Father's Day is coming up, so let's hear for COTH Dads. I'll start with an incident my mother related to me this morning.
My old mare Missy is retired at my parents' place about 5 hours away. Dad is a big softie, although he won't admit. He worries endlessly about her food, her supplements, whether she is moving more less stiffly, if she's getting too much/too little pasture time etc. He takes her on walks, like a big dog.
Yesterday, Dad arrived home from work to find (OH, THE HORROR) that Missy's fly mask had come off and OMG, THERE WERE FLIES ON HER FACE. He retrieved the mask from the far corner of the pasture and discovered that one of the velcro strips was ripped off, so it couldn't just be put back on Missy's head. My mother said he was very upset with the idea of the horse going even a day without her fly mask, and as far as he was concerned, getting a new one at the tack store the next day was not an option.
So Dad used his hot glue gun to reattach the velcro and went out to put the mask back on as soon as the glue was dry. Mom reports that he was crooning, "Oh Miss Missy, I'm sooooooo sorry you had to go all day with no mask and those nasty flies on your poor little face."
Do I have the best father or what?
Proudly owned by 2 chestnut mares Crayola Posse: sea green
Mighty Rehabbers Clique
it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
That is very, very cute.
I never knew until I was an adult and living on my own that my Dad's sister died from a fall from a horse... I knew she had died young--19 and in Nursing School they found her dead in her bed. What I never knew was that she had a fall from a horse quite recently before, and the cause of death was from a blood clot from the fall.
And yet, not only did he *let* me ride, from age 7, but he would sit, patiently, for hours sometimes while I did chores at the barn. Reading or just listening to the radio. I am so humbled by the selflessness... He adored and idolized his sister, and yet he let me do it, daily. Because I love horses and he loves me.
Now, the funny, horrifying story... Dad is a partner of sorts in my farm. I would far rather share the adventures with him than spend an inheritance, so he's helped with financial things at times. Quite early in the game, he was up visiting.
It was time to teach the young 3yo colt 'the ways of the world.' I have a fabulous old Broodie who at that time had stood for two virgin stallions. She's a hussy, and kind. The perfect first date.
Problem is, she is 16h and the colt was 14.2. I have a lovely little hill in the back of the house, just in front of the barn--perfect for such things. So I set mare up, go get Mr. Clueless. Bring him over. She's very receptive, but he can't... quite... figure out where things are supposed to actually go. She's trying to help, but did I mention she's 16h and he's 14.2?
So, no biggie, I drop his lead, go back there and help him... find his way. He finishes the deed... almost faints... (isn't UNcommon) and as he's dismounting, I look over, and THERE IS MY FATHER STANDING WATCHING THE WHOLE THING FROM THE SLIDING GLASS DOOR.
I am scarred for life. I remember being HORRIFIED at the time. I mean really, I'm adopted. As far as I'm concerned, my Dad is the consummate gentleman and only ever held hands with Mum and gave her pecks on the cheek.
Now, I think it's hysterical, and yet I am still blushing as I type this.
Dad's very non-horsey, but he fell in love with my big TB Man O'War/Princequillo daughter and would tell all his old cronies at coffee about her because she was very closely related and therefore 'royalty.' When Teg died, he came up a few weeks later for his annual stop on his trip further north... he had made the most beautiful granite stone for her grave. I, of course, started sobbing uncontrollably for awhile. Didn't know until later that Dad called Mum all worried he'd messed up.
He's getting up there, and is a bit frail for his age. I am terrified when I dwell on that.
It's DHs second fathers day so I'm going to have to do something special for him. He works 6 days a week so I can stay home with the little man (and the soon to be #2), plus working on the house, plus putting up with all my horsy non-sense. I'd mow the lawn and finish up his house work but he'll get mad if he has nothing to do . Guess it'll just have to be his favourite dinner and maybe a cake or something... hmmm...
