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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
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    1,154

    Default Moms and Showing

    Hi this is to all the moms out there raising kids and living their dreams. I hope to start showing in 2009. I would love to be competitve but I am concerned that I could easily neglect my family while pursuing the show arena. What do all you moms do to keep a balanced life while still being successful in the show arena? Right now my plan is to ride 3-4x a week with one lesson a week. All thoughts and feedback are welcome.

    Thanks
    Dawn



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
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    24,408

    Default

    3-4 weekends a year showing shouldn't cause any problems. That's all most people do. If you're very anxious about it and fuss over them and apologize for showing, 'don't feel neglected, PLEASE!!!!' they are going to start rubbing their hands together and thinking....'ah.....fresh meat....'

    There are always fun things to do with kids at shows, though, if the kids aren't too fussy and are willing to be a little self entertaining, and the mom isn't too anxious. Some folks I know used to get together and rent a motor home for the weekend and the kids had a riot.

    Kids can be taken to shows, especially if you have a pony dad can lead them around on for hours or they are at the age where they can play around one spot all day. They often meet other kids at shows and at some of the shows around here there's a regular band of hooligans that meet at every show, playing in the mud and otherwise enjoying some 'neglect', hotdogs, popsickles, buying stuff from the vendors...etc. I think some clubs actually do something for the kids - let them have a little contest or game as part of the show.

    I was rather bemused a few years ago to find a whole bunch of kids INDOORS, lol, in the lobby at a show stable, all talking on cell phones and playing gameboys, lol.

    Some parents are just too tense worrying about their kids running around at a show, and it doesn't work for every kid or parent. My sister would set her kids loose and they ran around like Jack Russells on amphetamines, terrorizing the countryside, devouring all in their path (the ONLY children ever to be banished from the Cooperstown Farm Museum for terrifying the cattle, LOL), I would NEVER see my brother doing that with his kid...they would have been petrified to do that.

    Too, there are people out there who get very fussy about kids being around, if there aren't alot of married-with-children in the riding club, for example, you don't have the majority position, and someone is going to not like kids. Then it becomes a good time to send them off to an overnight at a friends, or for a weekend of being with dad or grandma.

    I don't actually think it's neglect, I think it's really good for kids to get out and do different things, such as hang around at a horse show, or to get away from their parents from time to time. Visiting helps them to broaden their boundaries and learn about the rest of the world.
    Last edited by slc2; Dec. 27, 2008 at 04:36 PM.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 15, 2004
    Location
    Lancaster, PA, USA
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    7,967

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rizzodm View Post
    Hi this is to all the moms out there raising kids and living their dreams. I hope to start showing in 2009. I would love to be competitve but I am concerned that I could easily neglect my family while pursuing the show arena. What do all you moms do to keep a balanced life while still being successful in the show arena? Right now my plan is to ride 3-4x a week with one lesson a week. All thoughts and feedback are welcome.

    Thanks
    Dawn
    Depends on how old the kids are and what kind of support network you have. Mydaughter is now 11, so at an age when she wants to go do things with her friends. (This makes it easier.........drop her at a friend's house or the friend comes here while I ride....either way she is entertained....). My hubby is horsey so supportive. Untill this year we had very little in the way of any neighborhood kids to babysit. She joined 4H this year so now has horsey friends to add to the entertain her list. Most shows I go to are on weekends where hubby can watch her but sometimes there is fence fixing or pasture mowing that HAS to get done here and she comes with me. She gets a little bored but for the twice a year or so she has to come with me for the day she has to suck it up and either help out or bring her Nintendo. It was much harder when she was little and wanted my attention all of the time.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2003
    Location
    northern California
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    1,445

    Default

    My kids are still very small (2 and 5), so I leave them at home with my husband. He is very supportive and there's no way I could do all the horse stuff without him, especially since I have no other family for support!
    It is hard at times and you have to make priorities! I get depressed sometimes because the house is a mess but I decided long ago if something has to be put on the backburner it's not going to be the kids or the horses! The fact that I've always rather cleaned stalls than house doesn't help!
    If your kids are still very small, enjoy the time with them! I used to always roll my eyes when I heard people (usually moms) say that. Well, now that I have kids myself I realize how true it is!
    Definitely go do it! I don't look at showing as neglecting my kids, I make it up at other times and my husband knows I'm a much better wife and mother when I get my horsey time!
    Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
    Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

    Quote Originally Posted by mbm View Post
    forward is like love - you can never have enough



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
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    1,154

    Default

    Thanks for the input. A supportive husband looks like the main ingredient. Mine is supportive and wants to see me succeed. I think I will go give him a kiss right now.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2006
    Location
    Arizona
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    Yes a supportive husband is key. Mine either came with the kids or stayed home and watched them. Once they started showing too, they came with and now show as much or more than I do.



