Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
How did/does your dad influence your horsey life?
In honor of dads everywhere on this day, I thought I'd start a horse-friendly "Ode to Dad" thread.
My dad was NOT horsey. At all. However, I apparently popped out of the womb horse-crazy (according to my mom, who was also not a horse person). By the time I was 9, I had worn them down to the point they agreed to get me a pony. After finding a chestnut pony mare for $100 (plus saddle, bridle and 100 lbs. of wheat) in a backyard in a suburb of Vancouver, WA, my dream horse arrived.
God bless my dad--he fenced the entire 5 acres of trees and rocks that constituted our property, framed in the bottom of our tree house for a stall, schlepped hay from a neighbor's farm and basically did all the grunt work so I could live my dream.
Later, he bought plans for a two stall barn and he and I built it together one summer. He was insistent that I be the one to help. I am so, so grateful he did that. He never questioned the expense, never told me he wouldn't help, never laughed when I said I'd ride in the Olympics one day (ha! what horse crazy kid didn't think that!?).
Dad, I miss you every day. You provided me the means to continue to spend my retirement money to this day on horses. You'd be proud of my carpentry skills still. I drive a stick shift because of you. I get up at the crack of dawn and work hard all day because of you. I love chocolate because of you. One day, I'll name a horse after you--he'll be tall, skinny, have a deep whinny and walk really fast.
See you someday, again. I'm sure you and Flicka, that first pony, are sitting in patio chairs, sharing the deck as you did when you were alive. (well, she's probably standing behind you, reading over your shoulder. She liked that activity best).
Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!
I wish I could say that mine is supportive but he is not. He thinks I should sell all my horses, "get a real job" and that I have wasted most of my life doing horses and other things. I've never had an 8 - 5 job. But I have worked since I was 14 yrs old!! Oh well. But I still love him to death.
I just got off the phone with my dad after a long conversation. We haven't had one of those in a long while. It was nice.
My dad definitely facilitated my riding as a kid. I grew up on a beef and cash crop farm, so after months of begging and pestering my dad took me to get a pony/small horse when I was 11. There was a gelding there that followed my dad around and stood next to him while I tried the large pony. When it came to negotiate price, he said how much for the red gelding? So we came home with a pony for me a thick QH cross for him.
Over the years the herd grew, and my dad spent many good hay making days ringside watching me and my friend show. Later as a teen he would never get too angry when I would take off on a horse for the day when I was supposed to be helping to plant or harvest the crops. He humoured my desire to be a working student, and took me for the "tryout" 3 hours away on a school day. I was accepted (looking back, I think everyone was) however, my dad "bribed" me out of it my offering to have my trakehner mare bred to another trakehner. He didn't like the look of the working student place, and didn't get a 'professional' vibe from it. So I took the bribe, stayed home and bred the mare..... a total of 4 times over the next several years.
When I went off to university he let me keep the horses on his farm and he took care of them for me... all free of charge. Then I went off to Asia, he did the same. And when I came back and went back to grad school, again he kept the horses for me. (By this point I had sold some off to bring the number down to 2).
This past fall, the old chestnut gelding of my dad's passed away in his 30's, and the retired trakehner mare was put down as well. The horse fences were taken down and their pastures sown with cash crops. It was like the end of era on the farm when Cowboy, the chestnut QHX and Calisto, the trakehner, were no longer with us.
I would say my dad more than facilitated my riding.
My father is now deceased. (He was much older than my mother and was very old when he died, so he lived a long life.........a very long life.)
He paid all my vet bills till I finished law school. All. For dogs and cats and horses. And all my expenses, personal and equine. Riding lessons, horses, the whole deal. Then after I finally got out of school and got a job, he gave me $$$ for Xmas and birthdays and all. Money that paid vet bills and bought cars and all.
However, if I had know how much money he was making from his business when I was growing up, I'd have had a lot more horses
(Don't worry, in return for all of the above he got the "perfect" daughter with perfect grades who was on tv and in newspapers (trying people) and one whom his friends sent him newspaper clippings about. So he got to be happy that he spent all that money. Oh and people called him all the time trying to buy my horse #2, the "perect" horse.) He got the best feedback from his friends and business associates to tell him he made a good investment in me.)
My family was completely non-horsey. Absolutely 100%. But I pestered them enough to start lessons... and then get a half lease... then a full lease... then a pony. My dad supported me through thick and thin, even when looking back it was tough to afford it. He'd take me to shows at whatever time in the morning, and even sortof learnt how to help me tack up / plait / whatever it was. He also kept me in check when I was grumpy after shows not going so well!
He recognized my passion (though I'm sure he had hoped it was just a phase!) and supported it as fully as he could. I will never stop being grateful for what my dad gave me.
