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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2008


    I was raised in a home that always had pets, and taught from a young age that they were not disposable. As for the horses, no one in the family ever rode, so I was on my own in that regard. I do thank my Dad for enabling me to have an enriching childhood with my beloved pets.
    "My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.”
    ― Anna Sewell

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Chapel Hill, NC


    Another "birther" here.

    We had no animals in the house until I brought home a kitten when I was about 7. My mother said I was always drawn to dogs in yards as a child, and that the dogs always seemed to be drawn to me, too.

    Despite being an addict and a single mother, after Girl Scout camp where I saw and touched my first horse (also around 7), my mother figured out a way to get me into a lesson program. I wound up riding there for over a decade. I grew to love horses so much (and other animals, of course) that it then shaped my career path.

    No one in my family is animal-oriented. A few pets here and there, but they are not considered "family", just animals. I swear I was switched at birth...
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007


    My baby book (do people still buy those hardcover books for keeping records of their kids?) entry for my first birthday says:
    "Loves dogs. Loves all animals." Mother was right. I got it from both sides of the family. My father had big setters. My maternal uncle had horses and put me on my grandparents' plow horse when I was six months old. I added cats and bantam chickens to the dogs and horses and never changed.

    I have had horse crazy friends whose daughters do not share their love of horses. My friends want to isolate the "animal loving gene" and have children who love horses.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004

    Default Baby book here, too

    My parents are animal lovers, but my baby book also said that I loved books having to do with animals, stuffed animals, etc., and that I showed no interest in baby dolls/barbies. I never had any desire to have kids....seems as if I was born that way!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2012
    Twin Cities


    My mom is a vet & my dad is an animal science teacher. We lived on a hobby farm & everyone who my parents hung out with either livestock farmers, vets, or other ag teachers.

    There are no pix of me as a baby without my dog. My first word was "Dee" (short for Woody, his name)

    I got a locket for my 3rd birthday & requested that a photo of our steer, Jim, be inserted.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2012


    Born this way. Every.single.person. on the paternal side of my family rides, or did ride! My step grandmother used to breed ponies, my "father" selected one for me when I was 3, but my mom (single parent) just didn't want that expense yet. My maternal grandfather loved horses and used to watch RFDTV with me every day during the summer!

    I grew up with 10 cats, I brought home every stray animal, I still do! My mom and grandfather were huge animal lovers, so this was acceptable.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2004
    City of delusion in the state of total denial


    My mother is a horse person. Dad had a horse when he was younger, too, but the horse gene definitely came from Mom. Both parents love and loved dogs and put up with cats. Never fewer than 2 dogs in the house growing up- usually 3 or 4- and one or two cats in the house and more outdoor cats.

    I never had a chance not to like the four-leggers, but parents both instilled respect for animals.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

    Horse Isle 2: Legend of the Esrohs LifeCycle Breeding and competition MMORPG

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2003


    Runs in the family. There was only a very brief time in my life in which I had no animals, and all my family loves them. So, genetic for me - no one person gets the blame!
    Don't tell me about what you can't do. That's boring. Show me what you can do. - Mom

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2006
    on and off the bit


    Animals. They were, and are, my teachers. And the Lord who made us all ...
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2005


    No idea where the horse thing came from. My grandmother and aunt briefly had a horse after my mom went to college, but it definitely wasn't a family tradition or anything to ride.

    I was, however, raised with cats. Finally got my first dog this week after years of wanting one!

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008


    I think mine is mostly "nature" with a little bit of "nurture" sprinkled in. My Mom was the resident dog-lover of the house and had dogs since before she even met Dad. And Dad was a farm boy, who had a certain amount of affection for his animals despite the business-like attitude that most farmers have. So, I was fated to be born an animal-lover.

    Mom says one of my first few words was "hor-chee" (my attempt at horsey). And from the day I was born, she said I was always kind and gentle to the dogs we had around the house. I'm really pretty good at non-verbal communication with animals (more so than people, I'm pretty sure) and have a knack at training them.

    But, growing up surrounded by dogs and a few cats, having parents that love animals and treat them kindly - it all did nothing but make my love for animals that much stronger. I'm 31 and to this day, my Mom still pretends that my dog and horses "buy" me gifts for Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, Christmas, my birthday... She signs a card from them and they always give me a gift. Hahaha! Yeah... I was born with the same kind of insanity.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    New England


    My great uncle on my father's side was a jockey at Suffolk Downs. Only one besides me that loved horses.

    My niece now loves animals/is a rider. We are not related by blood on my father's side (her mother is my half sister through my mom) so she got it from me.