  7. #7
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    Jul. 24, 2008
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    I am hoping to get the family involved in showing in ways of traveling with me I used words like shows in Sonoma and SanFrancisco.

    Dawn



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2007
    Location
    so. chester co.
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    Default

    Grandparents are also a great resource.I am going through a divorce so supportive husband is not an option, but my mom who supported me as a child showing is helping me out with my 5 year old daughter, she has taken her on weekends or has kept her occupied at the shows for me. If the kids have to go portable dvd players in the tack stall are great!
    Good luck in the coming show season.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
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    Default

    What else can people do when a supportive husband is not there?

    I am very lucky to have an SO who is supportive and just says 'YupOK' to just about anything (well except the water buffalo, but I'm working on it).



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 1999
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    1,992

    Default

    I had this problem early on, so my kids got riding lessons.

    At age 9, the eldest beat me at eventing. I took up straight dressage.

    At age 14, the youngest beat me at 4th level, test 1 in her FIRST dressage show on her new horse. Jeez.

    Be careful how you manage this problem--it can come back to haunt you!
    \"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed.\"--Pogo



  11. #11
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    Nov. 23, 2006
    Location
    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
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    2,364

    Default

    my sons are 15 and 18 - they started riding in 2004 and I began as a re-rider

    They event and my husband and I groom for them, I show dressage and sport horses - my boys and husband help with that.

    We all look after the farm. But I couldn't do it without my husband that is for sure.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2006
    Location
    Arizona
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    Be careful how you manage this problem--it can come back to haunt you!

    That's a problem I'm more than willing to accept Actually my daughter has beaten me at training level with her pony against a green thing or two I was riding at the time. I will also add that even with a supportive husband grandparents come in handy as well. There have been more than one occasion where they picked kids up at school and brought them to the show to ride/help out 'cause I was already on the show grounds moving tack & horses in. They also have done their share of babysitting after we moved here. And while I'm grateful to my husband and my parents for all that they do in the name of the horses, my kids are actually a huge help at the shows too. The horses have become a true family affair; but with both of our families (mine and the in-laws) it has never been really anything different.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
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    19,586

    Default

    In my book, the family - kids and husband - come first. If you can do the rest, have the funds, lucky you, SuperMom.



  14. #14
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    Oct. 10, 2007
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    down south
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    Default

    I only have one child and she goes to her grandparents every weekend for a night because they live to far away to see durning the week. So this helps me alot and my husband supports me completely. So during show season we show at least 2 times a month usually and its a fun day for me and my husband will travel back home (most of our shows are near by, we live in a great area) for the day and he will just relax and then come back to get me, sometimes he'll stay and watch. Durning the week though I ride during the day mostly so it doesn't interfer with family time after school and work. Also my daughter has a pony and she is going to start a little showing with me this year and she also plays fastpitch so she stays busy on the weekends.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2002
    Location
    Northeast
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    464

    Default

    I'm dealing with this right now. I have a 22 month old son and a 4 month old daughter and I'm not getting much riding in. I normally get up at 5;30-6 a.m. do the barn work than ride than get back in the house before the kids start to wake up. If I don't ride in the morning I find that I dont get another chance thru out the day to ride. I'm bugging my husband to put a light out by the ring so I can ride after the kids go to bed (8:30 p.m.) not sure I will feel up to it after a long day (I work full time) But I know once spring comes I will really want to get back into it since it keeps me sane! So for now I pretty much only ride on weekends until the days get longer and or I get my light installed. But I also find myselft choosing to spend time with the kids over the horses the kids are only young once and once the kids get older I will have all the time in the world to ride again.
    I would love to hear what everyone else does, my husband tries to be supportive but he drag races and is always looking for extra time to be in the garage so for now we take turns.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 2005
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    721

    Default

    I have three boys...4 yr old twins and a 5 1/2 year old. my mare's training just got put on the back burner for about two years until i could be away for a few hours a day to ride...i enlisted the help of other moms, neighborhood kids for help. i only go to two long shows a year and i have my folks fly out to watch the kids for those. otherwise my husband watches the boys for weekend shows. you can manage both you just have to be really flexible...and have a horse that can go a few days without work and still be a saint.
    http://www.photoreflect.com/pr3/orde...06J040000&po=0
    www.pinkhorseperformance.com
    Begin as you mean to continue.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2006
    Posts
    464

