• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Rearranging one's dreams

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Rearranging one's dreams

    So this is not really a vent, as I'm not unhappy with what's happening in my life (in fact I'm happy and feel really lucky, actually), I suppose I'm just musing out loud, as it were.

    I have a lovely, fantastic, talented mare who is now 17. We have competed very little in the many years I've had her, first due to me being broke, then due to being nearly broke and having no time (law school and working), then due to injury, then due to what seemed to be a lack of time (though now I feel like I had much more extra time than I realized!). She has, however, taught me a huge amount and I love just seeing her face over the gate in the morning.

    Anyway, my daughter is now 9 months old and I've been very motivated to ride and compete and foxhunt again. Recently my husband gently indicated he doesn't think competing and hunting are realistic goals for me right now. I have a demanding job (we both do) and, well, a baby! Who still doesn't sleep all that well...so getting myself up at 4am to hunt, for instance, just seems impossible as she still needs my help to sleep until some normal time in the morning.

    So I suppose I'm just feeling a bit adrift and trying to figure out what I want, what is realistic, and what my goals should be (I guess I am more goal-oriented than I thought!). We are thinking of having LO #2 in a couple of years, also, so we might be talking 4-5 years before I can realistically plan to "get out there" again.

    I can and still plan to ride regularly for fun, keep taking lessons, etc. Am also working on a long-term plan because, well, just to have a plan, I suppose!

    Like I said, just musing, although if you took a break for kids, life, etc. did your return to riding/competing go according to plan? Were you able to compete with a job and elementary-age kids?
    Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!

  • #2
    No kids but a demanding job too.
    What about trying some hunter paces. The ones around here start normally between 9-12 for ride out times and we ride for about 2 - 2.5 hours. Not as much $, not as early so the baby can sleep, not competitive (per say so not as much time training. I love doing them. They are a fun day.
    Pamela Ellis


    • #3
      What a dilema

      Can't really say too much because I am only a little ahead of you with a 6 year old in First grade and a 3 1/2 year old. I teach riding and I have my own horse. I had alot of the same life problems that kept me from doing all I wanted (no $$$, then had $$$ but horse injury 1 [broken bone], then had $$$ but horse injury 2 [bowed tendon], then Lyme disease, then no $$$ again!) , I was doing real estate title closings free lance up until the market tanked. Teaching happily picked up enough to cover the bills, but just barely.

      My daughter is in day care 2 days a week and with Grandma on the other. I teach both weekend days but not all day.
      My horse is 20 (going on 7) and due to a super tight budget I only showed once but it was a last minute fill in spot at a dressage show at my barn. But that is OK becasue I am kind of burned out going to the local shows I have been going to for years! All I want to do is Hunter Pace this fall a couple of times for fun.

      I can say that the desire was there to show and really ride! up until this year. I wish I could afford lessons but that has taken a back seat, along with alot of other things.

      The way I look at it is I chose to bring these two wonderful amazing people in this world. It is my responsibility to raise them to be loving, responsible, empathetic adults. And hopefully get them well educated in a field that will keep them gainfully employed for a long time! That is my number one priority.

      When my kids were small their demands were simpler, eat, sleep, food, poop and play. Now there is school and other activities. They like riding ! at least!

      When I am at the barn teaching, but esp. riding my guy, I feel guilty that I am not home with them. When I am home with them, I start missing the barn. There is no right answer for me.

      Right now I am settling for the fact that I can keep my horse as opposed to retire him. I am really happy he is sound and able to keep up the level he has been at. I am able to ride him 5 days a week and get out for a trail ride from time to time.
      My tack is getting old (saddle is going on 11 years and showing it), I wish I had a trailer and a truck to pull it. Plus a small farm to park it on. I wish I had a little more spare money to put towards the college fund. But I have to be thankful for what I have.

      I know several women who raised the kids and got back into horses. There are a couple at my barn in their 70's, about 4 in their 60's and plenty in their 50's. I am only 40 so there is hope yet!

      I can moan about how my life did not turn out how wanted and agonize over the mistakes I made. But I choose to embrace the life I have and really enjoy every day. I am truly happy when I am with my horse like I was the first time I saw my horse. Only it is even better 13 years later becasue we have such a great partnership. When I see my kids wake up every morning I smile and can't wait to give them a big hug. No matter how aggravated they got me the night before!

      I am hopeful one day that I can get to all those events I really, REALLY want to go to. (My dream is Rolex. It's a big one!). Even if it is not with my current horse.

      When you start stressing out every day about what you need to do and what you want, you really need to sit down and decide how you can make a compromise that works. And make up your mind to be happy with it. There is "no one size fits all" here.

      I look at the people at the upper levels and I see them riding competitively in their late 50's and beyond. So I have hope for me. You should too.

      Right now your daughter is very tiny and demands alot in terms of care and patience. As she gets older and more self sufficient you will find more time for yourself but it may not be when you want it (at night, during nap time or broken up throughout the day).

      There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Once they are big enough to get involved in weekend or after school activities then you will have more time to devote to riding.
      "I am a sand dancer... just here for the jumps!" - Schrammo


      • #4
        No kids here either, but I will tell you that all the kids that ride usually have parents that put them on a horse at a very early age and then went on to teach them how to ride.

        Make sure you include your children in your horse activities and it will pay you back when you are out Fox Hunting or eventing with them.