I guess mine wouldn't seem like to big of a deal... but after lots of convincing my stepdad (who I very much consider to be my real dad) came to my very first horse trial with me. He loves horses but he is very much the cowboy/trail rider type. He doesn't really know what to think of all the fancy english ponies lol. Anyways, while I was walking my stadium course he walked my mare for me so that she wouldn't stiffen up.. As I was walking the course I looked over and saw him walking this english pony in his cowboy hat and I almost started crying. http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h2...i/IMG_3402.jpg
Then he taped all three phases for me, which was no easy task for cross country. He stood on TOP of the corner jump ( I was going BN so it wasn't being used) for the whole 4:59 I was on course. He has a very bad knee so that was huge for me. He won't admit it... but that weekend he fell in love with eventing. I almost have him convinced to do a Hunter Pace with me in a couple months=] I'll never forget him doing all of that for me. It was big=]
Words to live by:
There's always another box on your test
Over or through
Throw your heart over the fence and go after it
my father thinks I am a complete moron for having a horse. But when Elvis got hurt last week and I was having an extended nervous breakdown he didn't lecture me ONCE on how it was a bad way to spend a bunch of money.
"My shopping list is getting long but I will add the marshmallows right below the napalm." -Weighaton
Yay for COTH Dads! My Dad was a single parent, and I didn't really realize until a few years ago how selfless he was and how much he sacrificed to make me happy. My Dad was up at 7am every Sat/Sun to drive me to the barn, in heatwaves and snowstorms. He watched my lessons and hung around the barn while I groomed horses and mucked stalls, even though he's allergic to most things found in a barn (hay, grass, dust, cats, etc). He's never missed a show, not even when I was doing leadline classes! And he has spent insane amounts of money without ever uttering a complaint. If it wasn't for my Dad I'd never be the rider I am, and never have had the opportunity to pursue my passion. After all these years my Dad can now (almost!) comfortably hold my horse at a show when I have to pee, and wipes my boots before I go into the ring. I'm so thankful I have such an amazing Dad!
CRAYOLA POSSE - Olive Green
Champions aren't born. They are built little by little, day by day, with patience and love for the art. -Nick Skelton
My dad, possibly the world's biggest worrier, averted his eyes and paid for riding lessons from the time I was 10 until I went to college. I'm not sure how he stood it, but I am grateful!
(I still laugh when I think of him coming up to question me in bed the first time I fell off. I was maybe 12, and he came up and woke me up to ask if I had blacked out at all or hit my head when I fell. He then informed me that sometimes when people hit their heads, they fall asleep and never wake up. I am sure he was just explaining why he woke me, but one thing is for sure, I didn't sleep the rest of that night!!! I am really amazed that he could stand to let me ride)
My father is wonderful Both my mom and I ride and never once has he ever complained about the time/money spent on the horses (although jokingly he will offer the boys for sale to people we know, but he offers me too ). He's always been very patient and kind and put up with my snotty pre-teen/early teen years He is the best. He gets up at 3 or 4am to come to my shows and watch and support me. He may not know anything about horses but he's always there for me And to top it all off he is VERY allergic to horses and spends the whole show running outside to get fresh air, even in blistering cold weather just so he can support me and watch me ride, best dad ever
I'll never forget when I fell off at a show last year... I had to get right back on and school a couple fences then go right back in. But after the show he goes "I don't know anything about horses but I knew Kore wasn't going over that fence. I even said to your Mom 'He's moving too slow!'" You know it's sad when your non-horsey Dad can tell when you're about to go flying off your horse before you realize it
My Dad rode livery horses with his sister in Lincoln Park (Chicago) in the 1930s.
He came to every show I rode in as a kid and supported my riding all through my youth until I drifted away from it in my teens.
When he was in his fifties (and hadn't ridden in at least 30 years) he took me on a livery trail ride because I wanted to go. Being that age now myself, I can only imagine how stiff & sore he must have been. But never a word of complaint.
He drove several hours to take me & DH to Monty Roberts' Flag Is Up farm (before it became a mecca) after I read the book and wanted to visit.
I can still see him gently petting noses as we toured the barns.
He is 97 now and never fails to ask how my boys are doing - calls them his grandkids.
HAPPY FATHERS DAY, DAD!
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
What great Dads! I wish my Dad had been half as interested as these wonderful Dads, but he just wasn't. He was a good Dad, but he just wasn't interested in my horse. I worked off all my board at a neighbor's barn and he just wasn't interested. I don't think he went to one horse show and when I was 17, I had to sell my horse to go to college and he gave me a bill for everything he had spent on her. I think he missed out on something really great, but we don't all get Dads who care. Last year, though, he actually mentioned that he was always impressed with the way I got up extra early to run through all the backyards to the barn every morning before school to feed and turn out the horses. I never thought he even noticed.
