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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2004
    Posts
    1,798

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    No advice, just comisseration.

    Over a year ago, I decided I was going to buy a horse and keep it in training at a barn very close to my house so I could have a finely tuned animal to ride (vs. hauling a horse out of my own pasture who had been sitting for months!). Didn't work out quite as I planned.

    Then my husband and I took on guardianship of two teenaged family members who needed a place to live. So now I'm up to 4 children (3, 6, 15 and now 18). My husband is my lifeline and an awesome dad and husband, but he works in agriculture and from the start of barley season in May until beans are done (usually December but got done early this year!) there is not enough of him to go around. On top of that I do shift work. It's hard. My family is my priority and sometimes I have to get a sitter just so I can have a peaceful meal with my husband. Sometimes I think I could be using that time to ride but any fellow parent knows that a happy marriage is more important.

    Every winter I send a horse or 2 to a friend's facility for the winter. This cuts down on my work at home, which is nice especially when the daylight is so sparse. It also lets me have access to an indoor, albeit a tiny one. Luckily my friend doesn't care when I ride. If it's 6am or 11pm he could care less as long as I lock up.

    I don't have it down at all. Laundry piles up on me. Days go by and I don't ride. Before I know it, it's been 10 days. It's frustrating. And then I watch the news and see that over 100 people perished in a sweatshop fire because there were no exits. And I remember horses are a luxury.

    When it's been too long and I miss it too much, I'll make the time, even if I have to cancel appointments and miss a dental cleaning I'm overdue for. Soon enough the littlest one will be in school too and I tell myself I'll have more time then. Maybe!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
    Location
    NYC=center of the universe
    Posts
    1,918

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    No kids myself, but I've been thinking about this issue. For years I worked 60-70+ hours a week and rode 3-5 times a week. Some things really helped me...
    Cooking less. I'm not suggesting fast food, but there are so many pre-made healthy options in the stores/restaurants nowadays. And that will reduce...
    Cleaning. Maybe someone comes periodically to help with cleaning?
    Maybe you don't do all the laundry yourself?
    I saw some of the pictures and could tell how much you and your (darling!) daughter adore your lovely mare!! So it's a matter of priorities. I personally think having this horse could be as great for your daughter as it is for you, and very much something you can enjoy together. So maybe she doesn't have as many other activities and you both get to enjoy this together?
    If you and your DH prioritize it, you will find a way to make it work. Don't fall into the trap of feeling guilty because you're doing something for yourself! It's healthy for kids to realize that their parents have balanced lives and outside interests. And, again, this is something that you can enjoy with your daughter. And eventually, your son may enjoy it, as well.
    And hopefully you find a part-lessor.
    It can be done. Just don't accept any guilt over it, that's just unhealthy and unnecessary!!
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2000
    Location
    Ellijay, GA
    Posts
    6,036

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    I am in the same boat...FINALLY got my horse an important (but not life threatening surgery) so we could really get to work and FINALLY found the right barn very close to home (10 minutes)...a small private barn, so no trust worthy teens to watch the LO.

    I too work full time (an hour commute each way), my husband works 70+ hours a week (two + hours commute) and is generally home after LO has gone to bed. My nearest able bodied family member is over two hours away...I just couldnt make it work no matter how hard I tried. I my son is just now a year old and I am 5 months pregnant (I know, I know!).

    Some weeks it would all work out and the hubs could get home by 6 two nights a week and we would have a family day at the barn on Sunday, which meant I would ride three days...and other weeks would go by and I wouldnt even lay eyes on my horse.

    All I heard from friends/people was how if it meant that much I would make it work or crap like that...well guess what, life doesnt work that way, just because you want something doesnt mean you can always have it! I heard everything from putting the kid in a play pen in the ring to leaving my husband because he is not supportive enough...

    I was able to lease my horse out for a year which means he will get the work he needs and the guilt of not being able to see him is taken off of me. I was not overly thrilled with the idea, but once I found out I was pregnant again it just made sense.

    I honestly dont know that I will be able to manage riding when he comes back home since I will have two kids. Its hard...I live in a rural area, I work normal business hours, etc.

    I keep thinking once the kids get a bit older it will get easier.
    Busy Bee Farm, Ellijay, GA
    Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
    Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
    Green Alligator "Captain"



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2004
    Location
    Catonsville, MD
    Posts
    6,887

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    FG, you know what I'm going to say. Don't let yourself be guilted out of your time. Don't. It is serious. Not taking time for your own passion and activity is a way to tell your kids: "Mom is not a person to value. She is staff." Let them eat fast food 1x a week, or let the dishes sit, or put them in mismatched socks sometimes. But do what you have to do to ride.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09



    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2006
    Posts
    7,344

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    Well I have to say, while I'm sad other peeps are in the same boat, it is kind of comforting in some ways. I'm always like... What is wrong with me! If I were "dedicated" enough I'd go to the barn at 4am to ride!

    Ako, thanks for the nice comments about my mare. She is a lovely girl and my daughter adores her. I lucked out with her.... she is green and needs miles, but she is the kind of horse that, in 5 or 6 years, will be the perfect mount for my daughter. (If my daughter is interested in riding.... ) She is very sweet and honest, and she tries hard.

    I'm putting the feelers out for a half-leaser, so we'll see how that goes.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2006
    Posts
    7,344

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lori B View Post
    FG, you know what I'm going to say. Don't let yourself be guilted out of your time. Don't. It is serious. Not taking time for your own passion and activity is a way to tell your kids: "Mom is not a person to value. She is staff." Let them eat fast food 1x a week, or let the dishes sit, or put them in mismatched socks sometimes. But do what you have to do to ride.
    Lori, thanks for always being my cheerleader and the voice in my head telling me not to give up!!!!
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
    Posts
    3,119

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    I work full time, I have three children, three dogs and I'm married to someone with an intense job. I will tell you that for years, it didn't work horribly well. DH was supportive, but 3 kids are hard. Getting the horse the work that she needed was hard.

    My kids are older now (youngest is 11) and that helps, but I still was very uncomfortable boarding. Once I brought the horse home, and started leaving work at 3 instead of at 6...that helped. I started a business for many reasons, but one of the perks is setting my own schedule.

    So - did I manage it? Yes. Well? No. In hindsight, I think a half-lessor would have been a really good idea. I tried to get one once but found it difficult where I was and with the horses I had during that time period. Heck, even a free on-property lease would have been a good idea.

    Best of luck to you - no matter WHAT you do. Even if you take a break, that's not a bad thing either. Give yourself permission to *find* the solution!



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    8,541

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    Welcome to the Wonderful World of Parenthood.

    When a person puts a kid on the ground that kid's health, safety, and welfare (which includes their education: moral, ethical, and intellectual) trumps all other activities (including...gasp...riding).

    Put another way, kids, spouses, family life, etc. are ALL more important than horses.

    I understand that this is heresy in these waters but there it is.

    We all know that horses are "luxury goods." This is true in terms of both dollars and time. How much "luxury" can you afford? Answer this question and the rest is easy.

    I don't suggest that anyone always likes the answer, but it's really not that hard to come up with the answer.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2000
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    970

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    FWIW, I found that I actually rode LESS when I had my horse at home than when he was boarded out...just more stuff to do other than riding...



  10. #30
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2006
    Posts
    7,344

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    Don't worry G, I understand the dynamic, hence the mommy guilt for even spending so much as 2 hours out of the house each week.

    Having kids was a hard-won battle for us, so I think I think I try to over-achieve in the parenting/mommy department. I feel pretty lucky to have them both, and tend to forget that I'm a person too, sometimes.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



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