I was one of those little girls that the rest of the family stares at and wonders where did this come from? Yes I was horse obsessed. I do not remember a time when I was not horse crazy.
Fast forward, I was watching "Dance Moms" with my mother. Anyone who has seen this knows that "Miss Abbey" doesn't mince words. She is a task master, to say the least. She expects her students to eat, sleep and breath dance when they are not actually dancing, which should be about 8 hours a day, maybe more.
After watching the show my mom and I got into a discussion about why the girls and their mothers were there. I earnestly looked at my mom and said" I would have left the barn each night in tears and arrived with a smile on my face the next morning, if I had had an opportunity to ride with an instructor like Miss Abbey". Hell, if I had an opportunity to ride with anyone!
So, who else would have been happy to ride under the tutelage of an extremely demanding instructor or is having to endure watching their DD choose to do this.
I rode under a very strict... and loud... trainer growing up. She was one of those that would blow up, cause a scene, scare you to death, and then get over it as quickly as it happened. She was very demanding, but I did well under her because I accepted the challenge. However, she had quite a few younger girls leave her because she could really hurt your feelings. I think there were nicer ways to go about it, but whatever. My current trainer is one of those no nonsense women. She's not too hard on you, but lets you know that if you do not do x, y, and z you will not achieve your goals. It's nice, but sometimes I wonder if I need a drill sargeant to whip me back in shape.
On the topic of show moms, I wish my mom had been into my riding career as much as some of those dance moms! My mom was the one who sat on the bleachers and if I so much as dared to ask her to grab me a bottle of water for the concession stand, she would freak out!
While there are times I've wished my own parents were as "involved" in my horse addiction as some of the other parents I saw around the barn, I see shows like Dance Moms and Toddlers and Tiaras and feel very thankful that my parents were not like that.
There's a difference between a parent being supportive of their child's interests and activities, and one who gets so competitive and "mama bear-ish" that they take all the fun out of it for their kid.
Whenever I see those shows, all I can think is that those women need to find their own hobbies instead of using their kids to compete against the other moms.
Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.
Just for the record, I was a dance mom for about 8 years and the show really exaggerates everything and is no where near what competitive dance is really about. If anything, I thought the moms of the girls on my daughter's team and the moms I saw at competitions were way more civilized than some of the little league and soccer moms I've seen. I don't know any horse show moms. Plus I didn't see many dance instructors like Abby. Our instructor could be tough when she needed to be but she did it in a way that didn't humiliate the kids. Personally, dance is so expensive I can't see pushing a child that didn't want to dance to do it. I was glad when my daughter quit competitive dance and joined her high school drill team.
My mom was a show mom and her mom was a show mom (to my aunt) so I come from a long line of show moms and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I had various trainers of various disciplines but mom would never tolerate someone harsher than her. I deplored lessons with my grandmother though, she was of the George Morris/Jimmy Woffart style oh oi!vey! did we not get along. I'm there for most of DD's lessons and the rest of the moms and I have way too much fun at the shows to be competitive. Our rule of your kid is my kid so you better cheer works wonders. All of the kids get full house attention and all of the kids root for each other which is the most important part.
Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
Originally Posted by alicen:
What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.
Ha. I have had nice instructors but a VERY competitive mother. Who is non-horsey. Interesting.
My instructors have pushed me, but have never been "mean". Only one time have I cried during a lesson and that was more out of frustration than anything.
My mom drives me insane. She is the one who makes me cry (oh yeah, at almost 22) over the stupidest stuff involving horses lol. I can handle it because I'm old enough, but if someone was like 7? Not sure they could. I'm just lucky I got into horse showing at 12/13 and I was a bit more prepped.
Didn't ride as a kid, but competed in gymnastics under a very strict Russian coach.....parent's were not allowed in the gym! Luckily my mom was afraid to watch and my dad actually took such an interest he became a coach too (but never to me). Sadly, watched other girls pushed by "gym mothers" so hard that they all ended up quitting!
I've no tolerance for them, and to this day can't stand to see "show mothers" in the horse show world acting like it's the only thing that matters and being so god-awful beotchy if darling daughter gets 2nd instead of first place!
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!