Friday, August 22, 2008

Thoughts to Ponder

As I was reading Pony Girl Rides Again's blog and she was talking about family and their support of her horse riding and also being involved with horses themselves, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy.

I am the only person in my family that is into horses at all. My dads sister when she was younger used to have 2 horses and she knew nothing about them, but she sold them when she went off to school and has never looked back since. No one in my family really understands my love and passion of horses. My parents were throughly disappointed in my decision to ride horses instead of pursue other athletics. I have always been super athletic and sports like field hockey and softball came easily to me and I was quite good. In highschool I was on varsity teams all 4 years. But my heart and soul was with horses. I have never been a "natural" horse rider or horse person. Everything that I have learned has been hard fought and a struggle. I had one mentor while growing up and that was my riding instructor. I had my own room in her house for when I stayed over every weekend.

My parents never really went to horse shows. They complained about the cost, they would hardly touch the horses and would leave right after my class was done. Once I got to the age of staying at the barn for more than lessons, they never watched me ride.

Even now as an adult and owning my own horse they still disapprove. They say that it costs too much, that it is frivilous activity. They just don't understand that horses and riding is my life blood. It's what I get excited about, it's my therapy, my horse is one of my best friends and it's been really hard to not beable to share all of the triumphs that Possum and I have had with them. My parents will go to one show a year and that's usually the medal finals. "G" even told me last year that my dad was complaining to him that they had to go. "G" and my dad work at the same place, my dad is "G's" boss hahaha. But that really hurt my feelings. I see all these kids and teens at the barn with supportive parents who pay for lessons and shows etc... Their learning about horses right along with their kids.

When I go to shows, it's usually myself. Sure we go as a group from the barn, but everyone has parents or loved ones there to help them, even the adult riders have a suport system. Last year "G's" family came to watch me and took pictures and asked questions, it was great. Why can't my family take an interest?? I don't know, maybe I'm just having a pity party for one today but sometimes it really sucks to not be able to share the good and even the bad with my family. My mom won't even touch my horse. She still calls him dangerous because all she remembers is his past. I don't know it just sucks. SO I'll be going to the show Sunday. I'll be my own groom, instructor and cheering section all in one. SOmetimes it's hard to not have anyone there. Don't get me wrong, I love my barn family and they are great and supportive and I feel like they respect me and my riding a lot, so why can't my family see that too? Oh well, maybe one of the kids parents will adopt me hehehe. OK, no ore complaining. I'm gonna ride tonight and have a busy weekend and we're going to kick ass Sunday!!! Have a great weekend everyone and be safe.


Laura said...

That is really too bad that your parents and family don't support you a little bit.

If it helps at all, you can know that you have a bunch of readers all over the place cheering you on! Too bad we couldn't be there in person.

I'm a big believer that a family should support each member's interests even if you don't like the hobby/sport or whatever. I spend hours at my hubby's duathlons and he is out at the barn sweeping and asking questions.

My Mom didn't take a huge interest in my sports/hobbies as a kid - I think she was worried I was going to hurt myself or something. My Dad was there all the time. He was an expert poop shoveler and horse holder/picture taker! lol. He even coached my softball team for a few years. Too bad he passed away many years ago... Sigh. Sorry for the sad bit there...

Stephanie said...

Our younger years are very similar...I was fortunate that my mom tried to be supportive of me - but she was hampered by my dad.

She went to the shows with me when I was younger and help all she could, but as soon as I could legally stick a key in a car and drive myself - I was on my own. She was always scared to death to haul the horse trailer with horses inside anyway and often cried on our way to a show or to 4-H practice, because she was scare and also because my Dad refused to help I think.

I was always like "who cares? We can do it ourselves!" But she did. And I am sorry for the sadness it caused. However I still maintain that attitude of not depending on anyone and doing myself. Like you I rarely have anyone around during the shows - they show up for Baby Kats classes and leave as soon as possible - which is good cause I am so used to doing stuff myself

Anyway in my teens they were far too busy driving my brothers to Baseball games, camps, tournys to attend any horse shows - which they viewed as an interference to my own athletics. And they too were not happy with the fact that I gave up my last sport of Golf in college.

