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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Day Ten: 30 Day Challenge

Day Ten: How does your family and friends feel about your riding?

To be really honest, the only people in my life who understand why I ride and own horses are my horse friends.  :-P  Ha ha ha...

My folks always supported me as I grew up, from shuttling me to the barn every week for my lessons, to leasing a horse for me, to buying my first horse Sparky, to carting us to horse shows and everything in between.  I know I was a very lucky kid to have horses in my life from a young age.  My parents were amazing to allow me to pursue my passion.  My dad is not horsey at all, but has made jumps, brush/tack boxes, stall doors, etc. for me when I have asked.  He still tags along to horse shows even though I am now old enough to truck my horse myself.  Often he now watches my son while I show, which is so supportive.  In college, where he footed the bill, he always expected me to "get a real job" and that horses needed to be my "hobby".  I get that and agree with it (though sometimes I wish I just played horses all day...LOL!).  My mom is (and probably always will be) a complete nervous wreck about it all, which is fine.  ;-D (Love you Mom!  LOL)  She never really liked following the horse trailer to horse shows and refused to watch me jump....ha ha ha.  She took lessons one summer back when I was a teenager, but that was pretty short-lived!  LOL!  Hey, at least she tried!  (And it was on Pollyanna, the first horse I rode!  LOL)  But despite not being horse people themselves, they allowed me to be one.

But for all of their support, which I am not trying to diminish in the least bit, I sometimes get the feeling that they don't "get it".  I feel like they think I am crazy....I'm not sure they understand why I spend the time, money, and effort to ride and own horses.  I accept it, of course.  This is not a bad thing, and it does not bother me as much as it used to.  Mom used to say in a half-joking/half-serious way how her little ballerina (I danced for many years...) suddenly decided she liked to get dirty and horsey.  :-D

They might never understand how horses define me.  It is not a hobby.  It is who I AM.  Horses are as much a part of me as being a woman is a part of me.  Horses challenge me, make me whole, keep me sane, give me confidence, and allow me to be ME.  And I always feel like my parents think that is a little bit....weird.  LOL!  ;-)  I think they expected me to outgrow my "horse phase".  But they love me unconditionally, horse crazy and all, I do know that! 

My husband does NOT like horses.  



He pulled an old "bait-and-switch" on me in the last ten years.  When we first met, he was all interested in learning about horses, wanted to come to the barn with me all the time, came to horse shows, even TOOK RIDING LESSONS AND LIKED IT.  So I was thinking I would have a very supportive non-horsey husband at least and maybe even a fellow horse person at best!  Then we got married and immediately he refused to ever ride again.  Seriously, I am not kidding.  NOT COOL.  There is a whole back story here that does not belong on my blog, so I am keeping it simple.  :-D  For now, I accept it.  He sometimes agrees to do turn in/out and feeding while I am out of town but is not going to muck a stall.  It hurts and it SUCKS.  But again, there is more to this story....and don't feel bad for me!  :-)  I love my horses and I will NEVER give them up for anyone.  

My son is definitely an animal lover, but horses are not his "thing".  I have NEVER, EVER pushed him into riding.  He knows he is always allowed to ride...he has his own brushes, a helmet, and his own teeny tiny western saddle.  He prefers cats to horses.  LOL!  And he is the child who when confronted with the choices of a merry-go-round, will pick a SHELL with a BENCH SEAT to ride on rather than the pretty merry-go-round horses.  SIGH.  When you have three real ones in your backyard, horses lose their novelty pretty quickly.  But he is innately comfortable around them, knowing and understanding the balance between being careful but not being afraid.   He has a fabulous natural seat and it takes ALL of my willpower to NOT push him into riding.  I have a feeling he will always be supportive and even help his mother with hay someday (when he is actually able to LIFT the bales) but he is not a horse person.

Most of my friends are horse people.  They know and understand.  I can talk horses and they don't roll their eyes.  ;-)  My bestest friend is also my partner-in-crime horse show buddy.  It is funny to think about, but I actually think that all of my "real" friends are horse people.  I seem to have a hard time becoming close friends with anyone who is not into horses.  I mean, I can hang out with non-horse people and be friendly and enjoy each others company, but I tend to not develop strong relationships with them.  I am weird!!!  LOL!!  But it is alllllll good, because I like me.  I am happy with who I am, what I stand for, and have come to accept that not everyone will understand me and what is important to me.  :-D

My senior picture 1997 with Sparky.
See why I get along with red headed mares....????  LOL!


  1. To my lovely grown up daughter, I loved reading your blog. You are right. I am a nervous wreck when it comes to anything that could hurt one of my children. I would fret constantly while driving to a horse show, and I would just pray we would get through the day without incident. You are right, a non-horsey person cannot understand the "horses define me" attitude and although I do not go to your shows, I like reading about your events, ribbons, and trophies. I love you honey, mom

  2. Wow... that actually sounds A LOT like my life. You've just nailed my parents on the head! My mom does enjoy watching me ride, but I can tell certain things make her nervous. She understands the emotional side of riding better than my dad. My dad understands my drive, and my obsession. He's also my main enabler when it comes to anything that needs to be made.
    I do have several friends that don't ride, but I have a tendency to convert them. Seriously, I now have three converts in two years! Impressive record, if you ask me!
    The only part of your story that doesn't mesh with mine is the hubby thing and the son thing. Although, my baby brother is exactly like your son. When we were younger, I dragged him to riding camp, and he didn't mind it... but he preferrs cats too ;P

  3. That's great that your parents were and still are (for the most part) supportive of your horses and showing.

    My parents were the same when I was young, with my Dad being my biggest supporter. He would be out helping me muck stalls and other chores all the time. My Mom was ok with it all, but probably worried about me galloping by the front of the house with no helmet on... (it was the 80's lol)

    When I got back into riding as an adult, all my Mom said was "oh, you are riding again? hmmm." I know my Dad would love that I was riding again, so that keeps me going. (he died when I was younger...)

    sorry for the long a bit sentimental there lol


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