    Default

    I have a 3 year old and I usually ride 3-4 times a week and did a show last summer. Hubby is "On duty" two nights a week while I go to the barn, and I usually get to the barn before they wake up on the weekends. Hubby and I both work so I don't like to spend extra time away from my son, but I need a few hours a week to myself, both mentally and physically. Daddy gets to do what he wants with most of his free time, so I don't feel guilty. I do a couple of clinics and during those he gets to be a full time Dad. Grandparents can help too- my parents watched my kid at the show for a day and if I needed it he could stay a night at his Grandma's.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2006
    Location
    Mazomanie, WI
    Posts
    164

    Default

    My top three suggestions for moms trying to show:

    1. Have a good support network to help with the kids and learn to delegate. This could be your family (supportive husband, grandparents) friends or hired help. I personally have a hard time really concentrating on my riding when my kids are around. They are always asking me good questions about horses/riding/boys/dogs/bugs/bikes (get it...they don't ever stop!) Don't get me wrong: I love having them around and am always so impressed and inspired by their minds. But when I need to focus on me and my horse, I just can't do both. This is especially true at a show when the stress is up a notch or two and I really want to do my best. So have that support network in place for those times you need to focus on you.

    2. Make a good plan way ahead of when you show. Start now. Make sure you make the time to ride(!) and plan showing a level or two below where you're schooling. This may seem obvious. But I understand what it's like to need to manage a full time job away from horses, plus laundry, dinner, hockey, piano, guitar, sleepovers, parties etc., It's very easy to put your riding goals at the bottom of that huge heap of responsibilities. Resist putting yourself on the bottom. For me, I KNOW I will be happier and more effective in my life if I just take the time to ride. So in juggling things, I make sure riding is right at the top.

    3. Get good instruction and do your homework. A good instructor will honestly help you set goals, give you homework, and give you feedback on what you need to change in your riding and/or your thinking to improve.

    When you finally make it down centerline, keep you chin up and smile big because you're living your dream, and you're doing it on the wings of a lot of people who love and believe in you. That includes your wonderful horse. And what a great example of hard work, love, and commitment to show your kids.

    Good luck!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2005
    Posts
    1,401

    Default

    Everyone, even devoted moms, should be allowed to have a little me-time now and then. Consider the fact that there are 168 hours in a week - if you go to the barn 4 days per week and spend 4 hours there each and every time you go, that is only 16 hours in a week that you have to yourself, or 9.5% of the total hours available. That is nothing. Do not feel anything other than joy at the prospect of having a very tiny slice of freedom that will inevitably contribute to your mental and physical well being.

    I think it would also help not to think of your husband as having to "babysit" while you are at the barn. He is a parent, and time spent with a child is not babysitting, it is parenting, in this case for precious little time each week! He should be absolutely thrilled to have quality one-on-one time with the little one - so few fathers do.

    Just another way of looking at things.
    Treat Jockey for Spellbound and Smidgeon



  20. #20
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    Mar. 27, 2001
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    Between the Medina River and a hay field
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    I could write a book on this subject. I have a 2.5 yr old and a about to turn 4 yr old.
    Before I had the youngest two (I also have a 15yr old), I use to ride 4-6 horses a day. Now, even though my barn is less than 1000ft from my front pourch, Im lucky to get 2 ridden a day.
    The best advice I can give you is PLAN. You have to plan our your days and allow for plan A, B and sometimes C. Its not easy. For show, its possible and fun. Look at it as your vacation. I always like to leave, but I miss my kids by the end of the first night. (2 day shows).
    But planning is the key. When they get older, they go to the barn and start telling you how to ride, etc. My 2.5 yr old HAD to ride her horse tonight and guess WHO did not get to school her horse? Yup, ME! So, you have to make allowances and try to meet goals. My son, who is about to turn 4 next week, has his own baby muck fork that we got from TSC. He helps rake the barn of excess hay and helps me fill waters, etc. He is old enough to know to stay away from the stallions and which horse is which. The 2.5yr old thinks ALL horses are her friend, and well, I cant take my eyes off of her. It does get easier as they get older.
    But also, dont forget to be a mom. Plan time for your horses but also plan time for your kids, its time you will never get back once it gone.

    www.spindletopfarm.net
    Home of Puerto D'Azur - 1998 NA 100 Day Test Champion
    "Charcter is much easier kept than recovered"



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