Ok, if I'm being silly tell me, just do it nicely. I'm under some stress.
My father (in his 60's) has been having some serious health problems. He has type 2 diabetes, is very over weight, and just got out of the hospital with multiple blood clots in his lungs and legs.
We've never been extremely close but he's always supported my love of horses (emotionally and financially). I even took him riding at one of those "rent a horse" places because they had a quiet draft he could ride.
He really wants to start living a healthier life and for the first time I want to stop being angry at him for being fat and unmotivated and help him. I don't know much about dieting but I know horses!
I have ottbs that he can't ride. Would it be crazy to (talk to him first) and then try leasing or adopting a draft or draft cross?
I have my own farm and would be committed to its care.
Is this stupid? Could it help his physical and mental health?
If he is up for it, just getting out, grooming, hand walking, feeding--- all those horse care things would get him exercising and if he is depressed, help with that, in my opinion. I think it is a great idea! Riding, even at a walk or amble :-) would burn calories.
Are you in Elkton, VA? Beautiful area--I went to JMU.
You would know the answer to that question better than we would, but I sure don't see any harm in it. If you have your doubts maybe you could foster a horse for Gentle Giants for a while and see how it goes?
I think that would be a great way to get your Dad more active. Even if he never rides the horse, just getting out and grooming and hand-walking would be beneficial.
Be aware that he might be all for it, but not follow through very well. Maybe part of your conversations could be about defining how much he'll be involved? You know, setting a minimum standard for involvement maybe?
Since you have the facility, and since you are willing to accept responsibility for horse's care and control, talk with him about it.
OP, I think it's a great idea. My dad is in the same age range as yours. He very much enjoyed helping me take care of my horses when I was living at home. When I moved (with horses in tow), he went back to a more sedentary lifestyle.
Last year I was trying to decide where to move my horse to retire, and it occurred to me that maybe my dad would enjoy caring for him again. I asked, and he was very happy to have him back. The horse gets him walking at a minimum the 1/2 mile round trip to the barn, as well as grooming, buckets, etc. My old guy is still rideable, but my dad would honestly just rather care for him, and he only rides a handful of times a year.
Does your dad really want to ride, or would he be just as happy to work around the horses? If he's set on riding, I think finding and buying or leasing an old drafty would be a good idea. If not, maybe helping take care of your horses would be enough (grooming, handwalking, etc).
Go for it. Sometimes it's knowing that another living being wants to see you is enough to motivate a diabetic into moving. Also check with his doctor to see if you can get him on a treadwell between rides.
~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
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Thank you all, it's so touching that people care and are sending positive vibes. I would love to be closer to my father ( both my sister work at his firm and are more involved in his life, while my mother and I are both in education and very close).
I hope for a day when I call home and my dad says " hey, let's go riding soon" not " hold on, let me get your mother...".
How ill is your father at this point? Is he able to get around the barn and function enough that we does enjoy putzing and care for them? I know you said he's taking care of your horses for you right now, but does he/is he capable of doing this on an almost daily basis?
Of course, ask him, but IMO, I would want to see him making progress putzing around and working with your horses on the ground before I'd want to make the commitment in getting a horse for him. It sounds like he would be physically unable to ride right now. Is he willing to make himself healthier to the point where he can ride? Lose weight, etc?
I think its a good idea if its something that he is willing to commit to.
I hate to put a damper on things but talk to the doctor first. If your dad is on blood thinners he has to be very careful about bumps and bruises. A fall, even from a walk could cause serious harm. I suggest you start with the basic grooming and observing the horses. Just being out in the air and moving around will give Dad a starting point.
"I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted". - Anonymous
I think that your father is very fortunate to have you as a daughter. Fostering a draft sounds like a win-win situation for all involved. Just grooming and handwalking a horse will be of tremendous benefit for your father. Miracles arrive in the tiniest of steps, so expect any progress to come very slowly. IMHO, fostering is a good idea because you have the resources to take care of the horse, and most importantly, your father will (hopefully) believe that the horse needs specifically your father. I've seen amazing progress with patients that believe that they must get better because Someone Else is Depending Upon Them.