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Love for our Non-Horsey, Forced-Horsey Dads

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  • Love for our Non-Horsey, Forced-Horsey Dads

    I just wanted to post for the Dads that may not have been horsey, but came around and supported this crazy lifestyle...especially since it's my
    Dad's birthday today....having grown up with horses (My mom is horse obsessed) it was always part of our life...my Dad would be at horse shows with us cooking breakfast for everyone, taking pics, and supporting me every step/hoof of the way. I am older now (36 ) and my Dad is unable to make it out to be there, but I know he supports everything, as he still puts up with my Mom's obsession as an everyday thing. He knows the craziness that comes with us horsepeople, that we will devote every inch of ourselves to our passion/hobby and how important it is. I do wish he could be at a horse show to take pictures at least one last time, but just remembering how supporting he was through all of those years I get teared up. He never complained, always encouraged, all of those weekends we would spend at shows, and all of those days and nights we would be at the barn, he did nothing but encourage this obsession, just passing on his love and support.
    To all the non-horsey/forced-to-be-horsey Dads, WE LOVE YOU!

  • #2
    I'll drink to that!!

    I LOVE my nonhorsey dad, who toiled away at work so that I could have horses and show as a youth...who would come to all of my shows (ok, so he spent most of the time in the porto potty because he was so nervous)...who recorded on VHS EVERY darn class I had...who dutifully loaded my horse and took him home all by himself that one day I broke my finger
    Originally posted by barka.lounger
    u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

    we see u in gp ring in no time.


    • #3

      My dad has always driven our trailer and helped us load horses for Wednesday Equestrian Team practices, at 6PM, in the pouring rain (it was a winter sport after all)...and during our three-day, freezing-cold, start-at-5:30-AM equestrian meets, he was always there. Watching me jump/game/chase cows, bringing big ol' pots of biscuits and gravy for breakfast, keeping the team in line, making sure everything's running smoothly, backing up our advisor when things got ugly in the politics realm.

      He's one of those perfect horse show dads that knows enough to safely hold/blanket/tack up/load/unload/groom/longe a horse, but not enough to tell me what to do

      He (usually) politely refrains from commenting when my mother and I bring home another saddle.

      He comes to every show and 99% of clinics, is Mr. Fixit when something involves hardware or handymanning (is that a verb?), and will muck stalls and do water buckets. He bucks hay too!

      He also tends to put shipping boots on upside down

      He's pretty darn awesome. In fact, despite some grumbling on his part, he is driving me and my horse to a lesson tomorrow night!


      • Original Poster

        Oh yeah, I forgot the whole part about gettin up earlier than the sun to trailer somewhere, without a gripe, missing out on any weekend family time (other than a horse show), and also giving up 80% of the "family fortune" (yeah that's a joke ) to the horses...yeah, I really love my Dad!!! (I am 36, like I said) He totally gets it, and always had....and always supported me no matter what I was doing.


        • #5
          Yay Dads!

          My poor dad had no idea..... I remember him asking my trainer what it would take to get me to the olympics.

          Dad had a construction company and for those shows/events that I couldn't bum a ride he'd rent the bright orange U-Haul horse trailer (in the neighboring town), haul my beastie behind the construction pickup that invariably had junk from a job in the back, and drop me the horse and trailer at the show with a handful of money and a "Good luck, see you later". This was in the dark ages - way before cell phones. I was 12-14 and loved the independence. I found out later the other parents thought my folks were terrible parents

          Probably the ultimate 'dad act' happened when I was 13. My beautiful TB mare had an aneurysm and died. I thought my world would end. My dad was was understandably worried to see me so upset. He made a few calls. The next morning without warning, he packed me up, took the truck and a borrowed trailer, an drove two hours to see a horse that some friends knew about. He was perfect/ultimate and my dad wrote a check and we took him home. No more suffering teen drama!

          Both my parents are still very supportive of my love for horses - more so than my DH. Even though they've always been behind me, I've heard my dad say the happiest day of his life was when he brought the horse down here to my new hometown following my marriage

          Both my parents love to watch my girls (and me) at horse shows. I think they've seen more of their shows than they did of mine. That's okay
          Y'all ain't right!


