Sweet sixteen and growing up with a horse-

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by nccatnip, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    Sweet sixteen and growing up with a horse.

    My daughter turned sixteen years old today; which is a milestone for most people. Besides looking at baby photos and childhood trinkets with her, I took time to reflect on the young woman my daughter had become and the choices she would face in the future. As I looked at her I could see the athlete she was, and determined woman she would soon be.

    I started thinking about some the girls we knew in our town who were already pregnant, pierced in several places, hair every color under the sun, drop outs, drug addicts and on the fast track to no where, seeking surface identities because they had no inner self esteem. The parents of these same girls have asked me why I "waste" the money on horses so my daughter can ride. I'm told she will grow out of it, lose interest, discover boys and all kinds of things that try to pin the current generation's "slacker" label on my child. I don't think it will happen, I think she will love and have horses all her life.

    Because my daughter grew up with horses she has compassion. She knows that we must take special care of the very young and the very old. We must make sure those without voices to speak of their pain are still cared for.

    Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned responsibility for others than herself. She learned that regardless of the weather you must still care for those you have the stewardship of. There are no "days off" just because you don't feel like being a horse owner that day. She learned that for every hour of fun you have there are days of hard slogging work you must do first.

    Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned not to be afraid of getting dirty and that appearances don't matter to most of the breathing things in the world we live in. Horses do not care about designer clothes, jewelry, pretty hairdos or anything else we put on our bodies to try to impress others. What a horse cares about are your abilities to work within his natural world, he doesn't care if you're wearing $80.00 jeans while you do it.

    Because my daughter grew up with horses she learned about sex and how it can both enrich and complicate lives. She learned that it only takes one time to produce a baby, and the only way to ensure babies aren't produced is not to breed. She learned how babies are planned, made, born and, sadly, sometimes die before reaching their potential. She learned how sleepless nights and trying to outsmart a crafty old broodmare could result in getting to see, as non-horse owning people rarely do, the birth of a true miracle.

    Because my daughter grew up with horses she understands the value of money. Every dollar can be translated into bales of hay, bags of feed or farrier visits. Purchasing non-necessities during lean times can mean the difference between feed and good care, or neglect and starvation. She has learned to judge the level of her care against the care she sees provided by others and to make sure her standards never lower, and only increase as her knowledge grows.

    Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned to learn on her own. She has had teachers that cannot speak, nor write, nor communicate beyond body language and reactions. She has had to learn to "read" her surroundings for both safe and unsafe objects, to look for hazards where others might only see a pretty meadow. She has learned to judge people as she judges horses. She looks beyond appearances and trappings to see what is within.

    Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned sportsmanship to a high degree. Everyone that competes fairly is a winner. Trophies and ribbons may prove someone a winner, but they do not prove someone is a horseman. She has also learned that some people will do anything to win, regardless of who it hurts. She knows that those who will cheat in the show ring will also cheat in every other aspect of their life and are not to be trusted.

    Because my daughter grew up with horses she has self-esteem and an engaging personality. She can talk to anyone she meets with confidence, because she has to express herself to her horse with more than words. She knows the satisfaction of controlling and teaching a 1000 pound animal that will yield willingly to her gentle touch and ignore the more forceful and inept handling of those stronger than she is. She holds herself with poise and professionalism in the company of those far older than herself.

    Because my daughter grew up with horses she has learned to plan ahead. She knows that choices made today can effect what happens five years down the road. She knows that you cannot care for and protect you investments without savings to fall back on. She knows the value of land and buildings. And that caring for you vehicle can mean the difference between easy travel or being stranded on the side of the road with a four horse trailer on a hot day.

    When I look at what she has learned and what it will help her become, I can honestly say that I haven't "wasted" a penny on providing her with horses. I only wish that all children had the same opportunities to learn these lessons from horses before setting out on the road to adulthood.

    by Tracy Meisenbach
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Amen! I was one of those daughters and my parents gave me a choice either a horse or a HS class ring and prom. Well I chose the horse and never looked back and never regret the decisions I made nor unhappy with all my friends having so much fun or so hearbroken (from a bad date or got pregnant).

    I was and still am hoping my three year old daughter would love horses but she is not horse crazy like I was....but she is chicken crazy LOL!
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Tracy, you are a truly special mom with a very very special daughter. My daughter grew up, too, with much of the same. However, it took her a few years to develop that understanding, I think when she left home. That was when I started getting those mushy-I love you mom- letters, and words out of her mouth that I'd thought I'd never hear. She's a wonderful daughter!

    It feels good to share those feelings, don't it?
  4. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    I loved that story. [​IMG]
    That's it, I'm getting DD a pony...well really for me to groom play with and spoil cause she is only 2 1/2 but think she's going to be a horse fanatic like me. Last summer we spent a fortune on pony rides. [​IMG] Besides, I miss having horses around!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2008
  5. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    tracey did you write that story, wow its beatuful and so true
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2008
  6. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    I totally agree, Tracy. I grew up with horses and they've taught me more than I could have ever learned on my own.
    Most importantly, I've learned to put something other than myself first.
    My fondest memories involve me, my first pony Cloud, and my friend Kasi with JR. Kasi and I are almost 30 and we are still friends. The horse shows, the camping trips, the trail rides that lasted all day... those are the times that I will remember for the rest of my life. I look forward to giving my own (future) children the same experience, I hope they embrace it.

    Now, pardon me while I go muck stalls.... [​IMG]
  7. MommaHen

    MommaHen In the Brooder

    Nov 19, 2007
    That is so true! My mom did the same thing with me growing up except we raised rabbits instead of horses but the same values still apply.

    Now that I have children of my own, I'm doing the same thing with them, only we raise chickens![​IMG]
  8. verthandi

    verthandi Songster

    May 18, 2007
    nccatnip,very well said. And as you already know, time spent with horses are never wasted.

    47 years horses have been mine to savor, and I have never regretted a moment of it. Well, maybe a few of those awful seconds, just before one of the unexpected dismounts. :|
  9. lcountry

    lcountry In the Brooder

    May 11, 2007
    BEFORE the unexpected dismount?!?!? My least favorite are the immediate moments FOLLOWING the unexpected dismount![​IMG] Right when I realized that even "soft" sand is hard and that a 35+ year old lands much harder than a teenager!

    I've had a horse or horses roughly 37 of my 40 years and it's all been worth it - even today, cold and in the rain. Horses, more than once, have kept me going either on the right track or back to the right track.
  10. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas

    That was beautiful. We got my 12 daughter a horse this last fall and it's the love of her life. I believe she will never give her horse up for boys. She is already getting grief from friends and she tells them that Jill (her horse) is much more loyal than any of them are.


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