        Then when you age and need help they will be there for you. My husband and I went to watch one of the local hunts and there was a woman riding sidesaddle leading a pony with a child in the saddle. I thought how lucky that child is.
        RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

        "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


        • #5
          First thing, when kids AND horses are involved, throw any plan out the window!! You're only going to set yourself up for disappointment!

          I just had my 3rd daughter, and for the 3rd time I am getting rid of the baby weight and getting back on the horse. My baby is 6 months and my other two are 6-1/2 and 2-1/2. I also have a full time job. I've gotten "back into it" twice already, so the 3rd time is a piece of cake!!

          My involvement with horses is certainly less than when I was pre-kids, not just for lack of time but less finances too. Daycare is a lot more expensive than board I can say that having the horses at home now is KEY. So much easier than when we were boarding. But I tell you what, it makes every moment that much more valuable. My husband can always tell when I haven't been riding much because I turn into Grumpy Mom.

          When I had kid#1, I had a nice quiet TB and I took a foray into hunter-land. I half-leased him to another rider, which help eased the finances and got him more rides when I could not be there.

          When I was pregnant with kid#2, we moved to a little 5 acre farm and then I had a barn of my own. WOOHOO! Since I wasn't riding (sold the lovely hunter), I scoured craiglist for rescue projects. Found an amazing giveaway TB, former prelim eventer, that needed some rehab from an injured knee and boy did I win the horsey lottery with him. Spent my pregnancy rehabbing his knee, and after I had kid#2, started slowly riding again. We were both out of shape so we were a perfect fit for each other. Started doing a little eventing and finally got ourselves to a real USEA event when BAM, found out I was pregnant with kid#3.

          Spent the winter being pregnant. No real riding. But nice to see the horsies out in the pasture and pat their noses.

          Had kid #3 in April! Had to lose 30 lbs before I do much with the horse because he is now 17 going on 18. And....... drum roll...... tomorrow we are going to a little schooling show! I know it's puny, but I have worked so damn hard to get back to this, I feel like I'm going to Rolex.

          SO I guess what I'm saying is that yes of course you can still have some goals, but don't expect them to be exactly what they could have been pre-kids. My plan is to do whatever I can with no more than 2 rides a week. (Even squeezing that in is tough.) But that's enough fitness to take my old schoolmaster out on BN jaunts and do just fine. I watch for pair paces, clinics, and schooling shows, because they are cheap, easy, fun, and low-stress. I have no goals to advance or move up the levels (OK, maybe Novice next summer), just being out there is enough, and doing the best I can do with my free horse, ancient tack, and rusty old trailer.
          where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?


          • #6
            I ditto everything above. I'm in the same shoes as the OP. I had my second little boy two months ago and am really feeling the itch to get back in the saddle. I haven't ridden much in the past 3 years, so my body turned to mush. I am realizing that because my mare is out 24/7 with our other horse, she's actually a lot more fit than I am! So no worries about bringing her along too quickly...I tire out much faster than she does. lol

            Finding the time to get out and work with her is hard, even though we now live on horse property and they are literally in our backyard. I totally understand the guilt thing mentioned above. But I've also come to realize that if I don't get enough of a horsey fix, I turn into a grouchy mom, and my kids are better off spending time with their daddy while mommy is getting her horsey fix and then having a happy mom the rest of the time.

            My goals have definitely changed since having children. When I was in high school I thought I would be a pro rider and trainer. I never thought I would get married and have kids. All of that changed when I met my husband (who is also horsey, thank God) and fell in love. Now I am a SAHM and can't pour tons of money into the horses. So I'm learning to just enjoy what I have for now. There will be plenty of time to get more serious when the kids are older, in school, or moving away to go to college. In the meantime I will be content to be an ammy who takes a few lessons, hits a few shows, and just enjoys the horses as an outlet from the craziness of raising two boys.

            Life is what happens when we are busy making plans.
            Happiness is the sweet smell of horses, leather, and hay.


            • #7
              I think you can fit in whatever you make a high enough priority (and in no way do I mean to imply that one person's priorities are better or worse than another's, just that they're all different).

              I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 6 year old. I wasn't competing as actively as I had around the time I had my oldest, and over the course of the next 4 years (after having him and through my second) I bought and sold a bunch of horses and "sifted" through horses ending up with my [now] 1.40m jumper mare and my [now] 1.40m jumper gelding, and a few other horses. I compete more heavily now than I did before having kids, and I also ride at a higher level than I have since I was in highschool (I'm back in the GP ring with one of them!).

              I also have a very demanding full time job. My responsibilities have recently changed and I've had to incorporate 3-4 day a week travel into my schedule 2-3 weeks out of each month. It's made me look very closely at my horses' conditioning schedules, but hasn't changed much otherwise.

              Anyhow, my point is that if the horses are a priority for you then you'll find a way to do it. If not, then enjoy whatever it is that IS a priority for you now. Your kids are little for such a short amount of time that there is NO SHAME in a horsewoman putting things on hold for a few years. I do think that combining kids and horses gets a little easier when the kids get a little more independent. I think that one of my "magic bullets" (when it comes to Things That Allowed Me to Return to Riding) was the fact that I had (and have) a super supportive husband who understands that riding keeps me sane. Without that I'm not sure I would have been able to show as heavily over the last few years.

              Good luck!
              Flying F Sport Horses
              Horses in the NW