          • #6
            My dad has and still is great when it comes to the horses. He attempts to ride mine occationally (and luckily the old man KNEW who was paying the bills and behaved) and pretty much went to all our shows when it didn't mess with his work schedule. I do remember the times when he brought his little portable TV to some of my lessons to watch the football games. At least he supported muy horsey habbit

            Even now he is still paying for my two horses while I am finishing up grad school. Gotta love him


            • #7
              Yes, I love my non-horsey Dad who surprised me and bought me a horse when I was 48, because it was something he always wanted to do. He always supported my riding and loves to come out and at 80 still likes to come watch me work with my new boy. I now own the love of my life, and my forever horse. Thanks Dad. I love ya!
              \"Throw your heart over the fence and your horse will follow\"


              • #8
                My Dad actually rode when he was younger (livery horses in Lincoln Park along Chicago's lakefront).
                He supported my habit from 8yo until I turned 15 and decided I'd rather spend my babysitting loot (I paid for my own lessons) on Boyz!

                He was near 60 when he took me on a trailride on one of my visits to CA where the family had relocated while I was in college. He hadn't sat on a horse for probably 40 years, but went along on the 1-2h ride to please me.

                And about 15+ years ago, when he was well into his 80s he drove me & DH the 3h from their home to Buellton so we could visit Monty Roberts' Flag Is Up farm. This was pre-Rockstar times and we were allowed to wander all over unattended. I can still picture my Dad petting an inquisitive nose poked over a stall door.

                Even now in our weekly phone calls he never forgets to ask about "the boys".

                {HUGS} to all the Dads of horsy daughters (and sons)
                *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                • #9
                  What a great thread!

                  My poor father was a "forced horsey" parent...my parents had no idea what they were siging up for when they bought me 6 riding lessons for a xmas present when I was 5 I guess they missed the "lifelong obsession" in the small print.
                  He's the best, though. From waking up at the crack of dawn, hauling tack, hauling the pony with our purple minivan, buying said pony, the endless shows, the endless show clothes/tack/lessons....bathing, tail dying/ relaying vet's phone conversations so I could walk my beast. All the slaving away at work so we could afford all the above. Missing out on some nautical adventure or other so we could grab a gas station breakfast before running out to the barn. I wuv my daddy


                  • #10
                    My dad had a Tee-shirt that said "They ride I provide" on it. He wore it to every PC rally 4H show open show etc..... He so loved that shirt.
                    He was a truck driver so his only time at home was on the weekends and where did my mom and me drag him? you guessed it. He became an excellent jump crew member and was so proud when 15 years later, our new PC sent a team to its first SJ rally, and he was asked to be jump crew. The organizers remembered him from when I was competing. That was his happy day. Dads are awesome.
                    Proud Mama of a BOY rider


                    • #11
                      Here, here!

                      When I was a kid, my folks decided to let me get a horse (if I paid for most of it ($175) this was a long time ago) . Anyway, I went to look at three. The first one I looked at, Dad decided he should ride (I was 13). The horse immediately started backing up. He turned to me and asked if he had a forward switch. To shorten the story, I ended up buying him (I didn't realize at the time what bad shape he was in, very underweight and neither did my non-horsey dad). I rode him home along a busy two lane. Dad drove the car and stopped and waited for us frequently. It wasn't until later that Dad admitted to being kind of afraid of horses. He became the best 4-H dad ever, including helping to build a barn, jumps, and an announcers stand.

                      He's 82 now and I own my own farm. When he first visited, he told me that this is what we should have had when I was a kid (we did self-care board at a dump of a place nearby). I have this picture on my refrigerator (scroll down to Tony & Dad) and always will have:

                      This is my first horse and my fabulous non-horsey Dad

                      Oh, and one time he rode in a 4-H parent's fun show. They were in musical tires and every time the music would stop, the horse would locate a tire. Dad got 3rd!
                      Last edited by Holly Jeanne; Oct. 24, 2008, 01:54 PM.
                      Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe


                      • #12
                        yay for dads!!

                        my dad never bought me a pony (i still ask every christmas! no dice!) but he faithfully came to horse shows and loved to hang around the barn just to watch me ride. this was in spite of a very severe allergy to dust/hay/hair/everything in a barn. my poor dad would suffer through indoor shows sneezing his brains out. and i'll never forget one cold fall night when he came out to watch me ride my psychotic QH mare he said to me, "this is what you love. don't ever give it up. keep following your heart."

                        thanks daddy.
                        Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                        • #13
                          My husband is becoming a reluctant horsey-daddy with our daughter. She is only 2, but she already loves going to the barn with me and seeing "Scarduck" (Stardust), and likes to ride double with me on one of the older mares.

                          DH is just shaking his head and asking when he's going to have to buy a pony.


                          • #14
                            The surprise of my life was the day, when I was about 13, that my dad looked at me and said "I'm signing up for riding lessons too." He'd driven the carpool to lessons since I was 9 and decided that he wanted to see what the big deal was.