    My mother has 5 brothers and sisters, same with my father. There are only 2 of us that love horses, but the family (my dad aside) is very animal loving. Everyone has multiple dogs, cats, rabbits etc.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2012
    MS Gulf Coast


    Definitely born to love animals. My mom's cousin had horses, and she put me on the back of a horse at 18 months old (don't remember but my mom swears that's when the horse obsession started). I begged for years to learn how to ride and finally got that wish at 10 years old. I joined 4-H at the same time (mom said I had to learn how to take care of them as well as ride them).

    There's always been animals in my life. My grandparents had 2 dogs when I was little. One of their dogs was a stray that followed my mom home from work (before I was born). Not the first stray to take up residence with my grandparents.

    I got my first dog when I was 7 (a Newfy). We had 2 Newfies for a while. After our first one passed away, my sister found a stray dog at college. She brought it home while I was away at college. I came home on break to nobody home but our second Newfy, the cat, and the new dog. I unlocked the front door to go in and had both dogs welcoming me home! Later that day, the new dog was sitting in my lap on the couch. He was my heart dog.

    I now have an orange kitty who acts like he's a dog trapped in a cat's body.
    Last edited by LadyNeon01; Feb. 22, 2013 at 12:33 PM. Reason: forgot something

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Nokesville, VA


    I always had animals in my life. I learned to walk by hanging on to the fur of my parents' Samoyed, Wolf.
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    My paternal grandmother bred Samoyeds, and later Pekes. My second cousin on the same side, and her mother, also breed/bred Samoyeds. My father, who was a good 10 years younger than his cousin remembers visiting his aunt and cousins. He was (about 5) being a bit of a nuisance, so he was sent off to "see Irralee in the kennels" He emerged hours later, completely contented. When they asked Irralee what she did to keep him under control, she said "I just treated him like one of the dogs". My faterh took riding lessons as a child, but never had the interst to stick with it. But he always had a dog or cat, or both.

    My maternal grandmother grew up on a farm (at Burghley) and I have a picture of her in her early 20s, with the farm's horse and goats and chickens, labelled " Home Sweet Home, My Friends".
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    My maternal grandfather was scared of horses (HIS father was a coachman) but fond of dogs- he always had an Airedale.

    When I was about 5, I went on my first pony ride, and immediately started begging for lessons. my father saus it was "the most expensive 25 cents i ever spent."

    Will come back and add pictures later.
    Last edited by Janet; Feb. 22, 2013 at 02:33 PM.

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2007


    I blame my parents. They are animal lovers, but not horse people. However -every- person I have met with my first name rides, so clearly my parents fault for naming me, right?
    "I think animal testing is a terrible idea, they get all nervous and give silly answers."
    -fry & laurie

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2012


    Born with it, but it came from both sides of my family. Dad's family always had a few farm animals around (and at one point both my dad and his dad took riding lessons together when I was in my mid teens) My dad was an AI tec for cattle for years when I was growing up. (try explaining that on career day) My Mom's family had a fairly large farm and my grandfather on her side was a vet, my mom doesn't really like animals but she puts up with it for us. My Brother and his SO have 4+ cats currently and look after 2 horses that live on the farm they are renting.

    Our first 'animal care' lesson when we were kids hanging out at our grandfathers vet office was that sometimes the best decision is to put the animal down, (saw a kitten born with only part of a brain) and how to read x-rays! (We used to play 'count the puppies' on x-rays of pregnant dogs! ) When I got my horse, (given to me by my grandfather) my mom and dad set me down and discussed 'options' of what we could and could not afford for vet care, I was 12, but it really sunk in.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2007
    In the South, ya'll.


    I give credit to my grandfather. He grew up on a farm, and all his close family members were farmers. He eventually left the farm, but he was the one that introduced my parents to the Farm Show in PA, and I guess I got the animal/farm loving dream from him. I always tagged along to the PNHS with him when he worked there with the Zembo, and that really got me into riding.

    I also had a great English teacher in HS who rides in the "A's" and she would always talk to me about it and show me pictures. Loved it, and still keep in touch with her on FB.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2001


    Anyone else laugh whenever they see the thread title? I keep envisioning burying graves for pets :P

    I have no idea where my love of horses came from but I was definitely obsessed with them by the time I was 3 y/o. I wouldn't consider anyone else in my family a real animal-lover either.
    Snobbington Hunt clique - Whoopee Wagon Fieldmaster
    Bostonians, join us at-
    NYC Equestrians-

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009


    I don't think my parents are necessarily animal people, but they did have two cats when I arrived so I always grew up with some kind of animal around. I do love most animals but cats hold a special place in my heart. Love my dog but I am a cat person first and foremost when it comes to housepets!

    No idea where the love of horses came from because my family is decidedly UN-horsey and I think my love of them always baffled a bit since I was a "city" girl and never really had much exposure to them outside of occasional trail rides and a couple week long summer camps.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jan. 15, 2013


    Definitely born that way. Neither of my parents are animal people, nor is my extended family. My sister and I seem to make up for the lack of animal-people in the rest of the family, though!

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