Mr. chai, however, is a great horse Dad. He loves them, goes to every show and really enjoys it, and he has been there to hold my hand every time we have had to put one down. Because we've taken in so many ancient or debilitated horses, that has been more often than for most people and I am so grateful for his strength at those times.
I have been so very fortunate that my parents are both supportive of the horses. Dad doesn't ride but he drives, and when I was a baby he would take me with him--hitch the ponies, set me in the wagon, and down the road we'd all go. We have a picture of me in mom's arms, riding in the wagon in a Labor Day parade (my birthday is in July!). Later he would hand me the reins when we went out. I didn't start riding until I was about 10, but I was driving pairs way before then!
When I got my first horse, my parents looked for months to find one suitable for me. Dad often says that was the best $800 he ever spent! And then he proceeded to trailer me to lessons once a week for my entire adolescence, sometimes at barns 45 minutes away or more. He would trailer me to shows and video me in every class. (But it was my mom who walked beside me when I was still too nervous to ride by myself, until Ace would follow her all around the pasture!) Oh yeah, and I'm currently in NC while my old horse is still hanging out at my parents' farm in IL, living to a ripe old age in their care. I know when the time comes, they will cry as much as I do, and if I can't be there I know I can trust them to make the best decision for him.
When I got my current horse, I was working off lessons at my trainer's barn but boarding someplace else. For a few months at one point, my dad would--while I was at work at my trainer's--drive to the boarding barn, load horse and gear, drive to my trainer's, drop him off in time for a lesson, wait (and sometimes videotape), and then drop the horse back off while I finished my workday. My friends at both barns all LOVED him!
This year for Easter weekend he came for an impromptu visit and we went to the Southern Pines CDE, and had a lovely time together. Except for the part where we went to visit my horse and he got to watch me fall on my head. (We're not telling my mom about that!)
Oh, and I just this week got a note from my mom--they ordered a big bucket of horse treats for Friendly and the other "kids" at my barn. I'll also occasionally get pics of Mom riding her horse in a lesson, or dad driving his horse, which is cool since I can't be there with them.
I'm lucky and I know it. I have the best horsey parents in the world!
The hooves of the horses! Oh witching and sweet is the music earth steals from the iron-shod feet. Will Ogilvie
My dad rocks. He is retired, but is now my official shipper. Anywhere I want the horses to go, I just have to ask. He even will pack the trailer he's gotten so good at knowing what goes to shows. And now he's become my biggest cheerleader too in the stands at shows. I think it's fun cause he wasn't around much when I was a junior rider. He also takes care of any horses that are living at home when we are at shows (I don't live there) & I'll hear stories from my mom of things he does (he'll hose them off when it's hot or throw them carrots while he mows the grass). It's pretty funny sometimes.
However my boyfriend became a dad in April...when I found out i was pregnant first thing i did was offer to sell my pony. He flat out refused b/c he thought it would be cool for the baby to have a pony (plus i think he likes my pony). Then for mothers day he let me buy (i say let b/c he pays board and maintenance) a little neglected pony, and has paid for all her rehab. He even spent time learning how to catch a pony who reeeeeally didn't want to be caught. And since he knows how important it is to work with her, the days he feeds, he still spends an extra ten minutes scratching on her and getting her used to contact. A year ago he would have dumped grain and left before the ponies even realized he'd been there lol!
Donatello - 12.2hh, 9 year old, pony gelding
April - 14.3hh, 14 year old, TB Mare
Ella - 12hh, 4 year old, pony mare
Im still a teenager and my dad is amazing. He doesnt know much about the horses but man do I wish I could get a pictre of him driving that trailer. He gets the biggest goofiest smile and his face. Everytime he hits a bump he yells"Sorry Zoe!" And he watches her in the side mirror for when she sticks her little nose through the bars. He has recently learned what it means when I yell help on course. First time he ran into the the ring like something was wrong (Soooo embarassing Dad!) and now he stands at the ingate with the course in his hand and yells it to me when I forget.
My most memorable moment was when I was cross country schooling last year. just me him and the horse went and we could not get her into the water. She has always been deathly afraid of it. I went in with my boots on and got soaked and she still wouldnt go in. So my dad took off his shoes and socks and rolled up his pant legs and walked her into the water while I pushed from behind. Zoe has always been soooo fond of and fascinated with my dad. He stood in the middle of the lake with her for minutes and coooed softly to her telling her it was alright. And then I remounted in the water and he walked us around. Thanks to him my horse beasts through the water now and doesnt even look at it twice.