I lost my Dad nearly 2 yrs ago, and not a day doesn't go by that I don't miss him. He was the farthest thing from a 'horse dad" as you could get, but oh how he supported me. I could count on him to come to shows and help carry buckets, etc. His motto about shows was, "if you didn't have dust, heat or long waiting times between phases, it was complete day shot in the a**!" I have an old picture of him toting a water bucket. I cherish that. He had always been an artist, especially using oils. I have a lot of his work, but one stands out-me and my old event horse. To my father, thank you for always helping out and cheering me on. I know you never got the "horse thing", but were interested in how my horse life progressed.
I got my Horse Genes from my Dad. My father would take turns with my aunt carting me back and forth from lessons. Taking me to the auction every second Saturday of the month, hoping to find JUST the right pony (which we didn't end up finding until I was 17! 15 years of every second Saturday, except when I had a show getting up and driving out to the auction, spawning my addiction to beef jerky and hot dogs)
When I was pulled out of lessons, at least once a month we'd go trail riding at Marriot Ranch, an hour and a half away.
He still feeds my addiction. If I only have X amount of $ to spend on entry fees, he'll sneak me the extra to finish the division. He now works as a filmographer, traveling and videoing for The Best of America By Horseback, and finally no longer lives vicariously through me. But, he's corrupting my Mini Me, and will be taking us Team Penning at the 'base farm' where he works.
Owned by a Paint/TB and an OTTB.
RIP Scoutin' For Trouble ~ 2011 at 10
RIP Tasha's Last Tango ~ 2010 at ~23
RIP In Sha' Allah ~ 2009 too young at 5
He convinced my mom to let me take riding lessons, and paid for them from the time I was ten to when I was 16.
He probably regrets that now. When I wanted to take a thoroughbred my friends owned to college (the actual deal was "take him with you now, when you graduate he'll be yours, but I was smart enough not to mention that part to my parents, who didn't let me have a dog til I was 17), he said "I thought you were my smart child." which was nicer than some of the things my mother said.
Reportedly he also said, when we were moving "We should buy a house with land so she can have a horse." and my mother vetoed that idea. She probably shouldn't have told me that because it only made me mad at her. Although really, couldn't go much lower than her telling me horses were a waste of time and money, and I would never be any good at riding because it cost too much money and she wasn't going to pay for it.
Paying for riding lessons on and off (as we could afford it... Riding lessons were always the first thing to go, never those stupid piano lessons my mother forced us to take, which we did for years) was more than enough though. I don't regret having to work off my lessons since then, or never showing. Besides, when I was 16 I met the family that gave me the thoroughbred a year ago, and I've been riding at their place ever since.
He's the best daddy ever, even if we don't share the same idea of what is worth spending money on.
Dad never bought me that pony growing up, but he's certainly been the epitome of a horse dad during my adulthood! I can look out my house window and gaze upon the beautiful run-in shed that he built for my 2 geldings. He helped me run all of the fencing for my farm, and he gave me numerous skills that I use everyday! I can paint, saw, drill, and do just about anything that my husband can do and for the first year of marriage - my tool box was bigger than his!
Well neither of my parents were particularly interested in horses but my father rode, drove and the family raised horses (as did the generations before) while he was growing up so he wasn't unfamiliar with them either. My parents were airforce officers and shortly after I was born I was left with my grandparents (father's parents) to care for. My grandfather saw to it that I was on a horse or cow (seriously) almost daily. My father knew he had lost "that" battle and not only supported but went on many a horse buying trip with me through the years, helped haul my horses, cheered at shows and continued on with his granddaughter many years later. These days he still comes over to feed the horses at noon ('cause I'm at work) when my son can't do it. Due to his health he can't stay as involved as he would like to but he always asks how so-and-so is doing, plans for each and so-on. I am lucky my father is still around and grateful for the support he gave. I'm still a lucky kid.
framed in the bottom of our tree house for a stall
That's awesome! OP, your dad sounds like he was a really cool guy.
My father hasn't ever seen me ride, in 23 years of horses! But he paid for lessons, shows, leases, and then my first horse.
We were estranged for 4 years in my 20's, but when my dream horse died tragically in 2008 he called me and we re-connected. He's been the one person in my life who has encouraged me to continue riding and doing the horse thing.
My grandpa was born on a farm, had an uncle who was a horse trainer, and he himself had horses up until he entered the military. I remember many a Sunday he'd drive me to the barn, and sit next to the ring and watch me ride. When he became too sick to drive, I'd go pick him up, oxygen tank and all, and we'd hang out with my horse.
Cheers to all the great dads/grandpas/stepdads out there who supported their horsey children.
We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.
My dad drove me to lessons for many, many years. And, unlike my mom, he actually watched me ride (sometimes)! For completely non-horsey parents, mine were/are great in supporting my riding lessons. It was made clear that horses were a valuable way to spend my time because they were important to me.
And he is ridiculously good at polishing boots. Just sent me my 10+ year old Ariat paddock boots to me and they look almost as good as new!
