assured they can walk, trot, and canter around The Nook while kids play gladiator games with the barrels without batting an eye.
And then after I'm done on a few of the horses, the kids get their turns!
Riding 4 horses may take ALL DAY now, but we have a lot of fun and pretty much NOBODY cries!!
I can't wait for warm weather.