It was so silly - my family owned 3 sawmills! And there I was, out there riding around on a Fugly gelding we found for cheap, in welfare horse show clothes! The only reason why they paid for lessons I think it to keep me safe. I never had nice tack or clothes until I was old enough to have a job and pay for them myself.

I feel that underlying jealousy too Sidetracked - only any more its morphed into a sadness / regret.

Don't hold on it too tightly - maybe like my folks, later on they will change their minds. My parents have a much different view of my horses and activities now than they did when I was a kid.

And good luck this Sunday!

appywoman said...

I have been reading your blog for a little while and I want to tell you (as if you don't already know) to "keep the faith." My family never understood my passion either and they still don't. My mom had a horse while growing up and I think she was...and maybe still is...waiting for me to outgrow it. Well I am almost 49 years old so I do not think it will happen.

My daughter shares my love although she is not as obsessed as I am. Maybe that is because I did all I could to enable her to experience these animals. Because of this I am not financially well off but it was worth it. I still have two of my old schoolies (I taught lessons and managed boarding stables throughout most of my 20's and 30's) and she has two of her own horses. She is getting married next month and somewhere down the line I hope to be sharing the horses with my future grandchildren. I said...hang in there and do what you love. I am sorry you didn't have the family support and I know how important that is. Hell, even at my age I STILL would kill for my parent's acknowledgement that I am good at what I do. Take every opportunity to share horses with others...they will validate your gifts too.

Leah Fry said...

I suspect there's a lot of us out there who lacked support for their dreams and passions. My Mom actually seemed genuinely excited and happy for me when I got my first horse 2 years ago. My Dad had already passed, but I remember saying something like, "I can just hear what Dad would have said." My Mom got quiet for a second and just said, "Yeah." She knew that even though I was 55 at the time, had he been alive, my Dad would have had nothing but criticism and disdain.

I know it's not the same, but behind all this HTML, we're real people who respect and support you.

You GO, girl! Kick ass and take names!

The Knutson's said...

As as parent, I have a hard time understanding the lack of support that I see already-my kids are six and eight-with some other parents, in regards to their kids pursuing their passions. Isn't that what being a parent is all about???

I am sorry that you grew up with parents like that. I kind of did too, even though my mom was into horses. I had to buy all of the tack, hay, shoes, show clothes etc... for both myself and my sisters, and I had to call around, to find rides to shows.

At least you have a horse/barn family that supports you, but I also know that even that, doesn't take away the pain of not having your family involved.

Adventures Of A Horse Crazed Mind said...

Oh, I could have written this post. I totally understand. Almost everything you wrote I have thought to myself. I get so jelous of other people, with their husbands or parents going to rodeos with them and just living that whole lifestyle. I had a special brand of hate for the girls that had to be bribed to ride horses and would cry if they didnt win at the shows, demanding a new pony. I apprecaite what my parents gave me so that I could have a horse but they dont get it and I know they get so tired of having to pretend to care about my horse life. Hope it helps to know that you are not alone and that we are all allowed a little pity party every now and then!

lytha said...

i too, had "my own special brand of hate" for every person who owned a horse up until the day i got my own, when i was 18 and old enough to work to support it (being a city kid, there were no horses in my life until i got my own).

it was very unhealthy, to go to the fair and see kids warming up their horses, i was seething in resentment. i knew they could not possibly love a horse as much as i could.

now i feel it's my duty to tell little girls, "don't worry. if you really want a horse, you'll have one someday. you'll make it happen."

it couldn't have happened soon enough for me, and i am no less obsessed today. i wish my family was involved, it would be cool to not be the only one in the entire extended family on both sides with a horse. but i guess i can look at it like this: i'm the crazy horse girl. the only one.

~beth in germany