My dad has always been my horsey advocate. Even when I wasn't riding he would ask, "Paula, why aren't you riding?". I am 43 years old and if, heaven forbid, Fella (whom he asks about all the time) needed something I couldn't afford (okay, not a Theault horse van) he'd do his best to help me.
He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).
Dad isn't a horseperson (that would be Mom), but he is an animal person, and brought me up that way. He always taught me to respect animals, and put up with my sister and I bringing home animals of all kinds.
When he and Mom bought my mare, he worked with me on whatever needed to be done (from fixing up the trailer to hauling hay from the feed store to holding her while I got dressed at shows). He even mucked stalls on occasion. During the weeks of band camp, when I couldn't get to the barn, he handwalked her every couple days to help with her navicular (she got sore when she stood around too much). Looking back, he didn't "get" the horse thing like my mom and sister did, but he did everything in his power to help us enjoy horses. I'm so grateful to him for that.
One of the things he has always quoted whenever anyone asks about us and horses is "Your daughter will fall in love with something, let it be a horse!"
Neither my dad or my grandfather (paternal) were horsey folks. They were the most supportive guys ever when it came to horses. My grandfather bought my first horse and then my Morgan, the bestest horse ever. My dad drove me to shows, helped pay board, took me to lessons, put up with the horse getting loose and running through the neighborhood, and so many other things I can't even remember all of them.
And here's the best thing - after I grew up and went to college, he did the same thing with three of my sisters. Yep, he was a horsey dad to 4 horse crazy females. Even at 83 he still turns out, waters, and feeds my youngest sister's 2 mares who live at his farm. The only thing he won't do is stalls!
My mom was very supportive as well, even though she is kind of scared of them.
I figured it out one day - one or the other of us girls has had horses now for 49 years. My parents have been our best supporters for that entire time. We are truly blessed!!!
My dad hates horses LOL. Well he claims to anyways. His sister and mom were the horsewomen of the family and he always got stuck doing the barn chores so he never got into it. He actually thought it was funner to chase the horses around the field with an umbrella when he was a kid.
He is a total natural rider though, the couple of times I've seen my dad ride, and he's really good with the horses. He does like them, he just doesn't want to admit it. He built me a barn for my first horse, put up the fences, taught me how to drive a tractor, only screamed at me mildly when I ran the tractor into the barn wall....
He always told me to get a real job so I could just buy a horse and enjoy it, instead of working with horses full time. Of course I never listened. But now I'm finally doing that and I had to tell him the other day that he was right and I was wrong, should have listened to him back then. He got a kick out of that.
But he always supported my riding, was always very proud of me and the things I accomplished. He'll call me up just to say he was passing a field of horses and thought of me. And he watches the Kentucky Derby every year and calls me to talk about it before and after the race. He doesn't care about horse racing, he does it just to talk to me :-)
My dad was recently diagnosed with cancer--had surgery and radiation therapy and is still feeling absolutely terrible. I was lucky enough to spend the last 3 days with him at the beach and have a lovely breakfast with him this morning.
My poor mom and dad were NOT horsey people, despite dad growing up on a farm with cows and one pony. I insisted I start lessons at 4 years old, and they paid for and came to all my lessons. Then when I was 9-ish, they bought me my first pony. Then bought a farmette for my sister and I so that we could have horses. My dad and his friends built us a center aisle beautiful barn and we fenced in 5 acres of gorgeous pasture.
Dad gets VERY nervous with the horses. We had a bratty pony and a HOT ottb. Loading them made his blood pressure go through the roof. He stood in the house while we loaded, then he would drive them wherever we wanted to go. He spent countless days at horse shows, which he DID NOT enjoy, but stuck it out for us. Even recently, he has come to a few shows with my new horse, and while I know hes not having a good time, he does enjoy spending the time with me.
It breaks my heart that he is in so much pain and can barely eat anything. He is rarely in a decent mood. But multiple times this weekend, he told me how happy it made him that I drove down to the beach to spend time with him. I'm tearing up just writing this, realizing how much my dad gave up for my happiness with horses. I'm so glad I was able to spend quality time with him for the past few days and help get his mind off of the pain.
Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)
He bought me my first horse, Charley Brown - once the outrider's horse at the old Tropical Race Track in Miami. Moved the family from North Miami to the Davie area so we could have horses - (mostly it was him and me who wanted them...) and he got into breeding TBs. That grew into a farm in Ocala, standing 4 stallions...... and I moved to Ocala. As an adult, he bought me a horse, helped buy the second one..... and helped me build my house on 5 acres so I could have horses at home.
To be fair, though, Mom was a horsewoman as a young woman, with an army remount named Rabbit - she looked smashing in her riding jods!
I think it must have been genetic. Don't know what happened to my brother... maybe he had to clean too many stalls!
Oh, let me do add this--yrs ago, I used to have several ope breed shows in the summer. My Dad would do the announcing for me at the shows. He was in radio and had a great voice. He was supportive there. I think because you could "see" the $$ being made. I just had lunch with him and the family and he's still a great man and a wonderful dad.