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Support Systems

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  • Support Systems

    Who and/or what do you have for your support system? I am lucky to have rid myself of toxic people and since surrounded myself with understand, supportive friends. Here is my support system:

    My parents- I live at home with them. When I cannot drive, either my mother or father will take me to and fro. The assist with mucking and other barn chores. The also offer financial support. My father has even learned about grooming and picking hooves. My mom helps me every single day so I don't overtax my body with barn chores.

    My pseudo parents- Margie and Dick do morning feed and turnout for me every day. On days I have appointments or I am in the hospital, Margie and Dick will also muck and do my evening chores as well. Dick "babysits" me when I'm at the barn for the day...If I fall down, I call the house/barn phone from my cell and Dick comes running out to pick me up.

    My "special friends"- I was lucky enough to meet Wendi and Robin on COTH. They are long distance support. We share our ups and downs. Our friendship is very special.

    My able bodied horse friends - I am lucky enough to have formed friendships with able bodied equestrians who are supportive of me and my accomplishments. They treat me like a normal person, but are kind enough to offer to drive me or show my youngster in hand, etc. My true friends cheer me on and don't put me down for what I cannot do. I am included in clinics, etc. Even if I cannot ride, I'm invited to go along and audit. They never make me feel handicapped or different.

    My non horse friends - They visit me at the barn with coffee. They completely support my riding and stand by when I'm bedridden. I even have a friend who stops by with her dog so we can hang out while our dogs race around the riding ring. It's nice because I don't feel detatched from the world.

    My new instructor- I was worried about finding a good instructor who would be willing to work with a disabled rider and a green horse. A friend introduced me to a fantastic trainer who had no qualms about working with me. For now I am riding one of her horses, but in April I will start trucking my mare over. This trainer has made me feel confident about my riding. She is completely understanding that I may have to cancel because of my body, but she will work around what my body is up to doing.

    So, who supports you and your equestrian adventures? Does everyone have someone to help them emotionally and/or physically?

  • #2
    Hey Beth - it works both ways!! You listen to my vents and whines as well as share in the good times!
    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


    • #3
      Support crew, It has changed over the years, I lived on my own for many years and re-cruited horsey non-driving friends to help me ride and drive. With my parents always going with me to horse shows etc.

      5 years ago, my folks and I bought a place together, their goal is to go to as many countries as possible while they are healthy, I'm lucky enough that they plan their trips around my horse shows and go with me to the shows. When in town, my Dad mucks the stalls and corrals, helps turn horse's in and out. He also helps me drive everyday. He is the man on the back step.

      I have a driving friend that comes 2 times a week to help me drive, gives my Dad a break or when they are out of town I know I have help at least 2 times a week.

      I have another driving friend that comes and mucks 3 times a week for a small fee. This gives me and my Dad a break. She also feed etc when I'm gone to shows.

      I have a couple of neighbors that will help me drive when I need help. Also other driving buddies that will go to shows and clinics if my folks are out of town.

      At shows, I have my Navigator and his wife who acts as my groom. They are wonderful and will do whatever I ask except braid:-)

      I'm lucky that when I moved I moved into an area with a very active driving club so I can call on members as needed. The greatest thing is that as people build new barns/carriage barns and add a bathroom, they make it accesible. That is the greatest welcome!!

      Finding time is always my biggest diffuculty sense I do work full time on top of everything else (so I can afford my horses).

      Diane Kastama


      • #4
        Without my husband's support, I could not have horses. I work more than full time, and he's a stay at home dad. It's a good division of duties for us because my job is mostly mental (systems support), and I can handle it even on my worst days, but there's lots of days that I would hate to have to do anything physical around the house.

        He has primary responsibility for everything at home, including the horses, and I only do what I want most of the time.

        He was just out of town for five days, and I always appreciate the heck out of him when he comes back from a trip. It snowed the whole time he was gone, so not only was I trying to clean up manure in constant snow and keep my elderly horses fed and well, but also was trying to keep the driveway plowed, plus two other driveways for disabled and elderly neighbors.

        The cool thing is that I know if I'd reached my limit, I could call my next door neighbor to come help me. I've only had to do that twice, and I was sure grateful for the help.



        • Original Poster

          It sounds like you have a great hubby!