                            He rode to the point where he could canter little courses, despite two big falls (Broke a finger the first time he fell off, and his arm the second time). When we moved barns and there wasn't an appropriate horse for him to ride, he moved into the role of horse show dad. He bought a truck and trailer, learned to load horses, and could set up stalls at a horse show without any supervision from me or my trainer. He came to every horse show during the spring/summer, and then he and my mom would switch when NCEL season started and trailering wasn't needed. He'd go coach basketball, and my mom would be at every horse show with me. The first time I didn't have at least one of them at a horse show with me I was a senior in college. Even now, if I said I wanted my parents at a horse show, they'd completely rearrange their lives to make sure it happened.

                            They were always supportive of my horse habit, but I really was led to believe that they didn't love that I'd made it my career choice until a year or so ago. My dad had been at some team-building conference at work and came home and told me that they had to go around and talk about who their hero was. And he told everyone that I was his hero because I had found a way to follow my dreams without letting anyone talk me out of it. And because I was one of the happiest people he knows because I was doing what I wanted to do, despite the fact that he and my mom had always pushed for me to pursue a job that would allow me to have horses but not be broke all the time.

                            He still occasionally makes noises about buying some big old draft thing to wander around our farm on when he retires, and you better believe he'll have the best horse I can find if he decides he wants to do that.


                            • #15
                              Yea for Dads, indeed!

                              I got my first horse when I was 38. The first time my parents came to visit, Dad went into the trunk of his car and brought out a beautiful hand made grooming stand. A lift lid to a deep compartment on top, which just fit fly spray bottles, and two lower drawers with an awesome ability to lock. He had gotten a horseshoe from somewhere to decorate the front and affixed a nameplate with my horses name on it. It was beautifully finished with a fine hand rub. I was astounded that he had put so much thought, love and effort into it, since to my knowledge he had never even touched a horse!

                              That tack stand is now twenty-six years old, my beautiful mare has crossed the bridge. My dad is now eighty-nine and failing fast, but he still asks about the horses every day.

                              Love your Dad(s). . . never ever pass up an opportunity to tell him how special he is, and how much he means to you.
                              "I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you..."


                              • #16
                                I have to raise a glass to salute my wonderful hubby who is a great formerly non horsey Dad. Both our girls show and he's the dad that races ahead of the trailer to get the stall assignments and check us so that our trailer hating small horse can get right off instead of standing there waiting while we do all the above. Then he's the one that spreads shavings, holds horses, goes in the middle of the night to check them when theirs no stall watch .. and many more things. This past weekend we were out at a full day show, he's the one who dressed my youngest for her classes as my oldest wanted me by the ring, he's the one who sat in a chair by the ring sleeping holding a lead rope because the horse attached to that lead wouldn't stay in his stall without spazzing with the other out at the ring. He's the best darn stall mucker, truck unpacker and lead line leader that my girls could ever ask for. And to think growing up he never had a pet at all now he's got 2 equines , 4 cats, 2 dogs, and numerous small animals!


                                • #17
                                  I love this thread! I'm misty - so many great dads out there......
                                  Y'all ain't right!


                                  • Original Poster

                                    I'm so excited to see such great stories about such wonderful dads. It is only recently that I have come to really appreciate everything my dad has done and been there for. As a kid you sometimes take it for granted, but now that I am older and see my dad getting older, it all seems to hit home. Everybody give your dads a hug today, at least in spirit if not in person.


                                    • #19
                                      Oh, boy, is this timely.

                                      Instead of me having to re-type it all, just read the Oct. 20th post from my blog:

                                      My dad rocks. It is awesome when they take an interest in what you do even when it's not terribly interesting to them.


                                      • #20
                                        Cheers to the non-horsey dads!

                                        My father grew up in a household without so much as a hamster. That's right - no pets. So marrying my mom, with two kids, two dogs, and a rotating menagerie of other animals was very brave. Consenting to collecting horses as a matter of course even braver. He has learned enough now that he can even hold them at a show! He knows what a girth is! I am so proud of him sometimes.

                                        I think the best story about my dad was when my mare had to get surgery at New Bolton. She had her first surgery, which was very carefully planned and being covered by insurance we'd bought on her, but then had complications related to anesthesia and impacted. They called and asked if it got bad enough, could they go ahead and do surgery? My mom sat dad down at the table and explained the situation to him. She explained the cost and the risks. And my father, who had never owned an animal before he was 40, said "that horse is our responsibility and we owe it to her to do everything we can". He never wavered, never complained about the price, not once. He has since put up with another surgery for one of our other horses and even went with my mom to go visit the mare at the hospital.

                                        In short, he's just great, and I wouldn't trade him for the world.

                                        "You keep one leg on one side, the other leg on the other side, and your mind in the middle." -- Henry Taylor, "Riding Lesson"